How a Mind-Eye Viewpoint Links Suitcases with the Moon
Mind-Eye Institute July 2019 Newsletter Updates
While rolling my luggage through the Netherlands airport terminal in Amsterdam, after finishing a presentation to cardiologists on how retinal stimulation can affect metabolism and cardiovascular health, I realized what a simple, helpful idea it had been to put wheels on the bottom of suitcases. We are celebrating the 47th anniversary of basically nailing a roller skate to the bottom of a suitcase, but have to comprehend that before someone patented that energy-saving idea, the United States was able to use complicated rocketry science and space technology in 1969 to put a man on the moon! The simpler idea took three years longer to conceive!
Simple ideas! That’s what the Mind-Eye Institute is all about, applying the simple concept that eyes and ears must be synchronized in order to use less energy and have greater awareness of surroundings. Just because someone hears well or sees well does not mean the two systems are functioning in concert with each other. Schools and workplaces assume they are, but patients are usually not tested for eye-ear connections even when experiencing problems related to learning disorders, attention problems, traumatic brain injuries, stroke or PTSD.
As I lifted my 32-pound suitcase onto the airport scale, the realization of differences between effort and ability especially struck home. I certainly was able to pick up the suitcase momentarily but could never presume to be able to carry it around like a purse for six hours. Managing a heavy suitcase is analogous to a person’s ability to see, listen and concentrate at the same time. A typical day requires a triad of support – energy, awareness and attention. But, if the mind and body are out of balance, for instance, if eyes and ears fail to work as a team, attention becomes split, diverted. For example, the luggage hurt my shoulder. The pain diverted my attention and required a greater expenditure of energy to cope — something I would be unable to do for multiple hours.
Just because someone can muster the energy to look at a small, specific visual target for 15 seconds in an eye doctor’s office does not mean that same individual can do it all day, every day. Ability is not equivalent to expended effort required. Yet, standard 20/20 eye testing does not determine whether or not sensory systems are synchronized or account for a fatigue factor over a long school or work day.
The mantra at the Mind-Eye Institute is to “leave 20/20 testing in the 20th Century.” We are always looking at the bigger picture, determining how a patient’s mind and body are able to adapt to environmental changes and prescribing with comfort as the optimum goal, rather than 20/20. Patients would rather have 20/25 eyesight and no headaches or sensory confusion than 20/20 eyesight and multiple symptoms.
Before concluding this letter and wishing readers a happy summer, let me give a welcome shout-out to Zemen Abebe, newly appointed president of the Mind-Eye Institute, who comes on board Aug. 5. She is bringing years of hospital-based clinical management and administrative experience. You can read more about her many accomplishments later in this newsletter. Also, please check out some of the features about our patients and their personal stories.
Deborah Zelinsky, O.D.
Founder and Director of Research
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Mind-Eye Featured in the News Media
Newspapers and television stations throughout the country have been reporting on the work of the Mind-Eye Institute. Read the articles below to learn more about what the Mind-Eye Institute is doing to pioneer change in how optometric evaluations are performed in the 21st Century.
Make The Connection
'Dr. Zelinsky Is Renowned'
~ Norman Doidge, M.D. & Clark Elliott, Ph.D., Dr. Patrick Quaid and Patricia S. Lemer praise her accomplishments:
"Zelinsky fit Elliott with a series of eyeglasses designed to improve the perceptual damage that made his life so difficult... Getting fitted for Zelinsky's eyeglasses is like no eye appointment you've ever had... Now, Elliott says, he is almost entirely symptom-free, able to problem-solve, multi-task and find his way easily — all abilities he lost in the auto accident in 1999. When he put on his Phase VI glasses he felt something that he hadn't felt for years: "I felt normal."
Review: 'The Ghost in My Brain'
- The Chicago Tribune
"One brilliant Chicago-area optometrist I know, Deborah Zelinsky OD, FNORA, FCOVD, has developed a unique, patented, easy-to-administer evaluation called the Z-Bell Test. This test measures the efficiency of integration between visual processing and listening....A 2014 study at Vanderbilt University found that children with autism do not synchronize their seeing and hearing...I have watched Dr. Zelinsky administer this test to disbelieving colleagues, who were astounded by its accuracy and results...Over the past two decades, the Z-Bell Test has become internationally recognized by the scientific community.”
- Patricia S. Lemer, Licensed Profesional Counselor (LPC)
"I visited Dr. Zelinsky, and she showed me how she can use optical lenses to alter sensory filtering, by directing light to different retinal cells and brain circuits. This can influence activity in the brain and the hypothalamus to better regulate body chemistry, sensory integration, and even some auditory processing. [Dr. Zelinsky] works frequently with patients working with learning and cognitive disorders as well as TBIs."
- Norman Doidge, M.D.
"I was delighted to have Dr. Zelinsky personally contribute to the book. Her wealth of knowledge in the area of visual development and visual processing is widely known, not just through her contribution of eye-care to the author of “The Ghost in My Brain”, but also via her Mind-Eye Institute and the lectures and training their provide. Dr. Zelinsky is not just college and a friend, but also a valued member of the neuro-optometric community and an invaluable bridge to other allied professions treating brain injuries. Her contribution to the book is deeply appreciated."
- Dr. Patrick Quaid, MCOptom, FCOVD, PhD
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