Everyone discovering the Bates method for the first time rightly has to wonder, Does the Bates method work?
Here’s a small collection of links to success stories on the Bates method. There are also many websites selling vision improvement programs with eye exercises, pinhole glasses and other material and that list a bunch of testimonials, but I won’t include them here. The below success stories links are mostly on the websites of people who are well-known in the vision improvement community and pretty much teach the Bates method or a similar approach.
We have a Success Stories forum here on this site.
Visions of Joy has a collection of testimonials written to her from clients. Esther travels the world teaching the Bates method and has worked with over a thousand students. (edited in response to Esther’s comments below)
naturalvisioncenter.com has a collection of success stories and (redacted) driver’s license photos from students who were able to get their corrective lenses restriction removed from their driver’s licenses after improving their vision.
Natural Vision Improvement Centre in Canada has some success stories from clients as well. Note that I don’t know anything about this one, and I’m not in Canada.
Dr. Bates’s Better Eyesight Magazine that he self-published through the 1920s contains many letters from patients.
Here are a couple blogs people have written on their successes:
See David Hestrin’s youtube video:
So while the links above should not convince you of anything (anyone can make up internet success stories, right?), it should suggest to you that there probably a bunch of people who have tried this method and feel good about it.
Partial successes are a lot more common than complete recoveries, and people giving up entirely after a short time are even more common. It’s like how some overweight people lose a little bit of weight but only a small percentage of them have the dedication and understanding to become “thin”.
There is still lots of room for improvement in the method and ways of teaching it. There are hundreds (edited – I said “dozens” before, but see Esther’s correction in the comments) of people around the world teaching the method, and I would imagine most of them have developed their own particular styles and additions that they feel make the method work better. This really isn’t a trendy thing, so people tend to teach vision improvement part-time, and in some areas they also may do it on the down-low, not wanting to make an enemy of the medical establishment. Nowadays alternative health practitioners aren’t harassed as much, and there are people openly teaching professionally throughout the world.
The point is this isn’t a huge community or movement and has not gained any real traction so far for mass appeal, so it remains a fringe topic that certain types of people will find as it slowly grows.
Also check out our Evidence page if you want to see more scientific data and not just a collection of testimonials.