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.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Overcome Stress to Improve Vision

Stress experienced in everyday life may come in different forms. Your experience of stress can be past, current, and future.

Past stress—also known as “residual stress”—is stress from the past that you have not overcome completely despite the passage of time.

Current stress is a “current state of arousal” caused by an existing situation that requires your immediate attention but that you do not enjoy addressing it.

Future stress is “anticipatory stress” or worry about what might happen in the future. Residual stress can lead to future stress, passed on from unpleasant past experiences.

Perceptions of stress are generally based on the following: the more you care and value about something, the more stress you have; the more choices and options available to you, the less stress you have; the more conscientious you are, the greater is your stress; the more enjoyment you have, the less stress you have; and the more responsibility you have, the greater is your stress.

But stress may also affect your vision health, given that the mind and the body are inter-connected, and that your vision is also affected by what is happening in your mind.

William Shakespeare once said: “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” John Milton, the famous English poet, also had this to say: “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” Both spoke volumes of the perceptions of stress.

That is to say, stress is all in the mind—your thinking mind. The bottom line: empower your mind to live a stress-free life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau     
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


NO EGO NO STRESS is a 134-page book by Stephen Lau on ancient human wisdom for stress relief. Specifically, it is about Tao wisdom, which originates from the ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu, the author of “Tao Te Ching”—one of the most translated works in world literature. “Tao Te Ching” is popular due to its profound and unconventional wisdom, which is both intriguing and controversial. Learn how to let go of the ego-self to remove all the stressors in modern living due to finance, careers, relationships, etc. and live as if everything is a miracle.

 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Food Choices and Vision Health

Food choice holds the key to healthy vision. Always eat naturally to avoid seeing the doctors. Always eat whole foods. Your food choice should be based on nutrients, neither availability nor convenience. Processed foods offer you nothing except convenience.

There are many reasons why you should avoid processed foods:

(1) Processed foods are dead foods, devoid of nutrients. For example, bleached flour lacks nutrients, and it contains unnatural products.

(2) Processed foods are often loaded with salt, and high levels of salt lead to high blood pressure. Remember, the salt in processed foods is not natural sea salt, but chemicals that contain brain-toxic aluminum.

(3) Processed foods often require high level of processing, which not only removes anti-cancer agents that may be present in the food, but also produces cancer-causing heterocylic amines during high-heat processing. In other words, processed foods provide an environment promoting cancer growth.

(4) During food processing, fiber is degraded, if not totally removed. Fiber is beneficial to the removal of pollutants and toxins from the body.


(5) During food processing, unnatural toxic amino acids are formed, and they may adversely affect the production of DNA.

(6) Processed foods are often loaded with trans-fatty acids and other oxidized fats that damage the arteries, and thus affecting heart health as well as brain health due to clogged arteries. In addition, neurotoxic chemicals are one of the causes of dementia and Parkinson's disease.

(7) Simple sugars are often added to most processed foods. The high levels of simple sugars affect mental alertness when blood glucose levels drop. In addition, artificial sweeteners not only affect the absorption of amino acids by the brain, but also cause toxicity and hyperactivity in children.

Most food items in the supermarket that come in a box or carton are processed foods. In grocery shopping, read the food labels before any purchase. If they contain chemicals or terms unfamiliar to you, they are additives, colorings, and taste enhancers. If the main ingredients contain more than five items, you can forget about that food item - it is processed!

To live long, you need wisdom not only in food choice but also in living lifestyle. Get a copy of my book: The Book of Life and Living for more information on healthy living for healthy vision.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Age-Related Eye Problems

Age-Related Eye Problems

Age-related eye problems may affect your vision health as aging continues. Your eyes are one of the most important body organs because vision is one of the most important senses in that it affects how you look at the world, and thus affecting every aspect of your life and living.

Some of the most common vision problems are your focusing errors, such as astigmatism, farsightedness (hyperopia). nearsightedness, and presbyopia.  

When you have astigmatism, your cornea with irregular shape causes light rays entering your eye to split into different points of focus, and thus creating blurry vision.

When you are farsighted, your eyes cannot focus on near objects because light rays entering your eye focus on a point far beyond your retina.

When you are nearsighted, your eye balls are too long, and light rays "fall short" of achieving a point of focus on your retina.

When you have presbyopia, your eye's natural lens starts to lose elasticity and your eyes can no longer focus at multiple distances. This condition typically causes your near vision to start blurring, beginning at around age 40.

Most of the age-related eye problems have to do with your eye muscles that control how your eyes see. In real life, you exercise your body muscles; there is no rhyme or reason why you do not exercise your eye muscles to maintain your vision health. When you "exercise" your eyes, you move your eye muscles to create up-and-down, side-to-side or circular motion. You also "work" the muscles controlling back-and-forth movement of your eye's natural lens, to help achieve sight at multiple distances. There is a saying: “Use it or lose it”; that should also be applied to exercising your eye muscles.
Of course, there are many other ways of taking care of your vision health, just as there are many ways of taking care of your physical health. Don’t wait till it is too late to do anything. Your vision health has to do with your diet; for example, a diet that is bad for the heart is usually bad for the eyes, because anything that creates blockage in blood vessels may be damaging to the eyes, and not just the heart.

Read my book: VisionSelf-Healing to find out how you may heal your eye problems through diet, exercise, and the mind. With better vision health, you can live your life as if everything is a miracle.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Thyroid Disorder and Vision

Eye diseases are not the only conditions that can have a negative effect on your eyes. Sometimes other diseases and disorders in the body, such as thyroid disorder, can also cause problems for your vision.

The thyroid is an organ that is located at the base of your neck.. The thyroid is mainly in charge of regulating hormones in the body. A dysfunctional thyroid causes involuntary weight fluctuations, while a functional thyroid may benefit vision health.

If you are suffering from a thyroid problem, in addition to weight problems, you may also have problems in any one of these bodily functions: heart rate, breathing, menstrual cycle, body weight, muscle functioning, body temperature, and cholesterol.
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The thyroid uses iodine that has been consumed by you to store hormones, which are then released into the bloodstream as necessary to various parts and cells in the body.

The thyroid releases two types of hormones (T3 and T4). When the body is in need of more or less of these two hormones, the brain will send out another hormone to alert the thyroid that there is an imbalance in the T3 and T4 hormones. When these two thyroid hormones are not balanced, they can cause lots of trouble for your body, especially your eyes. 

The eyes are in particular danger because the eye muscles, which control your vision, may be affected, especially in myasthenia giravis, which is an autoimmune disease. When the eye muscles are attacked, the tissues around the eyes may become inflamed. This can lead s. everal other symptoms, including redness, eye and eyelid pain, dry eyes, and bulging eyes. When the swelling progresses, it can even cause the eye pressure to worsen.  

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Wisdom in Living

WISDOM IN LIVING

This is a completely updated website on how to live your life as if everything is a miracle.

The journey of life is long and unpredictable. We all need wisdom to guide us along the way so that we will not get lost; even if we do, we may still find out way back to where it will eventually lead us to our final destination.

This website may provide you with wisdom as your compass and roadmap on your life journey.

Wisdom in living comprises seeking God's wisdom through understanding human wisdom in order to live a meaningful and purposeful life, even in the golden years. The ancient wisdom of Tao holds the key to applying these principles of life and living in this modern world.

Stephen Lau

Monday, February 11, 2019

Meditation for Healthy Eyes

Meditation for Healthy Eyes

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.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Digestion and Vision

The lincidence 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.

Take care of your digestive health to enhance your vision health..

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Breathing Right for Vision Health

Breathing right provides oxygen to your brain and your eyes. In addition, correct breathing also relaxes your mind, and hence your eyes. Eye relaxation is critical to vision health.

Alternate-nostril breathing

Alternate-nostril breathing is a basic Yoga breathing exercise to balance the right side and the left side of your brain.

The left side of your brain governs the right side of your body, including your speech and logical thinking, while the right side of your brain governs the left side of your body, including your creativity and intuition. Achieving balance and harmony between the two sides of your brain is critical to mind healing for deep relaxation. You can balance your mental energy from the right and the left side of the brain through practicing alternate-nostril breathing during meditation, or anytime when you want to relax your eyes.

Place your thumb and ring finger lightly on your right and your left nostrils, respectively, with your index and middle fingers resting lightly on your forehead between your eyebrows.

Exhale deeply through both nostrils.

Press your thumb against the RIGHT nostril to CLOSE it.

Breathe in through your LEFT nostril. Count 8.

CLOSE your LEFT nostril by pressing down your ring finger. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4.

OPEN your RIGHT nostril, and breathe out. Count 8.

With the LEFT nostril still CLOSED, breathe in through the RIGHT nostril. Count 8.

CLOSE the RIGHT nostril. Now, both nostrils are closed. Retain the air, and count 4

OPEN the LEFT nostril, and breathe out with the RIGHT nostril still closed. Count 8

Repeat the above process.

Here is a summary of alternate-nostril breathing:

Breathe out through BOTH nostrils.

Breathe in through the LEFT nostril (count 8).

Close BOTH nostrils, and retain air (count 4).

Breathe out through the RIGHT nostril (count 8).
Breathe in through the RIGHT nostril (count 8).

Close BOTH nostrils, and retain air (count 4).

Breathe out through the LEFT nostril (count 8).

Repeat.

Remember, breathing holds the key to relaxation of the mind and the eyes.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau


Friday, February 8, 2019

Liver and Vision

The liver is called “liver” because it is a reflection of how well you have lived—essentially, your lifestyle. The liver is your main body organ responsible for distributing and maintaining your body’s “fuel” supply. This has a direct and indirect impact on your vision health. 

The liver plays a pivotal part in your vision health.

For centuries, Chinese doctors have used the eye conditions to diagnose different diseases: aching, bloodshot, bulging, itching, watery, and yellowish eyes reflect internal disharmony or disorder, in particular, that in the liver. Therefore, the liver health is also vision health.

The Importance of the Liver

According to Chinese medicine, the eyes are “the windows” of your internal health, especially that of your liver:

Constant redness in the white of the eyes (dysfunctional circulatory and respiratory system)

Yellowish skin under the eyes (overactive liver and gallbladder)

Water-containing bags under the lower eyelids (congested digestive and excretory systems)

Lack of luster (congested liver)

The Liver Functions

The liver plays a pivotal part in your vision health. The liver serves several important functions in your body that may directly or indirectly affect your vision health:

Carbohydrate metabolism

The liver turns glucose (blood sugar) into glycogen (energy) for storage in your liver. Your glycogen controls the amount of glucose released into your bloodstream, thereby maintaining your blood sugar level. A healthy blood sugar levels prevents the development of diabetes, which impairs vision.

Fat metabolism

If you are obese, you have a much higher risk of losing your eyesight, according to the Royal National Institute for the Blind. Too much body fat is one of the causes of diabetes; too much fat may cause oxidative damage to the eye in macular degeneration.

The liver is a fat-burning organ: it not only burns fat but also pumps excess fat out of your body system. Accordingly, your liver controls your body weight. Too much fat in the abdominal area may impair your fat metabolism, turning your liver into a “fatty liver” which then becomes a fat-storing organ. A “fatty liver” is an obstacle to any attempt at weight loss, which begins at the liver.

The liver detoxifies your body by filtering out excessive waste and toxins in your body through the bile into the gut. For example, it deactivates alcohol, hormones, and medicinal drugs for better assimilation.
Alcohol and certain pharmaceutical drugs have been implicated in vision loss. Always eat a high-fiber diet to facilitate elimination in order to prevent these toxic waste products from re-circulating back to your liver! In addition, chronic constipation may damage your liver, and thus your eyes.

Storage for nutrients

The liver stores glycogen, vitamins A and D, the B complex vitamins, iron and copper.

Apart from the brain, the liver is the most important body organ that affects your vision.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Good Posture for Better Vision

Vision health has much to do with your physical health. As such, vision is inter-connected with body posture. Therefore, to improve eyesight, you must also improve posture.

The explanation is that vision health is holistic health, which means 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 wellness. By the same token, your physical, mental, and emotional health will have a bearing 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.

But eye relaxation begins with the mind first, 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.

Improve posture to relax the body and the mind, and hence the eye. After all, posture health is overall health: it affects your whole being in many different ways.

Improve posture to improve 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 posture to optimize breathing for vision health.

Improve posture to avoid debilitating body pain, such as 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 improve 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. Good posture means that in any standing position, you body posture should be as follows:

Your head is directly above your shoulders.

Your chin is tucked in.

Your ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line from a side view.

Your upper back is straight, not slouched.

Your shoulders, relaxed and straight, are flat against your back.

Your pelvis is in a neutral position.

Your knees are unlocked.

Be mindful not just of your standing posture, but also your sitting and sleeping posture—they all play a pivotal part in eye relaxation, which holds the key to improving eyesight.

Stephen Lau
Copyright ©Stephen Lau