PS: this post could be of serious relevance to anyone who has visual snow, palinopsia, migrane aura, or any other related visual condition. Here is a link to the video that I’ll be mentioning throughout:
I had been suffering from incredibly intense, full-blown palinopsia for 4 years and it finally reached a stage of severity where I was simply unable to cope. So one night I went about my usual bi-annual researching of Googling “how to cure palinopsia” in a desperate attempt to see if there had been any updates or success stories since my last search. I stumbled across this YouTube video called “Visual Snow relief” and so I clicked into it. I saw that it was a pattern of white noise with a bit of oriental music which lasted for five minutes. Seeing as my own visual snow came on at the same time as my palinopsia I thought that having a look at the video was worth a go as there was obviously some connection between the two. I looked at the comments on the video and all of them went something like this: “Tried this and it was great as it “froze” my VS for a minute but it came back again afterwards (sad face)”. I stared at the video for its 5 minute duration and had the same experience: my VS was frozen in place for around a minute and then resumed its original intensity after the minute or so had passed. However, what I decided to do differently from the rest of the people who made the comments was to stare at the video for a prolonged period of time. I download the video directly onto my computer and put it on loop on my VLC player and put the laptop right on my chest so it took up all of my visual field. I then proceeded to stare at the pattern of white noise for a full hour. I then looked around my room----
My palinopsia had been reduced by over 95%. It was barely noticeable. Also, my VS was frozen and I could see much clearer and my eyes seemed to almost have a higher frames per second and refresh rate (for anyone who knows what I’m talking about). The world seemed very smooth.
Now before I continue I don’t want to get anyone too over excited about this as I am not a qualified medical professional so THIS IS NOT TO BE TAKEN AS A PRESCRIPTION. I do not know if the nature of your VS and/or palinopsia is the exact same as mine and for all I know staring at the pattern for an extended period of time could have no affect or even make your symptoms worse. You need to have a look at it for 5 minutes first (make sure the video is taking up as much of your vision as possible) and see if that has ANY positive affect. If it does then I have good news for you: you have discovered the cure for your palinopsia and potentially even your VS. I say potentially regarding VS because my VS was not of a huge magnitude to begin with but it has gone down over the months after staring at this pattern as well.
And here’s the next part. This will take months. And months. And months of continued, repeated use for MULTIPLE HOURS. But if you’re serious about helping your visual condition improve then this is the level of dedication you’ll have to have.
What I decided to do was to treat myself as if I was both a medical professional and patient. I went about documenting the length of time I spent staring at the pattern and the impact it had on my symptoms. These are my exact records dating from April 2017. “VM” stands for visual meditation as that’s what I nicknamed it. The way I measured my symptom severity was by turning the lights off in my room and looking back and forth to see how intense the flash of the laptop’s screen was.
The first two weeks went as follows:
April 28th: 9.30pm. 30min VM. Symptom reduction from 9pts to 5pts.
…10.00pm. 30min VM. Symtpom reduction from 5pts to 3pts.
…10.35pm. 5min break. Symptom increase from 3pts to 6pts.
10.40. 60min VM. Symtom reduction from 6pts to 2pts
April 29th. 10.45pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 8pts to 3pts.
…11.50pm. 30min. Symptoms remain at 3pts
April 30th. 10.30pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 8pts to 3pts.
…11.30pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 3pts to 2pts.
May 1st. 10.20pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 7pts to 2pts.
…11.20pm. 150min. Symptom reduction from 2pts to 0.5pts.*
May 2nd. 12.30am. 60min. Symptom reduction from 7pts to 2pts.
…01.20am. 40min. Symptom reduction from 2pts to 0.5pts.
May 3rd. 10.15pm. 15min. Symptom reduction from 7pts to 2pts.
…11.00pm. 75min. Symptom reduction from 4pts to 1pt (break after 60min).
May 4th. 11.20pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 7pts to 2pts.
May 5th. 11.30pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 6pts to 1pt.
…1.00am. 30min. Symtom reduction from 1pt to 0.5pt.
May 6th. 12.20am. 30min. Symptom reduction from 8pts to 1pt**
…12.50am. 30min. Symptom remains at 1pt
…1.20am. 30min. Symptom reduction from 1pt to 0.5pt
May 7th. N/A (Alcohol drank earlier)
May 8th. 10.45pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 6pts to 1pt
May 9th. N/A
May 10th. 10.45pm. 60min. Symptom reduction from 4pts to 0.5pt
…11.45pm. 20min. Symptom remain at 0.5pt
May 11th. N/A
May 12th. 11.45pm. 15min. Symptom reduction from 4pts to 0.5pt
…12.00am. 45min. Symptom remain at 0.5pt
What this data should tell anyone who wants to use this method for tackling either their VS or their palinopsia or any other visual condition linked to VS is:
—> A. You will need to spend a lot of time staring at this fixed noise pattern. Especially at the beginning. I did not see any noticeable improvments unless I spent at least a solid hour staring at it. I recommend using that time to listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook. I initially listened to the music that accompanied the video in case the melody had some sort of positive unconscious benefit but after a few months I ditched the audio and the benefits were still there. It’s the visual stimulation that works. Also, please note that on May 1st* I spent nearly three and a half hours staring at this pattern and that was when I saw the most substantial drop in the symptoms. If you’re dedicated to improvement you will spend this amount of time.
–> B. This is your brain and it is not a linear equation. On May 6th** my symptoms were worse than the night before despite no explanatory cause. Also, throughout the months and still even to this day my symptoms are not entirely logical nor are they completely predictable. I could say that on an average day I walk around with my symptoms at 1 or 2 out of 10 and that after a good 45minutes of visual meditation my palinopsia will be at around 0.1/0.05 for the first 10 minutes and then maybe 0.5 for the rest of the evening. This may of course make you realize that technically the title of this post is incorrect: I still have palinopsia, but it is so reduced in its intensity that it feels like a non issue. There are times when I’m tired or been drinking or staring at a computer screen for a long time that the symptoms will ramp up to slightly higher numbers of maybe a 2 or a 3. Not VMing for a few days may also let the symptoms ramp up. But I never let this stress me out as I always know that simply staring at the pattern will reduce the symptoms almost in their entirety and that it can only get better and is under my control. The more time I dedicate to visual meditation then the better my condition will be and that sense of control and optimism and reduced symptoms is, as far as I’m concerned, worth while sharing. I am absolutely blessed to have found a cure. PS: if anyone’s wondering why it took me nearly a year to make this post, I wanted to make sure that there were no adverse longterm affects of using this method. It has also been quite a long emotional process to actually fully register and realize the reality that I’m free from my symptoms after all these years.
–>C. Time. Time. And more time. What the data recordings cannot show is the amount of time that I would benefit after visually meditating as well as the improvements on a day to day basis. The only answer to that question is that you need to put in the hours. The more I did it the longer I would benefit from the reduction and the more reduced it would be only a daily basis. Nearly a year on I still have minor symptoms but I know that if I put aside a few nights for a few 3 hour marathons then I would see a daily benefit even now. You need to measure yourself on a monthly basis rather than a weekly or daily and then after perhaps six months of visually meditating for 2 hours every second night or so (more if possible. I would definitely recommend putting in a few 3 hour runs) then you will get to the point where you actually don’t even bother staring at the pattern anymore because you don’t think about your symptoms as being a problem. I still like to do it now as a means of habit whenever I’m listening to podcasts to keep on top of it as I don’t want to take for granted what an unbelievable transformation this has been and let myself get complacent.
–> During my initial visual meditation sessions and especially throughout my extended sessions I would feel this absolutely sensational sense of relief right behind my eyes. Right directly in behind them. It felt like a sense of decompression/relaxation and even just typing this right now is giving me that feeling strangely enough… but to give more context, when I first got palinopsia I got it around the same time that I got tears in both of my retinas. After multiple eye examinations they concluded there was nothing wrong with my eyes and yet I was feeling this intense pain and pressure right in behind where my retinas are. Upon doing visual meditation for extended periods of time I would feel this pressure lifting and being released in an intensely pleasurable way. My intuition is telling me this probably has something to do with migrane aura. Could this technique be used to relieve people with migrane aura?
–> There is 100% a connection between computer use and my “brand” of palinopsia and maybe even palinopsia and VS in general. But not for reasons that have been previously suggested. It clearly has nothing to do with the nature of laptop/pc monitors as it is by starting at a laptop screen that I was cured. However, the origins of my palinopsia also involve my first real prolonged writing sessions. Hours upon hours I would stare at a blank and static microsoft office application or a piece of paper while imagining the intense scenes of my writing. The reason I emphasize static is that the ultimate elevation of my symptoms to insane levels and what caused me to seek out a cure was after I took up a job working in an office. There I spent 8 hours a day staring at a completley and utterly static and blank excel document. The notion of consuming static visual content makes sense for the nature of my palinopsia as it was a static environment that created the initial symptoms and the final escalation, but it was the consumption of extremely fast moving visual content that cured it. I know that there were obviously some other factors invovled as not everyone who inhabits a static environment gets palinopsia but there is without a shadow of a doubt a connection there for any researchers who want to look into this.
–> I know that I am not a doctor but I would highly recommend anyone who has just discovered that they have a medical condition like this: do not take drugs to cure it. Again, I’m speaking from intution and experience here and not a position of medical authority, but I truly feel that methods like this are the way forward. I would only recommend trying the medication route if you are unable to function.
I was just about to type “I honestly never thought I’d find a cure” but then I stopped myself. That’s wrong. I always knew that there was potential to find a cure. I had read books on how the brain was like plastic and I always had a ray of hope in me that knew that if something could get worse then it could always get better. I always had fantasies about going off to Tibet for a few months to meditate with the monks or pay an army of neuroscientists to research palinopsia to see if there was some way to improve the condition. And even if there was no cure then I always reminded myself that there are millions of people out there right now that can’t even see, and I’m there complaining that I can see too much! Don’t get me wrong I had my dark days and whenever life would get me down then the palinopsia always seemed ten thousand times more horrible than ever so I’m not underestimating what its like to have a condition like VS and palinopsia.
What I’d like to say to anyone who has palinopsia and this doesn’t work for is that the way I got through the hard years with it was to just accept that this was the way that I saw the world and that having the condition forever was not going to get in the way of leading a happy and succesful life. I tried to imagine how I’d feel if everyone else saw the world through a palinoptic lens and how I wouldn’t think anything of it as it’d be a normal way of seeing. I’d just accept it as a fact of life and move on. And so that’s what I did. I let go of my desire to control what I saw and just accepted that I was grateful for the ability to see. Period. I also reminded myself that some of the most exciting times I had in my life (I got palinopsia when I was 19 and had it all through college) were when I had full blown palinopsia and that my depressing childhood/teen years were without palinopsia yet I was way more miserable back then!! All of the great, great times I had for those four years were when my whole field of my vision was flashing like mad and the lights were flying all over the place and everything was trailling - but what I always remembered was to be thankful for the life that I had been given and to remember all the other people across the world who suffer from absolutely horrific medical conditions. All of us have our crosses to bear and that’s what helped me get through the anxiety and depression that having a condition like palinopsia brought. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be rid of it for a million reasons, and I hope that even if this doesn’t work for you that you’ll always keep that spark of hope at the back of your mind that there could be a way to cure your visual ailments in the future and that the plasticity of the brain knows no bounds. I suggest reading a book by Norman Doidge called “The Brain that Changes Itself”. That book gave me hope on the staggering transformations that the mind is capable of. That your mind is capable of.
If a problem can be made, then it can be also un made. Never forget that, and never give up hope.
Thank you for reading and I really hope this method helps you guys. Please let me know if it does and be sure to share this with as many people as possible who could potentially benefit from this.