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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First time here? See the Introduction.

How Do Your Eyes Look To You?

For most of my life, I thought I had very dark brown eyes, almost black. After several decades of wearing strong hard contact lenses, I eventually stopped and freed my eyes to learn to see naturally. The contacts had a grayish tint when I took them out, just from being so thick. Now I could really see my eyes, uncovered and unhidden. They are dark brown, but definitely not black — my black pupil is much darker than my iris. The contacts hid the true color of my eyes from me and the rest of the world. This feels like a metaphor for hiding my true self.

When I started vision improvement, my eyes looked scared to me, a bit overwhelmed, as if there was too much to deal with. Now I’d like to think they look kinder, not so defensive. I’m also noticing that my eyes are gradually opening wider, letting in more light so I can see better more naturally. I’m paying close attention, catching myself when I start to pull in the corners of my eyes and begin to squint. Then I gently remind myself I can see more if my eyes are wide open, and relaxed, not trying.

The picture is me at about 5 years old. I remember the school photographer asking me to take my glasses off, and probably telling a little joke to elicit this smile. I see this as a reminder of how free I can be without glasses, letting my joy out and being who I really am. My eyes and forehead are relaxed here. I visualize this photo sometimes to remind my body and mind that I already know how to keep my visual system in a happy calm state.

One of my vision teachers, Dr. Marc Grossman, has a degree in Chinese medicine as well as one in optometry. In workshops he has people look in a mirror at one eye at a time, to see what they feel and perceive. He says the right eye is the Father Eye, storing emotions about your father or other males in your life or about being a male yourself. The left eye is the Mother Eye. Some people find major differences between their 2 eyes, perhaps “My right eye looks like it’s angry at me, and my left eye looks cold and withdrawn”. Doing this exercise yourself might lead to some interesting insights about you and your history, so I invite you to try it.

The flip side of this is how you feel looking at your eyes. These precious under-appreciated organs work so hard for you! Do you look into the mirror at your eyes with resentment, annoyed that they aren’t seeing perfectly? Are you impatient that they seem to need rest, when you want to push them and get more work done, right now? Are you dismayed that they show your sadness to the world, when you’d rather hide that and pretend you’re “fine”?

We’ve all heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul, and I do think they’re an indication of the health of a person, both emotionally and physically. My energy medicine teacher Deborah King tells us to look at a client’s eyes for an initial read on how she or he is doing, and what might be going on with the person. The whites of my eyes (the sclera) is clear and bright now, when it used to be slightly bloodshot, all the time, from the irritation of the thick contacts. My eyes are softer-looking to me too, not bulging forward with that myopic “Give me that clear image!” desperation.

When you look into a mirror, what are your eyes saying to you? Like beloved friends, they are doing their best for you, so please treat them well, and appreciate them. Shining eyes indicate a shining spirit. Don’t deprive us of seeing yours!

Surfing Through Memories

Just a minute ago I was trying to remember the name of a musical artist and it was like I already knew what his name was, but it just slipped my mind and I couldn’t recall it. I was going to just let it go and not worry about it but I decided no, that I would get comfortable, palm, relax, and really think clearly to discover what that memory was and where it was hiding.

So I started thinking, but it was more like visualizing. I was going through mental pictures/memories of this artist that I had seen or watched. What was weird was that my train of thought eventually went way far off but then I suddenly came back to this idea and a mental image popped in my mind and I had remembered the name.

I’m really interested in this stuff and I’d like to get better at accessing memories and having less “tip of the tongue” occurrences. I think what it entails is being relaxed enough to let yourself visualize through the memories that you are searching around until you get closer and closer to the memory that triggers. Mental-health-007

Appreciating The Eye Chart

When I started improving my vision over 10 years ago, all the books and teachers recommended using an eye chart regularly. It gives instant feedback about how well you’re seeing. As you learn healthier ways of using your eyes, like shifting your gaze around the details of a letter instead of staring at it trying to force it to be clearer, you’ll usually see the letters become sharper and blacker.

So what’s not to like? Well, I have a history of high myopia (I wore -10 hard contacts from the time I was 16), with visit after visit to the eye doctor, when I often needed stronger lenses. With this background, the eye chart felt like a test I was sure to fail. Why would I subject myself to it voluntarily?

When I first steeled myself to look at my eye chart without strong lenses, I needed to stand about a foot in front of it to make out the largest top letter through my foggy blur. Someone with good vision could see this at 200 feet! So for years I continued reducing my prescription and going without glasses as much as I could safely, doing other Bates exercises like palming and the Long Swing, but I avoided the chart.

As my high anxiety lessened and my vision slowly improved, the eye chart became the elephant in the living room that I was stepping around. I was driving locally in daylight with my glasses more on top of my head than on my face — it was obvious to me my vision was getting better. I was more relaxed about my seeing, no longer getting a helpless panicky feeling if I dropped something small like a vitamin, sure I’d never be able to find it. I could see pretty well!

But yet, if I started doing the eye chart, I’d have to face how much I hadn’t improved, how far I still was from that golden goal of 20/20. I admitted to myself I was avoiding. It’s as if I wanted to be a top runner, and practiced weight training and jumping and stretching, but hardly ever ran! Using the eye chart is looking at details and deciphering them, teaching the eyes and brain to work together. This is exactly the skill I want to improve! Some part of me knew there was no quick fix or magic machine that would do it for me like the simple eye chart would.

Last night I spent almost 2 hours working (playing!) with the eye chart, with a few breaks. Sometimes I had one eye patched and sometimes I used both eyes together. I was listening to EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) audios, so doing some tapping occasionally. As I’ve noticed before, the tapping seemed to help relax and brighten my vision. The first 3 acupuncture points we tap on are around the eye socket, so this may be helping to free up stuck visual energy there.

As always after an evening session of tapping, I slept well and deeply and woke refreshed. My eyes felt great and I could see well. Immediately I questioned this — is my good vision today only because the sun is so bright? Whatever the reason, I’m grateful.

During my eye chart practice I am now seeing the slight bouncing of the letters in the Universal Swing almost all the time, and right away. It used to be several minutes before this showed up, if at all, I was so anxious and trying so hard. The Swing feels relaxing to my eyes, similar to a natural sound or image like fluttering leaves or birdsong.

So my commitemnt to myself is to spend more time, more often, with the eye chart. I’ve been putting up with “good enough” vision for a few years, and while it’s much better than it ever was, I want more now. I also want to do a better job managing my distance from the chart. I admitted to myself last night that with my weaker eye, it can sometimes be a lot of strain trying to see well from the same distance which is fine for my stronger eye. My weaker-seeing left eye is more sensitive to stress, and its vision can vary wildly. But where it is now is where I start, every time. There is no “should”, only “is”, which can change in a moment. So I have to be present!

Anyone who has mastered a skill knows it takes time and dedicated practice. Wishing for something, without action, isn’t usually enough. Vision may not be your challenge, but whatever you want to accomplish, get started, and stick with it. Mastery is its own reward.

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