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Eye Pressure Research -- and Sexual Energy

Submitted by dave on Sun, 06/01/2008 - 2:00pm

One of the members asked a question about the changes in intraocular pressure after sex in a comment to an earlier post on my blog about the potential relationship between masturbation and eye pressure. I'm going to give you an estimate of the intraocular pressure changes after sexual activity off the top of my head.

I'll also explain why I'm only giving an estimate right now. In fact, my main focus in this article will be to describe some of my recent overall research decisions as well as to give others a little more insight into the changes I have recently made in my own self-tonometry research. Because the question was statistical in nature (“what was the average increase you found Dave, and the standard deviation of the readings”) I will go into a little more detail than I normally would. I will also answer in the context of the original question about sexual activities and eye pressure.

I would say my typical intraocular pressure increase after sex is 5-7 mmHg, although I have often seen it increase much more. These numbers are for normal (what I call "dissipative") sexual activity. I have never ever – not even once -- seen lower intraocular pressure after normal sex. I have seen intraocular pressure increases more than 10 mmHg (but I'm guessing those represent values more than 2 standard deviations from the mean).

These numbers are all off the top of my head and I'm only describing them to give you a feel for what I've seen. These values include some confounding influence of posture -- and it is difficult to say how much. After I first observed the intraocular pressure increase following sex, my first thought was that it was simply due to posture. I know that lying down without doing any activity will increase my intraocular pressure.

After these initial observations, I began experimenting with sex in different postures. Therefore, I was able to check the effect of sexual activity that involved upright postures such as standing or sitting (and other variations). In all these cases I saw similarly elevated intraocular pressure. Therefore, I have ruled out posture as the sole cause of the elevated intraocular pressure after sexual activity. I have also ruled out things such as holding one's breath, etc.


In the future, if we need to extract specific statistical answers to questions about sexual activity and intraocular pressure using existing data sets, it will take quite a large number of hours of work on the data. Unfortunately, there is not a column in our typical data table format for sexual activity – for example, I simply entered this information as a comment in my intraocular pressure data. Therefore, if we utilize existing data, analyses like this require going through every intraocular pressure record by hand and making a decision about how to include it in the analysis. There are tens of thousands of records in my personal data set alone.

This is a good point to mention one of my pet peeves. Some people are tempted to record date, time and intraocular pressure values and not much more in their data sets. However, I like to emphasize that we must record detailed comments about each measurement. There are some posts on this topic in our private research forum. (Here is one example - Let me explain why the "activity details" are so important and why they must be entered as comments in the data.

In my research, I am generally not trying to answer one specific, limited question. We can certainly focus on one well-defined question, as I have often done in the past. And when we do that, we should collect our data using a form (such as a spreadsheet) designed specifically for this purpose.

However, in general, my self-tonometry research has been very exploratory – especially at earlier stages. There are many reasons that an exploratory approach was adopted. Prior to our work, no one had any idea about the range of lifestyle factors that might influence intraocular pressure. Most experts in this field even believed that stress did not affect intraocular pressure. So our approach has been to cast a wide net and begin the search for those factors that have the most significant effect on intraocular pressure.

As a result of this wide-focused survey research where I looked for any and all factors that affect my intraocular pressure, I now feel I have identified the lifestyle factors that are most important in managing intraocular pressure. I have identified those specific factors that have the largest effect on intraocular pressure. Sexual activity (or more correctly, the management of subtle sexual energy) is clearly one of these unusually important factors. Stress, mental state and emotional state are other key factors. A few people have reported that diet is important too. (We have also found factors that don't seem to be important. For example, so far no one has found any nutritional supplements, herbs or other supplements that have a significant effect on intraocular pressure when those supplements are put to the true test using valid data.)

With exploratory research, we cannot start off with a data column for every potential factor that may become interesting. That's why we must keep detailed notes on activities, mental state, emotional state, foods eaten, posture, etc. as part of our research. When we do find a specific issue of interest, such as sexual activity, we can then devise a data collection format specifically for this research where we record only the variables of interest.

However, if there are sufficient details in the existing exploratory data, we can also do analyses with it. In my case I have enough notes in my existing data that I could construct a data set related to sexual activity sufficient for statistical analysis. But extracting those records from the entire data set will be a very labor intensive process. For our current purposes, it is probably sufficient to estimate the size of the intraocular pressure change related to sex that I've seen in the past and then solicit informal input from others in our self-tonometry research group. Finally, based on that new data from others, someone could initiate very formal research with proper controls, etc.

People often ask me why I don't push harder to conduct more narrowly focused research and to publish research like this in scientific journals. If our self-tonometry research group does indeed confirm the powerful association between sexual activity and intraocular pressure that I have seen, it would be worthy of the effort to follow up our results with more formal research. However, I do not anticipate that I will be the one leading that effort. I would support it, however.

My greatest interest and the area where I focus my time and effort is on the relationship between our state of consciousness and our intraocular pressure. That focus is what allowed me to uncover what I feel is the true relationship between intraocular pressure and sex. It isn't sexual activity itself, but rather the subtle energy (you can call it kundalini or qi or Si **). The current, state of peer reviewed scientific research would (probably) allow a serious researcher to publish about the relationship between sexual activity and intraocular pressure if the data supporting the relationship was solid. However, the opportunity to publish in serious scientific journals about relationship between our state of consciousness and our intraocular pressure is much, much further away. We have to quantify the various states of consciousness much better than what anyone has done so far. It is well-known that a previously unidentified state of consciousness (that underlies the normal three states: waking, sleeping and dreaming) can now be scientifically described. And that fourth state of consciousness is a key to my intraocular pressure research efforts. However, that fourth state of consciousness is even more vast than the waking state. The waking state contains a range of emotions from anger to joy and more, and each of those subtly different types of waking state consciousness have a different effect on eye pressure. In this way, just determining physiologically that a subject is in the fourth state of consciousness is not sufficient for correlating consciousness with intraocular pressure. We have to be able to map the fourth state of consciousness in the same detail we can now map waking state consciousness. My experience indicates that from the fourth state of consciousness I have great control over my intraocular pressure. Some qualities of consciousness in that state raise intraocular pressure and some lower it. I am progressing in my ability to enter into those states of consciousness at will in order to manage my intraocular pressure -- and while I do this I am monitoring both intraocular pressure and other physiological parameters.

Now that I have narrowed my research interest to the relationship between states of consciousness and intraocular pressure, I am again doing exploratory research on states of consciousness (whereas previously I explored every lifestyle factor I could measure). For this work I have looked at physiological correlates of states of consciousness such as galvanic skin response, skin temperature, heart rate variability, respiration rate, pulse oximetry and more. I have an interest in parameters such as blood chemistry, urine chemistry, breath gas analysis, salivary chemistry and more. The main obstacle to expanding this research is funding. With the limited funding we have, I am currently focusing on the relationship between heart rate variability (as a correlate of consciousness) and intraocular pressure. There are lots of research possibilities because HRV is easy to measure. For example, it can be measured during sexual activity so we could easily do research where we measure intraocular pressure before and after sex and we monitor HRV before, during and after sex.

Prior to doing that, however, I would prefer that we go very deeply into the relationship between HRV and consciousness in the context of intraocular pressure. For example, does HRV explain anything about the subtle relationship I described above between sexual energy (kundalini, qi, Si **) and intraocular pressure? I have observed this relationship but I have not yet determined whether HRV can quantify any aspect of it. Doing this has been an interest of mine for quite a long time, but a lot more work is still required.

I hope this post sheds some light on my research decisions – particularly my decision not to put more time and effort into publishing in mainstream journals. I'll do some of that – indeed I am coauthor on an upcoming paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal – but I will continue to focus most of my energy on topics that are at the very limits of our understanding and are therefore too cutting-edge to make it into a peer reviewed journal.

** Si is the result of Serene Impulse. Si is a coherent form of qi. To use an analogy, say that qi is like light. Si is like a laser because it is coherent and therefore much more powerful.)

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