Exercising your body makes it stronger.
So can exercising your eyes make your vision stronger.
The Bates method is an alternative therapy aimed at improving eyesight. Eye-care physician William Horatio Bates, M.D., (1860–1931) attributed nearly all sight problems to habitual strain of the eyes, and felt that glasses were harmful and never necessary. detailing his approach to helping people relax such "strain", and thus, he claimed, improve their sight. His techniques centered on visualization and movement. He placed particular emphasis on imagining black letters and marks, and the movement of such. He also felt that exposing the eyes to sunlight would help alleviate the "strain".
Still, like many alternative remedies, natural vision correction has supporters among some practitioners of holistic medicine and their patients. If you are looking into natural vision correction, here's some background to help you understand the issue.
Smashing Standard Thinking About Glasses
The origin of natural vision correction dates back more than 90 years to William H. Bates, MD. He was an ophthalmologist who wrote Perfect Sight Without Glasses. Bates felt so strongly that wearing eyeglasses over the long term made vision worse that he kept an anvil in his office to smash patients' lenses on it. He called his idea the Bates Method. It promoted relaxation as the solution to poor vision. Still used today, techniques include palming or covering your eyes with your hands, sitting in the sun or in front of a lamp with your eyes closed, doing eye exercises, swaying, and looking for certain colors.
Assumptions of Bates Theory
The thing that seems to be most characteristic for Bates is his approach to the patient and his/her disease. Bates would not ponder like almost all eye doctors on the optimal glasses for the patient. He rather thought how to really help the patient, that is, how to cure him/her from the defects so that the patient could see normally. The main assumptions of Bates theory are as follows:
Recovery of Good Vision is Possible
One of the main assumptions of Dr. Bates was the ascertainment that just as a broken limb can be brought back to normal functioning as a result of rehabilitation exercises and treatment, the organ of vision can be brought back to the full functioning in terms of acuity in the same way, not having to use the glasses.
Abandoning Artificial Lenses and Glasses
According to the assumptions of Dr. Bates, the artificial lenses and glasses are the same thing for the eyes as crutches for a person whose broken leg has knitted. If a person with the visual defect does not abandon the peculiar crutches for the eyes (the glasses) and take up rehabilitation treatment, that is reeducation and improvement of the organ of vision, he/she will not improve the vision, but quite the contrary, has to be prepared for the deterioration of vision and the use of even stronger glasses prescribed by the eye doctor.
Acuity is Variable
One of the assumptions of Dr. Bates was the thesis that the acuity varies from high to low and vice versa according to the physical and emotional state of a person. Bates found that the vision does not stay permanently at one level of quality but changes all the time.
Reeducation of Vision, That is, the Abandonment of Bad Habits
Dr. Bates came to the conclusion that most visual defects are due to the incorrect use of the organ of vision. Bad habits related to the use of the eyes are always closely linked to their strain and stress. The stress affects the whole body in the same way. Dr. Bates found that with the adoption of good vision techniques (including especially the relaxation techniques), the stress in our eyes and the whole body is lower. Such was the effect of the adoption of methods of eyes and mind relaxation, which resulted directly in the improvement of sight and lower refraction error.
Relax as the Key to Success
In Bates method, the ability of passive and dynamic relaxation is the first and basic technique improving the vision. By relaxation, I mean not only the general ability to relax the muscles, but also the relaxation of mind which is a condition for the process of vision to occur. In many cases, the relaxation techniques used by Bates turned out to be sufficient for the improvement of sight.
The Basic Techniques Used by Bates
I am going to limit myself to give only the names of the basic techniques used by Bates among his patients, which gave good unexpectedly good results in the treatment of visual defects. The techniques are specifically explained on this website in its appropriate sections. These are: the relaxation of body and eyes, palming, central fixation, light exposure, swinging, visualization, blinking, micromovement of the eyes, flash technique, analytic seeing and many others that we will try to discuss here.
Containing an overview of Bates Method Techniques and how they work to restore eyesight.
Perhaps the simplest of all the techniques, Palming is also regarded as a foundation for learning how to relax the eyes and mind.
Sunning is the simplest application of light to the eyes, this technique provides a similar foundation for the eyes as Palming. Together they provide the basis of all vision: the discernment between light and dark.
The Swings introduce the vision and mind to movement in the world. This section contains descriptions of five different types of visual swing.
The Sway is also an excellent method for learning to see movement in the world.