Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Herbal Medicine for Vision Health

As the aging population increases, millions of people suffer age-related disorders, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration -- they could all lead to blindness.

Vision health is important. Protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays with sunglasses. Exercise your eyes regularly, just as you exercise your body. Most importantly, give your eyes the nutrients they need to maintain optimum vision health.

Nature’s remedies can help you prevent vision loss. For example, bilberry promotes blood flow to the eye nerves. It is a potent antioxidant against radical damage by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

The Chinese herb, wolfberry, has potent medicinal properties to strengthen your eyesight. It has been used for centuries in China for eye health.

Chrysanthemum flowers help reduce pressure buildup in the eye. Steep chrysanthemum flowers in hot water, and drink the beverage daily.

 is another herb, which can clear vision due to its potency as an antioxidant.

In addition to herbs, a diet rich in carrots (loaded with vitamin A) and dark green vegetables (containing lutein, a substance to counteract cataract) may go a long way to enhancing your vision health.

Remember, your eyes are just like any other body organs; they require regular maintenance. Your diet is important because it supplies nutrients to your eyes. Anything that blocks blood flow, such as bad cholesterol, may also damage the blood vessels in your eyes, and that may cause macular degeneration. Your eye exercises are important because your eye muscles, like the rest of your body muscles, require relaxation to hold the optic nerve and lenses in optimum position for better vision.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 17, 2020

Good Vision and Breathing

Vision deteriorates with age, especially if you are wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses.

How well you see is dependent on the amount of light passing through the lens in front of your eyeball that focuses the image on the retina at the back of the eyeball, and thus instrumental in sending the visual information to your brain. The human eyeball is held by ciliary muscles in the eye. When the ciliary muscles are weak, the eyeball becomes slightly distorted or out of shape, and thus affecting the focal image on the retina. This is how vision deteriorates, and this is why wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses does not improve vision because these vision aids precondition the focus of the eye.

To improve vision, strengthen your eye muscles through constant eye relaxation. To remember doing this regularly, you must be mindful of it. Eye relaxation begins with the body, and not just the eyes. If your body does not relax, neither can your eyes relax. So relax your body through mindfulness. Relaxing your eye muscles means you do not “stare” or fixate” at an object, and you must constantly shift your vision focus from close proximity to distance. In addition, you must also constantly blink your eyes in order to relax them. To remember doing all these requires mindfulness.

Mindfulness is conscious awareness, which often begins with mindful breathing. Mindfulness is total awareness of what is going on inside the mind. Mindfulness occurs only when the mind is quiet and relaxed. Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness that requires training; it does not happen naturally. Begin with your mindful breath; that is, consciously aware of your breathing in and your breathing out. Breathing has become so natural to us that we are totally unaware of it, and mindful breath is deliberately bringing back awareness to your inhalation and exhalation. 

The human breath is most important because without it we die in minutes. But most of us take it for granted because we are not mindful of it. If we have mindful breathing, we breathe right—that is, breathing with the diaphragm (the muscle between the lungs and the tummy)—and we breathe completely—that is, the air fills up the upper lungs, not just the lower lungs, and the breathing out is slightly longer than the breathing in. Mindful breathing is full awareness of how we breathe in and breathe out. You don’t have to have mindful breathing throughout the day, but you need to cultivate mindfulness of your breath every now and then in order to enhance your mindfulness. Mindful breathing enables correct breathing that opens the many doors to relaxation, clear thinking, and self-healing.

With mindfulness, you will not forget to blink your eyes regularly to relax them; you will remember to shift your focus (that is, blinking before you shift your focus from a near object to a distant object), instead of staring; you will be more aware of your vision health.

Read my book Vision Self-Healing Self-Help to learn some eye exercises to improve your vision.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Good Posture Good 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

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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

Friday, February 14, 2020

Physical Vision Clarity

Helen Keller once said: "It's a terrible thing to see and have no vision." 

Vision clarity involves the physical, the emotional, the mental, and the spiritual. Vision clarity holds the key to the holistic wellness of an individual. Many of us have eyes, but do not really "see" because we have no vision clarity. Seeing is the most important of the human's five senses. But many of us don't take care of our physical vision; as a result, the emotional, the mental , and spiritual aspects of vision are also adversely affected.

How do you take care of your physical vision? 

Vision health begins with the physical vision; that is, you must take care of your eyes by exercising them and supplying them with nutrients, just as you would take care of your body..

Take care of your breathing

Breathing right supplies oxygen to your eyes and your brain, as well as other body organs and tissues. Do not hold you breath when you concentrate Always aim for complete breath, which is diaphragm breathing.

Consciously change your breathing pattern. Use your diaphragm (the diaphragm muscle separating your chest from your abdomen) to breathe, instead of your chest. 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  If you breathe correctly, you will feel much more relaxed, and hence benefits your eyes.

Correct bad physical vision habits

If you do not blink frequentlenough, you will not be able to see well. It is justhat simple. Blinking has many vision benefits: it overcomes the harmful habit of staring; it relaxes theye; it cleanses and massages the eye; it improves nearsightedness.

Learn how to blink, not squint. The former relaxethe eye, while thlatter stresses the eye because it uses undue force to close and opethe eye.

Always remember to blink severatimes before you look at somethinin close vision and in distant vision. Good habit forming is important.

Relax through awareness and body posture

You are living in a world that encourages speed and compulsive thinking. As a result, stress is everyday phenomenon. Awareness is the key to de-stressing yourself. Be aware of you neck, shoulder, and back muscles. Concentrate your mind on your breathing, while paying attention to the sensations of these muscles. Consciousness of your body posture also plays a pivotal role in your body relaxation.

Smile and smile 

Smile is contagious. Learn to smile and smile more often no matter what happens. Soon enough, smile may become second nature to you. It may even open the door to emotional health and spiritual growth.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Aging and Vision

Human vision is more than just seeing. The human eye is more than a mechanical tool for vision; it is hardwired into your brain, and therefore is an extension of your brain, which affects your perception and vision of the outside world, as well as reflects what and how you think. As such, it is the most important human organ, and is your greatest asset in your golden years.

Unfortunately, as you get into your golden years (that is, age 65 and beyond)), you will have noticed the deterioration of your vision. As a matter of fact, vision loss begins as early as in the 30s, and its deterioration accelerates in the 40s and 50s. By now, in your golden years, you may have considerable vision loss that affects the quality of your everyday life. Getting older has taken its toll on your body in many ways and your eyesight deterioration is just one of them.

Your vision loss is indicated by your difficulty in focusing when you look at near of distant objects (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or your predisposition to focusing more slowly and less accurately (presbyopia). These debilitating eye conditions are caused by the hardening of the eyes’ lenses; resulting in inflexibility of eye muscles and hence difficulty in focusing.

Presbyopia makes it increasingly difficulty for you to read or do close-up work, while nearsightedness or farsightedness requires you to wear bifocals or different pairs of eyeglasses.

By now, in your golden years, is there anything you can do to retard your vision loss?

 Absolutely! It is never too late to do something to stop your aging process. Using medications, eye drops, prescription lenses, and even surgeries may not have long-term side effects on your overall vision health. There are other natural ways to promote natural healing of your eyes at any age.

In your golden years, take extra care of your vision health and eyesight issues to reduce the risk of eyesight deterioration or even blindness further down the road. Check your health, especially your eye health, on a regular basis. This may play a pivotal role in your vision self-healing. Prevention is always better than a cure. Make sure that you have eye tests done at least once a year and if you start to notice a steady decline in your ability to focus or see clearly.

To correct your vision problems, your eye doctors and opticians may be too ready to prescribe corrective lenses or even talk you into the possibility of having surgery to fix any vision problem. Remember, natural healing holds the key to reversal of any disorder, including your problematic eye conditions.

You can use of eye exercises to help you correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and presbyopia. Eye exercises are easy and simple to do and you can even do them in the comfort of your own home. A few eye exercises each day can really help you improve your vision significantly. But you must be consistent and persistent in pursuing your eye exercise regimen-- just like any type of physical exercise to have any benefit, you must be diligent; healing your vision loss is not an overnight endeavor.

Most vision problems, whether nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia, have to do with eye stress and strain affecting the shape of the eyes, and hence their capability to focus images correctly on the retina. But the eyes cannot be relaxed if the body and mind are not. Therefore, it is important to have a holistic approach to vision improvement. Self-healing is always holistic. 

Read my book publication Your Golden Years and Santa Claus, a 252-page book on how to live well in your golden years, including how to overcome your vision loss as well as other health issues and challenges encountered as you continue to age.

Stephen Lau
Copyright ©Stephen Lau

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Are You Visually Impaired?

The visually impaired and the blind who are unable to work are able to receive Social Security Disability benefits. There are two different benefit programs that are offered to the visually impaired and those who do not qualify for one are generally able to qualify for the other, and some people are even able to qualify for both programs.

The first program is called Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI and this is based on the work history of the individual. In order to qualify for this program, the individual had to have earned a certain amount of what are referred to as work credits. The SSA will then figure up the amount of benefits the individual is eligible to receive based on those work credits.

The other program is called Social Security Income or SSI. This program is not based on work credits, but there are particular financial requirements that the individual must meet in order to qualify for this program. This program is a great option for those who do not have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI.

However, if you or someone you know is visually impaired and does not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, it may be possible for them to work somewhere that will accommodate their disability. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, there are employment options for disabled people that will allow them to be self-sufficient and live as independently as possible.

Unfortunately, there are many forms of visual impairments that cannot be improved or reversed. However, there are many that can be improved and even prevented altogether by taking steps that will boost your eye health and vision and even ward off certain vision problems.

Whether or not you know that you could suffer from visual impairments in the future, you should do everything you can to ensure your eyes will stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. There are many ways you can do this:

Eat eye healthy foods – Fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and fish are not only good foods to eat for your overall health, but they are also excellent for strengthening your eyesight.

Do eye exercises – to improve certain vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatisms, and even a combination of those eye problems. They are easy to do and only take a few minutes of each day to do in order to begin to have a positive effect on your eyesight.

Get regular eye exams – This is an important step to take. Having your eyes examined on a regular basis – every two years in most cases – is essential for making sure that there are no issues with your eyes or your vision, and if there are issues, they can be detected early on so they can be treated right away before any major damage or other issues arise.

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Believe iin Eye Exercises

Believe in Eye Exercises

Albert Einstein once said: "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle."

Life is a miracle; even your breath is a miracle in itself. To live your life as if everything is a miracle, you need to believe it in the first place.

In life, everything has to do with your belief. If you believe you can do it, you will do it and can do it. Belief comes from your mind. Descartes, the famous French philosopher, rightly said: "I think, therefore I am." That is to say, everything is in your mind, and your mind comes from your thoughts that give you the reality. Therefore, if you think you can, you can; if you think you cannot, then you cannot. It's just that simple. 

My point is: if you believe that eye exercises can improve your vision, then they can. Your eyes are just like the rest of your body organs that deteriorate with misuse or lack of use. If you seldom walk, you will end up in a wheel chair sooner than later. If you don't exercise your eyes, your vision will deteriorate with age faster and sooner. If you don't let your eyes rest -- in particular, if you spend hours and hours in front of the computer screen or your i-pad, you will develop eyestrain that ultimately damages your vision.

In reality, do eye exercises work? Yes, definitely! But you may not see the immediate result -- just like lack of physical exercise may not let you see the result instantly. It's like the fable of the frog in a heated pot: the frog would not notice the heat being turned up until it is too late. Believe me, all eye exercise not only improve your vision but also prevent your vision from deteriorating due to age. Believe in eye exercises as if everything is a miracle.

My book: As IfEverything Is A Miracle provides guidelines on how to rethink the mind, renew the body, and reconnect the soul so that you may believe as if everything is a miracle.

The body perceives all sensations and experiences in the physical world. The mind interprets and registers them in the subconscious mind, which controls the conscious mind in its daily life choices and decisions, resulting in actions, non-actions, and reactions of the body in the physical world. The soul feeds the mind with spirituality that provides connection and interconnection with others through empathy and compassion, gratitude and generosity, as well as love and forgiveness. The body, the mind, and the soul—all play a pivotal role in wisdom in contemporary living. The essence of this wisdom is their “alignment” with one another for balance and harmony in the being of an individual.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, February 10, 2020

Important Nutrients for Healthy Vision

Balanced Acid-Alkaline to Combat Free Radicals

Your body cells need a balanced acid-and-alkaline environment to fight against free radicals. Acid and alkaline are substances that have opposing qualities. Your body functions at its best when the pH is optimum, which is slightly alkaline. The pH of your blood, tissues, and body fluids directly affect the state of your cellular health, in particular, that of the eye.

The pH scale ranges between one and fourteen. Seven is considered neutral. Anything below seven is considered acidic, while anything above seven is considered alkaline. Deviations above or below a 7.30 and 7.40 pH range can signal potentially serious and even dangerous symptoms, forewarning you of a disease in process.

When your body is too acidic, the tissues of your cells are forced to relinquish their alkaline reserves, depleting them of alkaline minerals, which are the components of the tissues themselves.

Over acidification comes from excess intake of foods containing great amounts of acid (animal proteins, sugar), and insufficient elimination by the body through the kidneys (urination) and the skin (sweating).

Alkaline foods contain little or no acid substances, and they do not produce acids when metabolized by your body. Alkaline foods include: green vegetables; colored vegetables (except tomato); chestnut; potato; avocado; black olives; bananas; dried fruits; almonds and Brazil nuts; alkaline mineral waters; cold-pressed oils (e.g. olive oil).

Alkaline medicinal plants also maintain the optimum pH level.

Black currant fruits are a good source of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals, including an omega-6 fatty acid to increase blood flow to the eye.

Cranberry has been in use since the Iron Age, but the Romans were the first to recognize its medicinal values. Cranberry contains anti-asthmatic compounds, and is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Eat fresh or dried cranberry, not the sugar-loaded cranberry juice obtainable in the supermarket.

Alkaline energy boosters can enhance your alkalinity to fight against free radicals.

Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of iron and calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
Make a healthy alkaline drink with a tablespoon of organic blackstrap molasses (mixed in some hot water first) and ¾ cup of soymilk. Add ice.

Cod liver oil, which comes from fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, is rich in vitamin A and vitamin D, and essential omega 3 oils. It enhances the absorption of calcium and maintains a constant level of blood calcium. Cod liver oil improves brain functions and the nervous system, which play a pivotal part in vision health.

Alkaline supplements, such as coral calcium, can keep all mineral levels up, and each and every mineral in balance. Alkaline supplements should contain calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), silica and copper, and other minerals to aid de-acidification of the body. More importantly, they should contain every mineral in similar proportion to that found in the human body. Remember, the human body functions synergistically: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Every mineral has its crucial role to play in the human anatomy, including the eye.

Essential Fatty Acids

The high consumption of foods loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol, as well as man-made fats in egg substitutes, margarines, and basked foods, has led to a host of age-related eye disorders, such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal vein occlusion, among others. The explanation is that the tiny blood vessels located in the eye may become easily clogged with fats and other deposits that may cause eye problems.

The omega-3 fats, on the other hand, are good fats that help the normal functioning of the eye:

Regulating eye pressure
Moistening the eye
Relieving spasms in the eyelids
Reducing the eye’s sensitivity to the sun
Boosting the immune system

The omega-3 fats are found in chestnuts, flax seed, northern beans, soy, walnuts, wheat germ, and fish, such as cod, mackerel, salmon, and tuna.

For the omega-3 fats to be potent in protecting against free radicals, they must be combined with antioxidants.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau