Regulars and Shorts

The Tibetan Eye Chart

By Staff

These exercises make your eyes feel great. And maybe they even help!

Centuries ago, Tibetan monks created an image to help improve the muscles in their eyes. Or so the story goes. We try this periodically here in the office, and it really does seem to help. Who knows what consistent practice might do?

The lenses in your eyes work similarly to the shutter of a camera. To see better in lower light, the pupil opens and allows more light in; in brighter light, it does just the opposite, closing to filter the incoming light. But as eye muscles weaken, it’s harder for them to perform this task.

What’s worse is when the lenses begin to lose their shape due to the weakened muscles holding them. This can cause problems such as lazy eye, astigmatisms and double vision.

“Exercising eye muscles will not eliminate the most common maladies that necessitate corrective lenses,” according to Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide. However, “It’s important to encourage your visual system to do its best.” Since we exercise the rest of the body, why not the eyes?

Using the Tibetan eye chart with the accompanying exercises stimulates the muscles and nerves of the optical system. It feels great. And maybe it even helps. At least, it won’t hurt.

Affix this chart to a wall at eye level. To get the maximum workout, do the exercises without glasses or contacts.
  1. Close your eyes and place the palms of your hands over them for a minute. Then, standing about an inch away from the chart, line your nose up with the center dot.
  1. Visually follow each of the arms out to their dots, always returning to the center dot before moving on to the next. Do this with all the dots.
  1. Starting at the top dot, move your eyes counter clockwise around all the dots. Repeat, going clockwise. Relax your eyes again, and repeat 1-3 twice again.



This article was originally published on December 31, 2016.