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Eyes exercise is a set of massage methods aimed at promoting students’ awareness of eye-protection, improving blood circulation and relaxing muscles in ocular region, relieving asthenopia and preventing myopia.[1] It is based on a combination of traditional Chinese medicine theories about Meridian and modern neuromedicine and theories from medical gymnastics.

Eyes exercise is practiced only in Mainland China. All the elementary and secondary school students are required to do it together. Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China requires that the eye exercise should be practiced at least twice a day.[2]


History and developmentEdit

Beijing Education Bureau conducted a general investigation concerning the vision of students in primary and secondary schools. The result of the investigation showed that the number of students suffering from myopia was increasing as they grew older. The investigation also discovered that 10% of the primary school students, 20% of the junior school students and 30% of the senior school students were shortsighted. Owing to this astonishing result, Beijing Education Bureau started to look for some solutions to help students protect their vision or even improve it.

In that time, Liu Shiming, one of the heads at Peking University Health Science Center, had invented an exercise with eight sections to protect human vision. Therefore, the Beijing Education Bureau adopted Liu's invention as the original eyes exercise. In 1963, Beijing Education Bureau attempted to use the eye exercise in some primary and secondary schools and then widely introduced it in Beijing.

Following the example of the Beijing Education Bureau, other Chinese countries also introduced eyes exercise in primary and secondary schools. As the eyes exercise was widely practiced all over China, a second version of eyes exercise with five sections came out. In 1972, the sections of the eye exercise was reduced to four and this four-section eyes exercise was used until 2008.[3]

In 2008, Beijing Municipal Commission of Education and Beijing Municipal Commission of Health worked together to improve the version created in 1972 and introduced a new version.[4]


The first sessionEdit

Close your eyes and press the Cuanzhu acupoint which is located at inner end of the brows with the other fingers relaxed and placed on the forehead. Massage the area once per beat and do this 32 times in total rhymically.

The second sessionEdit

Put both of your index fingers on the Jingming acupoint which refers to the area between the inner eye corners and the nose, with other fingers making a fist. Massage the acupoint up and down once per beat, and do it 32 times.

The third sessionEdit

Press your index fingers on Sibai acupoint which is situated approximately 2 cm (0.75 inch) below your eyes, with other fingers making a fist. Follow the beats and rub the acupoint once per beat.

The fourth sessionEdit

Press your thumbs on your temple (the side of the head behind the eyes and in front of the ear). First, rub the temple in circular motions. After doing this four times, hold your thumbs still and use the second joint of your index fingers to rub against your eye sockets four times.

The fifth sessionEdit

Put both your index fingers and middle fingers on the Fengchi acupoint which is believed to be 10 cm (around 4 inches) parallel to the earlobe on the back of the head. Follow the instructions and knead the area once per beat.

The sixth sessionEdit

Use the thumb and index finger of both hands to massage the center of each earlobe, with the other three fingers curved naturally. Meanwhile, do the catch-earth movement using all toes of both feet to the beats of music.

Functions and effectEdit

As a result of doing eyes exercise by massaging the acupoint, not only do our eyes have timely rest from daily work[5][dubious ] and academic assignments, but it also helps to accelerate the blood circulation and bring nutrition to nerve. Doing eye exercises regularly contributes to protection of eyesight[6][dubious ] and prevention of short-sighted cases,[7][dubious ] especially among children and teenagers.


In the year 2007, internet celebrity and science writer Fang Zhouzi brought the idea that "eyes exercise is useless" forward.[8]

In 2012, a Sina user published a Weibo that said "eyes exercise has been harming Chinese youngsters for 49 years. Doing eyes exercise will not improve poor eyesight. Many students are doing this exercise with dirty hands that leads to severe eye diseases."

Experts have opposite opinions toward this issue. Some experts say that eyes exercise can improve eyesight is an assumption to absolute. However, its preventive and health-caring function should not be denied[9] The reason that the myopia rate of Chinese adolescents is high is mainly due to the heavy burden of study and over-use of electronic products.[10] Also, the existence of so many tall buildings in the city causes very narrow visual field, which may also give rise to this problem. Hence, preventing youngsters from myopia need efforts from all parties instead of placing hope only on the eyes exercise.[11]

In fact, eyes exercise did have some refinement to solve the problem of "doing exercise with dirty hands". In order to avoid germs on hand entering into eyes and mouth and infecting diseases, the new version has deleted those parts which involves touching the face with hand.[12]

Till now, there is still no official or scientific data to show to what extent eyes exercise can help protect the eyes.[13][14] A possible solution could be that the relevant departments of Chinese Government should carry out rigorous comparative research with multi-centers and substantial samples. Overall and scientific statistics are in high demand to conduct further researches on effectiveness of eyes exercise.[15][16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sina Family. "Expert: eyes exercise is health protection". Sina Corp.
  2. ^ Wu, J. "Education Ministry:School must keep organizing students take the eyes exercise twice a day". Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 6 June 2008.
  3. ^ Wang, C. ""Seek for the root":The origin of eyes exercise". Health Times. Retrieved 17 March 2005.
  4. ^ Li, Q.; Zhao, X. "Beijing spread new version of eyes exercise". People's Daily. People's Daily(overseas edition). Retrieved 4 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Eyes exercise help prevent xeroma". Domestic Doctor Online. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Meridian massage can prevent myopia". Jian'ke Net. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  7. ^ Song, J. ""The idea of uselessness of eyes exercise" should be stopped by wisdom". Phoenix net. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  8. ^ Fang, Z. (22 April 2007). "When eyes exercise become a tradition". China Youth Daily. Retrieved 22 April 2007.
  9. ^ "Weibo claimed that useless eyes exercise "harm" teenagers for 49 years". Yangtze Evening. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Eyes exercise:useful or harmful?". People Daily. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  11. ^ Li, X. "The harmless of eyes exercise is a groundless statement". Zhuhai Education Window. China Education Daily. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Two sides of eyes exercise". Xinhua Net. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  13. ^ Chen, S. "Education Ministry:eyes exercise has scientific evidence". Orient Morning. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Chinese encyclopedia online Eyes exercise Dispute". Chinese encyclopedia online.
  15. ^ "Chinese encyclopedia online Eyes exercise The effect of experiment". Chinese encyclopedia online.
  16. ^ Wang, C. "The true problem behind the idea of uselessness of eyes exercise". Chongqing Morning. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 June 2012.

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