January 2015 Newsletter
It’s hard to believe a new year is upon us already! Wasn’t it just Labor Day a few weeks ago?
This is the time of year my gym fills up with all of the people who made “getting in shape” or “losing weight” one of their resolutions for the year. By the end of January or middle of February, it will be back to the same handful of people who are in the gym every morning year round. I just hate the crowded equipment and locker room for those 4-6 weeks!
Health is a journey and not a destination. Doing good things for your body like exercise and eating healthy food the majority of the time will go a long way to getting you healthier. It’s what we do on a daily basis that makes us healthier or makes us sick. There is no fast track to healthy or skinny that lasts without attending to it daily.
I recently had my eyes checked since I’m turning the big 6-0 on December 30th. The tech who did the eye chart asked if I had surgery, wore glasses or contacts. When I said no, he looked back at my age and said “no way”! “No surgery, Lasik, reading glasses, nothing?” he queried. “Sorry!” I told him.
When I saw the doctor, I told him I just wanted to make sure I didn’t have cataracts, glaucoma or any eye disease since I was turning 60. He asked me the same questions about surgery, contacts and glasses and make the same comment about “no way” could I have lived this long and still not have glasses. He checked me out and said everything was fine and that I was very “lucky”. I said no it was just from good clean living! He didn’t buy it and thought I had lucky genes. Funny, everyone in my family on both sides wore glasses by their early 30’s so I must have been the milkman’s kid. Plus, with 13 different tissue antibodies attacking my body, I know I didn’t really win any genetic prizes.
Dr. William Bates was an ophthalmologist who published a monthly magazine called Better Eyesight from July 1919- June 1930. He died the next year at age 71 but his widow helped to publish a book from his writings called The Bates Method for Better Eyesight without Glasses in 1940 and it is still available today. After testing thousands of patients, he knew that eyesight was not a static thing but changed throughout the day and could be improved or worsened depending on the circumstances.
Mechanically, vision is controlled by the contraction of muscles to change the shape of the eye lens so that we can see things near or far. When we do a lot of work using near vision, those muscles get stronger and the far vision gets weaker. The reverse is also true. One simple thing you can do is practice looking at things off in the distance if you spend your day looking at computer screens or reading. Playing golf helps balance my distance vision since I mostly do up close work all day.
Dr. Bates would prescribe exercises, rest, sunlight and swinging the body from side to side to help our vision. Dr. Bates also felt that staring and always wearing dark glasses made the eyes weaker. I never wear sunglasses unless I’m out on the water for long periods. Not the normal advice you would hear from an eye doctor today! He actually wasn’t well liked in his profession in his own time due to his treatments that removed the need for glasses and patients not dependent for life on glasses.
Now, there are many books and programs written to help improve your vision by doing lots of different eye exercises. Nutrition is also very important to having healthy eyes. Low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue can create spots and foggy vision until you eat. There are a number of supplements in the office that help nourish the eyes that I can test you with if you want.
The air outside is almost always better than the indoor air due to the chemicals we use in our houses and possible mold and bacteria build-up. Once winter hits, most of us close up the house and breathe recycled air from our furnace for months. Changing or cleaning your furnace filter regularly is very important but you may need an air purifier as well.
If you or your family is having recurring sinus or lung problems, you might have bad air. It is easy to test if you just bring in an air sample on your next visit. Leave a clean glass jar open for at least an hour in the bedroom, at work, school, the car or any other place you spend a lot of time. Put the lid on tight and bring it in on your next visit. It only takes me a second to test it and it’s free. It’s hard to get well in a sick environment so it makes our work easier, too!