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Acupuncture Today
June, 2002, Vol. 03, Issue 06
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Simple "Exercises" Can Improve Vision in Children ... and Adults, Too

By Deborah Banker, MD

In both children and adults, the muscles that surround the eyes can be too tight or too loose, thus causing the eyes to be too long or too short. This can occur for a number of reasons. Many times it can be due to emotional stress, which causes electrical imbalances or electrical/energy blocks.

The location of these blocks in the body influences whether the electrical impulse will be strong or weak. For example, if there is an electrical imbalance or blockage in the Gall Bladder meridian, which begins at the temple lateral to the eye (GB1) four finger widths in front of the upper third of the ear, it can cause the rectus muscles behind the eye to be too tight. An energy block at this point can cause the rectus muscles to go into spasm, tighten up, push the back of the eye forward and make the eye more farsighted. On the other hand, if the energy is stuck at the second point of the Gall Bladder meridian (GB2), which is at the jaw joint or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the jaw becomes tight and the rectus muscles become loose, causing the eye to be too long or nearsighted. Farsightedness is when a person can best see things far away without glasses; nearsightedness is when one can see things better close up without glasses.

Children are more difficult to train than adults because they have a shorter attention span, so you may have to make the eye exercises more amusing and less technical. You may refer to an acupuncture drawing and follow the Gall Bladder meridian. When I work with children, I use a simple brush of the palm of the hand against the child's face to sweep over the sides of the face with the hands, covering the jaw, the temple and the sides of the forehead. Glide the hands across the sides of the head, with the fingers reaching up to the top of the head on both sides. Then bring your fingers down across the back of the child's head, over the back of the occipital area, down the back of the neck, across the shoulders and over the shoulder blades. Next, sweep the hands from over to the armpits on the front of the child's body and down the sides of the body.

Another stroke would be to put your hand horizontally over both of the child's eyes and brush on the skin up the forehead, over the top center of the head backwards and continue down the back of the neck as far down as you can go. Next, reach up with your hands behind your back on either side of the spine and stroke down toward the hips. This follows the Urinary Bladder meridian, which balances out the tension in the superior and inferior oblique muscles of the eye. The superior oblique wraps over the top of the eye, coming from straight back traveling forward above the eye, then angles over to the top of the bridge of the nose to go through a pulley which changes the direction of its tendon toward the top of the ear. The inferior oblique wraps under the eye alongside of the midsection of the nose, slinging toward the direction of the ear on the same side. Either (or both) of these muscles can put pressure on the eye. When these muscles are too tight, one becomes nearsighted; when they are too loose, one becomes farsighted. The Urinary Bladder meridian runs up both sides of the spine, up the neck, over the top of the head and down the mid forehead into the eyes along the side of the nose, extending below where the lids meet at the nose.

In the front of the body, we have the Stomach meridian. Put the right hand over the right side of the patient's face, and the left hand over the left side of the patient's face. Sweep down over the face, the neck, and down the center of the chest and abdomen. When this is blocked we have more problems focusing at things close up. It affects the function of the ciliary body, the sphincter-like muscle behind the iris which focuses the lens when you wish to see things that are near you.

The Gall Bladder meridian picks up any tension or energy imbalance from the sides of the body and its organs and puts it into the eyes at the temples. The Urinary Bladder meridian picks up the same tension from the body's autonomic nervous system and the spinal cord, which is also connected in an electrical feedback system from all of the organs and the muscles, and brings it into the eyes over the top of the head. The Stomach meridian picks up tension from the organs in the stomach, chest, throat, etc. and brings these imbalances into the eyes from below. When these meridians are balanced and in harmony, so are the eyes. When these channels are blocked or where there is an electrical imbalance, muscle spasms occur, which often results in a need for glasses. The unbalanced energy can also cause poor circulation in the eyes which, over a period of time, can contribute to all types of chronic blinding diseases such as macular degeneration, ischemic optic neuropathy and retinitis pigmentosa. It may also contribute to nonspecific inflammations in the eye such as iritis, which is known to get worse with stress.

Doing the hand sweeps "exercise" over the body helps to break up the electrical imbalances and restore electrical equilibrium in children and adults. The body is very forgiving. Even though you may not hit all of the acupressure points, it will respond. The touch should be light. Perform the strokes 10-20 times from the head traveling down toward the feet. In less than five minutes every day, you will begin the process of vision improvement.

Dr. Deborah Banker is an internationally known radio personality, lecturer and advocate of wholistic medicine. She received her medical degree from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, with additional training at the University of Minnesota and Trinity College Medical Center in Dublin, Ireland. She received specialized training in Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester, New York and the University of California. She also studied under a surgical research fellowship at the Doheny Eye Institute and the University of California at Irvine, and has taken several classes at Emperor's College of Oriental Medicine, including acupuncture, herbology and the philosophy of oriental medicine.

Dr. Banker currently maintains a practice as an ophthalmologist and general practitioner in Malibu, California, with a special interest in electromagnetic therapy. Called a "modern Galileo" by the National Health Federation, Dr. Banker has worked for 20 years developing breakthroughs in regenerative medicine and anti-aging programs for the eyes, skin and body, using a noninvasive approach that combines Western orthoptics with ancient Oriental and wholistic medicine.


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