Bates Method Success Stories

Bates Method Success Stories

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)

Meir Schneider is one of the more inspiring modern stories. He was born with cataracts, and several unsuccessful surgeries left him blind, reading by Braille, until he learned the Bates method.

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:

http://dreamersight.wordpress.com/
http://2realeyes.wordpress.com/

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.


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David
I founded iblindness.org in 2002 as I began reading books on the Bates Method and became interested in vision improvement. I believe that everyone who is motivated can identify the roots of their vision problems and apply behavioral changes to solve them. I am into spirituality, lucid dreaming, archery, hang gliding, health and fitness. I own a gym equipment store and gym equipment blog.
David

Author: David

I founded iblindness.org in 2002 as I began reading books on the Bates Method and became interested in vision improvement. I believe that everyone who is motivated can identify the roots of their vision problems and apply behavioral changes to solve them. I am into spirituality, lucid dreaming, archery, hang gliding, health and fitness. I own a gym equipment store and gym equipment blog.

20 thoughts on “Bates Method Success Stories”

  1. Hi David, Thanks for this post and for including the Visions of Joy website. I don’t know either how many people I have worked with over the past 14 years, I did not keep count, but as a rough estimate I’d say it is well over a thousand. From attending International Holistic Vision Conferences my impression is that the Bates Method is slowly gaining ground and coming out of the fringes as more and more teachers join the profession. At the last conference three ophthalmologists enthusiastically took part also, and one of them is helping to organize next year’s conference in Madrid! In Italy alone (where I will be giving a teacher training workshop this weekend) there are well over 50 teachers. Germany has at least that many too. World-wide there must be several hundred Bates teachers, cerrtainly more than a few dozen 🙂 Of course, compared to the number of eye doctors we are still just a drop in the ocean, but a much needed drop…
    Thanks for doing your part in helping the Bates Method become more known through your website and blog!!!
    Love, Esther
    http://www.VisionsOfJoy.org

    1. I’m not surprised it’s over a thousand. Every time I look at your news emails you’ve got a full schedule lined up. I’m glad to hear things are growing!

  2. Hi David,
    I came across your website by accident. I read Bates and am reading other books (at present Leo Angart). Thanks for all the extensive work and for sharing it for free.
    Why is everyone though so focused on Myopia? I feel a bit left out and disheartened. I have been wearing glasses for 40 years more or less (maybe less). It started at primary school. I have a wondering eye (right eye which shoots up towards the right hand corner but I grew up doing exercises for this with my optometrist back in Italy – I grew up in Italy and lived there till aged 29, then I moved to the UK.- she was amazed though when I saw her a few years ago. My eye had improved and this is by all means without doing any type of exercise. I feel it, too under control and I don’t get double vision any longer like I used to). Anyway, my eyesight issue is hypermetropic or used to be. Now I can’t see far away and can’t see much up close. I have (this is not accurate – I can never remember!) +5 in the left eye and +5 1/4 I think in my right eye. The right eye is the weakest. The left eye is the dominant eye. I attended some Bates classes in London a few years ago and had my lenses prescribed by an optician who believes in the Bates method so my lenses are weaker than what I would actually need. Yet I have seen little improvement and the more I read the more I get confused as to what exercises I am supposed to do. Would you be so kind and help me in this? Thanks for your support.

    1. Hi Daniela,

      That’s great the wandering eye issue resolved on its own. It’s much more about our mental patterns and the way we handle problems on a daily basis than about any exercises.

      I’m familiar with myopia, so that’s what I write about. And it’s the biggest growing problem. Some vision improvement teachers have advice for hypermetropia too. Here are a few books that people like:
      Ray Gottlieb: http://amzn.to/2fZRNs5
      Lisette Scholl: http://amzn.to/2f4EHch
      Esther van der Werf: http://amzn.to/2fZWS4X

  3. Hello David,
    I agree with you about the mental pattern. I can’t wait to break through it! I wake up with tired eyes every day. Every day I wake up exhausted (even after a good night’s sleep) which is surely not normal.
    Thanks ever so much for the links. I will start reading those books as well. 😀

    1. Daniela, let me know how any of those books or others work out for you! Hypermetropia is similar to myopia in that it’s many of the same issues but at the near point instead of far, but psychologically there are some differences.

    1. Hi Daniela,

      Just from personal experience and all my research, it comes down to two things – relaxing the eye muscles and training your eyes to use the center of the fovea centralis or eye cones. All the bates techniques are all about these two points. If you are waking up with very tired eyes, then you are straining your eye muscles. The muscle strain will cause the image to distort and making everything worst, therefore prevent you from using the center of your fovea centralis. Learn to relax your eyes and practice on seeing the smallest point far away or up close and you will start to see improvements.

  4. I have been doing almost all the eye exercises every day. Including relaxing my eyes after reading, palming, and more. I have been doing the exercises for a little over four to five months, and I recently received an eye exam. My eyes haven’t gotten better at all. Actually they continue to worsen, bringing me great worry. I don’t know what to say or do, but that’s my story.

    1. Claudia, I’ve been through exactly the same thing, until I have met an optometrist who gave me a professional visit. I had a problem which was keeping me from achieve improvements with natural vision exercises and made my eyesight worse.
      After he detected the causes of my problem I remedied it and I started working with the Bates method again. As a result, in just four months my prescription for glasses was changed from -6 diopters of myopia and -2.50 diopters of astigmatism to -5 diopters of myopia and -1.25 diopters of astigmatism.
      You should visit a professional optometrist or a good eye doctor.

  5. Thank you B42 for your comment and words of encouragement.
    I have been going through a very stressful time and have stopped all type of exercises and all I can say is that my eyesight has actually got worse so surely the exercises can only improve. Not sure Claudia why yours has got worse. I’m no expert so I wouldn’t be able to help but I believe the exercises are beneficial.
    I’m still to learn how to relax the muscles though…..

  6. I went to a professional optometrist and Bates method teacher but I’m still struggling if anything I am getting worse and now I am actually feeling a bit low about it. I do the exercises every day. What am I doing wrong? :0(

    1. Has your optometrist checked your eyes, the inside and the outside, or he just asked you to read letters on the Snellen chart?
      My optometrist carefully checked my eyes, he even made a map of my cornea, so he found that I had a real problem.
      Bates method doesn’t make your eyesight worse, if anything you just don’t improve it, that’s all.
      Some people need more time than others to better their vision. While someone just needs 10 minutes a day to do eye exercises, other people, like me for example, need a lot of work. You can do a lot of shifting all day.
      I suggest you to incorporate Meir Shneider’s exercises along with Bates’. This is what I do.
      Then, correct glasses. Wear weaker glasses than your full prescription to see 20/20.

    2. I’ve met some people who had a bad experience with some natural vision teachers and behavioural optometrists, lately. Unfortunately, not all of them are good at their job, and most of them don’t teach William Bates’s original work. They call ”the Bates method” many exercises that don’t belong to William Bates’. These people spent a lot of money to pay these teachers to get nothing, until they read doctor Bates’ original books ”better eyesight without glasses”, ”better eyesight magazione” and Emily C. Lierman’s ”stories from the clinic”. All of them really improved their eyesight thanks to these books. If you want to improve your eyesight, you must read the original author’s work, you must understand how his method works, you must be THE natural vision teacher. This is my advice. If you aren’t improving your eyesight, your optometrist isn’t a good teacher at all. Avoid him and all mediocre books which claims to be ”the Bates method”. Good luck!

  7. Hi, I am in the same case as Claudia. My eyes are myopic – 8 and – 9 diopters. I spent more than a year doing palming, sunning, Bates exercices, swinging and so on. I read books of Meir Schneider (who was legally blind and had different sorts of problems with his eyes). I look in the distance… I did everything I found to find my chilhood eyesight. Without results, not even one diopter. Why so many persons are successful in recovering perfect eyesight but not me ? What is wrong with me ?

    1. The main problem is your glasses. As I told you, you don’t need to totally discard glasses, you just need to wear weaker glasses. For personal experience, you can wear weaker glasses all day long and to improve your eyesight. When you went to school you could wear glasses with -5.00 diopters. When I first started doing the Bates method I wore weaker glasses all the time (now I discarded glasses, but you don’t need to do such thing). If you keep on wearing your full prescription, then you’ll never improve your eyesight. NEVER. Your eye doctor will always have a laugh at you. You should read William Bates’ books. Your full prescription glasses weaken your eyes which don’t try to improve their condition. You don’t let them free to reverse myopia. They also make your eyesight worse. Pinhole glasses don’t improve vision but they are very helpfull if you wear them while you watch television.

  8. Hi, I am in the same case as Claudia. My eyes are myopic – 8 and – 9 diopters. I spent more than a year doing palming, sunning, Bates exercices, swinging and so on. I read books of Meir Schneider (who was legally blind and had different sorts of problems with his eyes). I look in the distance… I did everything I found to find my chilhood eyesight. Without results, not even one diopter. Why so many persons are successful in recovering perfect eyesight but not me ? What is wrong with me ?

    1. Those exercises are a way of helping you to understand the right way to use your eyes and vision throughout the rest of the day. If you aren’t learning anything from them, and incorporating your discoveries into your life, doing them over and over again won’t be that helpful, and you may need a slightly different approach or personal help. It’s difficult to do from just reading books.

  9. Do you wear glasses? If you do the exercises and you wear your glasses with -8.00 and -9.00 diopters, your improvement is very slow or cancelled. Now, we have two school of though. William Bates stated you need to discard glasses in order to heal your myopia. Nowadays natural vision teachers suggest you to wear a weaker prescription. I suggest you to not wear glasses most of the time and to wear glasses with -7.00 and -8.00 when you really need it…as little as possible. For personal experience, you also need very weak glasses to read. I’d suggest you glasses with -4.00 and -5.00 to read, but this is just my opinion, based on personal experience. Do you wear contact lens? You should totally discard such thing. Wear pinhole glasses to watch television, cinema…
    Do A LOT of shifting and central fixation. I don’t believe you can’t recover your eyesight, I think you’re doing something wrong.
    You should read Thomas Quackenbush’s book ”Better eyesight”. This book contains all Better eyesight magazines written by William Bates and the book ”Stories from the clinic”, it’s way better than William Bates’ ”Better eyesight without glasses”.

    1. Yes, I wear glasses since I was 9 years old. My eye doctor told me to wear my glasses all day long, never go without them. When I was 18, I read the book of Aldous Huxley, who cured his eyes, by the Bates Method. I began to exercice. Bates said we must stop wearing our glasses, but I couldn’t, I went to school and without glasses or contacts I couldn’t see the blackboard (at 18 I had – 6 diopters). Then I found a job, learned to drive…Impossible without correction. Now I am 56, I work all day long on computer, I take trains, I need to see what is written, sometimes we are in a room with a blackboard, I must be able to see. One or two hours a day, I can take my glasses off when I do nothing, but that’s all. At a time, I have bought pinhole glasses, wear them during a year, but I had no result. When I told this to my eye doctor, she laughed. In fact my eyesight had worsened.
      I have sometimes clear flashes but my eyesight is always the same. Perhaps should I wait after I retired, to have less obligations regarding the eyesight ? I do know it’s possible, because persons who where fast blind have recover a good sight (Meir Schneider…). When he did, then why not me ?

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