Imagination Helps 165
A mental picture of a letter can, as a rule, be made to swing precisely as can a letter on the test card. Occa sionally one meets a patient with whom the reverse is true; but for most patients the mental swing is easier at first than visual swinging; and when they become able to swing in this way, it becomes easier for them to swing the letters on the test card. By alternating mental with visual swinging and shifting, rapid progress is some times made. As relaxation becomes more perfect, the mental swing can be shortened, until it becomes possible to conceive and swing a letter the size of a period in a newspaper. This is easier, when it can be done, than swinging a larger letter, and many patients have derived great benefit from it.
All persons, no matter how great their error of refrac tion, when they shift and swing successfully, correct it partially or completely, as demonstrated by the retino-scope, for at least a fraction of a second. This time may be so short that the patient is not conscious of improved vision; but it is possible for him to imagine it, and then it becomes easier to maintain the relaxation long enough to be conscious of the improved sight. For instance, the patient, after looking away from the card, may look back to the big C, and for a fraction of a second the error of refraction may be lessened or corrected, as dem onstrated by the retinoscope. Yet he may not be con scious of improved vision. By imagining that the C is seen better, however, the moment of relaxation may be sufficiently prolonged to be realized.
When swinging, either mental or visual, is success ful, the patient may become conscious of a feeling of relaxation which is manifested as a sensation of univer sal swinging. This sensation communicates itself to any