Higher IOP directly after Qigong
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6 weeks ago
Callum2014 • 70
@callum2014

I have been using my Icare to test how my IOP reacts after my Zhineng Qigong practice and I have noticed that it goes up directly after it. This is a very gently practice with no inversions, but my body does heat up some. I am wondering if anyone else experiences this either from yoga, meditation, qigong or any other exercise? If I remember correctly, there was something on this site a while back about this with exertion with exercise but I didn't see anything about with the internal arts. Thanks Elle

iop-intraocular-pressure meditation qigong • 71 views
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7 weeks ago
david 2.8k
@david_fe

I consider qigong to be a moving meditation. Is that fair within the context of this answer?

I have noticed that [my IOP] goes up directly after [qigong].

It is important to know by how much. I will say more about this below. However, please edit your question and add the specific amount by which your IOP goes up and how long after the practice until is returns to baseline.

If I remember correctly, there was something on this site a while back about this with exertion with exercise but I didn't see anything about with the internal arts.

Here is a closely related question:

I am a serious practitioner of Qigong and a glaucoma patient. Should I use a tonometer? | Ask FitEyes

You said:

This is a very gently practice with no inversions, but my body does heat up some. I am wondering if anyone else experiences this either from yoga, meditation, qigong or any other exercise?

Yes. It is common with meditation (including qigong). It affected me in a dramatic way. It was the single most shocking discovery I made after getting my tonometer in 2006. I found a substantial increase in IOP after my TM Siddhis Meditation practice. After being diagnosed with glaucoma in 2004, I had increased my meditation practice thinking this would help manage my glaucoma. The shock of finding that this practice I thought was helping me was doing the opposite caused me to stop meditating for a full year. But that was a bad decision as my IOP gradually crept up over the year and my overall well-being (health, happiness, inner peace, focus, productivity, etc.) declined.

That motivated me to search for the right meditation practice for my intraocular pressure management goals.

Next I conducted a 2 year study on meditation and intraocular pressure (IOP). I included qigong as taught by Jeff Primack (Supreme Science Qigong). Jeff describes qigong as, "a mind-body exercise form that uses meditation, breathing, and movement to increase energy and enable the body to heal itself."

I used a lab full of tonometers and other physiological monitoring equipment allowing me to monitor things like brain ways, EKG, and much more. I found that different meditation methods can produce radically different effects on IOP (as well as heart rhythms, breathing patterns, brain waves, respiratory gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, etc.). The most interesting data of all came from my Pascal Dynamic Contour tonometer during meditation practice. I only included one qigong technique, but I am sure each different style of qigong will also have its own unique physiological signature, including on IOP.

I was searching for a meditation method that was easy to practice, reduced my stress, improved inner peace and clarity of mind, helped me progress toward equanimity and balanced emotions, improved overall well-being and health and also reduced my IOP. (I also hoped to find one that included some aspect of movement (as in yoga or qigong.)

One interesting finding from my study on meditation and IOP was that most people who are self-taught meditators not only miss the IOP-reducing benefits I have personally experienced from meditation, they actually see the opposite. The highest IOP readings I recorded in my study (over 40 mmHg) were from a self-taught meditator immediately after finishing her meditation (which, by the way, she intended to be practicing in part to help reduce her IOP and for the health of her eyes). Her IOP was below 20 before her meditation session and over 40 afterwards.

It turns out that fulfilling all those requirements, especially avoiding an increase in IOP following meditation, proved to be to much to ask of most meditation techniques. I only found one meditation method that could do all that, and even then, some people have to advance gradually in their practice.

The meditation technique I settled on is not a widely available method as it was never repackaged and commercialized the way many well-known techniques have been. An important secret to its effectiveness lies in the way it is taught. After working with this technique for more than twelve years, teaching it to FitEyes members, and closely studying the IOP results of the practice, I have decided that the best way forward for those of us interested in intraocular pressure is a meditation course designed especially for us. I've been working on that for the last two years. Unfortunately, at this time, the course is not yet available.

In the mean time, I do recommend checking your IOP before and after your meditation (qigong) to get an idea of how your practice affects it. Here are two rules of thumb.

If your IOP increases by only a small amount and it returns to baseline almost immediately, that is probably fine. (I examine the details closely, and each person is unique.)

If your IOP goes up substantially, you need to change your technique. Or if your IOP remains elevated for hours after your practice, you need to change your technique.

Meditation is one of the best things we can do for our health and well-being. However, like anything with that much potential to produce change in our mind and physiology, it is best if we have an experienced guide to ensure that the changes go according to plan. In this case, the guide's experience must include understanding intraocular pressure in the context of meditation practices.

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6 weeks ago
@olivegingerlynn

I have observed this issue as well. After meditating and pranayama (breathing exercises) that i do specifically to help my eye pressure, my IOP sometimes rises by 6-8 points. It is definitely alarming. This elevated IOP sometimes lasts several hours. Yoga, on the other hand, as long as no inversions are involved, might raise my IOP briefly, for a few minutes, but then it does back down again.

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