20 Oct Stress Management to Improve Vision
We have had direct experience about how hearing has improved post massage, and more and more research is showing how stress management can impact vision. Of course this makes total sense to us as tight muscles and congested connective tissue impact the all the systems of the body. it’s no secret that RELAXATION is the number on stress management technique! Relaxation comes in many forms from mindfulness to meditation to massage to floatation therapy for physiological and emotional regulation.
Did you know that the eyes react to emotional influences? Body reading experts, like Joe Navarro, are able to detect pupil dialation if somebody is lying or in love. “Darting eyes, this indicates the processing of negative information, doubt, anxiety, or fear1. We may dart our eyes around to analyze a situation or consider options. Think of it as “visualizing” our options in front of us.” – The Science of People
Doubt, anxiety and fear are emotional responses that cause stress. While stress manifests differently in different places for each person, historically high levels of stress is leading to more eye strain, eye tension, headaches, stiff neck, back and sholder pain and body aches. When the fight or flight response is activated is also affects the entire visual system. Eye pressure increases with anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue. Spontaneous loss of eye sight was described by Greek historian Herodotus when an Athenian warrior became so frightened during battle. Hysterical blindness, where no anatomincal injury has occured has also been experienced from continous crying, grief, excessive anger and suppression of tears – that are all stress related.
Physiologically, things like upper body tensoin, tight trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles have contributed to myopia, nearsightnedness. Some postural signs we look for as massage therapists is the “three shoulder imbalance” which includes forward head posture. The muscles effected in forward head posture are the upper chest muscles (pectoralis), upper shoulders (trapezius), side of the neck (levator scapulae), the muscles of the neck heavily involved with breathing (scalenes), the “in between the shoulder blade muscles (rhomboids) to name a few. Next appointment we can check for the “three shoulder imbalance” which can be corrected by doing the “wall angels”. They are called wall angels becasue it’s like a standing vertical “snow angel”. There are a few key points to the “wall angel” of which engage the above muscles to help correct forward head posture.
If you wear glasses your neck range of motion might be different with and without your glasses on. Both emotional and physiological stressor benefit from facial massage, gentle tapotement (tapping), holding points on your face, and focused massage on the back of the neck.
Counseling, meditation, stress management and other holistic techniques have been promoted by Ophthalmologist Bernhard Sabel specifically for vision related issues. The number one stress management technique is RELAXATION. If Tao had hands we’d be waving you in! “Hello, over here! We got you covered!” Our services help to relax not only the physiological body but also the emotional and mental body.
More supporting research about how massage and bodywork affects clients vision can be found here.
Excerpts for this post taken from “How Bodywork Can Impact Client Vision” by Marybetts Sinclair as published in the ABMP Massage & Bodywork October 2023.