Claudia Muehlenweg focuses on finding the root cause of blurry vision instead of using symptomatic treatments like glasses, contacts, or surgery. She joins me today to share her thoughts about readers, contacts, sunglasses, Lasik eye surgery, and eye drops, and discuss ways to improve your vision naturally.
Listen to the Episode
Eye exercises should be called relaxercises because our vision is best when we are relaxed.
– Claudia Muehlenweg
Strategies for improving your vision naturally:
- Palming will rest your eyes and relax your mind.
- Sunning will improve your pupillary reactions.
- Strobing will reduce light sensitivity.
- Blinking more frequently will prevent dry eyes.
- Stop wearing sunglasses to help your night vision. (Don’t do this in extreme conditions or if your pupils do not constrict properly.)
- Moving your head and your eyes together will help prevent astigmatism.
Palming is basically a way to rest your eyes and also relax your mind. – Claudia Muehlenweg
About Claudia Muehlenweg
Claudia Muehlenweg is the founder of Holistic Vision LLC and creator of the Naturally Clear Vision Method. She always hated her glasses and has made it her mission to help others see clearly naturally… just like she has done.
Claudia is a sought-after international speaker and workshop leader.
She focuses on finding the root cause of her clients’ blurry vision instead of using symptomatic treatments like glasses, contacts, or surgery that can actually make their eyesight worse in the long term.
When it comes to tanning, our brain determines how much melanin to secrete based on the light input from the eyes. Now you wear these dark sunglasses, and the brain thinks that it’s not actually that bright, so you get sunburned quicker.
.- Claudia Muehlenweg
In This Episode
- Relaxation leads to clear vision. [3:05]
- How to use palming to rest your eyes and relax your mind. [6:40]
- Sunning will improve your pupillary reaction. [10:55]
- How to practice strobing to reduce light sensitivity. [13:01]
- Why wearing sunglasses makes you get sunburned more quickly. [14:37]
- The problem with regular glasses and contacts. [16:01]
- Problems associated with Lasik eye surgery. [20:15]
- How to cope with dry eyes naturally. [23:17]
- Some tips for improving your vision habits. [29:58]
- Why you should improve your vision habits rather than opting for readers when you get older. [34:27]
- Your vision will not be as good in times of stress. [38:33]
- Why good posture is important for your vision. [39:20]
Links & Resources
Connect with Claudia:
Claudia’s website: https://www.myholisticvision.com/
Get Claudia’s free gift: 10 Habits for Healthy and Happy Eyes
Claudia Muehlenweg 0:05
But glasses actually lead you down a path of deteriorating vision because they are like a crutch they like I call them the pills on the eyes
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:16
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with this show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from cloudier Mulan big. Today we'll discuss ways to naturally improve your vision and hear her thoughts on readers glasses, LASIK, eye surgery and even eye drops. Let's get started.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint Podcast. Today my guest is cloudian Mulan Vega, who is the founder of holistic vision LLC and creator of the naturally clear vision method. She always hated her glasses and has made it her mission to help others see clearly naturally, just like GSM cloudy is a sought after international speaker and workshop leader. She focuses on finding the root cause of her clients blurry vision instead of using symptomatic treatments like glasses, contacts or surgery that can actually make their eyesight worse in the long term. And we're going to talk about that today. So welcome to the show. Claudia,
Claudia Muehlenweg 1:20
thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 1:23
Well tell us your story. Obviously, you have an accent. So you may not be from here. So I want to know what brought you into the United States and what brought you to found holistic vision LLC.
Claudia Muehlenweg 1:33
All right. So my vision story doesn't have that much to do with my countries. But I would definitely love to include that. So I am from Hamburg, Germany. And I got my first pair of glasses at age three. And I don't remember that early stage. But what I do remember is that I hated them. And once I started school, I got bullied and teased and um, they made my life miserable. I really felt like I wasn't outside, I got more shy. And eventually I was able to get rid of them. Which is I think in hindsight, I contributed to luck and playing handball and being outside and not being able to wear my glasses. And then when I got into my high school years, my vision got blurry again. And I was like, I was so freaked out because my life suddenly I went from like the you know, the four I girl like the one that was not even in the nightclub, because not certain existent I was just a loser. So like, you know, you have pretty eyes. So I found a book, I was determined, everybody thought that was crazy that there's no way you can do improve your eyesight. So I found this book, and I stayed out of glasses, until my mid 70s. And at that point, I had moved to Los Angeles with my future ex husband. Our marriage ended in divorce, and I was sort of glasses free in my 20s In my early 30s. And then that stress and you know, I mean, we can we will talk about more about that. But that isn't the client, I was backing glasses. And after a few years noticing how quickly my vision declined. I had this epiphany. I'm like, I did this before. Like, I literally stuck, got that book out. And I started doing some of the practices that I eventually found a teacher and so on. But yeah, in my early 40s, I stopped wearing glasses for good.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:06
So you're on a mission to not wear glasses. So what about today? Are you currently wearing glasses? Are you out of glasses or work?
Claudia Muehlenweg 3:13
I'm 61 now, so it's almost been 20 years where I haven't worn any glasses. And I'm determined to never wear them for the rest of my life. And I do want to be at least 100 years old. That's
Dr. Stephanie Gray 3:24
awesome. So you're gonna have to tell us your secret? What's the secret in this book that you read and found? Does this have anything to do with eye exercises?
Claudia Muehlenweg 3:31
And this is probably the most common question about you know, I exercise really, if anything, you want to call it relax, assizes because our vision is best when we are relaxed. And when I usually ask my clients, have you noticed that your vision various most people will say yes. You know, when you're stressed when you're sleep deprived, and you're worried when you make when you're sick, you will not be as good as when you are happy, relaxed, joyful, and also obviously using your eyes in the way they were designed to be used. So relaxation, that sounds maybe a little like generally speaking, but when you're relaxed, you know also your peripheral vision is open. So you're when you're in that parasympathetic nervous system state, which we shouldn't be in unless we are actually there's a reason to be stressed. Right? That's the business best. So that's kind of what you have to consistently make sure that you're staying in that state unless there's a good reason not to be relaxed.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 4:23
It's interesting you say that because right before we recorded I'm obviously at my clinic, my practice and I walked up front and a patient chart to one of my staff members and she said who are you interviewing and I said, you know, this woman whose name I may not be able to pronounce. Although I did an okay job with that. She asked what the topic was and I said you know, natural ways to improve your vision and she said, Well, I have 2020 vision and I said of course you do because this is my employee Her name is Heather who practices Hypno birthing, she teaches Hypno birthing she's great at keeping her body in that relaxed state. And I guarantee that has something to do with her clear vision kind of echoing what you just said she's able to always stay In that state, and I guarantee that's helping her with her vision, I, on the other hand was good at keeping my body at that relaxed state. So maybe let's go back, though for a moment to eye exercises. So I know you were on Dave Asprey, his podcast, which was amazing. So congratulations on that. And you talked about some things that we can do for our vision, like one of which was this kind of cupping exercise? Can you tell us some tips to improve our vision? So some of those things that you mentioned on his show? I know this is hard to convey, you know, what listeners are not watching. They're just listening. But let's do our best kind of giving us some, I guess, strategies to help with improving our vision.
Claudia Muehlenweg 5:37
Absolutely. So if you really think about the simple level, right, eyes need light, because at the end of the day, the light receivers, right, this is our how our ears are sound receivers. Eyes are like receivers, so they need light, and they need rest, just like every thing else in our body. And then the movement, the cupping, you were talking about we call that palming. And it's basically a way to the breath. Yeah, well cupping. People say that too. But basically, it's a way to rest your eyes. However, it's also a way to relax your mind. That's why I don't like the word eye exercises, because let's say you're working on your abs, and you're doing planks or crunches or whatever, right, you can hit every minute of it, and you're doing your 100 and your abs will get stronger. But with vision, it's like it's not like a mechanical thing, or I'm closing my eyes and pounding my eyes, I would describe in a moment how to do that. It's not like okay, I sit here with for five minutes, set my timer. But I'm like, in my mind, I'm going through, like, all the stuff I have to do today. And you know, because your nervous system and your brain is in that monkey mind or that stress mode, you're not going to be able to relax. So it's really almost more than mental practice than just a pure physical one. That's why the board eye exercises, you know,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 6:50
Not the best way to say that, yeah,
Claudia Muehlenweg 6:53
I know, that's what everybody says. So palming is basically a way like I said, to rest your eyes, and also relax your mind and you close your eyes. And the way you do you close your eyes. And some people like to rub their hands together, especially if you have cold hands, you want to rub them a little bit. And then you you cup your hands. That's probably why you think of cupping so and then you cover your closed eyes, you're crossing your fingers over your forehead, and then the heels of the hand said kind of on the bony part of your eye socket. And ideally, you want to have a support for your elbow so that you can relax your shoulders, take a few deep breaths. And this is where it's really almost more like a meditative practice, because you really want to deeply relax your mind as your eyes get heavier, there's nothing to do nothing to see. And what I usually recommend, as you can just watch your breath, notice your breathing in and out into the belly. Or you can bring up a happy thoughts. Like a place you love, a person your love, could be a real person or place or could be something imagined. You really just like as you know, like think of a little mini vacation you're like, ah and then you enjoy the darkness, the warm cocoon, the little cave, or however you want to call it like I like to think of a floating tank where ice can deeply relax. And then we're not going to do this for a long time on this podcast, you can stay longer, but the way to come out of it is what keep your eyes closed. And then you slowly move your hands away. And then you want to wait till you get adjusted to the light because especially if you're doing this for a while, right, you notice how bright it is when you just move your hands away. And then when you're ready to come back to Planet Earth. You are I like to like blink my eyes five times, quickly. And then then squeeze my eyes gently five times and you might feel that your eyes feel lubricated and kind of refreshed and reborn. Do the five squeezes and then you will find that your eyes might not really lubricated now. So
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:10
yeah, so how often should we be doing? I don't want to say the word exercise. But how often should we be doing these relaxed exercises?
Claudia Muehlenweg 9:17
So this is a question now it's a totally legit question. So what I usually say once you notice how you're going fluctuates what I talked about in the beginning, which I constraints and gains, like what makes your vision worse. What makes it better and most people like oh light computer use, but I'm also thinking a little deeper like is a task that you like doing is it tasks that you hate doing? Like just notice all these things? And once you know your patterns, let's say your business best in the morning, but maybe it's not so good in the afternoon. Palming would be aware that you can use preventative so before you even feel eyestrain or maybe before you get in the computer and obviously you can use it as a remedy. So some people like to do it like once or twice a week, maybe in the morning or the evening. Some people just like to do it once. And if you have a lot of eyestrain and your eyes always feel tired, it might be great to do it like five times a day. And I liken this to pee and palm like maybe every time you go to the bathroom, right, you do like just a couple of deep breaths and rest your eyes. So yeah, there's really no cookie cutter formula, what works best.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:21
I like that. That's funny, because many times my patients who may be their nurses, and they work 12 hour shifts, and they just don't get any downtime, except when they're in the bathroom. And I say, take a long bathroom break and do some deep breathing to help your cortisol come down. They can also cover their eyes rest their eyes, on the toilet. So I like that. What are some other strategies?
Claudia Muehlenweg 10:39
So we I've mentioned light. So one of the other things that's important for good business light. And I noticed that you know, when you are very light sensitive, obviously, the eyes are the light receivers. So there is a there's a challenge if you cannot tolerate light, like how can you then properly see. So a practice that I teach that is part of the method is called sunning. And there's all different kinds of levels of doing this. But the basic one would be to close your eyes and you would face the sun. And if you're really light sensitive, you would do it in the morning, or in the evening, but in the middle of the day, and you close your eyes and you basically just turn your head side to side, you know facing the sun, you can even start with the back to the sun, your eyes are closed. And it's really a nice way to relax your neck also. And just moving through like the middle you know, when the sun windy and center the sun is brightest. And when you turn to the side, the eyes turn to the side a little bit in the shade. That practices the pupillary reaction. So you're behind the closed eyelids, your pupils actually getting a little massage because again, when the eyes side in the shade, the pupil will open up a little bit. So this really helps with using light sensitivity helps us vision and not so with night driving, I used to be super light sensitive. I wore glasses on overcast days, I wasn't sunglasses, I mean, my night driving was a challenge because the headlights of cars were just too bright for me. And when I started doing this practice, and I also did sunglasses, which is an another thing I recommend. And there's all kinds of exceptions, of course. But generally speaking, I'm not wearing sunglasses anymore. And that really helped my night vision. I don't have any more problems driving at night.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:15
So this is interesting, because before we started recording I briefly mentioned to you that I do have, I would say a strong light sensitivity. I mean, even in the morning when it is overcast and I'm walking the dog I have my sunglasses on although after hearing you last couple mornings, I did go out without sunglasses, and it's kind of hard at first, like my eyes kind of struggle. But then I felt like I adapted and just kind of got on with a with a walk. And I was okay. So are you saying doing these exercises, you're saying physically look towards the sun? With your eyes closed? Turn your head to the left and the right. That's going to help reduce my light sensitivity. Is that what you're saying? Yeah.
Claudia Muehlenweg 12:49
And then I mean, like I said, there's different levels and you wind up with that. And you can open the eyes on the side. Then we teach something called strobing where, you know, you kind of found your fingers, like really quickly, right? And then you would be you know, so you create kind of a flickering, strobing effect. So there's all these different levels that I teach. But what I also recommend is wearing a cap or wearing a hat. And unless you're like skiing, or it's like extreme on the ocean, or certain eye conditions in that case, you know, you definitely if you take any photosensitizing drugs, you definitely wear sunglasses, but generally speaking, you know, like you said, you really like we've been told that so bad, but then our pupils never get to work out if we never let them experience light. Right?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:34
So is that why sunglasses are bad? So essentially, you're saying ditch the sunglasses to improve your vision? So I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but are you saying the sunglasses are blocking are just kind of our people's ability to like exercise? And
Claudia Muehlenweg 13:46
Yeah, well, basically. And also, you know, I mean, I there's another podcast I love and science is now we know how important hidden hormone regulation is. Light on the skin and sunlight into the eyes. I mean, that's the only part of the brain that's kind of open where you can look right? So we do need light does not provide not just vitamin D, so many functions in our life. Like I said, hormone regulation, you know, studies have shown that if you go out, expose your skin and your eyes, the light, you know, 20 minutes several times a day that your testosterone testosterone level are healthier and better. And that you know, so. I mean, we've also interesting studies I found so our brain determines you know, when it comes to tanning our brain determines how much melanin to secrete based on the light input from the eyes. Now you wear these dark sunglasses and the brain thinks oh, it's not actually that bright. So you get sunburned actually quicker when you wear the sunglasses. So I always think nature is really smart and designed our eyes in a way. And again, I want to make sure that as exceptions, right, so definitely don't throw them away and like so definitely make sure especially if your pupils don't constrict properly, you definitely need sunglasses, but maybe don't go again extreme conditions but yes, we need it lighten our eyes actually to be healthy.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:02
Interesting. Okay, so you talked about ditching sunglasses? What about regular glasses? So what's the problem with regular glasses, contacts, and then I want your opinion on Lasik eye surgery. Let's start with glasses.
Claudia Muehlenweg 15:16
So glasses and contacts are kind of in a similar category, but you know, we call them corrective lenses. But when you think about it, they don't correct anything. So I always compare this to like, you break a bone, let's say you break a leg, you know, so then you get a cast. And then the cast makes sure that your bones correct that you know that the bones are corrected. And when that's done, you get rid of the cask, you do some physical therapy, some strengthening and then you're back to, you know, ideally what you were before. But glasses actually lead you down a path of deteriorating vision because they are like a crutch they like I call them the pills or the eyes. They don't cause and they allow you to strain and have bad habits. And we haven't talked about blinking fine since like, they kind of give you clear vision without the feedback that hey, maybe you know, you're not doing it right. Maybe you're staring you're straining your eyes, you know, all these things are these bad habits that you might be employing, but you still get rewarded with clarity. And that's why your vision gets worse and worse and worse when you start wearing glasses.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:16
Yeah, that's me, I feel like my vision just continued to decline. I said my prescription, you know, they say, Oh, your vision will stabilize in your 20s. And mine just kept getting worse and worse and worse. But I felt like the minute I wake up, I put my contacts in, and I wear them until bedtime, maybe wear my glasses and and the last thing I do is take my glasses off at night. So I'm not really allowing my eyes to work per se I had a prior guest on last year. And he was saying you he was also saying you can improve your vision. But he's saying you got to not wear your glasses and not well. And I said but I can't see what that he said that's okay, your vision will get worse. But you need to not have that crutch. 24/7. So I assume you would agree with that.
Claudia Muehlenweg 16:55
Yeah, so basically what I teach to my students that first of all really important, and I don't know, if you need, I'm assuming you're near sighted, meaning you're struggling. So for instance, when you get those contacts, and especially when you're younger, you usually get single distance contact, meaning that measure you for 20 feet, but now you're spending and I see you in the office, you're spending the majority of the day on the computer or looking maybe you've never looked further than let's say 10 feet away. So that's already overcorrecting you. So in that case, we're in contact on a computer distance and if needed, putting glasses on top for driving, right? If you need that additional strength, and I get everybody, here's my my take on this, you want to reduce your diopters, and that depends on where how corrected you are right now, to the level, if you have good habits, if you're breathing, if you blinking, if you're staying relaxed, your vision is clear. But when you strain when you don't breathe, right, when you do other bad habits, you get the blood, and that's like the engine light that's like hello, hello, you know, maybe you should take a break to pan your eyes. So basically, you want to allow for your eyes to improve, but also to get feedback that something that you're doing is either good or not good. So that's how I see this basically, yeah, we get glasses. Not everybody can just throw the glass away and you know, function. So it's important to kind of go a step, step by step down. And for some people, that might just be a quad adapter less. But yeah, we'll really look at the scenario. Exactly. What are you doing with your eyes all day? What do you need your vision? You know, where do you need clear vision most of the day shows up or far away. If you're a truck driver, that's a different scenario than working on the computer. For instance.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:26
My instinct every year when I go to a doctor every year, he's he asked, you know, is this more clear? Or is this more clear, like I know, he's testing to see if I need to go up. And my instinct has always been, just don't give me more power, give me the least you know, whatever they call it power, because I just feel like that's a bad thing to continue. I feel like it is like taking a drug or blood pressure medication where they keep just going up and up and up and up without really getting to the root cause of the problem. So I'm always asked for less power. And now I know that that was wise for me not letting just, you know, increase my prescription. That's crazy.
Claudia Muehlenweg 18:55
I'll be if accepted this and pay so much money for you know, and I'm not again, I'm friends with many doctors. But generally speaking like how have we accepted this as a form of treatment that makes our condition worse. To me. This is just insanity.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:10
I don't think people realize that it makes the condition worse. They just think this is what I have to do. I don't have other options. And then today, you're giving us those other options. So what about Lasik eye surgery?
Claudia Muehlenweg 19:19
So now that you know that diopters? First of all, I want everybody listening, noticing how your vision varies. And again, if you're in doubt, if you like you and your contacts are there, you might not notice this as much. But most people would agree like if they're really stressed out or sleep deprived, that their business not as clear as that say they're on vacation. So once you notice, you know that and your vision varies can vary from within seconds, you know, you might be relaxed and then you hear about scary noise or you're like you're in the shock mode. So this everybody's nervous system changes all the time. So everybody's vision varies, and now you get measured and first of all, who finds an eye exam relaxing, right? Usually the measurements are worse. That's when you get your You glasses and you're like, hold on, they're too strong. And then the eye doctor usually says, Oh, you just get used to them. But you make your vision worse. Now that you know how much it fluctuates. Even if you were to go to an eye doctor every day of the week, you would get slightly different measurements every time you like you said they said this or this. So now knowing first of all, now they measure you and then that cactus into your cornea that cannot be changed. And knowing that if you're near side that correctly for the 20 feet, but now you're working, let's say the majority of the day on this close up distance, within 10 years, maybe I think the longest I've heard maybe 12 years, you're going to be wearing reading glasses. If you're near sighted on top of your mind. That's because you can't change the contact lens. It's engraved into your cornea. And one more thing most people and again, I know some happy people with LASIK, but I always say talk to me in 10 years, most people are really dry eyes. That's why I've heard that too. But why is that? Well, because of the cut in the cornea. So that kind of interfering with the natural system. There's a TFM covering your cornea. So basically just 10 seconds of not blinking, you know, interferes with TFM and makes it thinner. I don't know the exact reasons why that is common and some people have it. Some people don't. But I've worked with lots of people that had LASIK and we got everybody out of these expensive prescription eyedrops with good vision habits. Everybody wants a quick fix, like people like the pills, right? But you and I are doing this work where our clients don't want the quick fix. They want to actually address the root cause with vision there is no shortcut, there is no quick fix. All of these things might feel like a quick fix for the moment, but they're not gonna last and then make it worse over the long term.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 21:39
So let's stay on the topic of dry eyes for a minute. So aside from dry close to LASIK surgery, what about just dry eyes in general? So a lot of patients I know are using I especially see a lot of women in menopause who have dry eyes right and correcting their hormones can help improve some of that, but they're using a lot of eyedrops. So it sounds like maybe you're not a fan of those. So are you saying even dry that's not caused by LASIK need for like drops can reduce with hitting exercises? I hygiene Should we call it I hygiene? What do we call it?
Claudia Muehlenweg 22:11
I call them vision practices or habits actually. So yeah, I mean, you talked about so definitely hormones, effects. I've been in menopause for 10 years now my eyes have not gone dry. And I've not never done hormone replacement therapy. And this is where it comes down. Like the blinking. I was saying, you know, you might notice if you see this, if you don't do that listening, I blink a lot. So blinking like again blinking. And one of my best friends who passed away two years ago, not from COVID 101 years old never had glasses, both his parents eyeglasses he blinked about every second. So every two to three seconds. It just keeps you're relaxed, you're not staring and also it lubricates your eyes. The second thing is the capping of the palming that we did. So that is a great way to lubricate your eyes. Again, you might need hormone replacement, maybe you need bioidentical hormones. And then also the omega three fatty acids are really important. And there's not just water. So eating a really good diet, all those things usually help really help with dry eyes.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:07
Are you saying you almost have to train yourself to blink more frequently? Does this have to do with staring at screens all day that we're not blinking? Or why are we not blinking how we need to believe
Claudia Muehlenweg 23:16
That's what I always say, with the eye movements that I teach and the bleeding and the breathing, all these things happen automatically. But we can also unconsciously improve on them just like we can improve our breath. Initially, I had stickers on my computer reminding myself to blink. And now when I do an Instagram reel or something and I'm throwing like staring, it actually hurts my eyes so much to just not blink for 10 seconds. And I've seen people playing video games not blink for over a minute. Initially, like you said, you kind of have to practice this in the mind itself. But it will become really easily automatic. Like I cannot even undo this anymore. It's like any change right in your body. Like once you clean up your diet and you eat some meals that you used to love like fried food or sugary dessert and you're like, Oh my God, my stomach hurts so much. Now, you know, because you're really trained yourself to live a healthier life.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:18
I ask another question on this eyedrop topic and so I keep thinking because I have a hormone clinic and I dropped tend to come stored in plastic. I wonder about plastics leaching into the eyedrops. I'm essentially getting could there be toxins or into constructing chemicals or whatnot in all these eyedrops? They're loaded with preservatives like do we know long term side effects I understand they're kind of like a bandaid just like glasses but do we know long term side effects of eyedrops use are there any studies on that?
Claudia Muehlenweg 24:31
I honestly don't know about that. But what I do know like you're absolutely right plastics can leach and preserve you don't want if you do take eyedrops I always plan on the name as a Swiss Similac something like that because I'm not a big hydro person. But they are really like a free of preservatives and they don't last a long time. But I definitely want to say if you have super dry eyes because I had some students they had we hold on they just put the items away now they got really dry eyes. Your eyes have to be moist because otherwise you scratch your cornea. And you can make it worse the LASIK students or other people I've worked with that had eyedrops, we went from three times a day, lots of timing lots of blinking to two times a day and then eventually so it's not like you just toss them out. Or if you take eyedrops you know you basically your your natural to production is going to be reduced. So it's slowly weaning off and yes, preservative free. The highest quality and I like if you take eyedrops or glaucoma certain conditions, definitely don't spray. Yeah, but I'm just saying the fact here is like that stuff. Yeah, I'm 100% sure that those preservatives and those plastics will cause effects and cataracts, you know, are often created by toxins and things, but I definitely don't know. I don't know any studies on that. So that's a good one for me to investigate.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:47
Yeah, I just I've always been curious, when let's go back to screens for a second. So is vision decline unavoidable in with individuals who are constantly staring at screens? I mean, I know this can't be good for our vision. But what is your thought on that,
Claudia Muehlenweg 26:01
I think it really comes down to good habits. So screens are definitely going to make it more challenging because they're usually backlit, unless you have like a Kindle or some of those e readers that are like faking paper, it's harder for the eyes to look at a pixel, then that's a backlit screen and on a printed material that's reflected. So there is definitely more. That's where the peripheral vision comes in. That's really important. Good vision is always the central focus and the combination of the peripheral field, which we only have when we are relaxed. So that's why in the periphery, you want bright things, maybe you want a moving things, you want to keep your vision relaxed. So that's why screens are even more important to have good habits so that they don't you know, and studies have shown that people blink a lot less like we mentioned earlier, when you look at screen, people on the blink two to three times per minute buzzes when people looked at each other's eyes, for instance, like you know, human interaction, that's a lot more blinking happening. It's like a soft eye gaze. So that's where once you understand and you practice these things, you have to be extra vigilant with screens for sure.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:03
Definitely reading a book like a paper book sounds like is just better. Absolutely. than reading something on the computer.
Claudia Muehlenweg 27:10
Yeah, I don't have one of those. But those are probably better than an iPad or a tablet or computer. And just really having good vision habits. Vision declines is not inevitable. It's like what you think to write a lot of people say, Oh, this and this is inevitable, and you're going to struggle with all these things. You just need to know again, when you address the root cause none of this stuff is inevitable. And yes, we do get older, we all get more wrinkles. So you have to be even more conscientious and maintain your vision as you get older, right? You have to you can't slack off and do all the bad stuff that you might have been able to do in your 20s. Right. That's like, like everything else in our bodies. We have to be more vigilant really and care more about our bodies and our eyes.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 27:54
Let's talk about vision habits. Because maybe this maybe you said this on Dave Asprey, his podcast, something like we brush our teeth, we take time for our teeth twice a day, like I mentioned, okay, but how often are we taking time for our eyes? Right. So let's come back to these vision habits that you've mentioned. So one is the palming, I definitely see myself already blinking more, and my eyes are like already less dry. I feel as I feel, maybe it's the SIBO effect? I don't know. So blinking more would be a good habit. What are other do's and don'ts for good eyesight? So what are the other good vision habits, but a few that you can share with us? So
Claudia Muehlenweg 28:30
Yeah, for instance, shifting your attention, I like to call it shifting my attention. So yes, looking near and far, when you think about our evolution, we were never meant to look at one distance. For a long time. For instance, we have found in studies that humans can concentrate for about three minutes. And that's not because of speed, this has always been the way because when you think think about prehistoric times, let's say you were sitting in a group cam, and you were like sewing or you were weaving baskets, or whatever, you would naturally look up, just make sure it's my kids like human predator coming like you wouldn't spend like eight hours looking at clothes without shifting your attention, and your peripheral vision. So that's a good habit, shifting your attention. But I think that's really important with vision as we like the mistake that people with problems usually make. Our eyes are designed, we have a very smart spot in the center of our retina called the fovea. That's where we have perfect vision. And you've all remember the diagrams from school how the light rays come in, and then they get bundled. And so the pinpoint of perfect clarity is super tiny, like a pinhead. So when you look at a letter, even in small print, basically, the next letter is not going to be as clear. Of course, a letter that at the end of the sentence in the book is, you know, you can't even see that one. So that's why the eye movement comes in and really being aware that wherever you look, you see things best, even if they're not clear in wherever, you know, let's say something in the periphery is Yes, I can see that I can see my whole screen I can see my water bottle and I can see everything else. But when I look at your right eye for instance, actually I cannot even see a left eye as clearly because I would have to move my attention. So that's a really important principle is that central vision versus peripheral vision. And of course, peripheral is not as the outer edges, even the middle of the new periphery is not seen as well. And then also mindset is one that is, I think, really big. I hear a lot of people Oh, I'm blind without my glasses. I'm like, Oh, it's so really, you can see me? Oh, no, no, I can see you. You're just not clear. I'm like, okay, so you're not really blind. You know, a lot of times the language is really language was so powerful. So that's probably a few good tips.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:34
What's wrong with cheaters? We talked about glasses. But what if someone hasn't really needed glasses until they were, you know, like my parents age, right. So they're now they're suddenly meeting cheaters. They've had a good vision their whole life, and now they feel like they need cheaters. Is that a problem?
Claudia Muehlenweg 30:47
Yes. So cheetahs are usually referred to as the readers. And by the way, I want to make sure that the drugs or readers or the cheaters are not going to screw up your vision more than a $500 pair of readers from your eye doctor, right? That is fancy. And so here's the problem, because now you're straining your eyes at the near point. And yes, looking at close is more effort for the eyes and the brain that so the eye muscles, for those of you if you see the video, you know, the two eyes have to kind of converge, the inner eye muscles have to pull the eyes in kind of toward the nose, you know, kind of coming in converging. And your lens has to get that body and the ciliary muscles tighten. So there is more muscular action, looking at close to compare it to the distances where the eyes are relaxed. Now as you get older, yes, we do. You know, it's like how we lose some flexibility in our bodies. So practicing this is important. But the cheetahs now basically magnify everything, you can still use your bad habits. And here's what happens to every single person and they don't believe it. It's always like, Oh, welcome to The Club, you're 45 or 50. We all have readers, there's nothing you can do. And then you start wearing them in dim light or like you know, you wear like the plus ones a little bit. And then you start to one and a half before you know it. And then you have the plus two, and then you use them for everything. And then you go to the doctor and they're like, Oh, well, your distance was and that was always 2020 2015 That was like you were so proud of the Eagle Vision right now your distance vision is declined and you're like 2030 2040 you need progressives are bifocals, and that happens to every single person. So if you care about it, then you have no clarity at any distance. So you went from Eagle Eye to like basically completely handicapped without glasses. And to me that's not how I want to live my life. I call the readers the gateway drug.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 32:33
So you're saying instead of opting for those theaters or readers opt for more of the what did we call it the vision habits, right?
Claudia Muehlenweg 32:40
Because you probably had good vision habits are your life and as I said, as you get older, yes, it's very common to lose our leg struggles near vision but if you know what you're doing, if you do the practices that you know that you can that I teach others teach that we're in the good habits and a little bit of improving your near vision. It's also meant a focus point like what I find also when we get older sometimes we don't want to look up stuff like especially fast other people and if you read us are usually that farmer farsightedness, called presbyopia on each side, I was farsighted, I've my story was I was fascinated as a kid like, you know, really farsighted. But a lot of times, if you're a faceted personality, you might be helping everybody else out there. But when it comes to looking at your own stuff, you're like, Oh, I'm okay. I'm okay. So maybe also being a little bit more coming into yourself and looking at yourself and you know, how you feel about yourself? How do you feel about the rest of your life? Are you excited? I find that people that love their work have less presbyopia than people that counting down the days to retirement and they're just kind of like, well, I don't know what I'm gonna do when I retire. But I just can't wait to retire.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 33:46
I'm gonna ask a personal question here. And I don't know if you have an answer for this either. But postpartum my vision went so wonky. I mean, it was absolutely nuts. And I've heard patients say that their vision went wonky, but I mean, it was terrible. And I went to several doctors who kept giving me different prescriptions, some too strong, so I'm not strong enough. And they just said Your eyes will adjust and with time, it took a long time my eyes did. But is there anything? I hope that doesn't happen again? Because now I do have a worse prescription than I did prior to print delivering my son. Is there anything else that I should have been doing during that time when we have kind of these situational you know, life events that can impact our vision? Obviously, the vision habits that you're sharing today, but is there any light you want to shed on that kind of postpartum? what may have happened or anything I could have done differently?
Claudia Muehlenweg 34:32
Yeah, so I'm definitely an expert in postpartum situation. But here's the thing. I had to care two daughters, right. And after my second one, I was definitely baby was born. I was like, Okay, I know like, I can't do this. Like I definitely felt super stressed. You know, you're sleep deprived, you should normal company. So I think give yourself the grace to know that you're going through it like and that's traumatic, not in the neck traumas are always bad, but it's a huge shift in your life. Huge adjustment and Not just physical, it's mental, it's emotional, you're suddenly a mother, you know, you might not feel good about that. But everybody, you can't even share that, because everybody would be like, Oh, you don't want like, you know, postpartum depression is a real thing, when you're really depressed, you know, doesn't matter if it's postpartum depression, your outlook on life is gonna be affected, and your vision is going to be affected by that. So there's, I always talk about mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, there's all these aspects that affect your vision. So it's, you know, it's like, as a kind of perfect storm, right? If you're a new mom, it's like this perfect storm of all these factors kind of coming together into this huge ball of stress, good and bad.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 35:41
You know, we had a very traumatic delivery and was in the hospital for a while and had to go back at work at four weeks, you know, even though it's barely functioning. And so I think, shedding light on the situation, and the stress just didn't help in general. And now I have more strategies to improve my vision, so I don't have to keep up.
Claudia Muehlenweg 35:56
You know, when I moved when I went through my divorce, and when I moved back to them, they moved back to America. My vision was was during this time, but I knew I was going through a major life change and major stress. And I just knew, hey, this is okay. You know, I acknowledge that I'm going through this, even if I can rest as much as I wanted, but knowing that this is temporary, and that you are so versus just thinking, Oh, now something is wrong with me, I think this is really important for everybody to know that this is normal, that your vision when you're in these extreme stressful times that your vision will not be as good.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 36:31
And I wish I would have known that, of course, I immediately thought I had to go change my prescription. But I still I appreciate hearing that. Are there any other tips you want to share with my listeners, as we wrap up the show that they can do to improve their vision, anything we didn't say today that you want to add?
Claudia Muehlenweg 36:45
Yes, that's one that we didn't talk about that I think is super important. So this is the astigmatism, which is kind of this, I have an astigmatism. Astigmatism just really quickly basically means that your cornea is not like a basketball kind of a dome shape. And it's more like an American football. So some muscles on the outer six eye muscles are tighter than others. So basically, your cornea is not perfectly doughnut shape. And research has found actually done by an optometrist has found that an 85% of the cases it's a partial come in correlation. So if you they actually did studies with orchestra musicians and violinists that have their head tilted. So basically, process is really important for your vision. And when I look at people's prescription, and by the way, a astigmatism is the cylinder is the diopter. And the X is the angle of your astigmatism. So usually, I can say, if they're right or left hand and what they're doing with the eyes, what they're doing with a partial, a lot of times, you can totally look at a prescription. And you know, the key here is the message to take away is that you want to move your attention, you want to move your head and your eyes together, and not constantly move your eyes. Yes, you can move them a little bit when you're done. Let's say you're scanning horizontally, and you have several monitors, and you're always looking right and left. Without, you know, moving your head along, just kind of let your eyes do this, you will develop an astigmatism and that zero 180 degree access, or if you have read us the cheetahs low on your nose, and now you're always looking down to me, but then you're moving your eyes up and you don't move your head up, you will probably get an astigmatism at that 90 degree axis. So definitely no move your head is. Yeah, but you don't want to be like a robot about it. But you want to like when you think about something happening on the side, you wouldn't be like this, you know, clouds in your eyes, or you would move your you would move over and look, you know, this is a deep dive topic on its own. But really notice, look at your prescription. What is it saying the axis is one eye and silhouette a lot stronger than the other. So let's say your left eye is a lot stronger. Are you right handed to you consistently, always glancing to the right, with your left eye being further away from the focal point, then you develop a strong astigmatism on that eye that's farther away from where you're looking?
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:54
Do you think that's me right there? Interesting, interesting. So tell listeners where they can find you. Do you work with clients and new programs to help them with these kinds of vision habits and help them regain their vision? Is that what you do?
Claudia Muehlenweg 39:05
Yeah, I see only very few private clients these days. So my practice is right now it's totally fall apart. Good news. I have two basically two main programs I have a membership to and I have two main programs. One is called 21 days, but I said experience which is where we really teach the foundation of relaxation, breath, myofascial release, which we haven't talked about muscle release and building habits and so on. And that's like a mini course that is really good to do for anybody that's super busy and has maybe five minutes a day like brushing your teeth. And then actually it's Is my comprehensive course where we really do a deep dive look at your eyes and you measure your own vision you learn how to get bigger prescriptions and we go into the whole different eye conditions and then those are the my two main courses and and then I'll have a membership for anybody who wants to you know, get regular support.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 39:53
Awesome. I will post links to those in the show notes, but I hear you also have a free gift for our listeners.
Claudia Muehlenweg 39:58
Yes, I have a free gift. It's called 10 habits for healthy and happy eyes. And in that one I explained the something I talked about the astigmatism, the posture, the palming the blinking. And there's a few more things that I have shown that I we haven't talked about yet. So it's a really great way to get started for free to start improving your eyesight.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:16
All right, one last question, what would your top longevity tip B?
Claudia Muehlenweg 40:19
It's really the mindset in my opinion, because if you consider yourself old, and you're like, Oh, I'm too old to do this. You know, you're not you know, maybe you need to modify things, but especially with your vision. Don't say that you're all that you can see anything like be like, I'm young. My eyes are young. I'm keeping my eyes yeah, that's my top tip.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:38
Positive affirmations for the vision. Love it. Well, thank you for coming on the show and sharing with my listeners, how they can improve and keep their vision actually, this was great.
Claudia Muehlenweg 40:45
Thank you so much for having me.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 40:53
Well, that was fun. I appreciated all the vision practices that she shared and hope that you'll be able to incorporate them into your daily practice as well. Try shifting your vision versus staring at a screen for a long period of time. Increase your blinking and try palming a few times each day. I definitely agree that taking a high quality fish oil supplement can help dry eyes as can optimising hormone levels and after we recorded I did ask her what brand of eyedrops she'd recommend if they were absolutely needed. That's preservative free without chemicals and she mentioned, I'm not sure how to pronounce this, but similar Zahn it's si M I L A s a n, made in Switzerland but available here at most drugstores. I'm definitely going to give those a try. If you want to connect further with Claudia, check out the link of which I'll post in the show notes for both her free gift and her courses. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time the course is 50% off, check this offer out at your longevity blueprint.com and click the Course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. This podcast is produced by Team podcast thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational no information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
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