Bates Method Eye Exercises to Improve Your Vision
Among other things, NLP teaches us the degree to which the mind can control the body.
And, it doesn't take long in the study of NLP to discover that the general public has accepted common beliefs, whether true or not.
Take eyeglasses, for example. Almost
everyone believes that eyeglasses are a good way to deal with poor
vision. People who buy into this often wear clunky apparatus on their
faces for years. Others put up with contacts or scary procedures on their
corneas. Let's see where this belief comes from, then consider a
new understanding. Maybe there's a better option.
For more than a century, doctors have been telling us
that the little ring of material that holds the lens is a muscle. See #15
in the first picture. They tell us that
we focus by using this ring to pull on the lens, stretching it, Imagine that! That little
ring does all the work!
Now, consider the large group of muscles behind the eye, as shown in a simplified
view in the second picture. It doesn't show the entire mass of muscle that's there.
Those muscles are what turns the eye from side to side and up and down. What if they
could work in unison to squeeze the eye? That would be a much more practical way to change
focus, wouldn't it?
If that turns out to be how we focus, then it would also make sense that we could
exercise those muscles, just like any other muscles, and refine our ability. That's
what I have done. Both of my parents wore glasses all their lives. All of my four
grandparents wore glasses. Yet, I don't.
About 20 years ago, I started to have trouble seeing clearly at a distance. 'Time for
glasses,' I thought. Then I happened across a book by a Dr. William Bates, called "The Bates Method for Better
Eyesight Without Glasses," written in 1929. His book was rather complex, nebulous, generally hard
to understand. But I did get the general idea, and started doing some exercises. And guess what?
My vision improved entirely! Ten years later, my vision started to fail for seeing up close.
I did more exercises, and it has come back almost entirely. My vision is really very good, and
I am far from needing glasses. Do I have scientific studies to back up my claim? No, all I can
claim is that my vision improved. I do have a little anecdotal evidence.
I published a freeware program way back in the pre-Windows
(DOS) days that contained some eye exercises. I recieved a few dozen letters (this was before
email) from people telling me the exercises worked. I never received a letter saying they
So. I leave it up to you. You can play with these exercises and see if they'll work for you.
I would recommend that you first check with an eye care professional, to make sure that
you are not one of those rare individuals who needs medical attention for a serious vision
You can run this computer generated exercise to improve close vision, or this one for far vision. Or just do the manual exercises, described below.
If you have trouble seeing up close, do these exercises with close objects. The right distance
is where things are just hard to see clearly. No so far away that they are clear, and not so
close that they are way out of focus.
If you have trouble seeing at a distance, you'll want to get as far away from the exercise
object as you can, without being so far away that you can't see it just because it is too small.
The good news is that anything from about ten feet away is pretty much the same as infinite
distance, so if you are in a small room, it will still be useful even if all you can do is
stand across the room.
#1. Rub your hands together vigorously until the palms are quite warm, then press them
gently to your eyes as they cool. Do this two or three times. This has a calming effect, You
have probably already noticed that you can see more clearly when you are calm than otherwise.
#2. Look at something distant for perhaps 5 seconds, then something close for five seconds.
Do this two or three times. It doesn't matter
if you see them clearly or not. You're just stretching your ability to change focus. Do this with
both eyes together, then with one eye gently covered, then the other.
#3. For those who would like to improve distant vision, look at a distant object that has a clean vertical
line such as a telephone poll. For those who want to improve close vision, look at something
with a clearly defined vertical edge, such as the letter I or the edge of a sheet of paper. Do not strain
to see this vertical edge, Just let it be as clear as it will, nothing more is required. Do this for
just a few seconds, first with both eyes, then with one eye gently covered, then the other covered.
That's all there is to it!
Here's where the magic comes in: For this to really work, you can do it ten
times a day. They can be random times - whenever you think of it. Since these exercises
take only a few minutes, ten times a day will be easy. If you do it ten times a day,
you'll probably discover, as I did, that the improvement comes quickly. Sometimes within just a week or two.
About your specs: You've come to depend on your glasses or contacts. You really, truly don't want to
do these exercises while wearing your glasses. In fact, you'll probably do best to start
removing your glasses as much as you can - all day, every day, to the extent that you can.
Of course, you'll want to wear them for driving and any time safety is an issue. And, if you
need to read, or do continuous work that would give you a headache or other symptoms without glasses,
then by all means, wear them. However, as much as you can, if you just let yourself see
as clearly as you can without your glasses - without straining, I believe this will help
your vision improve tremendously.
So where am I now? My distant vision is perfect. I can read easily, and see
close work well, without glasses, of course. However my left eye is a bit weaker.
And, for close work like threading a needle, I do want a lot of light. I will
admit that I haven't been doing the exercises lately, and am rather convinced
that if I start doing them again, my left eye will come back entirely, and with
either eye, I'll be able to see very close, even in dark conditions.
What are the limits? I've seen young children looking at bugs from 4 inches
away. I've heard that a teenage girl in South America was able to look at Jupiter
without any sort of equipment, and draw an accurate picture of the locations of
the four largest moons.
Please note that in addition do describing manual exercises, I have created some super-simple, enjoyable and free software exercises available by just clicking a link below.
I'd enjoy finding out how well this is working for you. Please drop me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments, findings, etc. - Jeff
Exercises to Improve Your Vision