Author Topic: Hocus Focus  (Read 8178 times)

Offline NickGrouwen

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Hocus Focus
« on: August 26, 2014, 12:08:46 PM »
Please go to this new thread:
http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,1028.0.html

Note: if you want to read the below text without the strikethrough, just copy and paste it into a text editor.
HOCUS FOCUS
In my opinoin, hands down the (most boring, yes, but) ultimate, simplest, fastest vision improvement exercise there is, after four years of doing out many different vision/eye exercises.

Note: this exercise can be done with any object of your choice really and I would actually recommend that you focus on a different object at least once every other day,, but I believe a black dot on a white background is the most effective for this, since it is easier to focus on one single dot with nothing around it, than it is to focus on one letter in a row of letters on a Snellen chart, for example, in which case your focus and concentration might falter because of the other letters around the letter you're focusing on. If you are farsighted, focus not on a distant but a very blurry nearby object and bring it closer and closer to you as you improve, but also be sure to focus on far objects as well for a while since you absolutely don't want to lose your far vision.

1 Take a sheet of paper and a black permanent marker. Make a small dot in the middle of the sheet about 2 or 3 mm in size, though you can make it slightly bigger if you prefer it so. Tape the sheet to a wall in a dimly-to-decently-lit room (never a really bright room) or hallway that allows you to stand far away from it, so that the dot will be extremely blurry and very hard to make out.
2 Focus and concentrate with all your mental resources on the blurry dot and nothing but the dot. Try your hardest to see it clear. You'll eventually see it clear and evern experience colorful visual sensations in your field of vision as you do this. Do not worry if you failed to see the dot clearly in yyour first (ferw) practice session(s). You will still have made absolute progress and will see it clearly eventually. Your far focusing ability is improving at a rapid pace.
3 Always make sure that at the start of every single practice sessions, the dot is ectremely blurry. This means moving further and further away from it as your vision improves over time. You can measure your progress with a Snellen chart - but for this exercise, just make sure that the dot is always extremely blurry when you start your practice session. Also, patch your stronger eye from time to time to train your weaker eye alone. You DO NOT have to use a dot. You can use any object and I would actually highly recommend you use different objects everyday, I do the same thing. I used a dot here to really just illustrate that you should be focusing on as small as possible area on/of an object.

This exercise in a nutshell: For at least an hour or as long as you can a day, simply focus on a very blurry distant object and try to see it clear

One important, but obvious and pretty much automatic thing anyways, is to NEVER keep your eyes still. They must always be moving otherwise you might burn an image, especially a black-on-white dot, especially when it is sharp and clear, especially in a bright environment, onto your retina, especially when you're like me and you practice everyday for at least an hour.

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Yes...yet another great exercise that we came up with (after print pulling, see:
http://forum.gettingstronger.org/index.php/topic,1013.msg7298.html#msg7298)

We call it Hocus Focus (or Hocus Phocus?) and it was for me as well as my friend Reuben, who I practice with, the major breakthrough that finally yielded semi-permanent to permanent results. My vision just went forward so fast, I think that this is the exercise that will quickly help youi break through plateaus.

- Have your Snellen chart on the wall
- Again, the same principle as I have outlined in my print pulling exercise - start at the heavy blur point. Instead of starting at the top and working your way down from there, which is the usual way, go straight to the smallest row of letter that is the most blurriest, EXTREMELY blurry. I basically just go straight for the lowest row of letters on the chart.
- Pick one letter/piece of blur and with all of your might and mental resources, FOCUS on it as intensely as you can.
- Keep focusing on that single piece of blur. Try your hardest to make out the letter. Try to clear the blur as hard as you can. Don't let your eyes wander - focus on that one single blafck blurry point.
- You will eventually start seeing colors - purple, green, yellow. Your entire field of visioin starts to get trippy with bright, vivid colors (color inversion?). It's hard to describe but I thik you'll notice. The best way I can describe it is that it's like some trippy experience, like you're on shrooms or something. Just focus real hard on that blurry point and notice what happens to your entire field of vision. THIS is the sensation you're going for and is at the core of this exercise.
- Keep this sensation for as long as you can - if you lose it, try to achieve it again. Keep doing this exercise for as long you like - the longer the better but if your eyes start to hurt, stop and rest and come back later.
- When you stop the exercise, your vision will most likely be a little blurry and trippy - this is normal, your eyes are all worked out from the intense focusing you've been doing, and after a few minutes, your eyes will have relaxed and adjusted and you can enjoy your new-found improved vision.

Basically what it comes down to is that you pick the absolute smallest, blurriest point on your Snellen chart (in this case, the smallest row of letters) and you try your hardest to focus on a single letter.

I just realized like a minute ago that this exercise is simila to, almost exactly the same as Steven's method of wearing the strongest plus lenses you can find. But as I try not to use any glasses, and as I was very uncomfortable with strong reading glasses, this exercise is perfect for me.

If anyone else (jansen, if you're reading this, still stuck?) will try this out for a few hours or a few days and post their feedback here, that would be great. Did you notice anything?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2014, 12:27:21 AM by NickGrouwen »

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 01:16:30 PM »
Hi jimnbo, yes CapitalPrince's dad \worked with the snellen but I wasn't aware he also started at the blurriest point - from what I can remember, he started at the top and worked his way down but maybe I'm wrong.

I don't know how long you usually practice resolving deep blur so the results may be a little different. My sessions are at least half an hour to an hour. For me, my vision is still clear and sharp as I type this post, and this is hours after my last session. My bision NEVER was clear for this long after any other exercise so it is definitely doing something for me. The core of this exercise is the sensation that I describe in my opening post. I was able today, at the peak of the sensation, to read three of the smallest letters on the chart when at the beginning I was barely able to make out the top letters.

I am making good progress since today. My vision improvement has really stalled last week, so I really needed this exercise to help me break through that plateau ;D print pulling still does improve my vision though
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 01:19:08 PM by NickGrouwen »

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 06:02:19 AM »
Ah I have found that topic about CapitalPrince's dad and it is indeed pretty much the same thing. His dad would also start at the last line he ccould see (I dunno if that means clearly see or just see the blurriest line on the chart).The fact that we're doing basically the same thing and achieving great results means that this is a great exercise. Yes I have done it again multiple times today and my vision just keeps getting sharper. The blur has turned into clear double images which I expect will resolve soon.

Offline mailliam

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 03:39:15 AM »
That's interesting how you notice trippy images. How long does it normally take before you get them? And have they come up every time you've done the exercise? Do these colours/images coincide with clearer vision?

I just tried it for 30 minutes, although I had trouble keeping my eyes only on one bit for the entirety. Eyes would wander and I'd bring it back asap. Are you doing the same saccadic movements that Steven recommends when you are looking at that one point? I found during the 30 minutes that I would occasionally begin staring and my eyes wouldn't be moving so my vision got blurrier, at which point I had to look away to refocus and then come back to the area I was looking at.


Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 04:39:59 AM »
Nick,

maybe training time is an important factor. i haven't done this exercise for more than half an hour, but even though the improvement was great, it quickly evaporates after I go back to near work. CapitalPrince's dad spent hours per day doing this, and he managed to lock it in so this could be the reason.

I'm curious. Do you work until tears or some kind of crazy effect? This was common in CP's dad's case. I've also experienced weird visual illusions, including color inversion!
Hi jimboston, it is essential that you do this for as long as you can, at leat an hours or more a day. That's obviously asking a lot - most of you probably have a lot of work to do and have families to take care of while I'm...26 yes but I'm still a young lad with a good amount of spare time. But hey if CapitalPrince's dad could do it (during breaks at work even) then I'm sure all of us can find some time in our daily lives to devote to practice. I have done away with with all my hobbies and pastime activities for the time being until I get my 20/20 vision and I'm really close now so it's time well spent. I spent hours a day doing this and while it is boring, it's all for a good cause and soon enough I won't have to do this anymore. CapitalPrince's dad is one of my biggest inspirations during all this - remember him when you practice!

You need to remember that any improvement in visual acuity you have achieved immediately after any focusing practice might last for the rest of the day (in my case) or disappear quickly (in your case but I guess your practice sessions aren't long enough) but it WILL have disappeared the next day you wake up because your eyes kind of "reset" during sleep. Even so, this doesn't mean the practice was all for nothing! You are slowly getting rid of your axial myopia. The eye is slowly but surely shortening every day you do this, so eventually the vision gains will be permanent. You didn't get myopic in a few weeks of doing constant near work - your tired eyes would always go back to normal the next day after a day of up close reading of text (which starts in high school for most of us). This is psuedomyopia which develops into axial myopia from doing near work constantly for a very long time. So you could compare temporary vision gains with psuedomyopia (psuedohyperopia?), your eyes will reset during sleep and will have gone back to normal the next day. But keep it up and it will be permanent.

I know this is working for me because the amount of clear flashes I get is increasing every single day and focusing on far away objects takes less and less effort and time every single day. Today I was able to focus on the smallest letters on the Snellen chart so easily and so many times compared to just days ago when I started this. Soon, these vision gains will be permanent!

Also, you said your vision improvements "evaporate after you go back to near work". This is exactly the reason why I keep telling people all the time to really make it a habit to keep their distance from books and screens. You need to constantly sit from your screen at such a distance that the text is blurry at all times! If the text you're reading is sharp, youi're not sitting far enough away! Try wearing reading glasses at some point or changing the resolution on your monitor or changing the font size in your browser - anything that makes the text your read, blurry. Even as I type this post I am keeping my distance from the screen so please excuse any tyops I may have made lol

Holy moly that was a long post ;D

EDIT: YES color inversion that's the term I was looking for! That is for me a sign that the eyes are rapidly adapting during that moment. It's color inversion coupled with a sharpening of the entire field of vision - the whole room and every objects gets brighter and sharper or darker and sharper. Dull colors become vivid. This is how I experience vision during those brief moments I put on my prescription glasses just to see what it's like to have clear vision (I have never really worn my glasses so I don't know very well). Yes sometimes I get tears, no big deal just wipe them away. Stop and rest for a little when your eyes start to hurt though, just like CapitalPrince's dad did.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 04:56:29 AM by NickGrouwen »

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 04:50:00 AM »
That's interesting how you notice trippy images. How long does it normally take before you get them? And have they come up every time you've done the exercise? Do these colours/images coincide with clearer vision?

I just tried it for 30 minutes, although I had trouble keeping my eyes only on one bit for the entirety. Eyes would wander and I'd bring it back asap. Are you doing the same saccadic movements that Steven recommends when you are looking at that one point? I found during the 30 minutes that I would occasionally begin staring and my eyes wouldn't be moving so my vision got blurrier, at which point I had to look away to refocus and then come back to the area I was looking at.
Hi mailliam, I actually think don't know if everyone gets the same the trippy sensations that I do. And it's also really hard for me to describe but it's basically kind of like the entire room changing color, becoming brighter or darker. During this one time when the room was dark and purple, I could clearly read the the smallest letters on the Snellen chart. I think these sensations are basically a sign that my eyes are extremely hard at work. They coincide with very intense focusing. After I stop the exercise, my vision is actually a bit blurry afterwards but within 5 minutes or so I will have improved vision with better and faster focusing ability.

It's OK to move your eyes around a little as long as you focus intensely on one very distant and blurry point. I'm still kind of experimenting with this myself - I don't really have a consistent way or method of focusing and moving the eyes, I just look at the blur and mentally try to clear it. I really just do whatever. I know there is like a whole thread devoted to the subject of blur clearing but I myself really just do whatever,

But one thing I can say for sure, this is THE best exercise that I have yet come across. And I have tried many. I can't believe how easy it is to focus now compared to when I started out where I couldn't focus at all - my eyes were stuck and I had no focusing ability whatsoever.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 05:38:13 AM by NickGrouwen »

Offline mailliam

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2014, 11:47:46 AM »
Hey Nick, cheers for the reply. I've been at this vision improvement thing for a while now and I've made some significant improvements. My vision is now mainly double vision/ghost images as Todd Becker describes it. It feels like I'm on the home stretch and I think I need to up the intensity. I've done similar sounding exercises to the one you mention but I've never pushed it as hard as I could' because I thought it might be counterproductive. Having done the 30 minute session today I think I'm being too soft on my eyes, so I'll join you in on hour-long sessions.

What's the longest session you've done? Any tricks for keeping concentration that you've found?


Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 01:36:11 PM »
Hey Nick, cheers for the reply. I've been at this vision improvement thing for a while now and I've made some significant improvements. My vision is now mainly double vision/ghost images as Todd Becker describes it. It feels like I'm on the home stretch and I think I need to up the intensity. I've done similar sounding exercises to the one you mention but I've never pushed it as hard as I could' because I thought it might be counterproductive. Having done the 30 minute session today I think I'm being too soft on my eyes, so I'll join you in on hour-long sessions.

What's the longest session you've done? Any tricks for keeping concentration that you've found?
mailliam,
I know Mr. Becker's site is all about careful application of stress in order to get stronger - as is obviously the case in things like being able to tolerate very cold temperatures and such. But I personally (keyword = personally) believe that when it comes to reversing myopia/improving vision, your eyes will be completely fine if you push them real hard like I do. When you started out reading tons of books and writing reports behind the computer screen (and maybe playing video games) in high school, all that close stress didn't damage your eyes right? Well besides the fact that you got myopia but myopia is more a condition than a permanent damage type of thing,  you know, since you can reverse it!
Steven basically says the same thing, he advocates wearing the absolute strongest plus lenses you can find (6+) and go outside and focus on a distant object, but that didn't work well for me lol because I'm kind of allergic to glasses. If I HAD to wear the glasses to do this stuff I would just bite the bullet for a bit and go live with the headaches and stuff for a bit but I, and really anyone, don't need them since focusing intensely at a really distant blurry object will get you the same amount of far stress that you need to push the eyes back into shape.
So my advice to you is to do like I do -  drop all your hobbies and pastime activities for just a little bit and spend all of your spare time focusing on a really blurry distant object, it doesn't even need to be a line on a Snellen chart, it can be anything, try to have variety since using the same thing all the time gets really boring - I will sometimes look out the window and focus on the number plate of a car parked way over in the next street, I will focus on the bedroom window of this girl I really like ;D ok that was so wrong but you get my point.
You can practice as long as you want as long as you stop when your eyes start hurting. CapitalPrince's dad would do the same thing, practice until his eyes started to hurt and he improved his vision REALLY quickly.
My sessions usually last no shorter than about 45 minutes and then I take a little break and then I go back, I spend whole days doing this now. And of course I keep my distance from screens and books as much as possible. The text you read has to be blurry - if whatever you are reading is sharp and clear, you're not sitting far enough away!
Longest session was probably today - 4 hours straight, interspersed with a few 5 minute breaks here and there. And....hehehe...if you read my posts on this forum you can see how I always go on about how incredibly fast my vision is improving, well I'm definitely not exaggerating when I say that this exercise is truly THE ultimate exercise to train your far focusing ability with, My gains have been so big and so fast it's not even funny. The results are semi-permanent to permanent. Every day I am focusing on further and further objects faster and with and less and less effort.

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2014, 01:57:19 PM »
Also this isn't actually even some secret exercise that I discovered or something - though my opening post kind of makes it sound like it is. It's not!

The thing I keep going on about though, is that, IMO, you don't have to go easy on your eyes and wait a year or so to have 20/20 vision. You can just go all-out and have good vision within a month or two or less. Maybe in my case I progress so rapidly because I'm still kind of young and I have never really worn my glasses. I remember Bates talking about how it's harder to improve vision in people who have worn glasses for a long time.

I have been into vision improvement since 2010, on and off. Having tried almost every single vision improvement exercise there is (including this very one some years ago but I never took it this far until now), I can safely say again and again that this is the ultimate vision improvement exercise there is. Though make sure that at some point you also start shifting between near and far objects to preserve your near vision as well!

Reversing myopia is so simple, it really saddens me when I go out and tell people that they can do this too and they don't take me seriously because I'm "not an eye doctor". ALL you have to do improve your distance vision is focus intensely on a very distant object for long periods of time every day and you will improve so fast! And make sure you keep your distance from screens and books. That's all you have to do!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 02:30:49 PM by NickGrouwen »

Offline mailliam

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 02:25:04 AM »
Also this isn't actually even some secret exercise that I discovered or something - though my opening post kind of makes it sound like it is. It's not!

The thing I keep going on about though, is that, IMO, you don't have to go easy on your eyes and wait a year or so to have 20/20 vision. You can just go all-out and have good vision within a month or two or less. Maybe in my case I progress so rapidly because I'm still kind of young and I have never really worn my glasses. I remember Bates talking about how it's harder to improve vision in people who have worn glasses for a long time.

I have been into vision improvement since 2010, on and off. Having tried almost every single vision improvement exercise there is (including this very one some years ago but I never took it this far until now), I can safely say again and again that this is the ultimate vision improvement exercise there is. Though make sure that at some point you also start shifting between near and far objects to preserve your near vision as well!

Reversing myopia is so simple, it really saddens me when I go out and tell people that they can do this too and they don't take me seriously because I'm "not an eye doctor". ALL you have to do improve your distance vision is focus intensely on a very distant object for long periods of time every day and you will improve so fast! And make sure you keep your distance from screens and books. That's all you have to do!

Fantastic. Yes I've had similar thought but never really acted on them. I thought the comparison to weight lifting that Todd Becker made was apt but perhaps a skill like shooting basketball hoops would be more suitable. The more deliberate practice you do the faster you improve. You won't become an NBA star if you only spend 20 minutes a day shooting hoops. You have to be out there for hours and hours practicing, and my hunch was that eyesight improvement was something similar.

I second jimboston's suggestion about keeping a log, or at least giving us more information about your starting prescription, what snellen lines you are reading now (with or without glasses).
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 04:31:54 AM by mailliam »

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 09:23:31 AM »
Hi jimboston I keep track of my progress every Friday of the week so no worries there. Yeah I'll publish my results real soon.
I always sit at such a distance from a screen so that the text is at least slightly blurry. How blurry depends on what I'm reading and how much time I have. If I need to read real quick I'll have the text be only slightly blurry but if I have time to kick back and read at a leisurely pace I will sit as far back as I can so that the text is completely illegibly blurry and bring the words into focus as I go along, which used to be impossible just a few weeks ago but is now nearly effortless and requires only seconds.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 09:28:56 AM by NickGrouwen »

Offline NickGrouwen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2014, 09:44:42 AM »
mailliam, as long as you STOP when your eyes start hurting,  I don't believe anything can go wrong and that any permanent damage will be done to the eyes. Doing years of constant close work never seemed to "damage" anyone's eyes (seeing as myopia is a reversible condition and not actually permanent damage). Again, careful application of stress of gradual intensity obviously has its place but I believe when it comes to reversing myopia (or hyperopia), especially people that hit a plateau like you and jansen did, you can go all out, don't hold back and for the time being, drop your hobbies and regular pastime activities and use every single minute of spare time you have focusing on a distant object, the further away the object and the more intensely you focus on as small as possible area of that object, the better. Just make you stop and relax when you feel discomfort in your eyes, nothing wrong there, just relax. I barely ever feel any discomfort at all, personally.
Use different object for variety - a letter in the last line on the Snellen chart, a digit on a number plate on a car parked far away, the beak of a bird resting atop a roof, the leaf of a tree when sitting on a bench in the park, etc. Be creative and have fun!
I believe it kind of makes a big difference when looking at an actual far away object tens of metres away as opposed to looking at small letters on your computer screen only a metre or so away from you. The latter is a great way to train as well but I personally have had the best and fastest progress with focusing on actual far away objects.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 09:47:36 AM by NickGrouwen »

Offline jansen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 10:28:04 PM »
Its great to see new progress and ideas on this topic. I just wanted to bring up that motivation is definitely a huge part of vision improvement, the more you desire 20/20 vision, the more you will work for it. As you make gradual improvement, your motivation level may go down, but gradually increasing the intensity of the training, and perhaps trying new exercises will make sure you don't plateau, and continue to make big steps in improving eyesight.
I feel like my plateau has been caused by a lack of motivation somewhat.  Being stuck at 20/50-20/40 for almost two years, its still possible to go around the day w/out glasses for the most part, so I've started to take it easy with the exercises. Hopefully I can find something to really motivate me to pursue 20/20 once again.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 10:30:18 PM by jansen »

Offline jansen

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2014, 10:29:26 PM »
I've been trying to do the exercise lately, but cannot seem to really focus the blur that well. Should I be blinking often, or should I try to blink only if necessary?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 10:40:53 PM by jansen »

Offline Alex_Myopic

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Re: Hocus Focus
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2014, 02:17:00 AM »
Μe on active focus I believe it helps blinking less than normal.