Chatter: Qigong sound healing raises IOP while stationery biking lowers IOP. Thoughts?
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5 months ago
Callum2014 • 100
@callum2014

I find this curious. When I do my sound healing Qigong, which is a bit like chanting, not holding breath, my immediate IOP goes up around 3-5 points. It doesn't stay there for too long, but there is definitely an uptick. When I go on my stationery bike for an hour, panting vigorously and sweating and definitely heating up, my IOP goes down a few points? I can't figure that out?

I wonder if the reason is that when I am biking, it is a pretty benign activity, with me either listening to music or watching Netflix mindlessly. When I am practicing Qigong, I am focused on my eyes and perhaps just that intention is enough to raise the pressure on me, literally?

Thoughts?

qigong iop:intraocular-pressure • 162 views
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5 months ago
david 3.2k
@david_fe

I believe the answer to this question is really the same as this answer here: Higher IOP directly after Qigong.

Regarding your statement:

When I am practicing Qigong, I am focused on my eyes and perhaps just that intention is enough to raise the pressure on me, literally?

In my experience, that may not be the explanation. I use intention to lower my IOP. I'm sure your intention was not to raise your intraocular pressure. But it is possible that your "focus" is moving energy and causing it to stagnate rather than flow freely.

My goal is to create a meditation course for glaucoma patients to help guide them through issues like these because, as I mentioned in the answer I linked, this is a very common issue. It also has a solution.

You said:

my immediate IOP goes up around 3-5 points. It doesn't stay there for too long

In my opinion, an IOP increase of 5mmHg immediately after meditation is a bit too much. If you see only 1-2 mmHg increase and your IOP goes back to baseline in less than five minutes, that's OK (in my opinion) because your overall average IOP will be lower as a consequence of a proper meditation practice.

If your IOP increases more than a couple points or if it stays elevated longer than a few minutes, you should change something about the way you are practicing. Also, watch out for meditation or qigong teachers who encourage you to stick to a specific way of practicing even when your tonometer shows you evidence of an issue that needs to be addressed. A proper meditation teacher for a glaucoma patient should be able to incorporate your IOP data into their instruction for you.

For about the last 14 years I have been saying that self-tonometry made me a better meditator. First it helped me switch to a better meditation technique. Switching my practice to a new type of meditation mostly solved the problem for me -- no more huge IOP increases after meditating. But even with the better meditation technique I was still able to use my tonometer as a type of "guru." If my IOP was elevated more than 1-2 mmHg and did not return to baseline immediately, I knew there was some kind of strain in my practice or some internal (subtle) energy accumulating where it should not be. If you are really good at sensing strain (most of us are not) and also really good at sensing the subtle energy, you can make self-corrections in your meditation (or qigong) practice to eliminate the IOP increase while still gaining all the benefits.

Most beginners should not focus on their eyes during meditation. The result is almost always an increase in IOP.

Posture during meditation is also an important factor to consider if you have glaucoma.

Assuming you are a more advanced practitioner and you are good at sensing and moving subtle energy, I can suggest that you establish a circuit between your eyes and your lower dan tien (a.k.a. tan t'ien or dantian). Try that and see what IOP results you get. If your IOP is still elevated after your practice, then you need to temporarily stop moving subtle energy to your eyes because it is building up too much there. In other words, do not "focus" on your eyes during your practice until you can do so without raising your IOP more than 1-2 mmHg.

In my experience, most people can benefit by receiving coaching from someone who is an expert meditation teacher as well as being very familiar with intraocular pressure. Since those people are not easy to find, my goal is to create an online course for FitEyes members to provide very detailed instruction on these issues. Until then, I will answer these questions the best I can. I hope this helps. It's a very important topic of discussion!

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Many thanks for this response. It was very helpful. I tried to respond to your email, not in this format, and it bounced back, so still on that learning curve. When I selected the type of Qigong ,that I have been practicing, it was before I had eye issues. I would never have gone to this had I already been diagnosed. I have been trying to adapt to many of the routines that are not appropriate for me and now with the sound healing also tripping me up, I am going to go to a gentler modality. I am not as gifted as you in directing the qi down to my dantian, and although I felt the heat rising, it was difficult for me to do anything to tamp it down.
I look forward to taking your on line course on meditation for eye sensitive folks and only wish that we were not outliers in this field. Thanks again Elle

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5 months ago
@yuri_vains

wind instrument playing may significantly increase IOP. Maybe the way you chant?

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