Does your child wear glasses? Are you concerned that their prescription keeps increasing every time they visit the eye doctor? You may have heard this is normal and there’s nothing that can be done, but that’s not true at all.
It IS possible to slow down the advancement of nearsightedness and even reverse it. Read on to learn 6 tips for reducing myopia (nearsightedness) in children. P.S. It works for grown-ups too!
At my husband’s workplace, they have a newsgroup for parents. Recently, my husband forwarded me a post from a father who was concerned that his 10-year old son’s prescription kept increasing by 1.00 diopter every year. The father was worried about how high the prescription would be when his son grew up. The eye doctor told him to EXPECT it to continue getting stronger each year until his son stopped growing.
When my husband forwarded me the replies to this father’s message, my normally calm and cheery disposition was seriously ruffled. I was upset because every diopter of vision a child loses is a literal and metaphorical closing in of that child’s world. And it’s completely unnecessary.
Most of the parents told the father not to worry and that it was normal for his son’s prescription to continue increasing. I’m here to tell you that worsening vision is not normal. Healthy eyes are normal.
Many other parents suggested that once the son was a teenager, he could get contact lenses. Some parents suggested that he could also get laser surgery when he was 25.
To me, that is akin to telling someone whose child has early signs of type 2 diabetes to continue with his current diet and lifestyle, but then get insulin shots when necessary and eventually resort to dialysis when his kidneys fail.
That’s why when my husband sent me the newsgroup thread, I had to respond because I knew there was no reason why these children had to get stronger glasses. It is possible to stop and even reverse the progression of nearsightedness.
I know this because I started wearing glasses when I was 11. Those were the days when even a mild prescription would result in coke bottle lens glasses because ultra-thin lenses and contact lenses weren’t readily available. My vision got worse with each visit to the eye doctor and it progressed to the point where I was extremely nearsighted with severe astigmatism.
Three years ago, I ditched my contact lenses and made the decision to try naturally restoring my vision. It’s working!
I’ve reduced my prescription by 80% and soon I will no longer need glasses for computer work. I expect to be able to focus in the range of 20/20 in ideal lighting conditions within a year. Considering I wore glasses for over 30 years, I’d have to say that I’m definitely pleased with my progress.
It’s such a joy to see my world come into focus—to see my vision literally and metaphorically expand. That’s why I wanted to share my newsgroup response on this blog. If it helps just one child, one parent or one person to be inspired to make changes, then it will have been worth my time and effort.
I gave the newsgroup parents FIVE suggestions, but for you, my dear reader :), I’m including a bonus 6th item. It was too complicated to write instructions on practicing Chinese Reflexology in a newsgroup email, but it fits in perfectly with my blog :).
Here’s what I wrote…
How to Reduce Nearsightedness in Children
My prescription was as high as -6.75 with severe astigmatism, but I have reduced it by 40% and it continues to go down by approximately 0.25 diopters every 4 to 6 weeks. [Note: This number was based on a prescription that was measured 9 months prior to replying to the newsgroup. Since then, I’ve had my annual eye exam and my new prescription is an 80% reduction.]
Eye doctors have told me this is impossible. People tell me it must be psychological or that it’s because of presbyopia (when people get older and need bifocals: for nearsighted people, this causes them to not need glasses for close work). However, this is not the case for me. I have physical evidence that my eyesight is improving
I kept all of my eye prescriptions for the past 20 years, but I started wearing glasses when I was 11, so I’m missing the prescriptions from my teenage years. However, I remember them because my parents made a big deal about my nearsightedness.
I started at -2.00, hit -3.50 at 13, then -4.50 at 16 and -5.25 in my late teens. Sometime in my early 20s was when I reached -6.25/-6.75. That was a momentous day because I had surpassed my father’s prescription which was -6.00 and that had been my greatest fear.
My optometrist confirms that my vision improvement is not due to presbyopia. My eyesight is improving because I actively do things to heal my vision. I have not had surgery nor have I worn Ortho K lenses. I’ve tried vision therapy, but only went for two sessions.
I do more than simply practice eye exercises. I take a holistic and natural approach to improving my eyesight. I don’t have to set aside any extra time for this because I’ve made vision improvement a way of living.
Here is the best advice I can offer you and your children:
- Get your kids to spend more time playing outside without wearing their glasses (at least half hour a day), preferably somewhere where they can see far away like a park vs. the backyard. This applies to adults too. You should be MOVING when you’re outside. Walking is good. Sitting on a camp chair is not as good, but it’s much better than sitting inside.
- Wear the minimum prescription that will enable you to meet legal requirements (e.g. driving is 20/40 in California – check for your state). For your kids, ask for the lowest prescription that the eye doctor is willing to prescribe (they tend to over-prescribe). Look for an optometrist who practices “natural vision therapy”. They are more likely to give a lower prescription.
- Stop saying things like “Your/my eyes are bad.” “You/I will need really strong glasses.” “Your/my eyes are getting worse.” Replace it with words such as, “Maybe your/my vision is stabilizing.” “Maybe it is possible for my eyes to improve.”
- Take off your glasses as much as possible (e.g. when eating, sitting with friends). Do not wear them unless you absolutely need to see something clearly that you can’t see without them.
- When working on the computer or doing close work, take breaks and look out a window or as far away in the distance as you can.
Seeing my vision improve dramatically over the past 3 years is an amazing gift. Every reduction of 0.75 diopters is like a new world opening up to me, one where I see my son’s face from across the kitchen table, where I don’t have to shell out $600 for high index lenses anymore because the regular ones are no longer too thick or too heavy, where I can see that I am only months away from using the computer without glasses, where I can read street signs that before were only a smear, and where 20/20 vision is not just a mirage but a real possibility.
It is freaking fantastic and I would love if everyone who wears glasses could experience what I am. However, the sad thing is that most people will never even TRY to improve their eyesight.
At the very least, please take some of this advice for your children so that they do not have to be cursed with severe nearsightedness like I was for over 30 years. While they may feel like they can’t see much, each diopter increase that you can avoid is a huge difference in terms of quality of life.
Tip #6 for My Blog Readers: Massage the Chinese Reflexology Point for the Eyes
There are a number of Chinese Reflexology and acupressure points that are beneficial for the eyes, but I’d have to write a small book here to describe them all. For the most bang for your buck, you can’t beat the Chinese Reflexology point for the eyes. Of all the points, it’s the easiest to locate and massage and it’s the one that offers the most benefit.
Nearsightedness occurs when the muscles in and around the eyes are tense and strained. Over time, this stretches the eyeball into an elongated shape which causes light rays entering the eye to focus in front of the retina instead of on the retina. This results in blurry vision, aka nearsightedness.
At the energy level, the muscle tension disrupts the smooth flow of Qi (energy) through the eyes. Over time, this results in a decrease of blood flowing to the area. The muscles and tendons become tight and “dry” when they are not nourished with an adequate supply of blood. This then perpetuates the worsening of vision. As well, the eyes and surrounding nerves do not get enough nourishment which also causes vision to deteriorate.
When you massage the Chinese Reflexology point for the eyes, you increase the flow of Qi and blood to the eyes. This helps the eyes receive adequate nourishment and the muscles and tendons to become “softer” and more flexible. As a result, it becomes easier for them to relax and over time, the eyeballs can return to their normal shape.
Locating the Eye Points
There are eye reflexology points located on both of your feet. They’re on the undersides of the feet, beneath the second and third toes. Think of it as a U-shaped area below your toe pads.
Interestingly (and confusingly) the energy meridians in your body cross over each other at your neck. Thus, the reflexology point for your LEFT eye is on your RIGHT foot. And conversely, the point for your right eye is on your left foot.
Massaging the Eye Points
BEFORE BEGINNING, IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHETHER IT IS SAFE TO MASSAGE YOUR FEET, PLEASE ASK YOUR DOCTOR.
A reflexology stick enabled me to feel microscopic points of sensitivity on my toes and it also let me strongly massage areas that felt like peppercorn-sized rocks along the edges of my toes. It was excruciating, but very efficient in terms of clearing decades of blocked energy.
I generally advocate that people NOT use reflexology sticks unless they’ve been trained in how to use them properly because they very powerfully shift Qi and you don’t want to be massaging the wrong way as you can adversely affect the flow of Qi.
For kids, a reflexology stick is overkill. Instead, you can press and massage the eye reflexology points with your thumbs to clear stuck Qi.
Press and rub the U-shaped area on both feet in an up and down motion. Go slowly and press lightly. If a child wears glasses, the points may feel hard to the touch and/or feel sensitive.
I’d recommend starting out with 5 to 15 seconds at a time (per foot) and gradually increasing the pressure over the course of a few weeks. For children, always ask for permission to massage their feet and explain why you’re rubbing their feet. I recommend that you practice on yourself first so that you experience what it feels like and you gain confidence in locating and massaging these points.
Gradually build up the massage time until your kid will let you rub their feet for a minute and you want to massage for 60 seconds at least twice a week. Don’t try to rush things thinking that the more time you put in, the better the results. What’s more important is that your child look forward to having their feet rubbed.
That’s because Chinese Reflexology works best when it is practiced consistently over time. Change can be gradual and the longer a condition has been present, the longer it takes for the body to return to balance.
Sometimes you don’t even notice the improvement until months later because that’s when you finally realize an absence of the symptoms. Kids however tend to respond to energy healing really fast. So be persistent, practice Chinese Reflexology regularly and incorporate the other 5 tips to help halt the progression of your child’s myopia.
For adults, I’ve got a detailed article explaining how to massage the Chinese Reflexology eye point in more detail. You can check it out here: How to Reverse Age-Related Vision Problems and Start Seeing Clearly Again
Additional resources on vision improvement:
- The Relationship Between Thoughts, Emotions and Eyesight
- 5 Simple Habits to Improve Eyesight Naturally
- Chinese Reflexology for Healthy Eyes Webinar
- Amazing Vision Webinar: How to break through subconscious blocks and limiting thought patterns that may stop you from seeing clearly