Chinese medicine eyes looking at eye chart healthy visionChinese medicine eyes looking at eye chart healthy vision

Chinese Medicine Eyes – Tips for Healthy Vision

 July 7, 2021

By  Juli Kramer

According to Chinese medicine eyes theory, healthy vision comes from a healthy liver. Your emotions, the foods you eat, and lifestyle choices you make all impact liver health, and therefore your vision. In this article, you will learn natural remedies to improve your eyesight and overall eye health.

Reading time: 6 minutes

Chinese medicine eyes theory - Your emotions and vision

Your emotions can weaken your vision. For example, if you often feel angry, especially at past events, you are more at risk for blurred vision, poor vision, dry eyes, or even excessive tearing.

The physical-emotional connection for healthy vision comes from the liver system

According to Chinese medicine, the liver system connects to the eyes. If your liver is out of balance, your eyes will suffer.

Negative emotions associated with the liver that can harm your vision include: 

  • Irritability
  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Rage
  • Blame 
  • Resentment 
Anger weights you down like a ball and chain Chinese medicine eyes

In Chinese medicine eyes theory, when you get stuck feeling negative emotions over long periods of time, it's like a ball and chain. You harm your liver and subsequently your eyes. This harm occurs because these mental states and emotions disrupt the flow of qi (healthy energy) in channels that run from your liver to your eyes.

Furthermore, the liver keeps other parts of your body healthy.

For example, a healthy liver means healthy:

  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Small muscles
  • Peripheral nerves
  • External strength
  • Gallbladder
  • Bile
  • Decision making
  • External genitalia.

An unhealthy liver system can lead to problems in one or more of the above areas. You might also experience numbness in your extremities and muscle spasms due to weakening of your sinews and blood vessels.

Therefore, if you have problems with any of these areas and poor vision or other eye conditions, you need to care for your liver.

Heal your liver, heal your eyes – Treat your eyes, heal your liver

According to Chinese medicine eyes theory, the connection between the liver and your eyes is reciprocal. When you treat one, you treat the other. You can improve your vision and treat eye and liver weakness through food, massage, qigong, and meditation.

Foods to eat for healthy vision

Leafy greens

Leafy greens help your liver which improves your vision.

Certain foods enter the liver channel more easily than others. Eating specific foods will nourish liver blood and qi for stronger eyes and vision, decreased anger and irritability, and fewer aches and pains.

These foods support the liver. BEFORE adding them to your diet, take the body type quiz to avoid foods that might not be healthy for your body type.

  • Leafy greens (dandelion greens, kale, bok choy, suk choy, chard, spinach)
  • Aduki beans
  • Beets
  • Bitter melon
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cayenne in moderation
  • Chives
  • Chrysanthemum tea
  • Cod liver oil
  • Daikon radish
  • Eggs
  • Flax
  • Garlic
  • Goji berries (one dose equals 7-10 goji berries; don’t eat too many)
  • Grapefruit
  • Green tea
  • Liver
  • Lime water
  • Mussels
  • Onion
  • Oysters
  • Pine nuts
  • Pork (grilled or roasted)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Strawberries
  • Turmeric
  • Vinegar

Chinese medicine eyes theory and foods that weaken the liver and harm vision

Fatty foods can harm healthy vision and a normal constitution

Fatty foods can harm your liver and healthy vision.

It is best to consume alcohol in moderation or avoid it all together. Some spicy and pungent food in moderation is good for the liver, but too much can be harmful.

Also, according to Chinese medicine eyes theory, it is important to eliminate foods that congest the liver like saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, excess amounts of nuts, and highly processed foods.

Eating habits can stagnate and congest the liver as well, so don’t skip meals, eat quickly, overeat, eat late, or eat when emotionally upset. Relax and enjoy the meal you prepared.

Avoid the following foods:

  • Spicy hot foods in excess
  • Greasy, fatty, oily, fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Processed, refined foods
  • Fruit juices


Eye massage to increase the flow of qi to the eyes and liver

As you read above, the eyes and liver are connected. According to Chinese medicine eyes theory, when you relax and massage the eyes you increase the flow of qi and blood to them. More blood means more nutrients for the tissues, healthy fluid levels, and strong eye muscles. In particular, the iris is linked to a healthy liver.

The following eye massage sequence activates qi and can also release negative emotions as you heal your eyes. 

You can also do facial massage with a gua sha stone to heal your liver and your eyes. Learn more about how amethyst supports healthy liver functioning and vision.


Qigong eye exercises

For millennia, TCM doctors have followed Chinese medicine eyes theory and prescribed exercises for their patients with blurry vision, red eyes, excessive tears, etc. These exercises work the muscles in the eyes, increasing the flow of blood and qi to both the eyes and the liver.

It is ideal to complete the exercises outside, but they are still effective if done inside.

You can follow along with the video or refer to the descriptions below.


Counting leaves

  • Take a walk outside
  • Pause at a tree and begin to count the leaves, pine needles, or twigs you see.
  • Start with objects close to you, move further away, counting all along the way.
  • Look at objects to the left, right, above, and below where you started counting.
  • If you do the exercise inside, count objects in a room, following the same pattern of moving around your focus.
  • Count for at least 1 minute


Rolling stars

  • You can do this exercise, standing, sitting, or even walking.
  • Roll your eyes to the top, really gazing above you.
  • Move them clockwise in a full circle, making sure to focus each step of the way, as best you can.
  • Repeat 8-12 times.
  • Now roll your eyes counterclockwise as you focus.


Angry eyes for healthy vision

  • Sit or stand in a comfortable position.
  • Open your eyes wide in an angry glare as you exhale. Imagine exhaling our stagnant Qi.
  • Inhale and relax your eyes. Imagine fresh Qi coming in as you relax your eyes.
  • Repeat 8-12 times.


Gaze near and far

  • Sit or stand in a comfortable position.
  • Interlace your fingers and raise your thumbs.
  • Lift your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
  • Focus on your thumbs then at a point 10 feet in front of you.
  • Go back and forth between the two distances 8-12 times.


Focusing on your thumbs

  • Stay in the same position as Near and Far.
  • Focus on your thumbs for several breaths.
  • Relax your arms down.
  • Hold your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, thumbs raised.
  • Relax your arms down.
  • Repeat 8-12 times.


Standing to nourish the eyes

  • Stand with your feet hip to shoulder-width apart.
  • Raise your hands to your waist, elbows bent, and wrists relaxed.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax the muscles of your face as you stand and breath deep, abdominal breaths.
  • Stand in this position at least 1 minute. You can work up to 10 minutes.


Whenever possible, take off your glasses and focus as best you can on objects in your environment. You can focus one eye at a time, in addition to both eyes.


Qigong exercises to heal your liver and emotions

Qigong is an ancient form of exercise that reduces stress and increases energy. As a result, you have more emotional and physical resources to overcome feelings of anger and irritation. By doing qigong regularly, you will feel more at peace and treat others with kindness. 

Being kind heals your liver, treats eye problems, and gives you healthy vision.

Becoming a Radiant Shenti member is a great way to start a regular qigong practice. Learn more with your 2-week free trial.

The following qigong flow gives you an immediate sense of peace. If practiced regularly, you will purge unhealthy toxins and stagnant qi from your liver to feel happier and see better.


Chinese Medicine Eyes - Tips for Healthy Vision

Johnson, J.A. (2000) Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy: A Comprehensive Clinical Text

Shen-nong The Liver from a Chinese Medicine Perspective

Juli Kramer


Juli Kramer is a certified qigong instructor. She also holds a diploma in Chinese Medicine Nutritional Therapy and multiple certificates in Chinese medicine. As a qigong and meditation teacher, Dr. Kramer understands the important role movement and meditation have on developing a healthy body and mind. Juli also has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Counseling Psychology.

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