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Tai Chi Balance Course 2020: Vision and Balance

Start With This Overview Video

If Your Balance Relies Too Much On

Your Vision
Then You Might Have Problems As You Age

And 

This Is What You Can Do About It 

As we age our vision can get impaired and as a result, our balance begins to get worse. What can we do to release us from that connection? Are there ways we can stay balance without using our vision. How can we improve our vision in the future as we age?

Vision’s  Impairment’s Affect On Balance

As we age, various vision impairments, in varying degrees, affect your contrast sensitivity, depth perception, or ability to accommodate to low-light situations. These vision impairments, combined with an increasing reliance on vision for balance, can result to balance deficits and increased risk of falling.

Another element of vision that is often overlooked is the eye’s tracking ability. That is, are you able to follow moving objects with your gaze without getting dizzy or losing your balance?
If you cannot keep your balance with your eyes closed, it may mean that you have been relying a lot on your vision as your “balance compass.”

Vision’s Connection to Balance

If you cannot keep your balance with your eyes closed, it may mean that you have been relying a lot on your vision as your “balance compass.” Relying on your vision to keep your balance is not a huge problem in and of itself. In fact, your vision provides you with vital information about your environment and where you are in space. The problem of relying mainly on vision is aggravated when you develop vision impairments that come increasingly with age. These age-related changes in vision may include glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataract, astigmatism, and a myriad of other visual degenerative conditions. These various vision impairments, in varying degrees, affect your contrast sensitivity, depth perception, or ability to accommodate to low-light situations. depth perception ~ your ability to perceive the relative distance of objects in your visual field. These vision impairments, combined with an increasing reliance on vision for balance, can result to balance deficits and increased risk of falling.   

Exercises to Improve your Balance

Exercises to Improve Vision Impairment

Palming 

This is done by covering the closed eyes with the palms of the hand (the fingers being crossed upon the forehead) in such a way as to avoid pressure on the eyeballs. So efficacious is this practice, which I have called “palming,” as a means of relieving strain, that we all instinctively resort to it at times, and from it most people are able to get a considerable degree of relaxation.

 Palming To Relax Your Eyes


Swings

We have all seen a lion or a bear at the zoo swaying rhythmically back and forth behind his bars. This is not fretfulness or desire to escape but his method of keeping relaxed. Try it yourself. Find yourself a series of bars—the ribbons on the Venetian blinds, or even one window-cord on a shade, will do. Start swaying, like the bear, from side to side, taking all of you—head, eyes, and body—to one side, then all of you to the other side, in a rhythmic sway, humming a soft waltz tune as you rock from one foot to the other. The bars or ribbons will pass you, moving in the opposite direction just as they pass before the face of the bear. You will see them slipping by, but do not stop to look or they will cease to move and you will feel a slight dizziness. Let your eyes travel with your nose, looking off into the distance where your nose is pointing. The Long Swing Add a slight turn, at the end of the bear swing, on the right, then on the left—more like the swing of the elephant’s trunk when he weaves to keep himself calm. The world will seem to revolve about you in a gentle arc, slipping by from one shoulder to the other. Let it slip by. This is the optical illusion of normal vision. One hundred of these swings take but a few moments and accomplish wonderful things for the body. This swing is a spinal massage, coaxing the rust out of the hinges, speeding the circulation. It loosens tensions in the inner organs, often doing away with indigestion and intestinal troubles. Before bedtime, it promotes restful sleep, combating insomnia. But most important of all it starts your eyes on their very essential seventy-times-a-second movements which are necessary for normal vision.

Swings To Relax Your Vision

Sunning

Remove glasses and try the following sun drills. Ease your eyes into the brilliant light; close them and loosen your eye muscles if tense. Sit or stand with the lids closed for a moment, moving your head gently
but quickly from the shade on one side through the brilliant sun into the shade on the other side. Take deep breaths as you do this. Loosen the eyelids and the face muscles. If this seems severe after a few motions, turn your back and rest. Then repeat, more loosely this time. Once the sun grows comfortable to your closed lids, the glare on the streets will not be bothersome when you open your eyes to glance in one direction then the other. Now give your eyes a feast of light. Cover the left eye with one palm so no light can enter. Breathing deeply, swing the head and elbow and blink with the right eye several times through the sun. Surprisingly, this will not bother the eye. Then cover the right eye and repeat. It should not be long before you can blink rapidly at the sun with one eye at a time and not feel discomfort. There will be little spots or after-images of the sun following these blinkings. This is normal. Do not be alarmed, but cover the eyes with the palms and let them rest for a moment. Then dip your closed lids into the sun again. Repeated practice of this sun drill should strengthen the eyes for light to the point where no amount of glare can bother you. 

Sunning To Make Your Eyes Healthier

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