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Good Habits for Healthy Eyes
Just as general health can be preserved by doing physical exercises, ocular health can be maintained by certain good habits.
The ten good habits described below help to maintain good eyesight. As these activities become regular habits in due course of time, no extra time is required to be spared for them.
(1) Water-Splash: Splash cold water over the closed eyes three or four times a day. Ice-water or water from a refrigerator will also serve the purpose. Splash water over the eyes while washing the face in the morning, before taking the meals and at bed-time.
Method: Full the mouth with as much water as it can contain. Keeping the mouth full of water splash water over the closed eyes eight to ten times from a distance of four to five inches. If possible, do not wipe the water on the face. Let it dry of its own. Empty the mouth now.
(2) Palming: Palming means covering the closed eyes with the palms. When the eyes are fatigued or exhausted, they can be relaxed by palming. A five minutes palming twice or thrice a day is a must. Count up to eight hundred for a five minute palming. Alternately, listen to two records or music or songs, each of three minutes. The purpose is well served while listening to slow melodious music.
“Strain is the cause, not the result, or most eye troubles,” says the well-known eye-specialist, Dr. Harold Peppard. This strain can be relieved by resting the eyes, especially the sensitive innermost coat of the eye-‘the retina’. This can be achieved by palming.
One can still tell whether a room is lighted or dark if one simply keeps his eyes closed. This means that light is entering his eyes.This can be prevented by covering the closed eyes with palms. Complete rest is necessary to preserve good eyesight. The eyes, while being palmed, experience pitchy darkness which gives them good rest.
Palming has been found to be most efficacious and should be cultivated as a daily habit by all. In palming, the closed eyes are covered with the palms of hands (both the palms slighted cupped, the fingers being crossed on the fore-head) in such a way as to avoid pressure or touching on the eye-balls. Take care that the outside light does not reach meditate
Method of Palming-1 : Sit on a chair in front of a table. Place the elbows on the table and do palming as shown in the figure.
Method of Palming-2 : Sit on the ground or on a cot, the back touching the wall. Raise the knees to the chest. Rest the head on the wall. Put the elbows on the knees and practice palming as shown in the figure. This is the best and most comfortable method.
Method of Palming-3 : Sit on a chair; Put a small pillow on the thighs. Support the elbow on the pillow and do palming as shown in the figure. The method also is convenient.
If, after the water-splash, palming with wet hands and wet face is performed, the eyes get coolness in condition to advantage of the palming.
3) Washing the feet with cold water: The feet should be washed with cold water twice a day and at night before going to bed. Rub the feet on the wet tiles of the bath-room for two or three minutes. Pour cold water on the feet while rubbing them on the tiles. This practice induces sound sleep which in turn helps to maintain good eyesight. Massaging the bottoms of the feet with cow’s ghee or pure castor oil seems to serve the same purpose; that is, to have a good effect on the eyes through the feet.
(4) Eye-bath: Bathe the eyes with cold water or Triphala water or weak saline (saltwater) once or twice a day. Fill the eye-wash cups water up their brims. Keep the eye-wash cups straight; bend the head and dip and eyes in the water. Blink gently in the water. The eyes can be washed in a small bowl also. Wash the eyes for about a minute.
(5) Sun-rays: Sun-rays are very beneficial to the eyes. Let the eyes the exposed to the tender rays of the sun in the early morning and at sunset. When the sun is bright, close your eyes and face the sun.
Method: Sit or stand comfortably facing the sun with eyes closed. The slowly turn the head to the left and then to the right. Repeat this exercise fifty times on each side. After enjoying the sun, splash the eyes with cold water and to palming for at least five minutes.
(6) Moonlight: In the moonlit nights, whenever possible, lie down on back facing the sky. Blink while looking at the moon. Keep the eyes relaxed. Practice this for ten to fifteen minutes. Blinking at the moon is beneficial to the eyes.
(7) Eye-steam: Once a week bathe the closed eyes with the steam of salted water. Fill in a big bowl with the boiling salt-water. Put the bowl on the ground. Sit in front of it in prone-kneeling position. Cover the whole body with a quilt or a blanket and take steam over the closed eyes. This method is similar to the one used in cold and coughs. Take the steam for about five minutes. This will cause perspiration which removes the harmful elements collected around the eyes. Eye muscles become warm and loosen up, beneficial the eyes. Besides, the face looks bright.
(8) Shower on the head: Except for some imperative necessity, do not pour hot water on the head in ordinary circumstances. After taking the bath and before wiping the body, take cold water shower on your head for about two minutes. If there is no facility of the shower bath, gently pour cold water form a jug on your head. This must be done slowly. Take at least half a minute to pour the jugful of water on the head. Then wipe the body. It is advantageous to do this a regular habit.
(9) Clay on the eyes: Take clay of any colour (preferably black). It should be sifted and without grits. It should be obtained from the surroundings of a pond or form the virgin ground. It should be free form chemical fertilizers.
Method: Moisten clay with cold water and make around, flat and small lumps from it. Put these lumps on the closed eyes for about ten minutes. Cover the lumps with a dray piece of cloth. Clay has the virtue of drawing out poison. It gives coolness and strength also. It should not be kept on the eyes for more than ten minutes.
(10) Facial Message: For a minute or two every day, vigorously massage the skin of the face and the neck with a napkin soaked in cold water. Occasionally use hot and cold napkin alternately. Start with a hot napkin; massage the face for a minute; then take a cold napkin and massage the face for half a minute. Repeat this process three-four times. This method refreshes the eyes and improves the blood circulation of the face.
Various methods of relaxing and refreshing the eyes have been discussed in the preceding paragraphs. However, it is not necessary to follow all these methods every day. Water-splashing, eye wash and palming being more important should be done every day. Others can be done twice or thrice a week, as and when time permits
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