Does Palming Really Work? Science Answers

So I am doing research on Palming since it has been a trend going in eye improvement. Upon researching for the method, what it does and what science and experts say about it, once again I want to share this knowledge using this article. The question we will be answering is does palming actually improve eyesight.

Palming provides a temporary improvement in eyesight. This is because palming is a technique which can actually relax the ciliary muscles inside your eyes. The relaxation of the eye muscles gives it a boost so that once you start using it again, it can function better compared to when it is tired.

Palming is perfect for eye relaxation as it relaxes the strained eye muscles, especially if you are doing close-up work. But there are experts which are against it. Actually, a lot are against it. However, that doesn’t mean that palming is the only way for eye relaxation. In fact, in this article, I will prove that actually palming works and what health experts are recommending you to do if you decide not to do palming.

Does Palming Improve Eyesight?

Palming may improve eyesight. This is because it relaxes the muscles inside your eyes. Particularly, it relaxes the ciliary muscles which are muscles that control the lens of your eyes. If the ciliary muscles are in good condition, you can actually see better compared to when it is tired or fatigued.

So how does the ciliary muscles cause this? If you are a visual type and prefer a video explanation, here is a video explaining how this works.

This video does not only explain myopia, but pseudomyopia which is caused by the spasm of your ciliary muscles.

So what is ciliary spasm? Ciliary spasm or spasm of accommodation is a phenomenon where your ciliary muscles are tired. In science, accommodation means that your eyes are adjusting their focus depending on the distance of an object. So in short, the ciliary muscles are tired and spasm due to the eyes focusing objects for too long. Particularly, close-up work.

This is because when we do close-up work or near work, our ciliary muscle contracts and when we look at things that are far away, it relaxes.

Now to explain it better, consider a man carrying weights. The longer they use their muscles, over time it will tire out and may spasm.

That is ciliary spasm. The spasm of the muscle inside your eyes.

This causes a phenomenon called pseudomyopia. Pseudo means fake and myopia means nearsightedness.

It is fake nearsightedness because myopia is defined as the elongation of the eyeball, and the cause of this temporary nearsightedness is that the ciliary muscles are tired.

Now that we’ve discussed palming and if it can improve eyesight, the question is now how does palming relax or what does palming do to our eyes.

Source: Lindberg L. Akkommodaatiospasmi [Spasm of accommodation]. Duodecim. 2014;130(2):168-73. Finnish. PMID: 24605432.

What does palming do for your eyes?

Palming works by applying heat, and temporarily removes light from reaching your eyes. These two relaxes your eye muscles which in turn helps in your vision. Although a temporary relief, it can instantly make your vision clearer especially if your eyes are fatigued or strained.

To make things easier to understand, imagine in sports where people use warm or hot compress to relax the muscles of the athletes. Applying heat actually relaxes the muscles. Same with the eyes. With palming, you are relaxing your eye muscles. Particularly, the ciliary muscles.

This in turn relaxes the eyes and gives a temporary relief and vision improvement.

The other is that since it blocks light, the ciliary muscles were able to rest and relax. This is because the job of the ciliary muscles is to refract light so that it can focus in our retina.

Ciliary muscles control the lens which refracts light.

If they are in a good condition, which means that they had a good rest and not tired, it can do its job better. This is the reason why people experience a temporary vision improvement after a session of palming.

Blocking light removes the load and relaxes your eye muscles. This is because it can have a rest from doing its job which is to refract light.

By combining this do, this is how palming method works.

Why do people do palming?

People do palming as a form of eye relaxation. Doing this gives them comfort for their eyes as the muscles inside the eyes are getting some rest. People who also work in a job where they are always doing close-up work, also does palming to relieve eye strain caused by a long time in front of a screen.

Relaxation is the main purpose of palming and it does the job really well. Palming is an easy-to-do, risk-free and free way to relax your eyes.

If you are interested in palming, here is a simple quick tutorial in doing it.

  1. Go and Find a Comfortable Area – Some people do it in the chair, some standing, or some in the table. It doesn’t matter as long as you are relaxed and comfortable.
  2. Sit or Stand Straight – Most people who do this exercise usually do it in an upright position. This means that their neck and back are straight.
  3. Warm your Hands – This can be done by rubbing your hands with each other. The friction from those two hands will form heat which will warm your hands.
  4. Cover your Eyes with the Warmed Hands – Cover your eyes with the warm hands, this causes heat to transfer to your eyes which will relax the eyes.
  5. Completely Block the Light with your Hands – Most people get this wrong but you need to cover your eyes completely to block off the light. Remember that you need to completely rest your ciliary muscles and one of which is to remove its load temporarily which is to remove light.
  6. Do not rub – Most people also rub their eyes which causes more harm than good, remember that rubbing can cause eye trauma which may lead to problems. Just cover your eyes and don’t rub them.
  7. Repeat when Necessary – There is not a particular time or how much you should do the exercise. If you feel that you still need to do it for relaxation, then continue doing it until satisfied.

However, there are experts that are against palming and what better way to discuss it by giving the alternatives they suggest we do to relax our eyes.

What are Alternatives to Palming that Experts and Professionals suggest?

Palming is actually not the only method for eye relaxation. In fact, there are lots and here are the methods experts suggested instead of palming.

  1. Sleep – This might be the best way to relax your ciliary muscles. A good sleep actually relaxes your ciliary muscles deeply way better than all of these methods. The only problem with sleep is that you can’t do it all the time.
  2. 20/20/20 Rule – This is what most experts recommend. It involves looking at objects 20 ft. away for 20 seconds after doing close-up work for 20 minutes. This relaxes the ciliary muscles which contract when you do close-up work.
  3. Look at Far Away Objects – This is another simple way to relax your ciliary muscles since ciliary muscles relax when looking at faraway objects
  4. Eye Compress – An optometrist recommends this instead of palming for a simple reason. This prevents rubbing. Remember that rubbing causes problems and may damage your eyes. Eye compress on the other hand does not move so rubbing is less likely.

Remember that all of these methods work by relaxing your ciliary eye muscles. So you can choose to do one of them or all of them, the result will be the same.

Note: Eye compress is very simple, just use a wet towel, put it in warm water, remove excess water and place it in your eyes. This can block light and also warm your ciliary muscles like palming method.


Doing Palming exercises doesn’t cause harm to your eyes. The only thing to worry about doing this exercise is you might rub your eyes during the exercise. Be careful with rubbing since it may cause some damage to your eyes.

This may cause tear and if you plan to do palming, better take note of that.

But there are no negative sides to Palming other than rubbing. If you are interested in trying the practice, it is perfectly fine to do so.

It can give a good amount of time to relax the ciliary muscles inside your eyes. Thus, it can give a temporary relief from eye strain and temporarily improve your vision.

So by no means, if this is the method you want to do since palming is easy to do, do it.

There are just alternatives that experts will recommend than palming but the results and how they work are the same.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on

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