September 24, 2021
2 minutes to read
Biography / Disclosures
Wallace is the past president of the College of Syntonic Optometry and the past president of the International Light Association. He has a private practice in Ithaca, NY, conducts workshops and conferences around the world, and publishes articles on vision therapy, syntonics (colored light phototherapy), and preventive eye care.
Disclosures: Wallace does not report any relevant financial disclosure.
Up to 60% of the adult human body is made up of water – even more if you count the intracellular fluid. About three-quarters of the brain is water, and the eye, of course, is filled and bathed in fluid.
Larry B. Wallace
Most people tend to view this water in us as neutral or inactive, but in fact it plays many critical biological roles throughout the body, brain, and visual system.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), for example, bathes the central nervous system, serving as a shock absorber and helping to maintain brain homeostasis. CSF circulates nutrients, filters chemicals, and drains waste products through the lymphatic system.
Although much of this fluid is in liquid form, some is found in the fourth phase of water (beyond the three traditionally accepted phases of solid, liquid and vapor). This water phase, a gel-like crystal structure known as the exclusion zone or structured water, extends from hydrophilic surfaces, including the epithelial wall of the ventricles of the brain. One of the main functions of structured water is to absorb photons and store their energy for metabolic processes.
After a brain injury, CSF congestion can further compromise brain function and affect almost every system in the body, in part by disrupting the hypothalamus and decreasing the production of neurohormones. Fluid stasis is involved in binocularity and oculomotor problems, as well as dysfunction of the parasympathetic nervous system and non-imaging visual pathways. We know that these pathways – which help with spatial awareness, balance, sleep, and many other functions – are strongly affected by light.
As optometrists, we can use light to help restore fluid circulation after brain injury. Syntonics, or optometric phototherapy, can stimulate the energy pathways in the hypothalamus, activating the parasympathetic system to produce more CSF and relieve fluid stasis. Focused light energy can also be applied to cranial nerves or extraocular muscles to more directly affect vision and oculomotor abilities.
This is an exciting emerging specialty that there is much to learn about. I encourage my colleagues to learn more about syntonics (Spitler) and structured water (Pollack) and the role they can play in optometric rehabilitation.
- Pollock GH. The Fourth Phas of Water: Beyond Sold, THEliquid and Vfor. Ebner and son, 2013.
- Spitler RH. The syntonic principle: its relation to health and eye problems. Resource Publications, Eugene, OR; 2011. Available from the College of Syntonic Optometry (CSOvision.org).
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Larry B. Wallace OD, PhD, is the past president of the College of Syntonic Optometry and the past president of the International Light Association. He is the inventor and patent holder of the first microcurrent device to treat diseases of the retina. In addition to his private practice in Ithaca, NY, Wallace holds workshops, lectures around the world, and publishes articles on vision therapy, syntonics (colored light phototherapy), and preventive eye care.
Wallace will be giving a course on the cerebrospinal fluid system and its role in neuro-optometric rehabilitation at the NORA 2021 virtual conference. For more information and to register, visit www.nora2021.com.
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