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.

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.

Why Am I Sabotaging Myself?

Many of us have noticed that we can set a goal, something we really do want to change about our lives. We might want to be in better physical shape or get more sleep or start a regular vision improvement program. Then “Life gets in the way”, all our good intentions go out the window, and we realize a week or so later we’re as deeply tangled in those old familar but unhelpful habits as we ever were. What happened?

We’re human, that’s what happened! For years my EFT teacher Carol Look has helped people overcome addictions and common bad habits like emotional eating or cigarette smoking. She asks them “What’s the payoff for keeping that unwanted behavior?”. Then “What might be a downside to reaching your goal?”. My energy medicine teacher Deborah King teaches about this too, calling it “secondary gain”. We may say we want the old nagging injury to heal. However if it does, we’ll have to go back to that job we hate, and lose our workman’s compensation payment! So since some part of us does not want to heal, we stay stuck.

When I first really understood this dynamic, and how one part of me could want one thing and another part want something else, I dove deeply into my feelings about my vision. Could there possibly be a payoff for my remaining nearsighted, for still being a little bit visually impaired after all the work I’ve done to improve my eyesight? Unlike some people, I don’t like “being taken care of”, so having someone else do my driving for me, while a refreshing change, is not my goal — I want to do it myself! What else could my payoff be?

Another possibility occurs to me. Knowing my visual history of growing up with strong thick lenses, might I be unwilling to let all of the blur go, because then I wouldn’t be me? ACK!! I’m wondering if my lifelong identity as Nancy Nearsighted is so much a part of me, I’m not sure who else I’d be if could see clearly. I remember doing a “getting to know you” exercise with another woman at a dream workshop about 5 years ago. When I mentioned my lifelong nearsightedness, she was surprised, saying “You don’t look nearsighted!”.  While I was pleased by her reaction, it puzzled me. How could she not pick up on this — wasn’t it obvious? Is it possible I’m closer to normal than I think? Maybe it’s time to change my self-concept!

Digging into this further with journaling and EFT, I’m realizing I may be doing the same thing to myself that was done to me as a child: I have to be perfect, or I’m no good at all. (Seriously, I used to get yelled at if I came home with a 99% grade on a school exam.) So since I can’t see 20/20 yet except occasionally, and don’t feel safe driving at night without glasses, I discount all my other visual progress. Plus if I can’t see the eye chart letters well right away, I admit I often don’t give them time to clear, as if it doesn’t count if I need an extra second or 2. This is childhood stuff too — not only did I have to get everything right, I had to do it as quickly as possible.

Well, this pressure didn’t feel good back then, and it’s certainly not helping me now. And it’s no fun since it makes looking at the eye chart work, not play and exploration. I can do better, and I will. Maybe it’s the gentle rain outside the open window right now which is so relaxing, but the eye chart to the side of my computer is already looking clearer.

So what might be your own hidden payoff for tolerating limited vision, or putting up with some other unpleasant situation in your life? You deserve the best (and so do I). Go out and get it!

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