Tag Archives: TBI

Vision Therapy and me

When the movie Avatar came out, a friend took me to see it in 3D format in an IMAX (curved screen) theatre. Leaving the theatre I kept remarking how things kept “jumping out at me” they said “just like in real life”…we each repeated these statements a couple of times, he did not understand that things didn’t usually feel like they were ‘invading my personal space’ and I did not understand that for him it was normal to feel surrounded by things with dimensions.

One of my clients is an optometrist with a pediatric vision therapy specialty and we discussed my experience at the movie and the very frightening ride home where cars kept popping out at me like the creatures in the meeting. It seems that somewhere along the line, whether by genetics or multiple head traumas growing up, not only was my vision bad in the 20:475 range but I also tested with very limited peripheral vision, poor tracking ability, limited convergence and divergence, multiple blind spots, astigmatism, mild color blindness they will randomly change dominance and  then there is the severe lack of stereoscopic vision (inability to see three dimensionally) …She told me not to bother with Lasik surgery since more of my visual problems had to do with poor processing than eye shape. She lent me the transformational book “Fixing My Gaze” [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B003YGVCWM” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21%2BKCXuujdL._SL110_.jpg” width=”73″]

She started me on exercises, I started doing more research into vision and found that the optic nerve is more like brain tissue than any other nerve and that extreme motions of the eye can change the pressure in the cranial vault. The eye socket itself is made with articulations between 7 bones with 9 separate openings! Expanding my peripheral vision was her first concern because she drives the same roads I do!

vision therapy helped my golf game

Vision Therapy brought focus and helped my golf game

I have been able to mentally re-write some of my history knowing I am not uncoordinated (you should see me belly dance) I was just blind….no wonder i couldn’t catch or throw…depth perception is a function of stereoscopic vision with tracking control motor responses based on judgements made by full complete sight. I was even in the 5th grade before anyone even figured out I needed glasses because I have always tried to be adaptable. I started doing body work, in part, because the world always made more sense with my hands than it did with my eyes.

My world is different today. I am much better at remembering people’s names….because I truly see their faces.  I have not run into a curb (driving) in over a year…who know’s what else I’ve missed 😉 I don’t have to remember where I put my keys, I can stand upstairs and scan the room below and find them…with my eyes…usually within 20 seconds.  I have been told I have better fashion sense, this is because I can see single images of my whole body when I look into a mirror.  Less spoilage in my kitchen because I can see the leftovers and get to them before they spoil.   Doing body work makes so much more sense with a three-dimensional image of a body in my mind’s eye and not just in my hands kinesthetic memory tied to two dimensional books and reality for me. The thing that really gets me is that I test less color blind than I used to, and things seems brighter. Golf is harder because of the trees poppin out all over but easier because I can read the greens. I stare in amazement at the levels of depth, the qualities of roundness, texture. I appreciate the breeze  through the trees because I not only can watch leaves rustle but individual leafs turn in the wind. My attitudes have changed, I am more calm, and tend to be less anxious, less restless leg syndrome, and have fewer bouts with depression.  People seem find me more approachable, it seems squinting is easily interpreted as scowl. I am at an age when my friends are experiencing age related declines in vision while I am seeing better than ever, and loving it.





vision therapy,

Glow in the Dark: More than Cool

[easyazon-image align=”center” asin=”B00AQP33SK” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51EZiwgYtWL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″]Glow in the dark stuff is cool. Posters lit with black lights were one of my favorite things as a kid . What I didn’t realize at that time was how bad my vision was and part of the reason i liked black light and glow sticks so much was that it was so much easier to see that anything I looked at during the day.  For people with ADHD, visual tracking problems, stroke,  traumatic brain injury (TBI) or problems with focus in general, glow in the dark or L.E.D. ‘toys’ may help to bring back focus in their lives, by literally bringing back focus to their eyes.  [easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B0032CUTFO” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/315zErcQ%2BcL._SL110_.jpg” width=”73″]

Glow in the dark is also helpful for people with peripheral neuropathy because when a person lacks sensation visual feedback can help with body awareness. Shoelaces, gloves, rings, bracelets, ankle bracelets, cups designed to hold glow-sticks can help a person practice motions becoming aware of how knee position or elbow position determines where feet and fingers lie.

Anxiety, stress disorders, people who feel they have no or little control over their lives can find relaxation and intrigue by playing with lights that they can control. Poi are easy to manipulate for simple movements and ‘mistakes’ are pretty. It is an easy distraction helpful for people with OCD and for those trying to quit smoking cigarettes poi provides and alternative activity when you just have to go outside and do something different.

[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00AYPM80G” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AOKw7oeeL._SL110_.jpg” width=”110″]Besides being fun for a rave, radiant  mohawks can be used to increase awareness of head and neck positioning, Fun make-up made for teenagers can be used by adults rehabbing at home. Poi are fun things you swing around, the easiest moves look cool and help improve balance and coordination.


The following is a lil video from YouTube of someone enjoying their Pod Poi


Stroke & TBI

At one time it was thought that whatever recovery someone had  2 years after a stroke or traumatic brain injury (TBI) was about all they were ever going to get.   Fortunately,  although the news hasn’t gotten around to everyone, there is substantial evidence that this is NOT true.

Brain injuries are more common than most people recognize.  The death of San Diego football hero Jr Seau brought national attention that multiple concussions can have profound effects on mood and effective living.  There are ways of using the brain’s  neuroplasticity   to overcome or at least minimize the effects of these injuries whether they are large or small.

Many persons I know with strokes, their major emphasis is walking so they put themselves in an upright position and try to make their new body do what their old body did, however , they forget that when they first used their brains to begin walking they passed sequential milestones first. head turning, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, weight shifting, and they think all they have to do is to put one foot in front of the other.   my best advice to someone who has been discharged from therapy but is not fully functional, is to get a baby developement book, and work on the tasks that children go through, use imagery when actual motions are not presently possible, and do not give up hope.

keep smiling, don't give up

Babies aren’t expected to walk, everyone knows their brains aren’t ready for quite some time. They lack co-ordination and they don’t stop trying when it doesn’t happen at first attempts

I have seen remarkable improvements in people who had strokes over a decade before we worked together, that made gains that were not possible at the time they were ‘cut off’ from therapy and told….just deal with it.   Our brains have the ability to change over time and we can have conscious impact with our thoughts and physical practices.


If anyone asks, I’d be happy to share my experiences