Scrolling through Instagram. Scrolling through Facebook. Scrolling through Twitter. Yes, social media is a wonderful way to keep connected to people around the corner and around the world, but all that scrolling is doing a real number on our eyes!
Before you reach for a pill or some drops, give this simple and effective Acupressure for Eye Strain program a try.
Why do our phones hurt our eyes?
The regular focal length for normal vision is about 14 inches, but typically we do not hold our phones that close to our face when we are reading online messages. This forces the muscles of our eyes to contract more intensely to focus our vision.
Coupling that with the speed at which people will scroll and scan through lines of text, forces the eye muscles to go into overdrive. To add insult to injury, the harsh bright light that the screens emit exerts additional strain on the eyes, making everything that much worse.
Symptoms such as sore, tired, burning or itching, watery or dry eyes, blurred or double vision, headache, sore neck, shoulders or back. These are but a few of the problems that people commonly suffer from these days as our phones have become a new permanent appendage and object of affection.
How to Relieve Eye Strain Naturally?
The obvious answer….” turn the phone off once in a while!” But let's be serious, when was the last time you actually turned your phone off, other than when an app was malfunctioning?
For most people, it is the first thing they look at when they wake and the last thing they look at before they go to bed. In between, studies show that people check their phones every 6 1/2 minutes or roughly 150 times a day.
Disease is a product of behaviour, but so is health. Unfortunately, the reality is, people are not going to change this destructive behaviour. So the answer is the addition of healthful behaviours to balance the equation.
Can Acupressure Help with Eye Problems?
The eyes are literally surrounded by acupuncture points. These points can be stimulated using acupressure to relieve eye strain. Acupressure massage used for eye strain, called Tuina (pronounced Twee Naa) is a simple and effective means to move blood and oxygen to the tissues in and surrounding the eyes, helping them to heal.
Acupressure for Eye Strain Massage techniques
There are several different acupressure massage techniques used to relieve eye strain;
Ironing the Eyes - To iron the eyes, the palms are first pressed together and rubbed forcefully for 30 seconds to a minute. This friction will help warm up the palms preparing them to iron. Next, you place the palm over the eyes and gently press down. The warmth and gentle pressure will increase blood flow to the eyes, invigorating and getting them ready for added stimulation.
Kneading the Eyes - The acupressure massage technique of “kneading” is performed by first placing the index and middle fingers of each hand on the skin at the outer corner of the eye. Using a circular motion, manipulate the skin without letting the fingers slide over the tissue. Slowly make your way around the entire eye socket kneading the tissue of the face.
Rubbing the Eyes - This acupressure massage technique has three variations designed to bring blood and oxygen to the tissues above, below and on the eyes. To begin, the thumb of each hand is placed on the face just behind the ocular bone on the outside of the eye where it will remain anchored.
Next, form the fingers into a loose fist. Using the middle knuckle of the index finger (proximal interphalangeal joint) as a contact point, place the knuckle on the inside corner of the eye. Rub the knuckle in one continuous movement above the eye along the eyebrow until it reaches the thumb. Repeat this process for three passes.
Next, place the knuckle back on the inside corner of the eye to begin again. For the second line, rub along the underside of the eye until once again reaching the thumb. Repeat this process for three passes.
On the last line, rub from the inside corner of the eye, directly over the closed eyelid until once again reaching the thumb. Repeat this process for three passes.
The three rubbing lines should be made with different pressures;
Forceful - above the eye
Medium - below the eye
Gentle - on the eye
Acupressure Point Pressing - Finally, you can use several specific acupressure points for the eyes to help your vision. You will use the pad of your index finger to press and knead these points for 1-3 minutes each.
Bladder-2 - This point is located above the inner corner of the eye, in a depression on the eyebrow, close to its inside end. Like many points on the face, this point helps to eliminate “wind”. In Traditional Chinese medicine, wind refers to the erratic movement of energy in the body, similar to how the wind blows.
This erratic movement of Qi is the cause of itching in the eyes. In addition, this point also clears heat from the bladder meridian as well as the local area. For people suffering from red (heat) and itchy (wind) eyes due to allergies or overuse of screen time, this point can help a lot.
SanJiao-23 - This point is located above the outer corner of the eye, in a depression on the eyebrow, close to the outside end. Just like Bladder-2, this point clears heat and wind from the meridian. In addition, this point is wonderful at relieving pain and headache especially in the temple and eye region.
Gallbladder-1 - This point is located in the hollow on the facial bone on the outside of the eye. Like Sanjiao-23 this point is great at clearing heat, expelling wind and easing pain around the eye and temple. In addition, GB-1 helps to combat “fluid” issues such as swelling around the eye or excessive eye-watering (lacrimation).
Stomach-2 - This point is located directly below the center of the pupil, below the orbital bone in a small hole in the upper cheek called a foramen. This hole is where nerve and blood vessels for the face come through the bone. ST-2 serves to treat all the major conditions as the other facial points, including clearing heat, stopping itching, reducing swelling and alleviating pain.
This 5 minutes acupressure massage for eye strain program can be done as often as you like. The best part is, you can do it right at your desk, bathroom or anywhere in-between. The addition of this beneficial behaviour will help to balance out your phone scrolling addiction that is leaving you with perpetually scratchy, tired, sandpaper eyes.
…give it a try.
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