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More About the Bates Method of Natural Eyesight Improvement

"Can eyesight improve naturally?"

Many people have noticed that vision fluctuates--down and up. Many people notice that vision is worse during periods of stress, fatigue, illness, etc., and better when they are more relaxed, say, for example, in the morning or on vacation. The belief that eyesight cannot be better does not agree with many people's experiences  of eyesight. People who keep excellent eyesight are those who do not acquire poor vision habits during periods of stress. The key is relaxation.

Eyesight cannot improve naturally unless a person relearns good vision habits. Eyesight can improve, but progress depends upon the student's application of good habits. This is why guarantees and promises of improvement can never be given: it is up to the student to practice the good habits of natural seeing in order to see better.

Natural vision teachers have watched students improve eyesight for over 85 years. This is not a trivial program. It usually takes from several months to several years for students to achieve the vision they want. Dedication, practice, persistence and patience are necessary.

Are we supposed to accept a theory that eyesight is the only functional part of the human body that cannot improve?!


"Is old age responsible for deterioration of eyesight?"

There is some correlation between the type of blur someone has and their age. In industrialized countries, the majority of people who get blur early in life usually become nearsighted; the majority of people who get blur in mid-life usually become farsighted. The type of blur is related to the brain dominance of the individual. In any case, the blurry eyesight is caused by learning improper vision habits--which can be unlearned. Anyone can relearn to do something they used to do perfectly. Age is not an issue if the person has relaxed, proper habits of vision; in other words, a person is neither nearsighted nor farsighted when he or she maintains good vision habits. No difference has been observed in the rate of improvement between nearsighted and farsighted students. Usually it takes longer to improve eyesight if the person has a very strong prescription and if they have worn glasses for a very long time. This becomes a secondary concern, however, when students watch their eyesight begin to improve and realize that they have control over their eyesight.

Note that there are people who have never had any blur--even well into their 70's and 80's. Dr. Bates stated that the only time we can have blurry vision is when we interfere with our natural clear vision.


"Where is the proof vision can improve?"

The famous writer Aldous Huxley (author Brave New World), wrote a Bates natural vision improvement book called The Art of Seeing after improving his own eyesight. He took lessons from natural vision teacher Margaret Corbett, who trained with Dr. Bates.

Dr. Bates lowered the rate of nearsighted from 6% to less than 1% in 8 years in a program for school children in North Dakota.

Dr. Robert-Michael Kaplan, an optometrist, co-investigated a study demonstrating improvements of visual acuity as a result of relaxation: "...myopic persons could be trained to produce relaxation, which results in sharper visual acuities..."

Again, is it reasonable that any part of the body can heal and improve-except eyesight, our most important sense perception?

A person can experience immediately his or her own potential vision by making a small pinhole. Cover the eye that sees better with one hand. Then make a pinhole by curling up your forefinger and looking through it. Look at a place that is usually blurry. If done correctly, and if there is no pathology, the person will see more clearly. At a minimum, this vision is available when the external eye muscles let go of their chronic tension.

The "holistic," natural approach of Dr. Bates was rejected by his own colleagues. Dr. Bates and anyone who was interested in his work have been ostracized from the medical community. What can a natural vision teacher tell the established "authorities"? Bates Method teachers succeed because of the truth of their work and the many referrals they receive from students who have improved their sight.

Dr. MacKracken, M.D., trained under Dr. Bates and taught natural vision improvement in Berkeley, California for many years. Many case histories of improved eyesight are found in his 1937 book Use Your Own Eyes