Imagine less anxiety, fewer panic attacks, and less frustration. Imagine an increased feeling of well-being, increased productivity, more energy, and a happier you. In a moment, you will learn about a physical reason that could be a major contributor to the above problems. You will see how a basic understanding of our body’s normal mechanisms could be the cause and how to use this same mechanism as a solution, all without drugs.
What if your visual system is part of the problem? What if it is the problem? Though you see fine, the visual system could still be a significant contributor to the above problems.
Your Nervous System: Fight or Flight
There are two main nervous systems in our body. The parasympathetic is the relax/repair nervous system. It helps with nutritional uptake for the cells and the day-to-day maintenance and repair of our body. The sympathetic is our survival or fight/flight nervous system.
Let’s look back at when life was simpler. There were no taxes, no traffic jams, no bagpipes, and no accordions. (Sorry. It’s a joke!) Life revolved around survival. Let’s say we are on a walk in the jungle. We notice a rhinoceros has spied us and is charging full speed toward us.
Exciting and exhilarating? I don’t think so.
Immediately, our sympathetic fight-or-flight nervous system activates. This causes a number of life-saving changes. Our heart pumps more rapidly. The arteries contract to send blood to our arms and legs so we can run faster and jump higher. Stomach acid production lessens. With a charging rhinoceros coming at us, it is not the time to be digesting a meal.
Your Vision Under Stress
Visually, there are a great number of physiological occurrences that happen during fight-or-flight; things we have no idea about but that happen automatically. Our eyes posture slightly outward so we can see the threat. Our ability to focus at near decreases because we are looking at the distance threat. Our pupils dilate to allow more light in. Our peripheral vision tunnels down, so the threat is the main object of interest to which we are directing our attention.
This happens with everyone. All these things happen automatically to increase our survival and avoid the threat. With a charging rhinoceros, we are given the blood flow and nervous system to run faster and jump higher to get away. In police academies, police teach the cadets, when they are in a very stressful situation, to remember to scan with their head because of the tunneled peripheral vision.
Once we get away from the stressful situation, our heart rate slows. Our blood vessels relax. Our pupils return to normal, and we regain the ability to focus and easily point our eyes to see things up close. Our peripheral vision opens up.
Modern Day Problems: How Stress Affects Your Vision
Seriously, how have things changed?
I cannot recall the last patient I had whose life had been on the line due to a charging rhinoceros, but I know many people who are chronically stressed. Day after day, it is stress, stress, stress.
How does a chronically stressed person’s body respond? It responds the exact same way as with the charging rhinoceros. Our eyes posture outward. Focusing at near is more difficult. Pupils dilate. We get a decrease in stomach acid production. We can also get a tunneling of our peripheral awareness.
What are symptoms associated with these physiological changes?
- We can have decreased reading speed and blurry near vision.
- We may have eye pain or discomfort when trying to do sustained near-point work. Computers require four times the amount of energy as the written page to look at, so symptoms will show even quicker.
- Our ability to comprehend and concentrate decreases.
- We have a harder time maintaining clarity on near-point objects.
- We have an increased sensitivity to bright light, not to mention the halogen blue driving lights that bother everyone, and lighting in stores.
We may also have an increase in tendency to be sensory overwhelmed or overloaded. Along with this is increased frustration. With the tunneling of peripheral vision, we can become more frustrated or fearful when driving.
We can also seem to lose objects we are sure were right next to us. We cannot find them, but then all of a sudden somebody points out, “It’s right there next to you.” We can also become increasingly startled by people coming into our peripheral vision.
Driving on freeways becomes more difficult and often contributes to anxiety. The fast-moving cars increase our frustration. If we dare get on a freeway, there is a tendency to just stay in one lane and avoid lane changes.
Rebalancing Your Vision With Colored Light
I had a patient who drove a delivery truck. During his first visit, he said he felt like he had OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was very easily frustrated when doing paperwork. It was becoming more difficult for him to complete his tasks at work and on the computer. He also mentioned he had a very strong fear that “I would be in an accident in my delivery truck and not know that I had an accident.”
What if there was a way to rebalance the fight-or-flight nervous system as we just talked about with the patient above and help with resolution of the symptoms? What if you could do this in ten minutes a day without drugs? Would you be interested?
What is the cost of going day to day with such stress, frustration, and difficulties? What is the cost not only to you but also to those around you?
How can you learn to balance and regain balance in your life? How can this be done without pharmaceuticals and with 100 percent safe treatment?
This can be done with different wavelengths or colors of light. How can light do this? It seems too good to be true.
What is Syntonics?
Syntonics is the Optometric application of various frequencies (colors) of light into the eyes to facilitate the treatment of a number of visual deficits. Though the use of colored light treatment has been used in the United States for over 100 years it is only within the last two decades that scientific research has been able to “illuminate” some of the cellular physiology attributed to light.
There are amazing biological effects to light. For decades, the ultraviolet lights or bilirubin lights in the hospitals have been used to help infants’ livers improve their function. There is also the use of the SAD light for seasonally affected depression.
If you want further glimpses of the additional research available, google LLLT and eye and brain. LLLT stands for low-level light therapy. There is a summary of multiple studies about the biological effect of light.
In a nutshell, different wavelengths of light can be used for just a few minutes a day to increasingly nudge different physiological symptoms into balance.
The eyes really are the window to the body. Twenty-five percent of our total energy expended each day is used by the visual system. Our brain receives five times the sensory information from the eyes compared to any of our other senses.
There are not that many doctors in the country familiar with syntonics. I am one of the only doctors in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Montana who does the syntonic or light therapy.
Please visit www.collegeofsyntonicoptometry.com to read more about this mode of treatment.