Eye patching is a very simple energy intervention to stop negative or obsessive thinking and mind chatter.1 Most negative thinking, which can have devastating results in a person’s life, is the result of habitual left-brain (L-mode) thinking that sees reality through distortions of the past. Yet influencing brain activity-temporarily shutting down L-mode and training the mind towards whole-brain thinking-is quite easily achieved.
Our thinking process arises as a synergy and integration of activity in the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Each hemisphere has a unique style of thinking and sees the world quite differently. The left hemisphere is the logical, rational, verbal, critical, time-bound thinking that processes sequentially, focuses on what it recognizes, breaks downs into smaller parts, looks at the details and differences, and attempts to simplify and conclude based on small bits of information. By contrast, the right hemisphere holds the intuitive, non-rational, non-verbal, present-moment, analogical, metaphoric, spatial, relative thinking that makes the leaps of insight, connects things, sees and encompasses the whole, synthesizes, holds the divergent and can transcend ordinary consciousness.
An interesting view is the left brain as the ego/materialistic ‘divide-and-conquer’ mind that enables us to dwell in the physical world, and the right brain as the higher/spiritual mind that keeps us connected to a higher reality operating in our lives. Both modes of thinking are equally important to effectively live fully as a human being. This view agrees with the understanding of the Yin/Yang Stepping Vessels (extraordinary meridians) as corresponding to the Ego principle in human development (these vessels are extraordinary meridians-the deeper energy pathways that correspond to the psyche-that end at the eyes). In healthy whole-brain thinking, a person is able to reconcile both the world of matter and the world of spirit.
Most people today have been subjected to education that greatly favours left-brain or L-mode thinking from very early on in life. L-mode thought processes are primarily habit-based. Ninety percent of what you thought yesterday, you will think today-and the content is largely the result of thought patterns established in childhood. These childhood thought patterns tend to focus on what’s wrong or potentially threatening, because they emerged from instinctive survival strategies that were triggered when, as children, we experienced trauma or felt threatened in any way. Thought patterns act as filters to sensory input from the external world. They cause deletion, distortion or generalization of this input with great loss of information. The result is an internal representation of reality that may not be a close match at all to what is really out there. These internal representations trigger thoughts and emotions, which create a person’s experience of reality, or their internal state of mind.
Not only does negative thinking make you feel terrible, but your internal mental and emotional state sets up an energy vibration in your body, which acts as your broadcast frequency, your call letters to the universe, and inasmuch, it determines what becomes manifested in your reality. Habitual negative thinking serves no good whatsoever. If you continue to see life as you’ve always seen it, you will continue to get from life what you’ve always been getting. Until you change your basic thought processes, life will not change for you. Therefore it is of critical importance to inhibit this destructive, habitual negative thinking.
Putting an eye patch on the right eye at any point during the negative thoughts instantly slows down left-brain activity2, making it impossible for the brain to keep the thoughts going and thus releasing the mind from its obsession. People with obsessive negative thinking-particularly those suffering from depression, chronic anxiety, compulsions/obsessions, or excessive mind chatter-benefit particularly from eye patch therapy to help stop negative habits of the mind.3
Another use of eye patching is to balance brain hemispheres and enhance whole-brain thinking. With one eye patched, one brain hemisphere lessens its activities (the one crossed to the patched eye), while the other must compensate by intensifying its activities (the one crossed to the uncovered eye). This imbalance creates a state wherein the person has two completely different concepts of the perceptual world. One concept is that being directly fed from the uncovered eye to the brain. The other concept is that being shared from the brain hemisphere with the intensified activity to the other brain hemisphere. With the covered eye opened beneath the patch, its associated brain hemisphere is still seeking outside input-this it now gets primarily from the other brain hemisphere. This latter condition strengthens the communication bridge between brain hemispheres (the corpus callosum), which eventually leads to whole brain thinking. In whole-brain thinking, the mind has quicker access to greater resources (both hemispheres). The overall effect is a reduction in perceptual distortions, the ability to see the essential from the inessential, and a higher emotional threshold.
The effects of regular patching can be very significant and far-reaching. Patching can provide the brain with a new perspective on life-it can change your mind about a situation on the spot, and over time, it can reframe your past, improve your health and relationships, enhance the resourcefulness of your thinking, increase your emotional threshold, and reprogram your subconscious mind to focus on what you want in life.
It is interesting to note that the corpus callosum was considered the site of the soul in the 18th century (Maurice Ptito).4 If we consider that our ego-sense (sense of individuality or I AM), which is unique to human beings, arises out of the union or the merging of the two pictures that are possible by our symmetry,5 the corpus callosum takes on a more critical role in our evolution. It is my sensing that a larger corpus callosum (or greater communication or merging of the two hemispheres) will enable a person to enter more deeply into the human experience, bringing greater spiritual capacities and insights to all senses and eventually merging heaven and earth within the experience of human individuality.
The patched eye must remain open underneath the patch. Closing the eye sends a different signal to the brain and will not have the same effect. When selecting an eye patch, make sure the patched eye can remain comfortably open.
Do not patch the eyes during times when depth perception is important (such as driving, operating dangerous equipment, cutting with knives, walking up/down stairs, etc.).
What you may experience from patching:3
o Spacey, disoriented feeling
o Nausea, headache
o Clarity or clouding of thought – usually clouding before clarity
o Lessening of mental clutter after a period of increased mental chatter
o Lessening of overall stress after a period of increased stress
Eye Patching to enhance whole-brain thinking
Work your way to patching each eye for 20 minutes, twice daily. You can continue many daily activities while patching (including reading).6 You may also anchor the sense of L-mode or R-mode activity in order to access these more easily as needed. (See Anchoring L-Mode and R-Mode States, below.)
1. Place the eye patch over one eye (either eye will do).
2. Experience the patch for 5 to 20 minutes or until you feel uncomfortable, whichever comes first.
3. Place the patch over the other eye for 5 to 20 minutes or until you feel uncomfortable, whichever comes first.
4. Practice daily until you are comfortable wearing the patch on each eye for about 20 minutes.
5. If you feel distressed, take the patch off and take some deep breaths, making sure to relax the tongue. The distress may be the result of something that is up for deeper healing that may need to be addressed in therapy.
Eye Patching to release negativity
Patch whenever stuck in a negative emotional state or during a conflict with someone7. Do it as often as your mind tries to take over with negative thinking.
· Place the patch over the eye that is associated with the left brain (usually the right eye).
· Keep the patch on until you feel calmer and less distressed or irritated (usually from 5 to 15 minutes). Notice any difference in your perception of the situation or circumstance.
· Follow with some slow deep breaths, making sure to relax the tongue.
Some conditions that seem to improve after eye patching 3
Chronic Intrusive Thoughts
Excessive Mind Chatter
Chronic Anger, Rage
Chronic Substance Abuse
Chronic Grief & Sadness
Chronic Fears (phobias)
Chronic Over/Under Weight
Anchoring L-Mode and R-Mode States
Being able to stimulate left or right brain activity at will is a useful skill to acquire, especially as there will be circumstances when it’s not appropriate to patch the eyes. Any physical stimulus to the left side of your body will increase activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, and vice versa.8 Standing on your left leg, for example, stimulates R-mode activity, while standing on your right leg will stimulates L-mode. Similarly, a firm pinch to the left shoulder will encourage a larger right-brain contribution to the activity at hand, and vice versa. But the effect of ordinary body stimulus on hemispheric activity is generally subtle. One way to enhance this effect, however, is to anchor the L-mode and R-mode sensations achieved with eye patching. Anchoring is an NLP term, which refers to the setting of body triggers to elicit specific internal states.
You can easily create body anchors to elicit the desired brain mode (L-mode or R-mode) while doing the daily eye patching exercise. Choose a physical stimulus as anchor (e.g. standing on one leg or the other, pulling on one ear lobe or the other, etc.). Simply activate the chosen physical stimulus for about 30 seconds before switching the patch from one eye to the other to create and strengthen the anchor. For example, if you are patching the right eye to enhance R-mode (since L-mode is lessened), then before taking the patch off, stand on your left leg for 30 seconds (or pull at your left ear lobe for 30 seconds). Then when you want to create the sensation of right brain hemispheric activity without the eye patch, you can use your anchor of standing on your left leg. You would create an anchor to enhance L-mode similarly, by standing on your right leg for 30 seconds before taking the patch off your left eye (patching the left eye lessens R-mode activity and so enhances L-mode, and L-mode is crossed to the right side of the body).
1- Eye patching therapy was originally devised by Dr. Kaplan (Seeing Beyond 20/20; Beyond Words Publishing, 1987) as a way to improve eyesight through eye exercising. It was later discovered that the exercise had a calming effect on people and changed their perspective. Dr. Ranae Johnson, founder of the Rapid Eye Institute, recognized this benefit as due to the different modes of brain activity being activated, and adopted the technique as a ‘life skill’ for clients of Rapid Eye Therapy. Eyepatches may be purchased from the REI site at http://www.rapideyetechnology.com.
2 Eyes are crossed to the brain hemispheres. The right eye inputs to the left hemisphere and the left eye inputs to the right hemisphere. For most people, the left brain (accessed through the right eye) is the detailed, verbal, repetitive hemisphere. But some people are switched. A simple exercise to see which brain hemisphere runs in L-mode is to patch each eye and describe a room in your home. Which eye open leaves you feeling more irritable? That is the eye that should be patched to stop the destructive mind chatter
3 Handout by Joseph Bennette | 265 37th Ave Salem, OR | (503)-375-0146. Available in pdf format from his website ( new website address not known ) (retrieved in 2005)
5 Rudolf Steiner speaks of this in many lecture series. The lower the life form, the less the symmetry, and the less the symmetry can converge. For example, reptiles have eyes that diverge; mammals do not merge their symmetry in the limbs (will faculty). It is in the convergence that the higher ego sense of the human being arises.
6 For suggested activities during eye patching, visit Joseph Bennette’s website (see reference 3) under therapies. One interesting use is to learn speed-reading. The more you involve R-mode in reading, the less bound you are to internal verbalizing while you read, which creates an artificial speed barrier.
7 If it is not appropriate to patch (eg. in public or you don’t want the other person to know what you’re doing) then you would activate the right-side body anchor to enhance R-mode (or slow down L-mode). An alternative that may be available to you if you’ve practiced daily eye patching is to patch by intention, simply by imagining that you are covering your right eye. This is possible only if you’ve been doing regular patching, however.
8 http://www.cybersayer.com/eyesite/hemsphr.html (retrieved in 2005)