My Achilles' Heel: Eyes
In Greek mythology, the story of Achilles’ heel referred back to the hero’s infancy when the boy’s mother Thetis took the child to the River Styx, known for its powers of invulnerability, and dipped the baby’s body into the water. But, because Thetis held Achilles by the heel, that part of his body never touched the magical waters. When the child grew to adulthood and performed his duties as a soldier, he survived many battles until one day Paris shot a poisonous arrow into Achilles’ heel. Achilles died from the poisoned wound within a short time.
The term “Achilles’ heel” refers to any dangerous weakness that can lead to ruin or downfall in spite of strength or fortuitous circumstances.
Background of the Problem
I saw clearly as a very young child without any artificial device. Until the fourth grade in elementary school, I sat in the back row of the classroom and easily read the blackboard. However, fourth grade was a turning point in my life. I had been separated from my best friend and the fenced-in playground had no grass. I turned inward so much that, by the end of the year, I could not read the captions of a slide presentation on "Weather."
An examination at an optometrist's office revealed signs of myopia, but the prescription was weak, and the doctor felt the myopia might be a temporary condition, so he delayed filling the prescription.
I was heartsick. In tears, I prayed the rosary nightly to the Blessed Mother Mary to heal my eyes so I wouldn't have to wear glasses. The novena didn't work, and I found myself with a new pair of glasses to use for my schoolwork.
On my first day with glasses at school in Mrs. Coyle's fifth-grade class, I felt self conscious until my classmate William, who also wore eyeglasses, said, "Join the club!"
I never liked my eyeglasses, but I condemned myself less for having them after his comment. I tried to wear the glasses as little as possible.
"You have to wear them for your eyes to get better," my father advised.
I reluctantly wore the glasses routinely, and, by the time I entered eighth grade, the eyeglass prescription had trippled in strength. Inside my eyeglass case, I wrote on the identification card "The Blind Bat" for my name.
The prescription remained constant thereafter, but when I turned 16, I had a nervous breakdown. I left the highschool one day in a rebellious manner and threw my eyeglasses onto the ground near the school's main entrance. I hated myself. I hated myself for sitting long hours at desks and not being strong. My eyes reflected my weakness, and I ran for home.
Unfortunately, eye doctors (and most doctors in general) do not discuss with the patient the possible causes of myopia (nearsightedness) or any of the adverse symptoms affecting the eyes. Occasionally, a suggestion might be made about "too much sugar in the diet," but other than that, there is neither guidance nor education for the patient to learn what changes need to be made to correct the problem. The eyes are simply measured for acuity and examined for possible glaucoma (excessive fluid pressure) or a detached retina.
Consequently, I continued my dependency on glasses and had reoccurring hospitalizations for mental health on a two-and-a-half-year cycle over the next decade. No one suggested that my eye problem and mental health might be connected. And, apart from medication or severe electroshock therapy, no therapy was available to help me confront my problem.
A Flicker of Light
By age 21, I began reading every book I could find in healthfood stores written by a naturopathy doctorate (N.D.) The first book was by Alice B. Chase, who directed a sanitorium for patients whom doctors deemed as "incurable." The majority of cases involved severe arthritis to the extent the patient could barely walk. The N.D.'s program was straightforward: three months of complete cooperation, a supervised fast, and dietary change. The fast could last as long as 21 days on water. The greatest danger was kidney failure. So, the cloudiness of the patient's urine and any cornea discoloration or puffiness under the eyes had to be monitored. The fast was slowed or discontinued if these signs became evident.
The cases documented by Dr. Chase fascinated me. This woman was able to assist patients to reverse severe symptoms of degenerative diseases and gave her clients guidance so the conditions for which they were treated did not return. In every case, she advised them how to combine starches or proteins with greens and to avoid animal proteins. Starches, such as bread, could not be eaten with protein, such as meat, a prevalent practice among Americans. Starches digested more quickly than proteins, she surmised. So, when eaten together, the starches began to ferment in the stomach and small intestine. Blood toxicity resulted, building in the body over time and resulting in a myriad of degenerative diseases.
So, I became vegetarian and applied for staff work at Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where I adhered to a raw food diet for six months. I directed a meditation class and used an eye chart. I experimented with fasting and the wheatgrass juice by mouth or enema during my stay. I talked with one young man who claimed he had 20/800 vision in both eyes and reduced his eyeglass prescription to 20/400 by using eyewashes with Dr. Christopher's herbal formula that included the herb eyebright.
I did not try the eyebright or notice any appreciable change in my eyesight after those six months, but I was free of the menopausal cycle and had no ear wax because my lymphatic system was clean.
Like Falling Off a Cliff
Returning to a cooked food diet was like falling off a cliff. My energy dropped after three months of cooked meals. The experience was hard, and it physically hurt. Social acceptance became fairly important to me at the time, so I didn't bother resuming a total raw foods diet thereafter.The positive side of the experience, however, was some wisdom.
When implementing dietary changes, only small changes should be made gradually. Changes should be met with a positive attitude in a supportive environment. In this manner, the individual's emotions and body organs adapt relatively easily. Fasts and transitions can bring about tiredness and an increase in flu-like symptoms temporarily. This is known as a "healing crisis" and usually disappears after a few days.
Different foods work in different climates. The ideal climate for a raw food diet is a tropical one. I did meet one man, however, who claimed he was able to cope with cold temperatures by adding cayenne, which is known for its stimulating properties, to his raw food diet. "Cayenne is heat," he said.
In general, the denser the diet, the greater mass there is carried on the body. Physique and emotions are a reflection of the diet. When asked by a devotee about what to eat, a master yogi simply replied, "Eat as your consciousness dictates."
At the core of yogic philosophy is the adage: All things in moderation. It's good advice.
A Revealing Reading
Shortly after my first daughter's birth, I invited a student of the Berkeley Psychic Institute into my home. I had experienced a brief hospitalization espisode for exhibiting a catatonic state, and I wanted to get to the bottom of this behavioral idiosyncrasy.
"Well, you were a witch," the reader stated.
"What?" I asked.
"Not what most people think--caulderon stirring. You worked against black magicians and made an agreement that you would allow them to get back at you. What you can do is break that agreement. You don't need to do this."
"I worked against black magicians?"
"Um-hmm," she nodded. "You were a powerful being, but that experience is over now. You need to find something you can really get into."
For the many Christians, such a reading would be unthinkable. And many people would be skeptical of the accuracy of the information. However, I found some strength in her perception, and I vowed to never allow negative influences to burden me again for the sake of my infant daughter.
"What am I doing with my eyes?" I asked.
"You decided to freeze the energy to your eyes," she explained. "Would you like me to help you restore that energy?"
"Yes," I said.
She held up her heads before my head at the level of my eyes and requested the assistance of a high being who specialized in eye healing. "My hands are hot!" she exclaimed after a few moments. And, upon re-examining my energies after the treatment, she added, "Yes, they look a lot better now, but your eyes have forgotten how to focus. You should take--what do they call it?--training the eyes."
I thanked her but noticed no significant change in visual acuity after the reading and treatment. Eye training? It seemed like a long haul.
In joining the Eyesight Club online, new ideas have come to me and old ones have been reinforced. The importance of drinking a sufficient amount of purified water, for example, i.e. half the body weight in ounces, has been reinforced. That most corn is genetically modifed is new to me, and, since it is a major staple in my diet, I have to re-examine the aspects of relying on this grain for nourishment.
Other factors that will assist in my endeavor for reversing my vision problems include the following:
- organically grown foods
- eyebright washes
- eye exercises
- general relaxation exercises
- complete darkness during sleep
Most of these things are not new to me, but, like many other people, I have trouble disciplining myself long enough to reap the desired benefits. So, I have changed my perspective, and that is to "be the seeing, enjoy the seeing, accept myself for whatever stage of development, and allow the complete care of my eyes to be a daily routine in my life."
I read the years ago. Basically, the theory says that stress causes tightness in the eye muscles, which then contract and pull the eye into an abnormal shape. An elongated eye results in myopia; a shortened one in farsightedness. Bates Method
Many people have had success using this method. It's a good place to start when better vision is desired. Exercises, such as palming, changing focal points, closed-lid sunning, yogic clock exercises, and peripheral vision practice on a daily basis can begin to change poor focusing habits. The body is intelligent and knows the desired intent!
When you compare the amount of money spent on lenses and frames, the price of the book is well worth it. Don't forget--not only is vision the sense upon which we rely the most, but it's a window of the soul and a reflection of general bodily health.
I do recommend the book if you don't already have an eye exercise book in your possession.
Credits and Resources
© 2013 Marie Flint