Bates Method Overview
Imagine going through your day seeing clearly without glasses or surgery. Many thousands of people have reduced their prescription or stopped wearing glasses altogether using natural methods. Nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatism, reading glasses, and other conditions can be helped.
Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, was going blind and reading Braille when he met a “Bates Method” natural vision teacher. Eye doctors had given up on him. Huxley regained his sight and wrote The Art of Seeing to explain how our stressful culture breeds poor eyesight. He explained that “dynamic relaxation” is required to see clearly and to think clearly.
The pioneer of natural vision improvement methods was Ophthalmologist William H. Bates. He noticed that people with poor vision stare and strain, trying to see everything at once. But he found that people with perfect sight easily and continuously shift their attention. All that shifting sounds like a lot of work, but brain science tells us the mind needs constant movement to relax and do its job.
Each eye has six “extra-ocular” muscles to move it in all directions, and a seventh muscle to adjust the lens of the eye for close vision. These muscles around the eyeball are similar to your fingers holding a pen when you write. Some people write easily and effortlessly. Others grip the pen so tightly they get cramps in their hands. Imagine your eyes being under this kind of pressure – that’s exactly what the Bates model says is a key factor in poor eyesight.
Natural vision improvement is not a medical treatment. It’s more like meditation and yoga. Most people succeed best with a mix of explanation, activities, guided visualization, and other techniques to help them absorb natural vision principles. The common presumption that your eyes have gotten lazy is backwards. The natural vision approach suggests that your sight is blurred because your eyes strain and work too hard, and that your vision will improve as you rediscover natural ease in seeing.
How long does it take to reclaim your eyesight naturally? A person with a mild prescription and belief in the process may be back to perfect vision in a few weeks. A person with an extreme prescription may take much longer, even up to several years of gradual progress.
The Bates model says the limiting factor is almost always in the mind, not the eyes. People with multiple personalities demonstrate how quickly the eyes can see when the mind is ready. One personality may require strong glasses while another needs weaker glasses or none at all. In the book The Three Faces of Eve, Chris Sizemore used different glasses for her different personalities. Her eyesight changed each time her mind shifted. Similarly, people who improve their vision often report a mental shift that brings more ease and relaxation to their lives.
Many students find the side benefits of vision improvement even more exciting than clearer eyesight. Optometrist Ray Gottleib has been a leading advocate of the Bates Method and natural vision improvement for over thirty years. For himself and his clients he says the visual changes “provide tremendous growth and self knowledge.”
You can find dozens of books about the Bates Method and natural vision improvement. A few are written by optometrists. Most are written by natural vision teachers. However, many people who read these books fall into a trap. They conclude they need to do “eye exercises”, which can induce effort contrary to the relaxation that is needed. Many people who have tried to improve their sight find their first real progress when they learn directly from a natural vision teacher.
Of course you must wear glasses if you need them, to be safe and legal for driving. And you should have regular eye exams. But if you enjoy taking charge of your health, you may find natural vision improvement to be a rewarding journey beyond the standard realm of glasses, contacts, and laser surgery.
Greg Marsh created the groundbreaking home study program "Secrets of Regaining Your Vision Naturally" for Mercola.com in 2006. His new and updated program " Reclaim Your Eyesight Naturally Home Study Program" brings even better results. Greg's presentation departs from "eye exercises" which are widely available but have a low success rate, because the exercises mis-apply Dr. William H. Bates' essential point of relaxation and ease. This program teaches you subtleties of the Bates Method, using relaxation, imagination, and guided visualizations to help rebuild trust in your vision without straining to see. The program includes over 60 carefully arranged audio CD tracks to help you understand and feel how to let go of strain in your eyes, so you can succeed.