Update for COVID, December 21st, 2020: I think it is important to state that in addition to the general health benefits mentioned in my original blog post below, direct sunlight can increase vitamin D levels. And low vitamin D levels have been noted by Nature to be a major risk factor in those who contract Covid-19:
Vitamin D level is markedly low in severe COVID-19 patients. Inflammatory response is high in vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients. This all translates into increased mortality in vitamin D deficient COVID-19 patients. As per the flexible approach in the current COVID-19 pandemic authors recommend mass administration of vitamin D supplements to population at risk for COVID-19.
As you can see, the researchers recommend vitamin D supplements. That seems sensible for people in high-risk groups or those who live in areas without enough direct sunlight. However, if you can, increase your vitamin d levels by getting sunlight!
Original post from February 2019:
For those of you who are on my private email list or following me on Facebook, you may have seen my various free sessions and posts and products on using Feldenkrais sessions for healthier eyes. My interest in the topic of eye health has largely been personal: After nearly 11 years working online and increasingly using both my laptop and cellphone, I had tension in my eyes and face that was very annoying. The Feldenkrais eyes sessions that I recorded and used had a wonderful effect, not only keeping my movement soft and supple in my eyes, but relaxing my entire nervous system.
But there was a problem.
The effects did not last very long.
I could do part of a Feldenkrais session in my mind and be stunned at how much tension was leaving my system. Tension of which I had only vaguely been aware. But then I would do a similar process several days later and again be stunned. But this time at how much tension had crept back into my eyes. The questions I asked myself, "How does the tension keep coming into my system again so quickly? And how can I make the relaxing effects last longer?"
Before we go further, keep in mind that I have been using and experimenting with Feldenkrais for decades. I do not need to listen to or do a "formal" session in order to benefit from Feldenkrais-ian ideas. I can simply think about what I want to experience and close my eyes and start to move my body and mind in ways that help get me where I want to go. I can pick and choose between various ideas that come to mind from different sessions and ideas and do them - experiment with them - play with them. Even so, having to continually engage in processes to keep my eyes stress free and optimal was getting annoying and time-consuming.
More Sunlight Makes A Difference...
However, one thing that noticed was that when I get early morning light when walking my dogs, my eyes seem to feel better. This was especially true when I took off my glasses so that the light could enter my eyes unfiltered.
That made me realize more and more that keeping our eyes healthy requires light - real light - sunlight. Sunlight that is not filtered through windows or eyeglasses.
I decided to experiment with increasing my "dosage" of sunlight. For the last few days, I have been walking my dogs even earlier in the morning - right before sunrise. And also swimming in the ocean very early in the morning when I can. And it has made a huge difference. My eyes feel more relaxed and comfortable during the day and at night. And my energy level and sense of well being have increased. I am astounded at the changes.
There is much more that I could say about this topic. And much more that needs to be said, especially about spending too much time in front of computer screens and cellphones. There is a great deal of research suggesting that too much screen time has negative effects on not only vision and eye functioning but also physical and mental health. I will share links and discuss this in a future blog post.
For now, perhaps take a moment to consider how your technology use is affecting your health? Are there simple changes that you could make to improve your health?
And please remember, I am not a medical doctor. And I don't play one on YouTube! I am not making recommendations, only sharing with you my personal experience and experiments.