Todd Becker is a freelance blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives with his wife and two children. He has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Philosophy from Stanford University and Brown University.  Todd currently works as a staff scientist for a biotechnology company in Palo Alto, where he leads project teams and holds more than 20 patents.

Todd’s philosophy of Hormetism is the result of years of personal investigation into the role of moderate stress in adaptation, as applied to health, nutrition, rehabilitation and psychology. By combining this research with a philosophical curiosity about the underlying similarities among these diverse fields, he is interested in how we might exploit this understanding to overcome challenges, adapt, and thrive in any of our endeavors.

Getting Stronger represents an attempt to bring together the research in these areas and place it within a coherent framework. But it is also about fostering active discussion, debate and refinement of these ideas in order to better develop the philosophy of Hormetism and find new applications.  Todd looks forward to your active participation in this dialogue, and he encourages you to post comments to this blog, and to visit the Discussion Forum where you can contribute your ideas and personal experiences.

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  1. Robin mn

    Hi Todd
    After about 2 months of print pushing,my range of focus has increased from 25cm to 30cm,occasionally to about 32cm.Though I am very happy with the progress I haven’t yet got hold of an under corrected specs.Does Zenni opticals work only within US.If so can you suggest an alternate as I am not a US resident.
    I have another doubt as to the brightness level to be maintained on pc while reading the Snellen.Thanks again for your article.

    • Todd


      1. I suggest Zennioptical for ordering undercorrected lenses. Best is to subtract 0.25 or 0.5 diopters off of each eye for your current prescription.Zennioptical’s website indicates they ship internationally. “A full list of the countries where we ship glasses is available on the Payment Page. When you click on the Country drop-down window, you will see the list of countries.”

      2. It is important to have good brightness for testing your Snellen. The best is to have full spectrum indirect mid-day daylight (e.g. through a side window less than a meter from the chart). Second best is to be in a brightly lit room with full spectrum lighting. If you are using a PC chart, the lighting should be moderately bright. Dim light will reduce your Snellen rating.

      Above all else, when tracking progress, use consistent lighting from one session to the next.

      • Robin

        Since the last time I have commented my eyesight has remained more or less the same with a occasional decrease.Is this the plateau that you were talking about.How long will one last on an average?

        • Todd


          A plateau in vision improvement can last months. And improvements can be quite sudden. How long has hit been since you started with print pushing or plus lenses?


          • Robin

            It has been about 2.5 months now

            • Todd


              You’ve made good progress if you’ve sustained your increase in focal range (to edge of blur) from 25 cm up to 30-32 cm at present. The rate of improvement will slow, and you’ll have good days and bad days. Your effective correction seems to be about 100/32 = 3 diopters. I was able to reduce my myopia from about 1.75 to zero in a year. Some proceed faster, others slower.

              Rather than continue the discussion here, I suggest you sign up for the Discussion Forum where there is a VERY active discussion of how to reduce myopia. There are many good tips, including the use of active focusing and distance gazing. Diet is also very helpful in accelerating progress.


              Good luck and see you there!


      • houdaloth ali

        Hi Todd.
        Lighting really does make the difference wether it’s reading a book or looking at a snellen chart or reading a car register plate.
        I have printed my own snellen chart out and like you kept it a meter away from the window of my kitchen.
        Today i was able to guess the words on the 20/30 line in the morning when my vision is much more clearer than evening when i believe vision declines due to fatigue throughout the day.
        I stopped wearing my glasses full time when i dropped out of college back in 1997 and only wore them when i went back on further courses or things like cinema, reading bus numbers and driving lessons.
        After 2001 i only wore them for cinema only and if i can remember only to read bus numbers.
        I eventually just went cinema without them and it was fine and only wore them for driving lessons in 2008 even though i took many lessons without them.
        Since 2008 i can read bus numbers and station train timetables were as previously i had to take my glasses and pop them on.
        I can also read the subtitles now in cinema but could not before.
        Things are not sharp which is why i am print pushing now.
        But the cold turkey method is the best for me.

  2. Hi Todd,

    I discovered your blog years ago, and was surprised to find that we share a surprising number of views, from intermittent fasting and cold showers to Stoicism. But when you put them in the larger framework of Hormetism, it makes sense that these seemingly unrelated habits and philosophies would go hand-in-hand.

    Have you ever considered writing a book and self-publishing digitally on Amazon? I realize that’s no small undertaking, but for the depth of topics you write on, I feel like a book would do it better justice. Articles tend to be short, cursory overviews of a subject, so that’s what people have come to expect from them, but with a book people are willing to commit a certain number of hours to digesting and understanding a concept.

    I know a lot of modern authors (James Altucher, et al.) will use their blogs as a place to play with new ideas and see the type of responses/questions they get, then as those ideas become more mature put them together in a more comprehensive framework in a book.

    Anyway, just a thought – was telling a friend about the site recently as some of the concepts came up in conversation, but realized I don’t really know where to link him to to start.

    • Todd


      Indeed, I do intend to publish a book, for many of the reasons you suggest. I have it outlined, but can’t say for sure when I will get it published. In the mean time, I’m using the blog and speaking engagements to develop and extend some of my ideas.

      Years ago I was debating whether to write a book first and then start a blog, or launch the blog first. I’m glad I chose the latter, as interaction and challenges from readers have helped me to refine and improve.


  3. Angela

    Hello Todd,

    I’ve just discovered print pushing and I am eager to try! I have some questions though. I am extremely myopic, with -7.00 in my left eye and -7.75 in my right. Because of this, my right eye cannot see as far as my left, so if I were to do print pushing, should I focus on one eye at a time?

    • Todd


      It is actually the norm to have different degrees of myopia in each eye. This does not pose any difficulty for print pushing as long as both eyes are strongly myopic. However, when your stronger eye gets within range of normal vision (less than -2 diopters correction) then you may want to consider patching or the use of diffusers to prevent the strong eye from dominating, allowing the weak eye to work harder and catch up. This is discussed on the Forum — I encourage you to register and add your comments and questions there:,8.msg2850/topicseen.html#msg2850


  4. Michelle

    Great articles on myopia prevention, especially helpful for children of school age. After reading all the original books and studies from Stretching your Eyes, to the recent websites for plus therapy, the only question that remains unanswered is whether the newer apsherical plus glasses will have the same benefit as the traditional spherical (and thicker) plus reading glasses.

    The original autho of “Stretching your Eyes” specifically stated that spherical glasses were used and made no mention of apshericals – which I assume weren’t invented back then. He also stated that perceived astigmatism was not catered for in the +1 therapy because it would eventually encourage the eye to develop permanent astigmatism in children. So I would question any prescription for astigmatism in the plus reading therapy method and most likely remove it altogether. I am hopeful someone can comment on here whether apsherical glasses work as well as the older spherical type.


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