This little book is not written with the idea that it should take
the place of any of the larger books on the subject of sight
training by natural methods. It is written for the express purpose of helping those who want to help themselves by knowing
the right wzfy to use the eyes, and the pitfalls to avoid if they
wish to keep their sight. It does not, therefore, go into all the
technical descriptions of the nature of the eyes, their deficiencies
and diseases, nor does it go into detail with regard to special
treatment and exercises. Neither is it concerned with the arguments of oculists, as experience is greater than argument, and
what is here written is the result of over twenty years’ experience
along the lines first laid down by Dr. W. H. Bates of New York
as the result of his many years’ experience and knowledge.
At the outset let it be said that no true system of education
can turn out all its pupils to the same level of success. Pupils
have different characters, different states of health, different
nerve and muscular strength, and different home or work conditions. Similarly some people are so rooted in wrong methods
of using their eyes that it is impossible for them to change. Some
are willing co-operators with the teacher, some lazy or incapable.
But none of these things alters the correctness of the system, and
experience has proved that the proportion of those who succeed
is so high as to render the failures negligible.
It is not suggested that all eye troubles can be `cured’, but it
is claimed that all can be greatly alleviated.
The place of this work should not be in the unorthodox consulting-rooms, to which orthodoxy drives it through refusing to
take it up itself, but in the schools and the optician’s parlour,
for it teaches the right way to use the eyes, and shows how, if
the sight has become defective, it can be brought back to normal.
Needless to say, attention to right habits and correct use of the
eyes would keep them in good condition.
There has been so much talk about the unorthodoxy of this
system that the public should be shown that it is in the main
but the practice of orthodox knowledge. Turning to the book-
case and picking out, almost at random, Laurance’s Visual
Optics and Sight Testing (3rd edition, 1926), 1 have quoted from
it throughout, unless where otherwise stated, in giving the
What Laurance writes as to muscle training with respect to
imbalance is true of all training
Muscle training . . . is a class of work which depends, far
more than sight testing, on the personality of the optician.
It may be successful in thq hands of one, and not so in the
hands of another, given the same case to work upon; again,
while successful with one subject, it may not be so with
others (p. 210).
But surely all should be given the chance to preserve or
improve their sight if “the strength of weakened muscles or
weakened function of muscles, can be increased by exercises
designed for the purpose” (p. 210).
Dr. J. H. Clark, M.D., writing in The Prescriber, stated:
In children, before adopting spectacles, constitutional treat-
ment should always be persistently followed. Great improve-
ment, if not cure, may be effected, whilst premature recourse
to spectacles fixes the imperfection (p. 176).
Some work along this line is now being done by the orthodox
profession, but by no means as much as should be.
The Navy and Air Force authorities recognise that sight can
be improved, and many youths in those services who were
refused entry owing to sight defects have passed in with flying
colours after a course of this treatment. Cannot the Education
Authorities also take this point of view?
I have been doing this work since 1925 and so cannot prove
whether the oculist’s dictum that the people who follow this
system will go blind is true or not, but neither can they. What
is a fact, however, is that patients of twenty years ago still send
their friends for treatment.
This is a mechanical age as well as a scientific one. More,
it is an age in which the ordinary individual is beginning to feel
responsible for what happens to him. He will, therefore, turn
more and more towards self-help, and to such this booklet will
appeal. — E.B.
March 21st, 1946.