Saturday, November 26, 2016

If You Just Don't Die!

This is my newly published book: “YOU JUST DON’T DIE!” This 154-page book is about how to live your life as if everything is a miracle if you just don’t die as you continue with you life journey with the many changes and challenges confronting you, including your loss of vision.

Human existence is meaningless without life purpose and human happiness. The pursuit of longevity has been going on since time immemorial. Consciousness holds the key to the success of this pursuit. Consciousness of living is wisdom of the mind to understand the self, others, as well as how and why certain things happen. Wisdom in living enables one to complete the rest of one's life journey and reaching the destination.

To live to 100 and beyond—if you just don’t die—you must ask questions about life; after all, living is about asking questions and seeking answers to the questions asked, and thereby instrumental in providing wisdom or a blueprint to continue the rest of your life journey.

The first question you should consciously ask yourself is: "How long do I wish to live?" Of course, that is only a hypothetical question because you really don’t have much of a choice—unless you would like to purposely end your life prematurely. Naturally, the answer to that question may also change over different phases in your life, depending on the quality of your life in that particular phase.

The second question you should consciously ask yourself is: "Why do I want to live long, or why not?" This question will be naturally followed by the third question: “How do I live long, or what can make me desire to live longer?”

The final question—if you just don’t die—is: "How should I live the rest of my life to overcome my daily problems and life challenges?"

The objective of this 154-page book is neither to convince you to crave longevity, nor to show you how to live to one hundred and beyond. It simply presents you with the consciousness of living the rest of your years—if you just don’t die!

Click here to get the digital copy, and here to get the paperback copy.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma is an eye disorder often associated with aging. According to Western medicine, there is no cure, and no reversal of the conditions connected with the symptoms. However, we must also look at the underlying causes of glaucoma, and look at the disorder with a different perspective and with a holistic approach to the treatment.

Below is taken from: Health and Wisdom Tips:

“Glaucoma is an eye condition due to increased eye pressure that may lead to blindness. In conventional medicine, most eye doctors would recommend surgeries and / or eye drops to relieve high ocular pressure in the eye.

However, there is one problem: surgeries and eye drops would also create a chronic condition, ironically enough, leading to ultimate blindness. The use of eye drops may have adverse long-term effects, one of which is the falling off of pieces of iris, causing blockage, and thereby instrumental in increasing eye pressure over the long haul, instead of reducing the eye pressure.

Dr. Leslie Salov, M.D., O.D. Ph.D., in his book Secrets for Better Vision, states that most glaucoma patients are highly intelligent professionals who lead very stressful, busy lives. This finding led Dr. Salov to believe that to improve vision or eye health, you need to improve the health of your entire person simultaneously because your body is a set of interlocking systems that affect one another. Given that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, your eyes are only a small part of your whole person. Accordingly, to heal the eyes, you must heal the body first. It is just that simple!

To have healthy vision, even as you age, you must employ not only the sciences of physiology, biology, and chemistry, but also the healing powers of philosophy and even spirituality. This is no exception when it comes to treating glaucoma. In other words, to treat glaucoma, you need to examine not just your eyes, but also every aspect of your life, including your emotional and spiritual health. Get a holistic approach to healing glaucoma.
The methods of glaucoma treatment recommended by Dr. Salov also include the following:

Visualization is the use of guided imagery to direct blood, oxygen, and leukocytes (immunity cells) to the eye through a mental image of a healthy eye. Essentially, your conscious mind controls the involuntary processes that occur automatically inside your body. Specifically, visualization relaxes the muscles in the walls of your canal of Schlemm (circular channel in the eye that collects watery substance between the lens and the cornea). By relaxing these muscles, extra fluid can be excreted to relieve the glaucoma pressure. Without using eye drops with chemicals, visualization can naturally relax eye muscles so that your pupils become small enough to open up the canal of Schlemm to excrete the fluid for eye pressure relief.

However, it must be pointed out that visualization works only when you use it with dedication and consistency. In other words, you have to practice visualization daily and diligently.

Meditation is the art of thinking of nothing to remove everyday stresses and worries. When you are under stress, you body produces chemical changes within your body, which decrease blood flow and oxygen level to your eye. Practice meditation to de-stress yourself.

The bottom line: eye pressure can be relieved by eye relaxation; it is important to relax your eye muscles, just like you would relax the muscles of different parts of your body.”

Remember, vision has to do with the mind too, and not just the eyes. Without mind relaxation, the eyes are stressed and unrelaxed, and thus raising the eye pressure, which is the underlying cause of glaucoma. Does it make sense?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vision Health and Digestive Health

Your eyes are one of your body organs. The health and wellness of your body may significantly affect the health of your eyes. Don’t look at your eyes as “separate” organs. Remember, what is good for the heart is also good for the brain. Likewise, what is good for your digestive system is also good for your eyes.

The incidence of eye disorders and diseases increases with age. Eye problems have been linked to mal-absorption of various nutrients needed for the eye due to an unhealthy digestive system.

Dry eye syndrome: low levels of digestive juices
Glaucoma: lack of absorption of thiamine (vitamin B1).
Night vision problems: chronic liver disease (constipation)
Red and irritated eyes: lack of digestive juices

The fact that eye problems are prevalent among the elderly population who also have digestive problems attests to the importance of the digestive health in healthy vision.
Your digestive system is one of the parts of your body that is often neglected. But good health begins on the inside.

Digestion is a complex process involving chemical and physical changes, such as breakdown of food and drinks into their small parts, absorption of nutrients by your body, conversion of food to energy for your body’s use, and disposal of waste materials from your body. Your digestive tract is a long tube running from your mouth to your anus. Make this long tract clean and you will have healthy eyes.

The Digestion Process

The digestion process begins with your ingestion of food in your mouth. Your teeth and tongue break down or masticate food, and your salivary glands initiate chemical digestion by immediately secreting saliva with liquid enzymes to break down starches into sugar. Once the food is chewed and softened, your tongue rolls it into a ball, and then pushes it to the throat to be swallowed.

The food then passes into the esophagus, a muscular tube connecting the mouth with the stomach. The esophagus moves the food to the stomach by a series of muscular contractions.

When the food reaches your stomach, the gastric acid containing enzymes mixes with the food and begins mechanical digestion in which the food is churned to break down the proteins in your food. Proteins are the only substances digested in the stomach, but proteins are only partially digested in the stomach.

The undigested food then passes into your small intestine. Bile is released from your liver to prepare the digestion of fats, and pancreatic juice containing enzymes begins the digestion of carbohydrates, while the digestion of your partially digested proteins continues. In addition, the walls of your small intestine also release enzymes to complete the digestion in your small intestine.

Nutrients from your digested food is absorbed into blood vessels on the walls of your small intestine, and then carried to all your body cells and organs, including your eyes.
The material that has not been absorbed moves into the large intestine or colon. Here, water and salts are absorbed, and the remaining solid waste, converted to fecal matter, goes out of your body through the anus.

Incomplete Digestion

 Incomplete digestion occurs when there is insufficient stomach acid to digest proteins, and inadequate pancreatic juice to digest fats and carbohydrates.

 The presence of undigested food causes an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria in the lower small intestine and in the colon. The toxins from these bacteria may begin to stress the liver, which has to work overtime to remove those toxins produced.

 Efficient Digestion

Poor digestion may cause insomnia, which creates stress and strain for the eye. Therefore, efficient digestion should be encouraged. Improper dentures, over-sensitive teeth, and diseased gums may also affect your ability to chew your food adequately.

Always chew your food thoroughly.
Eat several smaller and lighter meals, instead of one or two heavy meals. As you grow older, reduced blood supply to your small intestine may adversely affect your capability to absorb nutrients from your food.
Do not gulp liquids, or talk, while chewing food. Always eat in a relaxed manner—not watching the television or working on the computer. Be aware of the taste, texture of every morsel you put into your mouth.
Eliminate dairy products from your diet, especially if you are allergic to them; avoid too much high-fat food.
Avoid excessive eating when you are stressed.
Avoid smoking and too much alcohol drinking, which may irritate your stomach lining.
Eat a small piece of fresh ginger with lemon before a heavy meal to activate your salivary glands to produce enzymes to aid your digestion.
Avoid cold drinks during a meal. Drink at least half an hour before or after, but not during, a meal.
Do not lie down immediately after a meal; do not eat before you go to bed.

Learn to follow Nature’s prescription of suitable times for your meals. Your lunch should be the heaviest meal, since your digestive fire is at its maximum potency. A late dinner interferes with your body’s mechanism to detoxify and digest food from the day, making you tired the next morning you wake up. Most importantly, eat only when you are hungry, not necessarily because it is meal time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Simple Things to Do for Eye Relaxation

There are some simple things you can do for your eye relaxation:

"Vision is about the eye. It is all about what you see, or how well you see. Healthy vision gives you sensation, perception, and conception. Your life depends on your eyes. In short, healthy vision gives you all the raw materials for living for life.

Do some simple things to relax eyes for better vision.

Shifting: Train the eye to look from one object to another frequently, from a close object to a distant one, and then back again in order to relieve tension and eyestrain, which impair vision. Reinforce shifting with constant blinking to clean and to rest the eye.

Tracing the “8” eye exercise

Sit comfortably in a relaxed posture.

Consciously breathe in and breathe out through your nose until you attain a natural rhythm.

Imagine the figure “8” in the distance.

Let your eyes trace along the imaginary figure without moving your head.

First, trace it in one direction, and then in the opposite direction.

You can modify the exercise by imagining other alphabets and figures. The objective of this exercise, in addition to promoting relaxation and flexibility, is to train your eyes to consciously shift when focusing on an object in the distance.
You can modify the exercise by imagining other alphabets and figures. The objective of this exercise, in addition to promoting relaxation and flexibility, is to train your eyes to consciously shift when focusing on an object in the distance.

You can do this when stopping in front of the traffic light, or when you look away from your computer screen. Do this anytime, and just be conscious of it.

The Taoist squeeze-and-open eye exercise

This ancient Chinese exercise developed by Taoist monks thousands of years ago increases blood circulation to the eyes, prevents watery eyes, and alkalizes the eyes to detoxify the liver. It removes eyestrain and soothes eye-muscle tension.

Inhale slowly, while squeezing your eyes tightly for 10 seconds.

Then, slowly exhale your breath, making the sh-h-h-h-h sound, while opening your eyes wide.

Repeat as many times, and as often as required to cleanse the eyes and the liver.

Again, you can do this anytime.

TIPS: Always be aware of the BLINKING and SHIFTING of your eyes. Avoid STARING and EYE-FIXATION. It is just that simple."

The above is from Health and Wisdom Tips.

Remember, take good care of your eyes, and eye relaxation is something you can do.

Stephen Lau

Friday, November 11, 2016

Understand How the Eye "Sees"

The eye with good vision and the eye with weak vision do not “see” in the same way. Understanding how normal eyes “see” may help you make your eyes “see” in a totally different way.

Look at a simple illustration of the difference in the process of “seeing” by the eye with good vision and by the eye with weak vision. Here is how and what the healthy eye will “see” when it looks at the following:

A  B  C  D  E

 The eye with good vision will be able to “absorb” or “see” A, B, C, D, and E all at the same time, irrespective of the closeness or distance.

Then, the eye with good vision will subconsciously “select” the one (e.g. E) that it wants to see, and immediately shifting its focus to E. Remember, the healthy eye can “select” its own vision.

In other words, the healthy eye has “soft vision”—it sees everything immediately but without gazing. “Soft vision” is practiced by all martial arts practitioners because they need to know where the attack of the enemy may be coming from—which could be from any or all directions. Therefore, it is important to train your eyes to have “soft vision” so that you can see everything all at once.

Soft Focus 

Train your eyes to “see” and “look” at the same time.

Look at a printed page with a lot of details.

  • Become “aware” of what you are looking at, without blinking your eyes for five to thirty seconds.
  • Practice soft focus for five minutes at least once a day.

AWARENESS: Look without blinking (soft vision) for 10 seconds or so.

When you gaze, you use mostly your central vision, with little or no peripheral vision (which is side vision); accordingly, you weaken your macula, which is responsible for seeing visual details. Over time, you begin to lose much of your peripheral vision (use it or lose it). Because you cannot see what you want to see, you form the bad habit of “staring” or “frozen gaze,” and thus further weakening your macula. This is how the vicious circle of poor vision is formed. To improve your vision, you must break that vicious circle.

The eye with weak vision will do the following when looking at the above:

  • The eye with weak vision will probably look consciously at C first, without seeing the other alphabets (probably due to constant use of central vision).
  • Then, the eye with weak vision may probably shift its gaze to B and D, and then to A and E, back and forth, in order to “select” what it wants to see. Finally, the eye may decide that E is what it wants to see, and begins to focus on E (all these happen subconsciously and within only a fraction of a split second).

The above illustration demonstrates how the eye with weak vision may “see.” One of the characteristics of the eye with weak vision is its “frozen gaze,” which allows it to focus on only one object one at a time. To improve your vision, you must overcome the bad habit of “staring.”

AWARENESS: Do not stare!. Blink frequently to stop frozen gaze!

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What Is Good Vision?

Vision is all about light. Without light, there is no vision.

“In the beginning, when God created the universe, the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the power of God was moving over the water. Then God commanded, ‘Let there be light’—and light appeared.” (Genesis 1-3)

Give that vision is a gift from God, do not abuse it; make the best and the most of your vision power. Improve your vision at any age!

Good vision is about how your eyes make use of light to see the world around you:
  • How much light is available to the eye?
  • How efficient is the eye lens in refracting the light?
  • How sensitive is the eye (macula) in receiving and transmitting the light to the brain?
  • How proficient is the brain in processing the visual data from the eye?

Good vision involves more than just the eye: it includes the body and the mind.

So, never strain the eye to read or to see when the light is insufficient.
So, relax the eye in order to avoid distorting the shape of the eye, which will squeeze the lens out of shape, and thus causing the refractive error.
So, protect the macula (for detailed vision) on the retina (the back of the eye) by increasing peripheral vision (on both sides) to avoid overusing the macula.
So, improve brain power through affirmations and visualization to help the eye focus and process visual information efficiently.

Good Vision

Good vision means the capability to look clearly into the distance, but nearsightedness causes blurry distance.

Good vision means having peripheral vision, but the grim reality is that there is only central vision, with little or no periphery.

Good vision means the eyes shift constantly, but the problem is that the eyes are constantly staring, or have developed eye-fixation.

Good vision means the eyes can adjust easily to light, but the truth of the matter is that the eyes tend to squint at different light conditions.

Good vision means the eyes can look close up and far away almost instantaneously, but farsightedness prevents the instant shifting of the eyes.

In other words, the characteristics of the eye with good vision are: 
  • It will “naturally observe” or “notice” what is around.
  • It will never “strain” to see “everything.”
  • It will relax and rest even when it is “looking.”

To improve your vision, you must enhance these characteristics at all times.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Can Meditation Help Your Vision?

 Can meditation improve vision health?

Vision health has much to do with relaxation. Many of us have vision problems because we have everyday stress. In addition, our eyes have to focus on our electronic gadgets, such as computers and cell phones. 

Meditation is critical to vision health. Stress causes eyestrain that often leads to many eye problems. Meditation is a proven mind-body therapy for body-mind relaxation.

The healing power of meditation lies in its capability to focus the mind solely on the very present moment, thereby removing memories of the past and worries of the future. Meditation helps you focus your mind on the present moment to the exclusion of past and future thoughts. The mind in its natural and perfect stillness relaxes completely.

In contemporary living, your mind is often riddled with thoughts of what you just did, what you will do, or should have done. Nearly all your thoughts, including your desires and fears, are based on either the past or the future. Your desires are no more than recollections of the past pleasures and hopes of repeating them in the future. Fears are also memories of past pain, and your efforts to avoid the pain in the future. All these rambling thoughts in your subconscious mind indirectly affect your conscious mind, and hence your body and your eyes.

In the present, your mind is always preoccupied with the past or the future, leaving little or no room for the present moment, which, ironically enough, is the only reality. The past was gone, and the future is unknown; only the present is “real.” The present is a gift, and that is why it is called “present.” But, unfortunately, most of us do not live in the present, not to mention appreciate it, because the present is interlaced with the past and the future. Meditation is about re-focusing on the present moment.

The mental focus of meditation is not quite the same as the mental concentration, such as solving a difficult math problem or while performing a complex mental task. Meditation is focusing on something seemingly insignificant (such as your breathing) or spontaneous (such as eating and even driving) such that your mind can be conditioned to focusing on only the present moment. In this way, your mind concentration excludes all past and future thoughts, thereby instrumental in giving your mind a meaningful break. It is in this sublime mental state that you are capable of understanding the true nature of things, and their relativity to the meaning of life and existence. Meditation awakens you to what is real or what is quasi real.

Points to remember when you meditate:

Focus on an object as your focal point of concentration: your own breathing; looking at a candle flame; listening to a sound (such as the sound of running water from a fountain); watching your footsteps when you are walking, or just about anything that can easily draw you back to your meditation.

During your meditation, if your mind wanders away (which is quite common), gently direct your mind to re-focus on the same object of your concentration. Learn how to focus through your act of noticing that your mind has wandered off, as well as through your repetitive efforts. Meditation is all about focusing on the present moment. Make focusing a habit of relaxation for your eyes 

Keep yourself in full consciousness: you must be fully aware of what is going on around you. That explains why in meditation (except in the walking meditation) you need to sit erect in order to keep your body in full consciousness. Do not lie down (or else you may fall asleep); do not slouch (this may not help you focus).

A full lotus position is not required. However, it is important that you maintain a consistent position or posture with your thumb tip and forefinger tip of each hand touching very lightly, while the other fingers are either curled or extended out. A consistent posture and hand position will promote a meditative mind to practice your meditation techniques.

Palming is an excellent exercise not just for vision improvement, but also for deep meditation. Cover your eyes with your palms but without touching your eyes. Don't close your eyes tightly. You will see blackness. Focus on your breathing, and continue to visualize blackness in your mind. Eye-palming exercise relaxes your eyes.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau