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David's Method, did I miss something?
David, every time you write about this it becomes clearer to me (no pun intended!).
Quote:Narrow the area from which you will accept the clearest details to come from. It's a big step to immediately narrow it to a point as small as you really need for perfect vision, so you just take it in steps by narrowing the area somewhat and seeing what happens. And you wait and find out what details you see there (or don't see) within a few seconds, and move on. The smaller the area, the better it works. But it does take time. You have it give it those few seconds and keep moving to another spot, and start doing it again as often as you can, and try narrowing the area further.
I'm firmly in the middle of this process, seeing progress, feeling like I have a direction for further improvement. Thank you, once again.

Jambo, I love your curious student experimenting questioning-authority attitude. No wonder you are making such good progress! Peter Grunwald (Mr. Eyebody), got glasses at age 3 and progressed to a -10.5 prescription, then got rid of his glasses completely with Bates work and now teaches all over the world. He told us the eyeball shape returning to a round normal often lags behind vision improvement, that an eye doctor told him he would "need" a -1 prescription for his slightly elongated eyeballs, even though he read all the way down the chart to better than 20/20, more than once since the doctor couldn't believe it.

Something else, when you wrote
Quote:3. I think that looking at details also made us more curious and much more aware of our vision. It made an interest in seeing, It's like now we started to really want to see the world. Every color, every shape, every detail.
I immediately thought of a young child learning to see, and having that excited interested attitude, wanting to take in every speck of visual information. Not in fear, not rushing, not trying, just savoring all the details like tasting a delicious meal. Vision is such a gift!
An interesting clear flash just occurred. I was sitting at the table eating lunch and suddenly as I was looking in the direction of one of my numerous language study books, I started to see characters pop out of it through the blur. That's what I aim for to have all the time, instead of flashes. I think I am getting closer. Thanks Jambo for being a great example to me!

Nancy, that's an interesting point about diopters lagging behind improved vision. Good point to remember.
lol yeah I'm trying my best to bring my vision back! I read david's blogs and all of his posts for a dozen times at least.

About the eye form, I read in another post you posted a while ago that good vision not always depends on the eye form, so a person can be for example -3 but he can see all the details much clearer. I wonder how come it work that way...maybe the visual cortex is doing a better work? or maybe the ciliary muscle becomes more flexible and strong and brings more focus? but I guess it doesn't matter as long as the eyesight is good Smile

Oh and about kids learning to see, yeah when I started doing David's method, in the first few days it's like I had a deja vu, I suddenly remembered how in the childhood I was looking at everything with interest, everything was so new, every time I was discovering something, everything was interesting! an odd looking flower, a spider, the stars, what people are wearing, how are they looking, what are they doing, everything had my attention! In early childhood like at age 4-5 even the walls, the rocks and the shadows were interesting! But as I grew older and my vision became's like I didn't care anymore...I didn't want to see the world, I didn't care how it looks.

A few days later, I called my friend when I was trying to discover how it is to be inside the right programming, to try to understand how he, a person with 20/20 vision looks at stuff. On one of the tasks I gave him I told him to open the window and tell me whats drives his attention the most, whats in his opinion is interesting outside? So he told me:"I don't know, what kind of question is that? Everything is interesting! the people, the cars, the restaurant on the other side of the street, the old guy riding on his bike, what he is wearing, but maybe the old guy caught my attention first he looks kinda strange". This sentence landed like a bomb on my head...I realized how a person with good eyesight looks at the world and how I looked at the world all this years...From that moment on I treated myself as if I dropped from mars and never saw anything on this planet yet. I looked at everything for the first time! Well it helped a lot.

That's a fascinating point. Indeed we do seen to lose interest as myopes. I have a friend with 20/20 vision too. I've noticed his personality is totally the interested curious dude sort of thing. It might be something worth remembering for myself. Myopes = often lack of interest. Normal sighted folks = often drinking in their surroundings.

Another thought. Now that it's been mentioned, almost all the people I know with normal sight enjoy a good laugh and are genuinely interested in their surroundings. Meanwhile myopes can enjoy a good laugh if they've maintained that trait, but are hardly thoroughly interested in any given scene in front of them. Perhaps because they're in their own little world a bit more it seems.
You know when I wore contacts a month ago after I didn't use eyeglasses or contacts for a year. I noticed that it was very uncomfortable to see everything so sharp. the most strange thing was that when i removed them i'ts like I felt safe again in that blur, like it's some kind of shield that protects me from the outside world.

then something came to my mind, in 8th grade I had very low self esteem and I was very depressed in that time. What a coincidence in that year my vision started to become blurry and I noticed that I can't read the letters on the board anymore. I think it's like the brain was trying to protect me from the outside world or something so it created this blur...or just welcomed the shortsightedness.
From my experience I can tell you another mistake which often causes bad results:
'trying too hard'.

If you read Bates:
Quote:The eye with normal sight never tries to see. If for any reason, such as the dimness of the light, or the distance of the object, it cannot see a particular point, it shifts to another. It never tries to bring out the point by staring at it, as the eye with imperfect sight is constantly doing.
In the same way you may temporarily improve the sight by effort, but you cannot improve it to normal, and if the effort is allowed to become continuous, the sight will steadily deteriorate and may eventually be destroyed. Very seldom is the impairment or destruction of vision due to any fault in the construction of the eye. Of two equally good pairs of eyes one will retain perfect sight to the end of life, and the other will lose it in the kindergarten, simply because one looks at things without effort and the other does not.

If you see something blurry which does't 'reveal' itself to you 'voluntarily', don't try to force it.
Go as far as you can without straining your eyes (following the details you can see from small to smaller) and when you can't get further, return to some larger contour, which is easy and pleasant for your eyes to see. Then - without pressure - 'sneak' again to the difficult object and follow your way a little further if you can....
Re David's post on the first page of this thread, and Nancy's quote from it at the top of this page, I wonder if this idea of progressively narrowing the field where you are lookin for details is what David was referring to a couple of years ago when he said (as far as i remember) that he was moving towards thinking of the process being a matter of 'different levels' or something like that. I'd often wondered what he meant by that.

(I tried searching for the quote but had no success. His commens were in response to me saying that when the letters clear they come from a different area in the chart from where the blur was.)
sean Wrote:Re David's post on the first page of this thread, and Nancy's quote from it at the top of this page, I wonder if this idea of progressively narrowing the field where you are lookin for details is what David was referring to a couple of years ago when he said (as far as i remember) that he was moving towards thinking of the process being a matter of 'different levels' or something like that. I'd often wondered what he meant by that.

(I tried searching for the quote but had no success. His commens were in response to me saying that when the letters clear they come from a different area in the chart from where the blur was.)

I believe what I meant is the process should be more step-by-step, with some indicators a person can go by to judge what step they are on and therefore what they need to be doing now. That way a person doesn't get ahead of himself and get stuck trying to do something that he can't. I don't think there needs to be several elaborate steps, but at least there needs to be some impression of small doable steps so that the approach doesn't look insurmountable to people coming in with a -10 prescription. The classic Bates method seems to sometimes suggest that you have to learn to have, say, a perfect memory of a period right off the bat, and if you can't use it or something else to get perfect vision rather quickly, you're not doing it right at all. That impression is a consequence of how Bates didn't really write his book as a "how to" guide but as a collection of facts of perfect and imperfect vision as far as he could tell.

Anyway, I think I mostly have a new set of articles written out and organized now that explains my method. But then every time I want to add a few sentences on a topic I end up writing a few paragraphs and reorganizing a few things. I'm still trying to keep it as short as possible while touching on most of the points that I think are important. I scrapped some of the ideas in my blog. Too wordy and unnecessary.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
It's been a long time since my last post,

What I will say, is purely based upon my personal experience after too long (maybe 2 years ?) trying to understand what Dr. Bates wrote and how to apply it.

Like many of you, I always thought that Bates was a 'queer fish' or that he has trouble when explaining what he wanted to make known... or all this sort of speculations was just my failure to understand how human eye works?, I'd say this was the case.
Bates is right, when people fail to apply the 'method' -- they are definitely making an effort to see, unconsciously, and worse still, if not enough they could be adding even a bit of strain consciously! (I know David, that 'strain' is too cliche for you, but I don't have other word for 'tension').
Anyway, I don't even think that Bates needed to write a 'how-to' guide to apply it correctly, If it were the case, he would have done it. A lot of people already have already achieve normal vision just by reading his book, also is true that many fail. I would bet, it's just an example, but consider that there is 2000 people with myopia, to these 2000 people are given Bates' book, but when they give a try to for example, shifting - swinning, or the long swing, inevitably most of these individuals will fail, here the question is, why?, I've found there is a very subtle change we have to do in order to apply it correctly, in first place we have to give up effort, I meant, allow for example the swing to happen, instead to 'produce it' by some sort of abnormal effort, how most of these people would do. On the other hand, is a little incoherent to tell a person to take off his glasses and tell him try to shift, from one point to another, detail per datail, even if it sounds easy, it is not for someone who have used glasses for years, decades. In order to accomplish shifting correctly It's better to first get relief from the strain and then shift, as Bates describes.

Do not be ashamed, it It's common to happen, to fail, me included went for a while trying to palm (for hours a day!), shifting, swing, relax the eyes, without success. What really did the trick was to allow things to happen.
It's vital to keep in mind that Bates techniques are a mean to raise awareness of how much we are abusing our visual system-eyes - blinking incorrectly, trying to grab an area too large in one bite, trying to clear up what's there by effort, and so on. So when finally we can identify how much we're trying to see or in Bates words 'trying to do the impossible', the more we are aware of this strain, the better we get at waive it -- let it go, no need to do anything else to get relief from this chronic tension, just put a little attention and observe as it leaves us.

My advices for all of you who are still struggling a lot with it, is to take it simple, because it is. Don't get so far away from Bates' writings, demostrate how hard you try to see, demostrate how letting go of the mental strain, abnormal tensions, avoiding staring, your vision clear up -- you'll find it's all neccesary to improve your vision. There is a need to seek for strange things which don't make sense, when what works is just in front of our eyes.
I am wondering if the book was meant for doctors and not the general public, maybe tyring to understand the reasoning behind the method is making the exercises seem like a daunting task...just a thought.
eyesea, I think we need less "figuring out", not more. I think Dr. Bates said the people who improved fastest were often the ones who did exactly as he told them and didn't try to understand why it worked. Time spent anaylzing might be better spent looking!
@ Lord,

You make a lot of really good points. My own experience of vision improvement over the last several years falls much in line with what you describe. I don't think one should ever have to apologize for using the word 'strain' - I want to quote a post from a member of another vision site, when a discussion came up regarding the general use of it. She is an accomplished writer of books and poetry - and very knowledgeable about Bates:

"I don't' think it is possible to talk about vision without strain and I certainly can't say anything intelligible either about my own vision improvement, nor about the ways in which I have accomplished this improvement, without mentioning strain. So, without being able to discuss strain, I am afraid I too will have very little to say.

....For the record, here are some of the dictionary definitions of strain. It seems that the word "strain" is an astoundingly precise, nuanced and accurate word to communicate what Bates was talking about when he spoke of refractive error and vision improvement. In fact, reading these definitions one understands why Bates refers so
centrally to "strain": the word is at once totally precise but astoundingly far reaching in capturing the many dimensions of what it is that creates poor vision and what it is that one must do to have clear vision. Language is what I do professionally, and I must commend Dr. Bates for his superb use of the English language.

1. to draw tight or taut, esp. to the utmost tension

2. to exert to the utmost

3. to impair, injure, or weaken (a muscle, tendon, etc.) by stretching or

4. to cause mechanical deformation in (a body or structure) as the result
of stress.

5. to stretch beyond the proper point or limit

13. to stretch one's muscles, nerves, etc., to the utmost.

14. to make violent physical efforts; strive hard.

15. to resist forcefully

16. to be subjected to tension or stress; suffer strain.


19. any force or pressure tending to alter shape, cause a fracture, etc.

20. strong muscular or physical effort.

21. great or excessive effort or striving after some goal, object, or

22. an injury to a muscle, tendon, etc., due to excessive tension or use;

23. Mechanics, Physics. deformation of a body or structure as a result of
an applied force.

24. condition of being strained or stretched.

25. a task, goal, or effect accomplished only with great effort

26. severe, trying, or fatiguing pressure or exertion; taxing onus

27. a severe demand on or test of resources, feelings"

I concur with that.

With regards to Bates' book, it was obviously written for a broad audience - professional a lay person alike. To appeal, or make any sense to the professionals, he had to include his background research and everything that would support his position. Nonetheless, there is an incredible amount of "how to" in his description of the methods - such as shifting, palming, using the memory or imagination. There's even precise detail in there as to how to make (paint) your own eye chart if you couldn't get a printed one. I do agree that the monthly magazines went into more detail as to how the techniques were implemented, in the office, at the clinic, on a day to day basis. But even then, there's a sense that he was still trying to win over professionals with the same stroke of the pen.

I think it's impossible to write a detailed step-by-step guide that'll work for everyone, even though that's what so many want. When it comes to vision, what works for one doesn't always work for another - there's just too much individual difference in the way we respond and perceive, on a mental level as well as physical. As Bates' wife Emily said, they had to custom tailor the treatment in some way to each individual. It's easy to do that in a personal setting such as the office or clinic, because they were getting immediate feedback from the patients. A technique that worked marvels for one patient could prove to be a disaster for another. They could quickly shift gears. So I think he had to paint in broader strokes in order to give people the underlying principles of what they were trying to accomplish, and enough variety to find what worked best for them.

There's always going to be those people who want to know why this, or why that.... humans are curious creatures, and some have to understand everything before they trust what they're getting into. What I've seen a lot of, especially on this site with so many newcomers, is a lot of questions about this little sensation, or that little sensation, is this good or bad....etc. These are hard questions to answer, but I can't blame them because this stuff is really off charted territory, and it can be confusing if it's a 'good' pain, or 'bad' pain from something that might not be beneficial.

I agree, simple is best. Unfortunately, sometimes simple is not so simple to explain.


eyesea - " Because Dr.Bates was a medical doctor and eye surgeon, and because much of his work is discussed in this book, some terms used herein are medical. After Bates died in 1931, his wife Emily and other Natural Vision Teachers have taught the "Bates method" in an educational manner " - in Relearning to See by Thomas R.Quackenbush.

arocarty - The humans are not only curious but complicate a lot. Thomas R.Quackenbush says in his book that prefers working with children because they simple don't complicate like adults do.

I'm now re-reading the Bates book and i have found one fact: The Bates Work is based on facts, or like i prefer to call: practice.
In this last weeks i have dedicated more on practice to release my mind and body and i have to say that i feel better despite not seeing better. So, here is my advice: Drop theory, take action!
Very nice posts. I personally have not gotten checked to see if my diopter has gotten closer to 0. I believe I am still around -4 (what I have when I started) and have been doing this for 1.5 weeks. If I were you and I got results of 0.5 in 1.5 month I would be very happy and keep on with the program.

Question: When you centralize on the details of a detail, how long do you centralize for before shifting your gaze?

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