Eight Easy Exercises for Your Eyes
Your eye is surrounded by six muscles that control the movements of the eye. One muscle moves the eye up, one moves it down. Two muscles rotate the eye in circles; one muscle moves the eye towards the nose, and the other away from the nose.
Just like your bigger muscles, your eye muscles can become tense and strained. In fact, eye muscles react just as poorly to stress and tension as shoulder muscles. To relax and ease the tension in your eyes, try these exercises.
Caution for contact lens wearers. Adding eye drops or simple saline solution to the eyes before doing exercises may help prevent contact lenses from sticking to the eyeball or becoming dislodged. Do not apply pressure to your eyes or massage them while you have contact lenses in.
1. Palming: This exercise is one of the best ways to combat eye strain. The soft, warm pressure of your hands helps the muscles surrounding your eyes relax. It also calms your whole nervous system.
Rub your hands lightly together to warm them.
Cup your hands around your eyes so that no light comes through. The palms of the hands will rest lightly on the cheekbones and the fingers on the forehead. Gently close your eyes. If possible, support the elbows on a desk or table or on a thick cushion.
Do your best to relax and breathe easily, releasing tension in your face, jaw, neck and shoulders. Think about something relaxing like lying on a beach or something that makes you feel happy
Doing this for four minutes is ideal, but even a few seconds will help. Repeat three to five times if possible.
2. Long Blinks: Blinking helps lubricate the eye. Close eyes for two seconds, breathe, then open eyes. Repeat five times.
3. Short Blinks and Breathing: Blink the eyes six times rapidly and lightly. Shut the eyes lightly for the space of two breaths. Repeat five times.
4. Roll and Blink: Take a deep breath and relax. Roll eyes clockwise. Blink. Roll eyes counterclockwise. Blink Repeat five times.
5. Squeeze and Blink: Squeeze your eyes shut as tight as you can. Hold for three seconds and release. Blink lightly several times.
6. Eye Flex: Start by looking straight ahead and then make slow figure eights with your eyes. This exercises all six of your eye muscles.
7. Eye Massage: These 3 massage techniques can exercise and relax your eye muscles:
- Above and Below. Starting at your nose, gently stroke along the ridge below your eyebrow. At the end of the eyebrow make a small circle. Do the same on the ridge below your eye, only more gently.
- Ear Rub. Rub the temples with a gentle circular motion. Then gently pull on the ear, pulling it away from the head. End by gently pulling on the earlobes.
- Butterfly Stroke. Softly stroke your fingers across your eyes, forehead, face and neck. Breathe gently. Close your eyes and massage them very lightly with circular movements of your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to use the “butterfly touch” or you could hurt your eyes.
8. Can You See What’s Different? To help increase your powers of observation, find kid’s books or websites with the game of looking at similar pictures and finding what’s different in them. You can find some fun games here.
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