Peter Heinrich is a dedicated family man and together with his wife Margie they have four children, three girls and a boy. They dote on their six delightful grandchildren, the latest being little redhead Nova Bligh born on 15 December 2015.
Born in Johannesburg of a German father and a Polish mother, he finished his schooling at Pretoria Boys High (Margie from Pretoria Girl’s High), did nine months of military training in Bloemfontein; and then studied Optometry at the Witwatersrand Technicon qualifying in 1971. He has worked in practices in Sasolburg, Benoni and Johannesburg, as well as doing part-time lecturing and supervision of student clinics at the Wits Technicon.
He opened his practice in Lyttelton, Centurion, the first optometric practice South of Pretoria, in September 1973 – which will make it 45 years ago in September this year!
He has enjoyed Clay Pigeon Shooting (achieving Northern Transvaal Colours), which formed the basis and inspiration for his research done on the effects of Light Therapy on shooting performance and other martial arts, as his dissertation for the post-graduate Sports Vision Diploma. This study entitled “Changes effected in optometric measurements and functional visual fields in athletes by exposure to syntonic stimulation” was published in the Journal of Optometric Phototherapy in the USA in April 2006.
His special interests are the Natural Rehabilitation of Vision through exercise, adjusting diet and supplementation, correcting bad visual habits and posture, controlling of the environment in the workplace and using other therapeutic interventions (including spectacles and contact lenses, if necessary) to remedy visual anomalies.
One of those interventions is Syntonic Phototherapy (Light therapy) which involves using pure spectral coloured lights which are shone into the eyes using specialised equipment. This stimulates optimal retinal function, improves binocularity and function (see Light Therapy). He has attended several courses and seminars on the therapeutic uses of light in Sydney, Australia and in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA. His son, Dr. Graham Heinrich, a qualified homoeopath, accompanied Peter and his wife Margie to Santa Fe where he too took the course in Syntonic Phototherapy. He now uses light homoeopathically to effect the relief of various conditions in his patients such as under- or over- activity of bodily organ systems.
Sports Vision (which he passed cum laude from RAU in 2004 doing post-graduate study) is a fascinating world of specialised spectacles, sport-specific safety frames, specialized contact lenses, and specific exercises to improve eye-hand and eye-body co-ordination and reaction times in different sports (see Sports Vision).