It is a pleasure to welcome all of you who decided to try the unconventional methods of visual improvement. These methods were described as early as 100 years ago by the excellent American ophthalmologist, Dr. William Bates, and since then, have been developed and applied with success in the whole world. Being founded on the years of experiments and research, they show us how to naturally invigorate the vision and give an idea on the correct seeing and vision process which is so impaired in the today’s computerized and technology-rich world. This site is:
Doctor William Horatio Bates (1860 - 1930) – in his time, one of the best eye doctors of the renowned hospitals in New York; lecturer of ophthalmology; also the private medical practitioner. Spent his entire life on studying the functioning of the eyes and visual process.
In 1919, he published the book entitled The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses in which he went so far that he disagreed with the generally accepted Helmholtz theory of vision (which in fact has prevailed until today). This theory is based on the thesis that the acute vision is conditioned by the small ciliary muscles located in the inside of the eye, which reputedly “control” the thickness of the lens. Helmholtz attributed them a main role in the process of accommodation. Doctor Bates came to the conclusion that the main accommodation tool is not the lens, but the external eyeball muscles responsible not only for the eyes movement, but also lengthening and shortening of the whole eye in its front-rear axle (in a similar way to the lens of the camera or binoculars). The experiments conducted by Bates proved that this theory was legitimate.
He explained the clear seeing of near objects by the work of the two (external) oblique muscles flattening (lengthening) the eyeball (just as when sitting on a ball), and the process of seeing clearly the distanced objects – by the work of four (external) rectus muscles pulling (“shortening”) the eye in the opposite direction. The Bates’ beliefs that the eye functions in this way (through the eyeball external muscles) are supported by the unexplained cases of clear seeing by the persons who have lost their lens due to this or that reason (for example, the cataract) or were born without it.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You should visit the eye doctor for many reasons. First of all, he is able to identify your visual defect, which makes the choice of exercises easier and promises the improvement of vision. A visit at the specialist further allows to identify the abnormal changes in the eye, degeneration, cancer or other eye diseases that may be the contraindications to the exercises.
The portal BatesEyeExercises.com shall not be held responsible for the results of the presented exercises. In all cases, you should consult the eye doctor as to whether these exercises are safe for your health.
In order for the eye to perform the exercises, it needs to be active, and it will not be if we put a well-fitted “prosthesis” on it, such as the glasses. Generally, I advise the following approach:
The use of glasses of lower capacity than our defect will induce our eyes to work. At first, it is inevitably going to be a certain effort, but a week or two, and your eyes will be invigorated. You will then begin to see what was very blurred and practically invisible before.
So, remove your eye "prosthesis" and start to practice…
It is a good question which has only one answer: spend all the time you have for the practice. If you can devote to your eyes only 5 minutes a day, then practice for 5 minutes per day, and if you can practice for 1.5 hour daily, that is excellent. A detailed plan prepared according to your visual defect and amount of daily time available for the practice can be downloaded in the exercise plan generator section.
It is also important not to make too much exercises in the beginning. Start to increase gradually the time of practice bearing in mind the major importance of relaxation and devoting most of your time to relax. The more straining exercises to your vision should be used in moderation. Observe your body and especially the eyes. They will tell you when you do too much and need to take a break. If you feel that you have strained the vision, use one of the relaxation exercises (palming mainly).
Vision exercises are not the same as weight room practice. This is more concerned about relaxation of muscles rather than strengthening. Understanding this is a key to success, and is not easy as the forms of dynamic and passive relaxation of vision and whole body are little known and seldom used in our culture.
The first positive signs of improved vision can be observed by most people already after the first 2 weeks. However, the seriousness of visual defect and preparation for practice (at least 0.5 h a day + the use of proper glasses) are the key factors here. It can be assumed that on average our vision improves by 0.5 diopters within 2-3 months at a minimum of 2 daily practice sessions of 20 minutes. The serious improvement (especially the one that could be confirmed by the eye doctor) is yet to come.
However, the fact is that in the case of the defects that have developed for, to say, 10 years, it will not be possible to achieve the success in half a year. The recovery of normal vision is going to come gradually, but in a shorter period of time than development of the defect itself.
As in many fields of life, the vision practice has its moments of discouragement, fatigue, lack of observable progress and even a temporary deterioration of sight. How to cope with that? Based on my experience, in such a case, I suggest to refrain from the exercises for a week or two and find yourself other activities.
Go out on the swimming pool or to cinema, visit the distant family, so in other words, go on a short "holiday from practice". The most important is not to fall in discouragement and apathy, as this may ruin the progress and thwart our time.