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Picture with a blue eye (woman) and a green eye (man).

Our eyes – a miniseries on our five primary senses (part 2)

When I ask my clients about their preferred sensory organ, about 80% answer “the eyes”.  Many people associate their eyes with “safety” and the best possible perception of their environment. For many, visual impairment is equivalent to a reduced quality of life. Given this, I have taken a deeper interest in the eyes and included them more consciously in the therapeutic process. Trance is focused attention. It is a state of complete concentration on one specific thing, with closed or even open eyes. It is totally natural and nothing that you have not experienced yet. You not only know it but also experience trance-like conditions several times a day. For example, daydreaming, watching a good TV program or movie, being absorbed in a book or a conversation, jogging, or joyfully immersing yourself in music.

“Where we look affects how we feel”

This phrase was coined by Hildegard von Bingen and later developed further by Dr. David Grand, an American psychotherapist, and discoverer of “Brainspotting“. In his therapeutic approach, the eyes are our so-called scouts. They can lead us to profound experiences of an emotional and/or physical nature stored in the body’s memory. Dr. Grand observed that when his clients talked about their stresses, they looked in a particular direction or point in the room. Using his so-called brain-body visual axis, in which he slowly moved his finger in front of the client’s eyes, the brain-body system was able to re-regulate, flexibly adapt and align itself with the present. Following this, stresses usually subsided, and the clients felt noticeably relieved or were able to cope with their lives better. The same is true for focusing on joyful events and memories. We take advantage of this in therapy. More about this under Hypnosis FAQ and under Brainspotting Austria.

Brainspotting is deep self-hypnosis

I found Dr. Grand’s observations and therapeutic approach convincing and, thus, continued to explore the topic of “eyes”.  In hypnotherapy, we work with all five primary senses. In this state of heightened awareness, combined with a strong focus on inner images and processes, it is often the eyes that not only perceive but also contribute to the relief of stress and the resolution of unsolved problems.

Brainspotting utilizes both, “focused activation” of implicit memory content and “focused mindfulness” in the therapeutic process. These mechanisms are also used in hypnotherapy.

In both approaches, Brainspotting and Hypnotherapy, the client and their resources stand in central focus. The aim is a gentle and effective accompaniment to self-regulation. Dr. Grand once aptly said, “Brainspotting is deep self-hypnosis“.

Take good care of your eyes!

Whether eyesight can be trained is often discussed among experts and brings about varying opinions. I tried the following exercises myself and definitely felt soothing relaxation. Here are three easy-to-implement exercises:

Eye Yoga

  • Slowly circle the eyeballs 5 times in both directions, to the right and left.
  • Then move 5 times horizontally from left to right and vertically from top to bottom.
  • Finally, 5 times diagonally from bottom left to top right and from the bottom right to top left.

Near and far

This exercise helps train the eye muscles.

  • Cover one eye with the palm of your hand.
  • Now hold the index finger of the other hand at a distance of about 30 cm in front of the open eye.
  • Then find a point behind it (at a greater distance), for example, an object in the room.
  • Alternate focus between the index finger and the object in the distance.
  • Repeat this process a few times in a calm, regular rhythm.

The Reclining Eight

They relax the fine neck muscles, which are often responsible for headaches.

  • Please close your eyes.
  • Start drawing figure eight with the tip of the nose from the middle, then outward and upward. Pay attention to very fine, loose movements.
  • Repeat drawing the Reclining Eight 20 times.

Interesting facts about our eyes

The eye is truly unique with its numerous functions (for example, the refraction of light, the control of light incidence, the perception of light stimuli, and the transmission of light impulses via the optic nerve to the brain).  In practice, the eyes can be compared to a camera.  At a rapid pace, they transmit countless images to the brain for image development, and do so at an astonishingly high rate:

  • Every second, they take in more than 10 million pieces of information.
  • They distinguish between 600,000 different shades of color.
  • The eye has 126 million photoreceptors, 70% of which are located in the retina of the eye.
  • Our eyes perceive over 70-80% of the information within our environment.
  • Blinking is the fastest body movement we are capable of and is also the fastest muscle in the human body.
  • An iris scan is more individual than a fingerprint and therefore more secure. The iris has 256 unique features, while the fingerprint “only” has 40.
  • It is not possible to sneeze with your eyes open. We all know this 😉
  • 50% of the brain capacity is due to vision.
  • Brown is the most common eye color in the world, namely 90%.
  • Six different eye muscles move each eye in the direction we look in – several 100,000 times a day!

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