Wisdom from Books

<b>Wisdom from Books</b>
Stephen Lau's website to help you get the wisdom to live as if everything is a miracle.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Healthy Posture and Healthy Vision


Science has attested to the close connection between the body and the mind. As a matter of fact, your body organs and systems are all inter-connected. Accordingly, your vision is inter-connected with your body posture. Therefore, to improve your eyesight, you must also improve your body posture.


Vision health is holistic health, that is, it includes the health of the body, the mind, and the spirit. Eyesight is an integral part of vision. Your eyesight determines how you see the world at large; your perception is your reality. Therefore, your perception becomes the raw materials of your life experiences, which will directly or indirectly affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By the same token, your physical, mental, and emotional health will have an impact on your vision health, and hence your eyesight.


According to Dr. William Bates (1860 - 1931), the founder of natural vision improvement, poor vision is the result of eyestrain, due to mental and physical stress on the eye, and hence the distortion of the eye shape, causing nearsightedness and farsightedness. Dr. William Bates strongly believed that eye relaxation holds the key to improving vision. As a matter of fact, stress is the major underlying cause of most human diseases. It is important to reduce, if not remove, the stress factor in your life. 


But eye relaxation begins with the mind first, and not the eye. The mind must be completely relaxed before it can relax the body, and then the eye, which is only one of the organs of the body. Posture health is overall health because poor posture affects different parts of your body in many different ways, such as back pain and breathing, among others.


Good posture improves your breathing. Incorrect breathing results in compromised lung functioning, leading to inadequate oxygen intake by all body organs and tissues, and hence a host of health issues, including vision health. Improve your posture to optimize breathing for your vision health.

Good posture helps you avoid debilitating body pain, such as back pain, neck pain, leg pain, and even headaches. In addition, an arched back exerts undue pressure on the joints and nerves, causing joint pain and rheumatism. Due to poor body posture, all the muscle groups supporting the crooked spine may become stretched and strained, causing wear and tear, resulting in lower back pain. Chronic body pain often interferes with natural sleep, which is a major factor in relaxation of the body and the mind, in particular, the eye. Therefore, it is important to have good posture for eye relaxation to improve eyesight.


To successfully improve posture, you must develop an acute awareness for good posture at all times.

Good posture does not mean "jamming your shoulders back, tucking in your tummy, and standing stiff"; this posture does not align your body, nor is it practicable in that you can maintain that position over an extended period. To learn how to maintain good posture. Visit my web page: Healthy Posture Resources.


Stephen Lau
Copyright©2018 by Stephen Lau

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Elephant Swing for Better Vision



The Elephant Swing for Better Vision

Vision is the most important of all five senses. Without good vision, the quality of life is considerably compromised. Unfortunately, many seniors are faced with the problem of vision impairment as they continue to age. The good news is that you can maintain good vision throughout your life, if you have the know-how.

Qi Gong is an Oriental exercise that focuses on natural movement and relaxation. Because it is an exercise without stress and strain, you will build up your muscles naturally, including those of your eyes. Given that good vision has to do with exercising and relaxing eye muscles, the elephant swing of Qi Gong is an ideal exercise to enhance eye vision, especially for the elderly.

To perform the elephant swing, do the following:

1.    Stand with your feet parallel, about 10 inches apart.
2.    Slightly shake your arms and legs, while rolling your neck back and forth, and sideways, to loosen your nerves and muscles.
3.    Pay attention to your movements as you relax your jaw and empty your mind of thoughts.
4.    Shift your body weight from one foot to the other. Swing your body to the right and then to the left in a swaying movement by lifting the heel of each foot. Let your arms hang loosely during the swaying motion. It is important that your head moves with your body, not by itself.

5. Breathe naturally. Open your eyes, and notice what is in front of you. Do not fix your eyes on any object in your field of vision. You will have the visual illusion that everything is “moving in the opposite direction.”
6.    Swing, see, and relax for 100 swinging movements.

The objective of the elephant swing for better vision is to train your eyes not to become fixed on anything, as well as to loosen and relax your eye muscles. Practicing the elephant swing of Qi Gong relaxes the body, the mind, and the eye. The Chinese have practiced this exercise for thousands of years.
  
Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Why You Should Take Care of Your Eyes


Why You Should Take Good Care of Your Eyes!

As you get older, vision problems may arise as the tissues and normal drainage apparatus in your eyes become less efficient. At age 50 or so, you may start experiencing problems in close-up vision, such as having difficulty in threading a needle. These unwelcome changes in your eyes do not happen overnight; they take years to develop. Of course, you can solve these vision problems with corrective lenses. But more serious age-related eye problems may result in vision loss or distortion, such as seeing things in a blur, in double, or through a haze. Poor vision compromises the quality of life, especially among seniors. Approximately, 20 percent of the elderly at the age of 65 experience some vision impairment that affects their quality of life.

It is of paramount importance that you should heal your eyes, and protect your vision. According to research studies, many cases of blindness could have been averted with preventive care and early diagnosis. Unfortunately, many have erroneously believed that their vision impairment is a part of the process of getting old. Indeed, many eye disorders can be reversed or prevented from progressing with early diagnosis, and bad eye conditions can be significantly improved through exercise, diet, and correction of bad vision habits. Surprisingly, you can even improve your eyesight to the extent that you can do without your glasses. As far as your vision improvement is concerned, the sky is the limit. Even eye diseases, such as cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration, can be controlled if not cured.

Your eyes are one of the most important organs of your body. Take good care of them, and they will take good care of your senior years.

Improve Your Vision


Stephen Lau
Copyright ©2018 by Stephen Lau


Monday, August 13, 2018

Candle Gazing

According to Chinese philosophy of healing, the eye is the "window of the soul." As such, the eye reflects the internal health of an individual; for example, the yellowish tint in the whites of the eyes may indicate jaundice or liver problems; the dark circles around the eyes may reflect a toxic colon. The human eye is connected to the liver, blood, and the nervous system. In other words, vision health is holistic health, involving the whole body.

Chinese healing is based on the concept of balance and harmony, expressed in the "yin" and the "yang." For thousands of years, the Chinese believe that the human eye is "yang"; and candle gazing can significantly improve the health of not only the eyes but also the liver. In fact, the ancient Taoist masters believed that candle gazing has the capability to alleviate not only many eye problems but also some latent ailments inside the body. Candle gazing has internal cleansing effect, because candle gazing induces tears to clear the white of the eyes, as well as to remove toxins from the liver.

1.    Sit in front of a lighted candle at arm's length in a dark environment.
2.   Gaze, without blinking, at the candle flame. If necessary, close your eyes for 5 to 10 seconds.
3. Continue to keep your eyes open, staring at the flame and edging its outline.
4.   Breathe naturally.
5.   Allow tears to run down your cheeks; keep your eyes  open even wider to benefit from the deep cleansing effect.
6.   Practice for 5 to 10 minutes. End the session by blinking your eyes, and then massaging gently the eyeballs with all your fingers.

Candle gazing is instrumental in clearing the whites of the eyes, making them shine with brightness. Practicing candle gazing daily enhances your vision health.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Breathing and Vision Health

Your vision is related to your breathing. Your eyes are only one of your body organs, which are all related to your breathing. Optimum breathing provides oxygen to all your body organs, including your eyes.

The eye conditions are constantly changing such that they can be adversely affected by any emotional or mental stress, resulting in eyestrain that can cause vision blur. By the same token, you can significantly improve your vision if you relax your eyes completely through relaxation, which has much to do with your breathing.

Using a Relaxed Mind to Relax the Body, and then the Eyes

It is almost impossible to relax just your eyes, while the rest of your body remains tense and stressed. Total relaxation begins with the mind first, and then the rest of the body, including the eyes. Use your mind to relax your body, and then your eyes.

Diaphragm breathing is the complete breath. Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm to breathe (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen). If you place one hand on your breastbone, feeling that it is raised, with the other hand above your waist, feeling the diaphragm muscle moving up and down, then you are practicing diaphragm breathing correctly. Deep breathing with your diaphragm gives you complete breath.

This is how you do diaphragm breathing:

Sit comfortably.
Begin your slow exhalation through your nose.
Contract your abdomen to empty your lungs.
Begin your slow inhalation and simultaneously make your belly bulge out.
Continuing your slow inhalation, now, slightly contract your abdomen and simultaneously lift your chest and hold.
Continue your slow inhalation, and slowly raise your shoulders. This allows the air to enter fully your lungs to attain the complete breath.
Retain your breath with your shoulders slightly raised for a count of 5.
Very slowly exhale the air.
Repeat the process.

Learn to slowly prolong your breath, especially your exhalation. Relax your chest and diaphragm muscle, so that you can extend your exhalation, making your breathing out complete.

To prolong your exhalation, count “one-and-two-and-three” as you breathe in and breathe out. Make sure that they become balanced. Once you have mastered that, then try to make your breathing out a little longer than your breathing in.
 
Breathing is important in meditation because it is the focal point of the mind. In addition, breathing out is associated with “letting go” and “body detoxification”—essential components to relax the body and the mind.

In meditation, focus on your natural breath as it flows in and out. Notice how you inhale and exhale. You will begin to feel yourself becoming relaxed and soothed.


Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau     

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Journey of Self-Healing


More than two decades ago, I was afflicted with myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune disease affecting the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body. The hallmark of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness, which increases during periods of activity and improves after periods of rest. Certain muscles, such as those that control the eyes and eyelid movements, facial expression, talking, chewing and swallowing, are often involved in this disorder. In addition, the muscles that control breathing, neck, and limb movements may also be adversely affected.

One of the main causes of myasthenia gravis is stress. I did not know how to relax myself.

One day, I felt intense pressure on my eyes. My first concern was glaucoma (a condition of increased fluid pressure inside the eye). I went to see an ophthalmologist; suspecting that I might be afflicted with myasthenia gravis, he immediately referred me to a neurologist, who confirmed the diagnosis after running some medical tests.

According to the diagnosis, I had developed ocular symptoms: ptosis (drooping of eyelids) and diplopia (double vision) in my myasthenia gravis. Both of my eyelids drooped, as if my eyes were tired, and I could not open my eyes wide enough to see properly.

My physical conditions also deteriorated rapidly within a few days. My neck and limb muscles were so weak that I had to use a neck-rest to prop up my head when I was driving; I could hardly use my fingers to control the mouse when I was using my computer; and I could not even raise my hand without having to use the other hand to prop it up.

Fortunately, I did not experience any weakness of the muscles of my pharynx, which could cause difficulty in chewing and swallowing, as well as slurred speech—symptoms not uncommon in myasthenia gravis.

At first, I was prescribed pyridostigmine (mestinon) as the usual first-line treatment for my immune disorder.

After several months, my conditions did not improve. I was given another prescription, prednisone, a synthetic hormone commonly referred to as a “steroid,” for my myasthenia gravis. Prednisone acts as a long-term immunosuppressant to control the production of antibodies. Essentially, it serves to stabilize my so-called “overactive” immune system.

The adverse side effects of prednisone for my myasthenia gravis included decreased resistance to infection, indigestion, hypertension, weight gain, swelling of the face, thinning of skin, predisposition to osteoporosis, and potential development of cataracts and glaucoma. The long list was not only depressing but also frightening. I was worried that I would have to take my medications for the rest of my life, not just for my myasthenia gravis but also for the many side effects related to the drugs, such as bone loss, weight gain, and high blood pressure, among others.

Initially, after several months on steroid medications, there was some improvement in the symptoms, but overall it was neither significant nor encouraging. Specifically, my eyelids no longer drooped, but the right eye and the left eye did not align (my right eye being much stronger than my left eye), and therefore resulting in double vision.

After almost two years on prednisone, my neurologist, seeing there was little improvement in my myasthenia gravis, switched me to azathioprine, a drug supposedly with fewer side effects. However, that medication did not seem to have any positive effect on my symptoms, let alone my double vision. Naturally, I became frustrated.
Now, when I look back at the whole episode, I would think that my illness might have been a blessing in disguise. Everything happens in one’s life with a divine purpose. In many ways, I was grateful that I had the illness—which has changed my life forever and for the better. I began to learn how to take care of my health, and I knew I had to do it on my own.

I was in a dilemma: on the one hand, I needed improvement in my neuromuscular transmission to increase my muscle strength and to eliminate my double vision; on the other hand, I knew that if myasthenia gravis did not kill me, the many side effects of the medications might eventually undo me.

I made a decision to change drastically my diet, accompanied by a regular fast, in an attempt to discontinue all my medications ultimately. The initial results were encouraging. Instead of gaining weight, I had lost more than fifteen pounds; instead of jacking up my blood pressure, I had made it plummet. I had won my initial battle against all the adverse side effects of medications for my myasthenia gravis. I knew that I had to do more—much more than that. My rude awakening finally came: there was no miracle cure for my myasthenia gravis; only my wholesome wellness would bring about recovery and natural self-healing.

Slowly and gradually, I discontinued all my medications. Finally, I did it! Now, I am 100 percent drug free!

To eliminate double vision, the doctor recommended wearing an eye-patch over my weaker eye. But I did not entertain the idea of wearing an eye-patch—looking like a pirate of the Caribbean Sea. Besides, wearing an eye-patch would not solve my problem of double vision. There is a Chinese saying: “Cut your toes to avoid the worms.” I thought that was precisely what the doctor recommended: getting around the problem instead of solving it. I also recalled that early on, when my muscles were weak and I asked him for recommended remedy, he told me not to use those weak muscles. I disagreed with the doctor; instead, I exercised my weaker muscles until they became much stronger.

That was how I began my journey of self-healing and recovery.  Now I am 100 percent drug free..

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Healthy Kidneys Healthy Vision

Getting old is no fun: your vision declines, among other things! But it doesn’t have to be like that.
Your vision health is holistic health: that is, it is related to your overall health, in particular, your kidneys and your spine. According to Chinese medicine, the kidneys are considered the longevity organs of the body. An erect spine contributes to better breathing, and, more importantly, the free flow of “qi” which is internal life energy flowing through the meridians of your body. This internal life energy carries oxygen and nutrients to your eyes, as well as your other body organs. If you want to be vibrant with good vision, focus on your kidneys and your lower back.
As you continue to age, you may not want to do too many rigorous exercises. The following basic “qi gong” exercise helps both your kidneys and your lower back, and therefore is beneficial to your vision health:

(1) As you get up in the morning, stand with your feet close together.
(2) Relax your head and shoulders by gently rotating your head upward, downward, right and left in a circular motion, while opening your eyes. Do not “fix” your eyes on anything; just let them “notice” the surrounding.
(3) Stretch your hands upward as far as you can go, and then forward. You will feel the stretch in your lower back.
(4) Now, bend forward until your hands touch the floor, or as far as you can go. Continue to look upward to keep your back straight. Remain in this position for as long as possible.
(5) Then, slowly uncurl your body.
(6) Repeat the above.

This exercise is easy to perform, and it benefits the whole body, especially the eye. Perform this exercise as you get up in the morning, and before you go to bed.
 For more information, go to my web page: Vision Health.
Kidney Diet Secrets: Learn the secrets of research-based kidney-focused diet to cure yourself of kidney problems. Forget about expensive drugs, costly doctor consultation, and even unnecessary surgeries.

Stephen Lau
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau