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.
First time here? See the Introduction.
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.
Similarly, overweight people often say they want to be slimmer, yet cannot seem to go farther than a 10-pound weight loss. Perhaps they fear losing more will make them more attractive, and they’ll get unwanted attention, or it will cause jealously from an overweight friend. So they’ll start having no time to exercise, or eating more sweets, or some other weight-gaining behavior, once they get above a 10-pound weight loss.
This discussion made me wonder about vision upper limits, either in myself or in my students. I’ve heard people say they know they’ll always have to wear glasses, they just don’t want their vision to get any worse. Or (from a new student with a strong minus prescription), that he’d be happy with a half-diopter or a diopter improvement. Talk about setting the bar too low!
As a faithful EFT practitioner for myself as well as a coach for others, I’ve explored possible downsides of having no vision limitations, or, another way of looking at it, possible upsides of continuing to “need” glasses sometimes and to struggle to see without them. I was a bit stumped about this — glasses are so annoying! No one drives me anywhere or does things for me I could do myself if I had perfect eyesight. Why would I want to limit my vision?
Right now I think the answer is twofold, and I’m also aware this may change over time as I mature and grow further. First, I believe my nearsightedness developed when I was very young because I did not feel safe seeing my environment, so I blurred it out. Then wearing strong glasses constantly kept that constricted pattern firmly in place, not allowing it to loosen. As I’ve gotten out of glasses, the pattern is indeed softening. It was so entrenched and these habits were so much a part of me, though, the pattern is not yet completely melted.
The other part of the answer to “Why would I still limit my eyesight?” is related to the way I use my eyes physically with and without glasses, yet separate. That may be a slight tightening of the facial muscles or wrinkling of the brow or narrowing of the gaze. What goes along with that, and maybe even precedes it, is an emotional feeling of not wanting to reach out. The closer something is to me, the safer it feels to me to look at it, the more relaxed my eyes will be, and the clearer it is likely to be because of this.
So to continue to improve, I’m paying attention to both of these areas. I’m continuing to look in the distance and curiously examine the details I can see, and imagining those I can’t see. I’m also noticing when I don’t feel comfortable looking far away, and exploring that — is what I’m afraid of realistic, or just an old outdated habit I can let go of? I can envision skylights in that artificial ceiling now, which will open to let me see as far as I could ever want, without limits.
Free Eye Charts to Download and Print
See the downloadable eye charts at i-see.org .
You can size these to your screen as per the instructions if you want to just view it on your computer from a distance, or you can print them out to hang on your wall.
Keep in mind that anything you print out won’t be as good as a professional chart you can buy for pretty cheaply (in the US, anyway), but it’s better than nothing!
Buying an Eye Chart
Below are a few good quality eye charts for sale on Amazon. They have an anti-glare coating and are readable in any decent light conditions.
And these are durable, so you can take it down, move it around, and roll it up for storage without worrying about creases getting formed in it from handling.
And of course these professional charts have very clear black letters, so you don’t have to question whether you can’t read a print-your-own chart because of the quality of the paper or ink. This is as good as they come.
The first one above, the Snellen eye chart, is the standard chart. The Kindergarten chart has fun shapes for young kids. The Illiterate chart is for people who do not recognize our Latin-based alphabet. The handheld chart is for close up.
Sometimes you can also find eye charts in books on the Bates method. I don’t remember which ones, but I read a lot of books in the past, and it seemed that a lot of the larger sized books had a fold-out eye chart you can tear out of the book and hang up. Again, they aren’t as good quality, so your ability to read the chart can vary based on how much glare is on it, making your measurements from day to day inaccurate if that’s your objective.
Change It Up
As charts to practice with, not necessarily measuring your progress, just about anything will do. It doesn’t even have to be an eye chart. Anything detailed is great, and think about adding some new charts or posters on your wall to look at, or go somewhere else to practice whatever you’re doing. As I have stressed over and over, your vision will not improve if you let yourself become disinterested in what you’re looking at.