On the FitEyes email list we had an interesting discussion. I would like to share my response.
Here are my thoughts on this topic of altering IOP without medications:
1. the practice of self-tonometry alone seems to keep my IOP down. I practice self-tonometry every day as a rule and my IOP stays low. The few times I have taken breaks of some weeks, when I resumed self-tonometry, my IOP was at a higher level -- even when I was not aware of any changes anywhere in my life. From this, I have concluded that the feedback mechanism of seeing my IOP coupled directly (in real time) with my healthy lifestyle habits promotes lower IOP.
Bailey pointed out that his effect is not simply due to using the drops. It is the result of feedback from his tonometer. Note that exact point in his earlier emails -- I think it is key. The real-time feedback of seeing your own IOP change has a powerful effect. This effect has been life-changing for me in many ways.
Talking about it or knowing about it is of no value. One has to experience it. That experience goes deep. It goes into our subconscious. Then our body will come to expect it. That's the power Balley is describing.
This does not happen on the level of thoughts. Placebo effects don't either. They happen on the level of beliefs. One can think positive thoughts (which are on the surface level of the mind), but if one doesn't really believe deeply (we can say believe in the heart), the positive thoughts don't help much.
When one sees one's own IOP changing in response to simple activities in one's own life, it creates the KNOWING that one has a degree of mastery over the process. This KNOWING is stronger than a belief. It is stronger than thoughts. With self-tonometry we come to know that our IOP is not some fixed number that we are stuck with for mysterious reasons that are set in concrete at the level of our genes. We KNOW that our IOP can change with our thoughts and emotions. We know it, not because someone on FitEyes.com said it, but because we have lived it day after day. We have seen it countless times.
This experience becomes part of us and it empowers us to form a new relationship with our IOP. In this new relationship we are no longer victims. We are not the victims of our DNA or of trabecular meshwork tissue that is "defective". Those things are abstract and they may or may not play a role in our individual situation.
What is real is that we see our IOP changing as we change. We KNOW we can do things like what Bailey did. We know that we have the power to experiment as Bailey did and discover new things about our IOP.
I see what Bailey is describing as a step in the direction of forming a positive relationship with glaucoma. (BTW, that attitude change by itself is incredibly healing.) See these links:
2. My other observation is that these small effects can become cumulative. Something that may only last a few minutes can be combined with something else and pretty soon we can have a series of simple activities and mental/emotional tools that let us string together a whole day of well-managed IOP. Every single little insight like Bailey's has value and is cumulative in my experience.
3. My last point is that these things take time. They require living with self-tonometry. They require repeated experiences of relating to our IOP changes in real time. Gradually those experiences change us -- especially when we couple self-tonometry with a self-referral technique such as Serene Impulse or the right meditation.
This is why I'm not very enthusiastic about tonometer rentals. People have often asked me about borrowing or renting a tonometer so they could take a few measurements. I see little value in that. One level of value comes from having daily records of our IOP over the long term. Another, more profound, level of value comes from doing self-tonometry long enough to let it change us. That's the route to potentially managing IOP without total and exclusive reliance on drugs or surgery. It's also the route to living a more powerful and fulfilling life.
The entire email discussion that stimulated this response can be found here:
http://groups.google.com/group/fiteyes/browse_thread/thread/1566a57ac925... (requries a Google account -- if you don't have a Google account, I can post the entire thread here on request)