by Sophia Ruan Gushée
Podcast composer: Chris Robertson
Click here to download Dr. Grossman's free holistic eye health resources for Cataracts, Dry Eyes, Floaters, Glaucoma, Macula Degeneration & his Eye Exercise eBook.
Have you ever heard that your eye health—like your vision—does not necessarily have to deteriorate with age? And that some eye issues can sometimes even be reversed?
I had not. Until I recorded this podcast with Dr. Marc Grossman, a leading holistic optometrist, founder of NaturalEyeCare.com (the largest consumer eye care resource of its kind), and a respected author of 5 books. Most recently, Dr. Grossman co-authored the acclaimed Natural Eye Care, Your Guide To Healthy Eyes and Healing.
Listen to how one patient described her experience, which I will abbreviate slightly:
I am 82 years old and have been seeing Dr. Marc Grossman for 15 years. Having had success with other alternative medical professionals, I searched for a holistic eye doctor. I had no serious issues but wondered if there were methods to support me in keeping my eyes healthy. At that time my eyesight was 20/40 and I had minor cataracts. Through the use of homeopathic [remedies], I am delighted that, over years, my vision has improved to 20/25 in both eyes, along with decreased density of cataracts! I only wear glasses sometimes for reading and working on the computer. I am so grateful.
This experience shows me that with effective care I can progress, not decline, even at my age. Maintaining my good eyesight, even improving it, has given me a sense of opportunity and creative expansion to live every day fully and to look ahead with optimism!
Dr Grossman also experienced serious vision issues. He was legally blind from 3rd grade. But, at the time of our podcast recording last year in September 2019, his eye health had improved so much that he didn't need to use his glasses for about 90% of his waking life. He was 64 years old.
Dr. Grossman's perspective on vision and eye health is fascinating to me because I had to start wearing glasses when I was in 4th grade. And every time I went back to the eye doctor, which was at least once a year, I heard more bad news: I needed a stronger prescription for my near-sightedness.
My vision deteriorated so dramatically that my left eye became legally blind by the time I was in college, and my right eye was almost legally blind.
Both my father and grandfather had really poor eye health—like poor vision, cataracts, and glaucoma. Growing up, I often heard, Poor You. You have the bad genetics of your father and grandfather for serious near-sightedness. So I felt resigned to a destiny of lifelong eye problems.
Dr. Grossman, however, doesn't believe that are genetics determine our destiny. He estimates that genetics contribute to less than 20% of the perfect storm of factors that lead to eye issues. For example, he and I talk about how our technology use can strain our eye health. Dr. Grossman explains that In many third-world countries, the incidence of near-sightedness is less than 10%. But it's over 70-80% in high-tech countries.
Collectively, we spend billions of dollars for eyeglasses, contact lenses, and surgery on our eyes. But Dr. Grossman has experienced great success in treating his patients—over the past 40 years—with a more holistic and diverse approach so that there's less need for, or dependence on, corrective lenses and surgery.
In this podcast, Dr. Grossman shares the strategies that we can adopt for our eyes to enjoy more resiliency—or, as he'll explain later, flexibility and adaptability. I now have hope that my eyes don't necessarily have to decline with age, and that they could get better if I take care of them more holistically.
After recording this podcast, I have forever changed how I consider my eyes. I love that I now think of my eyes as an extension of my brain and my well-being.
This conversation is a wonderful reminder that it's never too late to improve the quality of not even just your eyes—but also your life! That's because Dr. Grossman's approach to eye care is also good for your body, mind, and soul. You’ll hear Dr. Grossman explain that, “We don’t see with our eyes, we see with our mind. If we can change our mind, we can change our eyes.” And he explains how our eyes and brain are connected to the rest of our body. He's full of really interesting perspectives!
In addition to being a leading holistic optometrist, Dr. Grossman is also a New York State Licensed Acupuncturist, and a well-known speaker on vision-related topics.
Dr. Grossman lectures nationally on topics such as Natural Vision Improvement, Psycho-Emotional Aspects of Visual Conditions, Vision & Learning, Holistic Integrative Visual Therapy, and Chinese Medicine and Vision Care. He also teaches workshops for health care professionals including physical therapists, chiropractors and body workers, social workers, occupational therapists and other optometrists. Dr. Grossman is a consultant to school systems, rehabilitation centers, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Dr. Grossman's background includes degrees in Optometry, Biology, Physical Education and Learning Disabilities, coupled with yoga, bioenergetics, nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, the Alexander Technique, and the Feldenkrais Method. His training provides the foundation for an integrated approach to vision and its influence on the body, mind and spirit of each patient. Dr. Grossman also founded the Rye Learning Center in 1980, a multidisciplinary center for learning problems. In 1996, he co-founded Integral Health Associates in New Paltz, New York.
Dr. Grossman has also authored or co-authored several books. In 1996, he co-created the book "Magic Eye: How to See 3D," which ignited a worldwide 3D craze for the rest of the 1990s. This led to a series of Magic Eye books, which would appear on the New York Times best-seller list for a combined 73 weeks. More than 20 million copies of Magic Eye books have been sold in more than 25 languages.
The company has cross-licensed with the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Marvel Comics, and many others. Retail clients have ranged from the National Institutes of Health to the Grateful Dead. You'll hear more about these books later in the podcast. It sounds like book sales now exceed over 30 million copies!
Dr. Grossman’s latest co-created book is titled Natural Eye Care, Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing. Natural Eye Care is a landmark guide written to empower readers of every age to support and preserve healthy vision through the health of the whole body.
Natural Eye Care has been a trusted, comprehensive guide to healthy vision and healing since its first printing in 2007. Dr. Grossman's book Natural Eye Care includes in-depth holistic, dietary and lifestyle strategies and recommendations based on peer reviewed studies, and Dr. Grossman's 40 years of experience. It integrates various modalities for vision care, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Yoga, Nutrition, Meditation, Essential Oils, Physical and Eye Exercises, and more.
It has been revised to include new research findings, technical advances, deeper understanding of the causes of eye disease and what to do about them. This updated second edition was published in 2019.
If you're interested in natural eye care for you or loved ones, this is a must-have book that can teach you a new way to consider your eyes--and your life!
Podcast composer: Chris Robertson
Click here to download Dr. Grossman's free holistic eye health resources for:
[9:06] “Eyes are tools for the mind” -- Dr. Marc Grossman
[11:12] How did Dr. Grossman improve his vision? He rarely uses his glasses at 64 years old.
[15:00] Integrative medicine = Western Medicine (Traditional Optometry) + Traditional Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture)
[15:34] For Dr. Grossman, what happened in 3rd grade that led to the onset of his near-sightedness?
[18:20] Underlying cause for most near-sightedness, besides possible emotional component:
[19:20] Technology offers many benefits, but we need everything in moderation.
[19:48] Digital addiction
[21:34] How Dr. Grossman's improved his eyes
[22:20] How long does it take to notice improvements?
[23:14] Visual hygiene
More on his website.
[23:40] How our habits affect vision
Flexibility and adaptability is important
[28:26] Visual hygiene
[32:00] How responsible is genetics for the outcomes of our eye health, generally?
[34:16] Eyes stop growing around 14 years old
[35:55] Resiliency: ability of eye health to be resilient at any age
Neuroplasticity (Norman Doidge, The Brain that Changes Itself): Embryologically, physioloigcally, neurologically, the eyes are brain tissues; they are outgrowths of the brain
[42:17] Influence of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and EMFs on eye health?
Toxic chemicals affect heart and brain, which affect your eyes.
[46:19] Visual hygiene
[47:40] Infrared saunas
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