Today, I want to talk about utilizing eye massage to improve the outcomes of vision training. We’ve been talking about eye massage for almost 20 years, but finally, some of the research is catching up. And, they started really looking at eye massage in 2016 and 2017 to say, “Okay? Does eye massage actually influence the visual system in any way?
And the actually answer is yes, but with some caveats. So when I talk to people about eye massage in our courses, I normally tell them, “Look doing massage around the eyes can be very helpful for many things, but it is unlikely to solve a vision problem permanently. And in fact, a lot of the research shows that whenever we do eye massage we will get a 5 to 15 minute window of improved visual acuity. So if I’m looking at my vision chart, I would test it, I would then do my five minutes or so of eye massage and then I would retest it, because that might give me some indication about how much it improves my acuity and for how long.
So the way that I like to teach eye massage is as an adjunct tool to all your other vision training. What’s been very interesting is it’s quite difficult still to find research that does a warm-up of the eyes prior to vision training to see if that creates any kind of dramatic effect.
So, from a research perspective, we can’t really say for sure yet. But on a practical level, what we have often seen, is that adding eye massage at the beginning of a vision training session can have profound effects.
Because remember, whenever we’re working on the visual system, we’re trying to train the brain because that’s what sees – not so much change the structure of the eyes. So if we can use eye massage to prime the pump, wake up the brain, improve visual acuity and also it shows that it improves accommodation to some degree, and improves blood flow – ocular blood flow. Those are all good things to think about prior to doing your vision work.
So, whenever we talk about eye massage, it’s a very simple process. We’re going to go through a few different points, so follow along. Use your index finger and go right to the medial side of your eye, and you’re going to going to basically do small circles
for 15 seconds in one direction, 15 seconds in the opposite direction. Then you’re going to go just above that along the the nose.
Again, 15 in one direction 15 seconds in the opposite, and then just below that. Now, as you press in, those areas may be a little bit sore. But we have one, two, three. Now we’re going to go to the outside of the eye.
So just follow along the horizontal line of the eye to the outer edge. You’re going to get on the bone there, press around just lightly, it may be sore. Again, 15 seconds one direction, 15 seconds in the opposite direction. Now slide to the middle of the eye on the bone. Here, once again, 15 seconds each direction. You may even feel a little ridge there. Be careful. Lots of little nerves here, so don’t press too hard.
Now, you’re going to jump up to the middle of the eyebrow, just underneath it, again on the bone. So we’ll do 15 seconds there,
15 seconds in one direction and the other, and then we will do the same thing on the outer edge of the eyebrow and the inner edge of the eyebrow. So in total, we have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight points that we’re going to do. 30 seconds on each point 15 seconds in one direction, 15 seconds in the other direction. This will take you about four minutes to do.
I want you to start programming that prior to doing your other vision training, whether you’re working on smooth pursuits, saccades, you’re doing a lot of near-far work, you’re doing Brock string. Whatever vision training you’re doing think about warming up the eyes with good eye massage because it has proven helpful in the research literature and we’ve also seen it experientially.
So give it a shot and let me know what you think.