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Not giving up but progressing in a different direction
#16
Daniel Wrote:To quote Bates' words which I referred to above:
Quote:
It is absolutely necessary that the glasses be discarded. No half-way measures can be tolerated, if a cure is desired. Do not attempt to wear weaker glasses, and do not wear glasses for emergencies. Persons who are unable to do without glasses for all purposes are not likely to be able to cure themselves.

That is from the chapter on Home Treatment. In other words, if you want to improve your eyesight either find a competent Bates method teacher to work with personally, or don't wear glasses at all and do your best to cure yourself. For a moderate-to-high myope, the latter would pretty much rule out school, among other things.

One should be careful not to single out certain quotes from Bates, as it can lead one to a narrow perspective. I always found it best to read all of Bates to get a more rounded picture of his treatment, and approach. This you quoted, while it sounds quite stern and definite, didn't mean he didn't make exceptions. He was quite aware that some people could not do without lenses due to safety, jobs, school, whatever.

From his book, chapt. IX:
"Generally persons who have never worn glasses are more easily cured than those who have, and glasses should be discarded at the beginning of the treatment. When this cannot be done without too great discomfort, or when the patient has to continue his work during the treatment and cannot do so without glasses, their use must be permitted for a time.."

From a NY Medical Journal article he wrote:

"As a general rule it is best for the patient to discard glasses. In some cases of extreme myopia, where going without glasses entails too great a hardship, good results have been obtained by gradually reducing the strength of the glasses worn as the vision improves, but the treatment is then prolonged."

So, he did actually permit it, in spite of that stern statement. To even Bates, it was necessarily an all or nothing approach.

I don't know how many people you have treated, helped cure, or how well you have gotten relief yourself, but it comes across as though you know better than even Bates himself. While you may know what is best for you, in your circumstances, it isn't for any of us to judge what is best for someone else. Everyone seems capable of deciding if this is feasible for themselves. Maybe someone just wants to stop progression, until such a time when they can devote more to it. That in itself can be an achievement.

Back in the days of Bates, there was no internet, no audio or video conferencing, no on-line support groups. Getting information, help, is no longer limited to finding a teacher and having to travel to be in the same room. School is no longer limited to classroom instruction. The possibilities are endless.
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#17
arocarty Wrote:To even Bates, it was necessarily an all or nothing approach.
correction: it was NOT necessarily an all or nothing approach.
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#18
arocarty, I agree with your perspective. Certain parts of things written so long ago can become unnecessarily archaic while sounding as if they are full of esoteric wisdom for the same reason. Technology and the availability of materials and products can change the situation.

I believe Bates mentioned in a magazine issue that he found that some people made significant improvements even without discarding their glasses. I'll find it if nobody else can identify the issue.

So while Bates provided a lot of good suggestions and information that should be looked at, I don't think "because Bates said so" is a very convincing argument, and not just because he might change his mind.
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"Half of our funny, heathen lives, we are bent double to gather things we have tossed away." - George Meredith
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#19
Sorry, I guess I was being a bit obnoxious with this theme. In the case of this thread, it started out of a concern for someone's safety. When you have moderate-to-high myopia, going without glasses is always somewhat risky, especially in unfamiliar places (i.e. when traveling).

Arocarty, those quotes presumably all concern people who Bates was helping personally. That does not contradict the statement that someone doing it on their own must completely discard glasses.

If someone just wants to stop their eyesight from getting worse, that's fine. Although as we saw with JWLBOYCE, even that doesn't always succeed.

arocarty Wrote:Back in the days of Bates, there was no internet, no audio or video conferencing, no on-line support groups. Getting information, help, is no longer limited to finding a teacher and having to travel to be in the same room. School is no longer limited to classroom instruction. The possibilities are endless.
Good points. Still, I doubt that any of this measures up to having the live help of a good Bates teacher who is in the same room with you.
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#20
Daniel, I still don't think that someone who practices on his/her own needs to discard the eyeglasses completely. I think it's pretty clear that not discarding glasses will lengthen the process and probably make it more difficult to see improvement, but I also think that it's a bit unrealistic to go completely without them in this day and age. You brought up a few possibilities, like casting school/work to the side, but there are very few people who are willing to do this. If getting 20/20 vision (or better) was the sole goal in life, then clearly, this would be the way to go.

But for all of us, there are other things, and some of these things are more important even than restoring our vision. I think this is a pretty big reason why we all progress at different rates. The higher up on the priority list you put vision improvement, the more time you will put into it and the more likely it is that you will see improvement. What it comes down to is that everyone sets a different priority and sets aside a different amount of time for vision improvement, but what I think remains constant through these differences are the principles that Bates brought forth. You know - central fixation, movement, effortlessness, etc. All of the other details (what techniques to practice, how to practice them, how long to practice them, how often one wears glasses, how strong the glasses are, etc.) are better approached in a case-by-case manner. Obviously, there are general answers for all of these details, but ultimately, I think it should come down to a choice by the vision improvement student.

Regarding success, few things are ever guaranteed to succeed. I am sure there are people who discard their glasses completely and still fail to succeed. There probably aren't many of them, but my point is that regardless of whether you discard your glasses for good, you still have to go through the process of relearning to see.
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#21
Based upon my experience, and from other which I've learned, I can say that:

While glasses are part of the problem, as is well known over time you'll need stronger and stronger glasses, because nothing is being done to improve it, once your awareness is increased you can understand that glasses aren't the problem itself and actually you can use them as devices to help you in the journey, by de-adaptation of weaker glasses instead of getting full prescription every time. A person can take off their glasses and the problem yet will not be corrected magically. It's all about the individual's reaction to the perceived space (our three-dimensional reality), which is one of the first thing is impaired, distorted by the use of minus lenses with time, and learning how to see a 3-D world again is one of the biggest hotspots in Natural Vision Improvement, I'm so sad that this point is not touched enough.
Everywhere there is just a bunch of information about "central-fixation" "only one point at time, and only pay attention to this!". I'm looking forward to write more about my progress in my blog, so you can also benefit of what I'm doing. Learn to use the visual system properly is the goal.


Best Regards,
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#22
Daniel Wrote:Arocarty, those quotes presumably all concern people who Bates was helping personally. That does not contradict the statement that someone doing it on their own must completely discard glasses.

Not trying to contradict anything, I just think you can't paint the whole picture on one statement. In my estimation that is a big presumption to make. We have no way of knowing that. It's also presuming he was easier on people he may never have met, than on the people who were able to be treated in person. If anything, I would 'presume' he was just as stern or sterner on those who were treated personally. I presume he would have told them right away, and over and over that in order to be cured, they will have to eliminate dependence on corrective lenses. A man of his intelligence certainly would know that his publications would reach out to thousands of people he would never get to treat personally, so I think a harder line needed to be impressed up those attempting their own home treatment.

I agree with the statement by Pikachu that, regardless of whether you discard your glasses completely or not, there are no guarantees of benefit. If you don't learn to eliminate the underlying mental and physical strain, there will be little or no benefit. Some high myopes have have good success in their own home treatment by gradually reducing their prescriptions. They contradict all the odds. No doubt the more one depends on lenses the longer it will take to realize the benefit. No one should go into it without that awareness.
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#23
Deliverance, your point about the 3D vision which glasses disrupt is worth emphasizing. I took a couple of week-long workshops with Peter Grunwald (Eyebody), and he told us one of the big things myopes could do to help their vision improve was to focus on seeing depth. My world was seriously flattened when I started reducing my prescription from -10, and I used to practice on trees and branches, seeing if I could tell which was farther and which nearer, then testing myself by moving my head and noticing the oppositional movement (the closer object moves more). A friend who wears -9 told me she once took off her glasses briefly on a long drive with a lot of scenery, and was so startled and frightened by the depth that popped out she slammed her glasses back on immediately, almost panicking. This gave me a lot to think about -- glasses really shut down our perceptions.
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#24
Do contacts shut out our 3d vision as well nancy or just glasses?
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#25
I'm pretty sure the hard plastic ones I wore for years did flatten the depth. I'm less sure about soft contacts, but my guess is they also mute the colors and dull the clear crisp natural vision of the naked eye. I notice this effect even looking through plain glass like a window or windshield, and I'm assuming even a plastic flexible film like soft contacts would do the same thing.
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#26
You don't need glasses to go to school if you can get there without them by bicycling, the bus or public transit. You only need glasses to see the board. However, teachers almost always speak out what they write down anyway so it is totally moot. Actually, if you write down what the teacher says while they say it, you will actually retain less according to research. How you commit things to memory is by being attentive and reflecting on what you listened to later on, so you have the memory ingrained better. What you should do is just try to be mentally present in the moment and attentive as you can in class. When class ends, write down what you remembered as notes, preferably before the beginning of the next class at a different venue. What you can also do is get notes that someone else copied from the board after class and re-copy it in a different location from the classroom where the class was taught. If you do that you will have committed to memory three times what was said and in at least three different locations. If you do that you will not need to even study or do homework if it isn't graded or checked.

If you think I am making this up see:
Wired: Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong
Slashdot discussion of that wired article

MP3: 2600 The Next Hope Conference - Lecture by 2008 National Memory Champion, Chester Santos
What Chester says is that people can remember things like experiences well but facts and numbers less distinctly. So the key is to associate what you want to remember with lots of different memory experiences, different places, etc. You can do that by doing what I said above, instead of taking notes from the blackboard/whiteboard by wearing glasses.

Later I will elaborate this into a whole topic to remove another excuse for wearing glasses. In school of all places, you don't need to see the board.
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#27
Roy, do you think that it's better to spend hours hunched forward than wearing glasses? Once nearsightedness reaches a certain point, even desk-work is a problem. Though you may not notice yourself hunching forward.
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#28
I am actually just writing a letter to my friend in prison with pen and paper, something I have not done in a long time right now in the dark at 5-6 am. In our house the lights are crappy and poor. But I can write with a minimum of stooping regardless. When I relax enough I don't have to as much and if the light was better, even less or not at all. So in daylight in a well lit classroom or area there are many who could do it.

Anyhow I don't want to get into the whole excuses game, as most of the energy of this forum is excuses and who can beat who at that game. It seems most here give up like the original poster. As you do something you get better at it. So the more you write without glasses, the better you will be at it. Also one thing you could do is use one of those old CRT monitor base stations made of plastic to write on so it is closer to your eyes.

Yes, it is a hundred percent better to stoop or find a way and plow through till you adapt. If I abandoned the illusion I needed glasses earlier in my life, I have would progressed till where I wouldn't have needed them. What Iwant2cdammit wrote is the sad story of this forum. Want to improve with 10% or less effort: give up: wear glasses full-time or almost so: lose almost all progress: want to continue again: start from scratch: give up: and on and on.
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#29
RoyFokker Wrote:As you do something you get better at it. So the more you write without glasses, the better you will be at it.

If I abandoned the illusion I needed glasses earlier in my life, I have would progressed till where I wouldn't have needed them.
It didn't work that way for me. I almost never wore glasses for near-work or any leisure activity until my vision was worse than 20/400. My once-neat handwriting got sloppy, and my eyesight kept getting worse.
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#30
RoyFokker Wrote:You don't need glasses to go to school if you can get there without them by bicycling, the bus or public transit. You only need glasses to see the board. However, teachers almost always speak out what they write down anyway so it is totally moot. Actually, if you write down what the teacher says while they say it, you will actually retain less according to research. How you commit things to memory is by being attentive and reflecting on what you listened to later on, so you have the memory ingrained better. What you should do is just try to be mentally present in the moment and attentive as you can in class. When class ends, write down what you remembered as notes, preferably before the beginning of the next class at a different venue. What you can also do is get notes that someone else copied from the board after class and re-copy it in a different location from the classroom where the class was taught. If you do that you will have committed to memory three times what was said and in at least three different locations. If you do that you will not need to even study or do homework if it isn't graded or checked.

If you think I am making this up see:
Wired: Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong
Slashdot discussion of that wired article

MP3: 2600 The Next Hope Conference - Lecture by 2008 National Memory Champion, Chester Santos
What Chester says is that people can remember things like experiences well but facts and numbers less distinctly. So the key is to associate what you want to remember with lots of different memory experiences, different places, etc. You can do that by doing what I said above, instead of taking notes from the blackboard/whiteboard by wearing glasses.

Later I will elaborate this into a whole topic to remove another excuse for wearing glasses. In school of all places, you don't need to see the board.

I realize that we have a pretty sizable student population here, so I just wanted to point out a couple of things. First of all, the bit on not having to take notes is a bit controversial, but theoretically, it sounds about right. I might actually try it myself sometime. However, it's worth noting that taking notes blindly is still better than not paying attention and not taking notes at all. The bit on studying in different locations is also potentially correct, although I personally have not had any problems retaining information from studying in the same location (my room) every time. If you truly understand the material, it shouldn't be a problem.

However, I have to disagree with RoyFokker's claim that one does not have to do homework or study. I didn't even see a reference to this point in the first source. Was it in the mp3 file? I think that doing homework and studying are very important in classes. Practice and deep understanding of material are both necessary to not only do well on tests and in class, but also to retain that information. Yes, if you're just trying to memorize facts and stuff, there are memory techniques out there that could aid studying, and obviously, homework doesn't improve one's ability to memorize facts.

Final point about memory. What is most interesting about it is that the more you 'exercise' it, the stronger your memory is likely to be. If you force yourself to remember certain things, you will find yourself more and more able to do so. But that's another topic altogether.

And I agree with Daniel. Forcing yourself not to wear glasses will not necessarily do anything to improve your vision. It's like trying to practice with the Snellen chart from 20 feet when you can hardly see it from ten feet. Inevitably, effort will set in and you're more likely to create strain than to relieve it. You want to put yourself in as many situations as possible that minimize your use of glasses, not necessarily minimize your use of glasses in as many situations as possible.
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