Eyesight problems are a plague of modern society. Eyeglasses, when they are a solution at all, are not an acceptable solution.
We believe that you can recover your eyesight naturally, over a wide variety of types of blurry vision and visual disorders, and that you can do so without surgery, drugs or glasses, even in long-standing cases that began in childhood. We believe that the way you use your eyes and mind are the biggest factors in good vision and eye health. The methods presented on this website are based loosely on the Bates method, developed in the early 20th century by a little-known eye doctor, W.H. Bates.
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The teacher talked about how the mind interprets what we are feeling and makes meaning out of that raw sensory input. She said when adrenaline courses through the nervous system, we will feel fear if we don’t think we’re safe, for example if a large wild animal is approaching us. Yikes! Yet the same biochemical signal of adrenaline will be interpreted as excitement if we’re feeling safe and comfortable, say if our best friend is coming toward us when we hadn’t realized she was nearby. Yippee!
This was a big Aha Moment for me, as Oprah likes to say. When I feel that spike of fear, it’s because of my interpretation of what’s happening, not an actual fact which can’t be changed! Of course the natural next step for me was to explore what makes me feel safe, or not safe. Maybe if I can feel safe most of the time, I will hardly ever be afraid!
My vision teacher has said most eyesight restriction starts when we don’t feel safe about looking at our surroundings. You can observe this in childhood when there is a family disruption like the death of a sibling or a divorce or a move away from the familiar home and friends, then the child “needs” eyeglasses a year later. He or she was overwhelmed with the new situation and literally did not want to see it. So the eyes obeyed the direction of the mind and made vision blurry. I believe glasses are not the true answer, that helping the child feel safe enough to reach out visually is.
In my own vision improvement work, I often ramp up the excitement when I see something more clearly than usual, or notice something in my environment I hadn’t before. Look how well I can see! My vision is great today! Woo hoo! And I often dance around like a happy child, really letting my brain and body know that I want to see well, and am grateful.
When my view is more blurry than usual, it’s often interesting to explore what I might be worried or anxious or nervous about, as these feelings are all milder versions of fear. Sometimes EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping”) or other energy work, or journaling can actually transform my anxiety into excitement about the upcoming opportunity, as I realize I really am safe and will be able to handle the situation after all.
Recently I heard a talk by one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Robert Ohotto, where he was talking about not feeling like we fit in. He said “People who have learned to parent themselves can go anywhere in the world and feel at home.” Always on the lookout for how I can feel safer, I thought “Wow! It’s the child inside me who doesn’t feel safe, not the adult I am now!”. With this understanding, I believe I moved one step closer to knowing I am indeed safe most of the time, and can help myself or get help from others when I need it.
Safety or danger is relative, of course. Thrill seekers might be drawn to danger most of us would run from, or what might be pleasant and calm to me might be boring to someone else. As with anything, you have to know yourself and what you need for a satisfying life (or clear seeing!), then do your best to get that. You and your vision are totally worth it!
Recently I attended an energy medicine workshop. We students were so excited about getting together, as we’re like a family, and about working with our beloved teacher again. It was a big surprise to all of us, including our teacher, when she stopped at a medical facility for a quick checkup on her way to the airport to come be with us, and found out she was too sick to travel!
Yes, this could have been a disaster, with students coming from all over the world to work with her. Yet every one of us grew from this, the teacher who discovered she could lead a workshop from a distance over Skype (even doing healing work that way), the students who stretched to help others more than they had thought themselves capable of before, without their teacher physically present to lean on.
This idea of accepting what Life presents instead of fighting against it makes me think of vision, the contrast between having an expectation of what I’ll see (maybe before I even look!) vs. letting in and just receiving the scene in front of me. I want to allow my eyes and brain to see in a receptive welcoming manner, gently, not glaring and attacking the view, yet also not defeated and tuned out. I’m thinking of the way I look at a flower or a baby’s face, feeling open and safe and undefended, letting my visual energy reach all the way out to meet what I’m looking at, with joy and curiosity.
About 10 years ago, when I had just started reducing my eyeglasses prescription and still wasn’t doing much actual Bates work, my partner and I went to Cancun in Mexico for a week’s vacation. I’m kicking myself now at the memory, because I spent the entire time with -8 glasses plastered to my face, and still couldn’t see everything I wanted to. I recall being quite nervous and anxious. I had worn -10 hard contacts for decades, so yes, the glasses were a reduction, but I really wish I had gone without them completely in that bright sunshine, and started to let my natural vision re-emerge. I just wasn’t ready for that big of a change yet.
Today in NY is overcast with rain predicted for later, yet warm enough to have the window in front of me open, showing me the unobstructed luscious bright green of my front lawn. I can see a few of the nearer individual blades of grass, slightly, through the mesh of the screen. My healthy natural vision is still coming all the way back to vibrancy and Life, after being shut down for so long. This rich season of Spring reminds me constantly that every day, even every moment, is new, presenting another delight for my vision. Who needs Cancun when I have the vibrant foliage of NY state? My eyes and brain are so grateful for this constant abundant flow of images and textures and color!
One morning I stopped at the juice bar for a cup of tea before breakfast, running right into a noisy swarm of folks getting ready to leave on a hike. Goodbye peaceful attitude! They chattered and darted in every direction to get one final cup of coffee or retrieve their bags. I could feel my anxiety ramping up.
I struggled to stay calm and centered while I got a teabag, then crouched to carefully fill my cup from the hot water dispenser, focused on not spilling it or burning myself. As I stood up, the hikers filing outside still making a lot of noise, the motherly juice bar lady said “Can I ask you something?”. When I agreed, already calming down since the crowd was gone, she wondered “What’s wrong with your eyes?”.
My reaction was interesting — rather than feel defensive or inadequate, I smiled to myself, thinking “Nothing! They just get scared easily, especially by crowds!”. I realized she had noticed me looking closely at the teabag package in the dim light, seeking the perforation to rip it open, and concluded I couldn’t see very well. A teaching moment!
Using this opening, I talked about my contracted very near-sighted vision all of my life until 12 years ago or so, and how I was now undoing that pattern. I said I did have glasses in my car for driving, but didn’t like the way they felt and only used them if I really needed them, that I could see quite well most of the time. I mentioned that vision varies, which is news to the average person, and that mine gets more blurry when I get scared or overwhelmed, an old childhood pattern of “protecting” me, keeping the bad guys out. I had seen the crowd of boisterous hikers as bad guys, and my eyes and brain had responded accordingly!
The woman listened closely, then talked about how she didn’t like glasses either, and how her reading glasses were such an annoyance. She said that crowds made her uncomfortable also, that she finds them irritating. I offered, from my energy medicine studies, that different people respond differently to stress, that while I get anxious or scared, she gets annoyed or irritated or angry. The response may differ but the feeling is the same: the body and mind do not feel safe!
We talked a bit more about her using her reading glasses only when she absolutely needs them, as her brain and eyes are clearly giving her the message that they’re happier without them. I praised her for being tuned into what she needs, and for listening to her healthy body. Finally, I mentioned that using glasses for long periods of time keeps the prescription pattern in place, and often leads to it getting even stronger and deeper. She agreed that several of her friends were needing a higher prescription in their reading glasses after wearing them for a year or two.
Reflecting on this incident, I’m pleased with how I handled it. I could have gotten upset, reminded of my mother bemoaning my “bad eyes” when I was little. Instead I used it to be honest about what is difficult for me and how I am coping with that, and to teach a bit about healthy vision habits and natural vision improvement. Everyone deserves to see clearly, and there is a great deal we can do with our attitude and habits to facilitate good healthy vision.