Dr. William Bates was an ophthalmologist who, in 1891, began to research the cause of eye problems. In his effort to find a cure for those for whom he prescribed eyeglasses, he determined that the eyes can be affected by such problems as stress, habits, emotions, and the interaction between the mind and body.
In 1920, he published a book entitled “Perfect Sight Without Glasses.” Thus, the Bates Method was born. The book outlines the fact that wearing eyeglasses does not alleviate poor eyesight but enhances it.
He further asserted that stress is the underlying factor that contributes to poor eyesight. In a research project conducted on Eskimo children, he found that up until the time the children first began school, their vision was 98%. After they began enrolling in schools, their vision decreased to 60%. He concluded that mental strain was the cause.
What Is The Bates Method?
The Bates method, as it is called, puts forth the notion that strain can be caused by stress – either mental or physical. Thus, the Bates Method calls for the reduction of strain on the eyes by utilizing a series of relaxation techniques.
The following techniques are used to restore one’s eyesight. They are: Palming, Sunning, The Swings, The Sway, and Color Days.
Palming is the practice by which you cover the eyes with the palm of your hands in order to relax them and the mind.
Sunning is a three-minute process where you direct light to your face, with eyes closed, and slowly move your head from side to side.
The Swings and the Sway require that you focus on an object held in front of you with two hands and then swing and sway so that you experience movement around you.
Color Days requires that you seek out one specific color and search for that color throughout the day. This serves to increase perception.
For those who are skeptical about the Bates method, there is evidence to support this theory, although limited in nature and scope.