// image via pinterest
We’re all spending more and more time in front of screens and our eyes are getting tired of it! While reading The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge M.D. (highly recommend), I learned a simple exercise to relax the eyes. This method was created by Moshe Feldenkrais, a Ukrainian-Israeli physicist and engineer.
The Bell Hand
Open & close your hands with awareness. Make the movement smaller and smaller until you’re only slightly moving the tips of your fingers. Feldenkrais referred to this exercise as the Bell Hand (the movement being so small that it was like the vibratory movements of a bell). As you begin to relax, you’ll notice the movement is made on its own as you breathe in and out, with no additional effort necessary.
Once your hands are relaxed, place your palms over closed eyes. Keep your palms there until ‘jerky’ eye movements lessen.
Why this works
The brain map for our hands is very close to the brain map for our eyes. With the Bell Hand exercise, we’re able to first relax our hands. Then, by placing our palms over closed eyes, we’re more likely to notice the quick, jerky movements our stressed eyes are making relative to our ‘relaxed’ hands. Making this sensory differentiation allows our eyes to begin relaxing as well.
"Simple awareness is an agent of change." - Norman Doidge, M.D.
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