Both Eyes Open = Scoliotic Looking Back
Right Eye Closed: Flat Back
Your vision can affect your posture and gait. And I’m not talking just slightly, I’m talking completely.
It can utterly ruin your life, as it did mine, until I found Postural Restoration.
Unfortunately, vision’s impact on posture, gait, and movement is not very well known because it’s not that common, but I’m sure it’s not that uncommon either.
It’s just not recognized as a possibility by doctors and physical therapists.
For that reason, lots of people are needlessly suffering from chronic pain due to faulty visual systems.
I’m sure of that.
If you look at the two pictures above, you’ll notice that in the first picture my back looks slanted, almost scoliotic.
In the second picture my back is flat. The only difference is that in the first picture both my eyes are open and in the second picture my right eye is closed, just leaving my left eye open.
So with two eyes open, I’m tilted. With my right eye closed, I’m straight.
Think of that situation–that twisted spine– not only in a standing position but also during movement.
Think of the stress it will put on a body when that body walks, runs, jumps, swings a bat or golf club.
Binocularity refers to the idea that your two eyes have to work together.
Most times they do. The left and right eye, although providing two different images to your brain, are similar enough so that your brain can combine the two images seamlessly into one image.
In my case my left and right eye were returning two different images that were so different that they couldn’t be combined effectively.
In order to deal with this situation, which was essentially double-vision, my brain ignored my left eye.
It actively suppressed the image from my left eye and relied solely on the image from the right eye.
For 40 years.
The neuro-optometrist I saw in Nebraska informed me that my binocularity issue was developmental in nature, meaning it took hold between 0-4 years of age.
It’s also likely that I was born far-sighted, a fact that no one noticed when I was a child.
Back in elementary school, when asked to read the eye chart in the nurse’s office, I could read it just fine. After all, I saw distance better than I could see up close.
My mom always said that I had a serious “look” that I developed when I was young. Turns out I was probably squinting.
Interestingly, the optometrist also said that she was surprised I didn’t have an eye turn, considering how weak my left eye was.
The obvious question is: didn’t I know I was only using one eye?
I wasn’t blind in my left eye. I just wasn’t using it.
I had no clue that my brain was suppressing the image from my left eye. After all, if I closed my right eye I would see perfectly fine out of my left eye. The problem occurred when my two eyes were open at the same time– which is pretty much always.
In that case my brain ignored my left eye and only paid attention to the image from my right eye. There is absolutely no distortion or lag-time as my brain switches between images. It wasn’t noticeable.
So that’s how I was living for 40 years until I got glasses for the first time last year. And that’s when my face and cranium completely decompressed and my face rearranged itself.
Feet and Eyes
A fascinating aspect of this entire story is that I didn’t discover the difference between my left and right eye until I got my orthotics.
I originally got the orthotics because I knew I had difficulty with pronation, due to very high arches. I also had a leg-length discrepancy.
Within a short period of time, my leg length discrepancy was erased, but now I had lower back tension that wasn’t there before, and an occasional ache at my left SI joint.
Eventually I realized that if I moved my eyes to the right, my back would tighten, but if I moved my eyes to the left, my back would relax.
Besides what I was feeling, I used a “standing toe touch” test as a guide. That’s what you see in the pictures at the top of the page.
At that point I realized that this was a brain issue. In other words, it was an issue of how my brain was processing visual stimulation.
Everything I’d done over the past six years, all my PRI work, resulted in me slowly unwinding all the compensations that had built up in my body over the course of lifetime. Once my legs evened out, all my compensations were neutralized and the original issue was laid bare: a screwy visual system.
I quickly realized that I need an optometrist who understood the impact vision has on posture and gait.
It required a trip to PRI headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Visual and Cranial Resolution?
“You are too dependent on the floor to not let your left side move”.
I understand if that makes no sense, but that’s why Ron Hruska is different. He thinks different.
Translated into English: my brain, because of my right-biased visual system, does not sense the ground on the left side.
Because it has so little sense of the floor on the left, my left foot and ankle are very tight.
They are kept in that state because my brain is saying “don’t let go of that ground on the left”. It’s fearful that I’ll fall.
I tighten up as a protective mechanism. It’s a sympathetic nervous system issue.
By giving me a new prescription and manipulating my visual system, one that “dampens” the activity of my right eye, my brain senses the ground under my left side more effectively. With that new ground “sense” my brain is no longer fearful and my back relaxes.
I have an added component, a prism, that changes how light enters my eyes. The overall effect is that my brain perceives the ground moving “up” towards me and helps ground me.
Again, this allows my system to relax, decompress, and move without restriction.
I’ll wear the prisms for eight weeks and then switch to glasses with the same right eye “dampening” prescription, but without the prism.
Everything I’ve been through, all the pain and suffering, was a result of my vision. It’s a crazy notion, but it definitely makes me think. Lots of “what ifs”.
I am now in the process of re-evaluating my entire life. But that’s a post for another day.