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How To Find Blind Spot Relief...

… And A Pandemic Recovery Cautionary Tale!

The Plot Prior To Learning How to Find Blind Spot Relief 

I work at a Soup Kitchen downtown on Sunday mornings. I get a lot out of it.  It reminds me of where I could be if one or two of my choices had been different. “There but for the Grace of God go I ….!”

I have been working there for almost 2 years now and there is a vibrant group of volunteers and staff who work together on a Sunday morning.

One of the volunteers is a Columbian lady. As pandemic restrictions were lifted in bars a few weeks ago, she suggested we have a social at the “Latino” resto-bar – a Spanish dance bar off Bronson St(opposite the McDonalds, just south of the 417 highway). An interesting spot, by the way, if you are looking for a fun and authentic Latin experience.

I love Latino music, so of course, I said yes, and 8 of us agreed to meet there on Friday night a few weeks ago.

Now up until this point, we had been wearing masks constantly when we were around each other in the Soup and now we didn’t need to wear masks.

I arrived uncharacteristically early (at 8 pm) and sat at the bar listening to the Spanish chatter (I speak a little but not too well) and watching (the fairly raunchy, I have to say) Latino pop videos!  The rest of the guys came in one by one.

Blind Spot and The Power of The Brain

A quick aside – I don’t know if you realize but each of your eyes has a blind spot.

This is where the optic nerve, which has no light detectors, enters the eyeball. But if you close one eye you cannot see the blind spot.

This is because the brain reaches into your brain bank of memories and experiences (even very immediate experiences) and fills in the blanks. So, if you are looking at a blank yellow wall with one eye the brain fills in the missing data and you see a complete blank yellow wall, not a yellow wall with a big black spot where there are no light detectors.

And the blind spot is quite large. I highly recommend you check yours out. To find your blind spot use the image and instructions below or go to this video link (in construction).

How to Find Blind Spot – Your Guide

Sit about a foot away from this image.

where-to find-the-blind-spot


  • To find your right eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your left eye.
    • Stare at the circle.
    • Move closer to the screen, then farther away.
    • Keep doing this until the plus sign disappears.
    • When it disappears, you found your right eye’s blind spot.
  • To find your left eye’s blind spot:
    • Close your right eye.
    • Stare at the plus sign.
    • Move closer, then farther away. Repeat.
    • When the circle disappears, you found your left eye’s blind spot.

A Big Self-Induced “Blind Spot”

For the last 2-3 years we have been wearing masks because of the pandemic mandates.

This is my theory as a nerve system guy – as adults, we expect to see full faces. So our brains subconsciously delve into our memory banks and fill in the “blank” caused by the mask. This more “normalizes” the situation and reduces levels of primal fear, due to not being able to use face recognition to work out who we are talking to and read what their intentions may be.

Indeed University of York neuropsychologist Erez Freud stated in the 2021 and 2020 research papers1,3 he helped author, “One thing that we need to take into account [is] that face perception is probably the most important visual ability that we have. We use face information not only to identify each other but also to determine their emotion, gender, even intention to some extent.”

Back To The Bar

The first to appear was a lady called Nancy (none of these are real names) and her fiancée John.

Now I had worked with her for over a year and always enjoyed our conversations but when she started to relax and removed her mask I just kept glancing at her – she seemed so much younger than I had expected and her lower face was a completely different shape than I had imagined.

By this time I was thinking, “Well I know Nancy looks a little different, but I have been working with Sofia (the Columbian lady) for 2 years and I know her professionally so I am sure I know what she looks like without her mask.

But when Sofia arrived with her husband I was wrong. Again she looked much younger than I expected. A young man who worked with us all, Andy was without his mask for the first time and whilst he looked almost like I imagined there was still something that was a little different.

Now, I am super sociable but all of a sudden, at a table full of friendly people I know, I felt strangely uncomfortable.

Dislocation of Expectations and Cognitive Dissonance

When I was in the military I worked with the elite forces – the Royal Marine Commandos, the Paratroopers, Special Boat Service (SBS), and Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers.

In elite training, there is a stress technique known as the “dislocation of expectations” – so, for example, at the end of a planned operation of a 40-mile hike and run they get to the end thinking the task is finished to be told there is another 20-mile run which gets interrupted 2/3 of the way through to go on a 2-mile swim.

The brain expects one thing and the body responds accordingly but when what is expected doesn’t happen or changes the brain revolts. With the elite force’s training, they are trying to encourage the mind to capitulate – to give up.

In day-to-day life, we often come across a similar phenomenon called “cognitive dissonance” which is when something we, or others, do is at odds with our beliefs or values.

For example, you call the Rogers call center for help, and you are put on hold listening to some pretty crappy music, or even worse, a list of the latest offers this business has, and then a robot voice tells us, “Your call is important to us” which after 15 minutes of being on-hold listening to an upsell clearly isn’t true or they would have employed more staff to take the call quicker and actually give you the service you deserve.

So the brain just starts to capitulate a little more. It gets confused.

And as BJ Palmer (the son of the first chiropractor, and visionary leader of the profession for over 60 years) once said about stray thoughts, “There is nothing that lives in your attic rent-free.” In other words – there is a mental cost to the unresolved ideas.

Bathroom Crisis

So, I am having fun at the bar, although I am feeling a little uncomfortable and I find myself staring at my colleagues more than I normally would.

Then I have a thought, and I have to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom, I look in the mirror. What if THEY are looking at ME and thinking “Who the heck is this guy – he looks way different than we were expecting!” And I feel super-uncomfortable which is crazy because I’m never the sort of person that worries about that stuff usually!

Thankfully when I return the Karaoke has commenced, and as there is nothing more disturbing than off-key Latino Karaoke I am suitably distracted but still feeling uncomfortable somewhere in the depths of my psyche.

In Conclusion

I am a 52-year-old Doctor who knows and understands why we have been wearing masks and how the brain works to fill in the gaps. And yet with a table of 6 people whom I had known for 2 years (although we all, to that point, wore masks), I felt strangely uncomfortable. My brain was in a state of cognitive dissonance and to be honest it wasn’t until a surprisingly long time had passed that the stress and discomfort levels dissipated.

So what must our children, such as the 5, 6, and 7-year-olds, be thinking when they sit next to a class filled with friends they have had for 3 years who are now without masks and their brains are in turmoil about what they are perceiving?  This may be even at a subconscious level,

Or the 2nd year high school student who has never seen their peer without a mask?

As we return to the normality of life without masks this will be a time of dislocation of expectations for sure.2,4,5

And Stajduhar & Freud in a second paper on how masks impair facial recognition in children demonstrated that our youth have facial recognition skills impaired by 20% compared to adults who were impaired by 15%  when wearing a mask.3

This is particularly worrying as they conclude this has a “significant effect on activities of daily living, including social interactions as well as other situations involving personal interactions such as education.”  This is “accompanied by negative consequences of social disengagement, a decrease in the level of social confidence, and a general decrease in the quality of life.”

The good news is that as a chiropractic doctor I know that after a period of interference (like the mask-wearing and recognition) the body and mind innately move towards balance or homeostasis. How long will it take for my innate intelligence to correct the “dislocation of expectations” of how colleagues should look? To be honest – so far I am not sure but I am thinking 4-6 unmasked encounters. But watch this space – I’ll report back!

Share this email with friends, loved ones, teachers, others who interact with children, and masked adults. It may help them understand and be comfortable with feelings of confusion as more people become mask-free.

I trust this helps somewhat. Have a fantastic week

Dr Craig

Helping you and your family do what you love … for life!

PS – I will do a video on this phenomenon on our Wellness Channel so click here to visit and subscribe and hit the bell for “All notifications” so you are informed when the video drops.

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