Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Palming is a Versatile Practice

Cup Your Palms Over Your Eyes

“The greater the degree of relaxation produced by palming the more of it is retained when the eyes are opened and the longer it lasts.” (Dr. W.H. Bates)

Palming, also known as Cupping because you cup your palms, is a practice for improving eyesight and relaxing. In fact, it is a form of meditation. Palming allows one to block out the world, focus on an inward imaginary journey, quieten the mind, slow breathing and relax the body. It is a healing and rejuvenating practice.

Improve Eyesight

Palming is a favorite with those trying to improve their eyesight naturally. It was used extensively by the famous ophthalmologist, William H. Bates. In his book, he discussed how his patients were able to improve eyesight by increasing the degree of blackness they saw while palming.

The goal is to see a field of black, the darkest black you can imagine. This is the normal result of blocking the stimulation of light on the optic nerve. Dr. Bates found with his patients that disturbances of mind and body, such as fatigue, hunger, anger, worry or depression may result in seeing illusions of colors and lights when palming. Seeing anything other than black when the eyes are covered with the palms illustrates how the mind is involved with eyesight. This is a symptom of imagination beyond control.

According to Dr. Bates, one way to improve the results of palming is to look at a black object before palming and use the memory of it to see black with the eyes covered. He also discussed shifting and how the mind’s eye is constantly moving. To improve palming, move the eyes from the deepest black spot or object you can imagine to a partially gray one and back again.

Aid to Inducing Sleep

Palming can be used to help one get to sleep at night. Use visualizations such as lying on a warm beach with feet at the water’s edge.  Waves gently wash over you up to your neck and back down, again and again. Or use some other such scene from nature such as gently drifting in a row boat.

Because palming blocks the stimulation of the optic nerve it naturally calms the entire nervous system.

Conversely, palming can also be a helpful practice in waking up the body and mind in the morning especially when incorporated with eye exercises. This works in a similar fashion to taking a shower or eating a banana, both of these practices are also good to do in the morning or the evening.

Calm the Mind

Palming can be used to avert anxiety, anger, depression, fear and other negative emotions and negative mental states of mind. This is done primarily by slowing down the breathing. By blocking the eyesight and focusing the mind, one can regain control. Covering the eyes can be a natural reaction when in distress.

While palming, listen to the in-breath and out-breath. Make the breathing deeper going from shallow chest breathing to abdominal breathing. Sense the belly rising and falling around the naval area.

Relieve Pain

Palming can be used to relieve both mental and physical pain.

Palming especially helps to relieve tension headaches as well as neck and shoulder aches because the muscles in these areas are all closely connected. Envisage the muscles relaxing, one at a time. Start at the feet and move up the body or simply focus on one particular area.

How to Palm

1. Feel the energy in the hands. An easy way to do this is to rub them together briskly to generate some friction and heat. Or you can put the hands close together as if holding a small imaginary ball. Pull gently in and out to feel the energy between the hands stretch. Or you may already be in tune with this energy and not need to do a preliminary step. If your hands are cold from the environment, warming them up can be helpful, but cold hands can also be of benefit just as using hot or cold compresses are both useful.

2. Cup the hands together with the fingers slightly crossing one another (see the photo above). Place the palms over the eyes. The fingers of the left hand will be gently pressed over the area of the third eye (middle of the forehead) and the right hand fingers will gently cover the left. The palms will cup over the eyes so that they do not touch them but they will gently press against the occipital bones to block out any light.

Palming is a two-fold process. It is used to physically block out light, but can be done effectively even in pitch darkness because it also is transferring healing energy from the hands.

Palming creates a bridge of healing energy to flow from the hands through to our two eyes of physical sight and through to our third eye of insight.

3. With the hands in place, relax the jaw. Let it drop, but keep the lips lightly closed. The tongue feels like it is floating up to the palate behind the front teeth.

4. Stretching the eyes and/or doing eye exercises may be helpful. Move the eyes from side to side, up and down and all around.

If palming for more than a minute or so, support the elbows to enable the entire body to participate in the relaxation program.

Lying in bed, prop pillows under the elbows.
Sitting in a chair at a table, put something under the elbows for support.
Sitting on the floor against something to support the back, use the knees for support.

Bates' book, Better Eyesight without Glasses in pdf, original 1920 version available to download free: http://www.visionsofjoy.org/pdfs/BatesPerfectSightWG.pdf/
Better Sight Without Glasses by Harry Benjamin (a Naturopath) (1929): http://www.scribd.com/doc/264931163/Better-Sight-Without-Glasses-Harry-Benjamin#scribd
Improve Your Eyesight Holistically, What is Palming?, by James Cruise, Mind Body Sprit website, http://mindbodyspirit.me/about-spirituality/ (Kind thanks for use of photo above).
The Eyes Have It - How to Care for Eyes Naturally, by Jennifer Wilson, Simple Food Remedies blog, December 22, 2015, http://simplefoodremedies.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-eyes-have-it-how-to-care-for-eyes.html

The Practice of Palming, http://batesvision.com/the-practice-of-palming/