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Better Eyesight Magazine - Subjects, Articles, Practices
January, 1924 - THE VARIABLE SWING:

Some years ago a school teacher called for treatment. She had a conical cornea, which is a very serious disease of the front part of the eye. The cornea bulges and becomes conical. The apex of the cornea becomes ulcerated, and may become perforated with loss of aqueous.
Various operations have been recommended, but the results have been usually very unsatisfactory. The vision of the patient was 1/20 of the normal. She was very much benefited by the variable swing. The variable swing is shorter at twenty feet, or further (far distances) than it is at six inches. In this swing the patient holds the forefinger of one hand to one side of the temple, and while looking at the Snellen Test Card, the head is moved from side to side a short distance. The patient when looking straight at the card, was able to imagine the finger moving from side to side an inch or more, while the test card moved a much shorter distance, or did not appear to move at all. By shortening the movement of the head, the swing became still shorter, until the finger seemed to move no more than its own width, and the card seemed stationary. It was very remarkable how her vision improved with the improvement in the swing. At the end of about an hour of the variable swing, her vision had improved to 1/2 with flashes of normal sight occasionally, which was a great deal better than the vision she obtained with her glasses.
There are some people who can practice the variable swing and obtain good results, while there are others who are not able to use it with any help or comfort. It is difficult for me to explain why or how, some people obtain good results from this form of a swing, while others require supervision with a great deal of mental gymnastics from their medical adviser.

November, 1922
(Oppositional Movement)
(Conical Cornea Cured)

RECENTLY I have been impressed very much by the value of the variable swing. By the variable swing is meant the ability to imagine a near object with a longer swing than one more distant.
For example, a patient came to me with conical cornea, which is usually considered incurable. I placed a chair five feet away from her eyes, clearly on a line with the Snellen test card located 15 feet distant.
When she looked at the Snellen test card and imagined the letters moving an inch or less (shifting on the letters) she could imagine the chair that she was not looking at moving quite a distance. As is well known the shorter the swing the better the sight. Some persons with unusually good vision have a swing so short that they do not readily recognize it. This patient was able to imagine the chair moving an inch or less and the card on the wall moving a shorter distance. She became able to imagine the chair moving a quarter of an inch and the movement of the Snellen test card at 15 feet was so short that she could not notice it. In the beginning her vision with glasses was poor and without glasses was double, and even the larger letters on the Snellen test card were very much blurred. Now, when she imagined the chair moving a quarter of an inch and the Snellen test card moving so short a distance that she could not recognize it, the conical cornea disappeared from both eyes and her vision became normal. To me it was one of the most remarkable things I have seen in years. I know of no other treatment that has ever brought about so great a benefit in so bad a case.
The variable swing is something that most people can learn how to practice at their first visit. Some people can do it better than others. The improvement depends directly upon their skill in practicing the variable swing.


Hold the forefinger of one hand six inches from the right eye and about the same distance to the right. Look straight ahead and move the head a short distance from side to side. The finger appears to move in the direction opposite to the movement of the head and eyes.

SHORT SWING: When the sight is normal, one can demonstrate the short swing. When it is imperfect, one can demonstrate only the longer swing. When a patient with imperfect sight regards the Snellen test card at ten or fifteen feet, he may be able to imagine one of the letters on the card to be swinging a quarter of an inch or less. The imagination of a shorter swing always improves the sight. Some patients can imagine the short swing better with their eyes closed than with them open. Alternate the imagination of the swing of the letter with the eyes closed and with them open. By repetition, the vision of the letter with the eyes open will improve (at first in flashes, later more continuously), if the memory of the short swing is perfect with the eyes closed.

JULY, 1928

When shifting is done properly, it is practiced easily, without effort or strain. When one shifts from a point to the left to a point to the right, the swing produced is continuous, regular, and promotes relaxation. It is possible to shift with the eyes closed with as much benefit as with the eyes open. There are some people who cannot shift with the eyes open without a strain and yet they can shift or swing or imagine perfect sight with the eyes closed.
Whenever the head and eyes are moved from side to side, one should imagine that stationary objects are moving in the opposite direction. This should be practiced at all times until the habit is obtained.

JUNE, 1928
Variable swing:

The patients holds the forefinger of one hand six inches from the right eye and about the same distance to the right, as he moves the head a short distance from side to side. The finger should appear to move in the opposite direction to the movement of the head. This can also be done with the finger held between the left and right eyes, at eye level.


The treatment in my experience which has yielded the best results is the practice of the variable swing. The patient holds the forefinger of one hand about six inches in front and to one side of the eyes. When he moves his head a short distance from side to side, the finger appears to move in the direction opposite to the movement of the head and eyes.
While practicing the variable swing, the patient is directed to regard one known letter of the
Snellen test card at ten or fifteen feet, and imagine it as well as he can with his eyes open f or a few seconds. The eyes are quickly closed while the patient remembers the same letter more perfectly than it was seen. He then opens his eyes and imagines the known letter on the card, as well as he can for a few seconds. The patient alternately remembers the known letter perfectly with the eyes closed and imagines it with the eyes open for a few seconds, until he becomes able to imagine he sees the known letter nearly as well with his eyes open as he can remember it with his eyes closed. By this method, the patient can improve his vision for each known or unknown letter of the Snellen test card. It is remarkable how promptly the conical cornea subsides when the variable swing is practiced in this way. Some patients have obtained normal vision in a much shorter time than one would expect.

Circular Swing: There is one objection to the universal swing and that is that at the end of the count to the right or left, the patient in some cases stares. This stoppage of the swing may be corrected by the practice of the circular swing, when all objects are imagined to move continuously in a circular direction. The circular swing may be remembered with the eyes closed and differs from the other swings in that the finger, Snellen test card, or other objects appear to move in a circular direction.
In the circular swing, the head and eyes are moved in a circular direction.
Square Swing: In the square swing, the head and eyes are moved in a horizontal line from one side to the other and then downward, across, upward, and across, without a stop being made in any part of the swing. Many patients can practice a square swing when they find it difficult or impossible to practice a circular swing. Either the circular or square swing may be practiced with the eyes open or closed.

The circular swing, which has proved so helpful in the cure of many patients, was her main treatment at the first visit. In this swing the head and eyes move in the orbit of a circle. They move continuously, and there is no opportunity to stare nor strain, as there may be when the head and eyes are just moved from side to side. The diameter of the circular swing should be as short as possible, because the greatest degree of relaxation can be obtained if a short circular swing can be practiced. There is this objection, however, that when the orbit of the swing is short, the patient may unconsciously stop the swing, and a stare or strain results. In a circular swing, in which the diameter of the circle is longer, relaxation is always obtained. The circular swing can be practiced with the patient standing or sitting. The results vary from time to time. At one time, the greatest benefit may be obtained while the patient is sitting, at another time while he is standing.
Draw the imaginary circle in the air, moving the eyes ‘visual attention’ along the circle counterclockwise and clockwise. Move the head with the eyes. Imagining the circle in the air in front of you helps the eyes move along the imaginary circle. Practice with the eyes open, closed, open.
The circular swing prevents the stare and relieves pain and fatigue;

Hold the forefinger of one hand about six inches in front of one eye and a few inches to the outer side of the face. By moving the head and eyes in a circular or an elliptical orbit, notice that the finger appears to move in the direction opposite to the movement of the head and eyes. Now realize that the hand must move with the finger because the hand and finger are fastened together. When one moves, the other moves in the same direction, up, down, to the right or left. The same fact is true of the arm fastened to the wrist. When the finger moves, the hand, wrist and arm in turn, all move and in the same direction. Likewise when the finger moves, the shoulder moves with it and other parts of the body fastened directly or indirectly to the finger. You may soon become able to imagine the chair on which you are sitting to be fastened indirectly to the finger. When one moves, the other always moves in the same direction. When you become able to imagine all things, one at a time to be moving with the finger, i.e., the universal swing, the stare is prevented and pain and fatigue disappear. The memory, imagination and vision are also improved.
Distant objects will appear to move in the same direction the eyes, head, body move to.

(The Figure Eight – Infinity Swing is a modern version of the circular, square and few other swings.)
arocarty Wrote:An interesting study done on orchestral musicians makes some interesting connections of astigmatism and constant, asymmetric body positions,:

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This is an interesting cause of astigmatism in study of musicians. The study was supposed to verify previous research that found that too much horizontal scanning causes with-the-rule astigmatism (football-shaped cornea lying on its side), and too much vertical scanning causes against-the-rule astigmatism (football-shaped cornea standing on its tip). Don’t the first two musicians show the opposite?
This is very helpful. I will pass along to my students that have this conditin.
Several of the classic vision books mention concert violinists developing astigmatism from their prolonged tilted head posture during concert season, then the astigmatism clearing up during the off-season. How you use your eyes on a daily basis determines to a large extent how well you will see.

Possibly Huxleys book too.
Here's Bates original book 'Perfect Sight Without Glasses on Google;
Cataract number
January, 1921

A Report of a Case

From "A Case of Cataract," by Victoria Coolidge, in "Better Eyesight" for June, 1920.
The treatment prescribed was as follows:

+ Palming six times a day, a half hour or longer at a time.

+ Reading the Snellen test card at five, ten, and twenty feet.

+ Reading fine print at six inches, five minutes at a time, especially soon after rising in the morning and just before retiring at night, and reading books and newspapers.

+Besides this, he was to subject his eyes, especially the left, to the sunlight whenever an opportunity offered, to drink twelve glasses of water a day, walk five miles a day, and later, when he was in better training, to run half a mile or so every day.
The results of this treatment have been most gratifying. Not only have his eyes improved steadily, but his general health has been so much benefited that at eighty-two he looks, acts and feels better and younger than he did at eighty-one.



This patient was first seen on October 18, 1920, when her vision in the right eye was 20/100 and in the left 14/200. She had compound myopic astigmatism in the right eye, and the pupil of the left eye was covered by a traumatic cataract which prevented ophthalmoscopic examination of the eye-ground. On December 6, the cataract had been absorbed except for a spot about the size of a pin-head, and I was able to see the optic nerve and the retina clearly. With a glass to replace the focusing power of the lens—convex 7.00D.S. combined with convex 3.00 D.C., 75 degrees—she was able with this eye to read 20/40, and on the same day, after palming and swinging, she obtained temporary normal vision in both eyes, the left eyeball having elongated sufficiently to compensate for the loss of the lens. The fact that astigmatism should have developed in the right eye after the injury to the left is interesting, as astigmatism has been supposed, until recently, to be congenital.
When I was thirteen years of age a bullet from an air-gun, rebounding from a tree, struck my left eye and injured the lens. This resulted in the formation of a cataract which was operated upon three times. After the third operation about one third of the cataract remained, but the doctor was afraid to operate again. I was now able with this eye to distinguish, with the aid of a strong glass, only the outline of near-by objects.
Previous to the accident my eyes had been straight, and the vision of both normal, so far as I was aware. After the last operation, however, I found myself unable to read writing on the blackboard at school. I went to the specialist who had performed the operations and he was astounded to find that I had a bad case of astigmatism in the good eye. He gave me the following glass: convex 3.00 D.C., 105 degrees, combined with concave 2.50 D.C., 15 degrees. Later my left eye began to turn out.
I wore my glasses constantly, putting them on the first thing in the morning, and taking them off the last thing at night. I went swimming with them, and if they were lost or broken, I remained in my room until they were found or repaired. My condition caused me much unhappiness, and I was particularly disturbed about the squint. I wrote to every medical journal that I knew about and to many other publications, asking if there was any cure for squint; but none of them was able to suggest anything but an operation. A few months ago I happened to hear about Dr. Bates, and I resolved to see him as soon as an opportunity offered. At the beginning of the season I came to New York from my home in Texas to study music, but with Dr. Bates in the background of my mind. Nevertheless I did not look him up immediately.
One day in the elevator of a department store my glasses were swept from my face, disappearing as completely as if they had never existed. I went to the Lost Property Office, but after waiting there a long time failed to recover them. It was a horrible experience, and the realization of my helplessness without glasses depressed me terribly. However, it resulted in my looking up Dr. Bates immediately, it was a good thing.
I went to him with the hope that he might be able to cure my squint and astigmatism, but I never dreamt that he could cure cataract also. When he told me he could do so I hardly knew what to think, but I resolved to do everything I could to help him cure me. I carried out the swinging treatment so vigorously that I used to get dizzy, and fall over on my bed. Of course I was not doing it right, but the doctor had told me to swing, and I was determined to do so. I was positively terrified when he told me to palm and remember all sorts of strange things, such as the letter F on a piece of white starch, because I thought he was trying to hypnotize me, but I did my best, nevertheless, to carry out his instruction. Later I bought and read all the back numbers of the magazine, and learned the scientific principles on which the treatment is based.
My eyesight is now steadily improving, and I intend to keep up the treatment until I have normal vision. I have given up the music for the time being—my eyes are more important, ten times more important—and the ridicule of my friends does not disturb me. As long as that old cataract continues to melt away nothing else matters.
In addition to the improvement in my eyesight I have noticed an improvement in my memory. My memory for the things I learned out of books at school was always poor, while my memory for music has always been exceptionally good. I suppose the difference was due to the fact that one set of impressions reached me through my eyes, and the other though my ears. Now that my vision is improving I can remember the things that I see better.
I wish everyone could know of this remarkable method of curing defects of vision. I know in the end it must surmount all opposition, but meantime how many persons as afflicted as I once was will remain unhelped! It is right that we should be dubious of the new, but to hang so tightly to tradition as the medical profession seems to do makes progress unnecessarily hard.



New York.

This patient when first seen had a vision of 20/200 in each eye, and was wearing, for distant vision, the following glasses: right eye, concave 6.00 D.S. combined with 1.00 D.C., 90 degrees; left eye, 10.00 D.S. combined with 1.00 D.C., 60 degrees. Owing to the presence of incipient cataract in each eye these lenses improved his vision only 20/50 in the right eye and 20/100 in the left. For reading his glasses were three diopters weaker. He now has flashes of normal vision. He was helped most by the use of his imagination.
Since boyhood—I am now sixty-five—I have had myopia and astigmatism, for the correction of which I have worn glasses and spectacles. About two years ago cataract developed in my right eye, and a few months later in my left eye. Both were in mild degree, but still bad enough to seriously obscure the field of vision. I had previously been annoyed by vitreous opacities which made little black spots dance in the field of vision. I also suffered from frequent severe headaches. My glasses were often changed without much relief.
About November 1st of this year (1920) I consulted Dr. Bates, of whom I had heard much and favorably. His methods of treatment seemed exceedingly rational, and he gave me great hopes of getting rid of my eye troubles. First of all he made me discard my glasses, which, at first, seemed rather hard, but to which I have gradually become reconciled. Through what I would call a system of progressive education of sight, I have now almost got rid of the myopia, the vitreous opacities do not bother me any more, and, apparently, the cataracts are disappearing by degrees. The headaches have also disappeared. I have resumed, to a great extent, the literary and research work on which I have been engaged since my retirement from active practice, and I have no doubt that, ultimately, I shall be in possession of full visual power. Upon my future progress I will report at a later date.
No. 122 West Ninety-ninth Street
February, 1930

Why Patients Fail

By Emily A. Bates

0N PAGE 15 of my book, "Stories From The Clinic" I have suggestions which if read by patients would help them to do the right thing while taking treatment for their eyes [link]. Suggestion Number One reads as follows: "If the vision of the patient is improved under the care of the doctor, and the patient neglects to practice, when he leaves the office, what he is told to do at home, the treatment has been of no benefit whatever. The improved vision was only temporary. Faithful practice permanently improves the sight to normal." This does not mean one must work hours at a time, practicing the advice given for the im-provement of sight, but it does mean that he should devote as much time as possible to practice and not make hard work of it.

We have repeated in a great number of articles that it only takes a minute to test the sight with a test card and if the patient practices a few minutes in the morn-ing, it will help a great deal during the day. If at any time during the day, a strain is produced for some reason or another, the memory of one of the test card letters which was seen perfectly usually relieves all symptoms of strain and discomfort. Sometimes relief is only for a minute or two, but if the patient can remind himself to do this several times a day, the improved vision remains for a long time. Even with errors of refraction and organic diseases, the symptoms are lessened by the memory of a known letter or a known object seen clearly.

Most people, even those who have no trouble with their eyes, feel relieved from strain and discomfort of other parts of the body by the memory of some pleasant scenery or beautiful colors which are remembered without effort. There are certain shades of color which do produce mental strain and at the same time cause a low-ering of the vision. Green, no matter what shade of green it may be, is usually a rest and relaxation to the mind and eyes. Personally I can relax immediately if I am suffering from mental strain, which is frequently the case, by thinking of a Nile green shade or any object of that color.

Perhaps I can make myself understood better by telling about a case of hypermetropia in a woman, fifty-one years old, whose sight was poor for the near point as well as for the distance. She suffered from a great deal of pain and discomfort in her eyes at times. I tested her sight for colors, using different shades of yarn which I held exposed to her view at a point about ten feet from her eyes. She wore a light colored dress which had the combined shades of brown, tan, and yellow. She men-tioned the different shades of yarn as I held them up for her to see and when I placed before her a shade of black yarn, she said: "Isn't it funny that I don't care for black especially."

Here was a problem. For years the doctor had helped patients by the memory of black, usually remembered by the patient with his eyes closed. For some time we had made good progress in benefiting patients' eyes by having them remember colors with their eyes closed and imagining one period blacker than another and then vice versa. I had planned to treat this woman in this way, using a colon as an object. I immediately removed that thought from my mind and planned to help her in some other way. Some of our test cards have red and green lines which are sometimes a great help in improving the patient's vision for the smaller letters at a distance of ten feet or further. Testing her with these cards and improving her sight with the memory of the green col-ored line not only helped the patient's eyes, but also relieved the symptoms of pain and discomfort that she had had for some time.

At this patient's second treatment she gave me a report of the progress she had made while practicing at home. She enjoyed drawing, which I advised her to continue to do, and then for pastime while she was practicing she used different colored crayons for the drawings. She brought the drawings with her, and we thought they were beautifully done. At her second visit she wore a black gown, and all through her treatment I had to listen patiently for twenty minutes to her account of the sadness she had had through her life, of the care that some of the members of her family were to her, and of how hard it was for her to remain cheerful.

I tested her sight and found it about the same as it was before I treated her in the beginning. I made the room unusually bright by using the thermolite as well as the ceiling lights which we have in our office. I then started testing her sight for colors at fifteen feet, using the yarns again and while it took a little longer to have her mention the colors correctly, I did succeed finally in making her forget about her family troubles and wor-ries. I wanted to be sure that I was right about the change of temperament because of her black gown, so mentioned it to her and told her to remember black while palming. Instead of being quiet she talked incessantly of her pain and the operations that she had had from time to time and the only way I could quiet her was to tell her that I had several of them myself but that I did not worry about them any longer. I asked her if she had read Irvin Cobb's book on operations and told her some of the funny stories which were in his little book. She soon found out that I did not care to discuss operations.

What I want to explain at this point is that color has a great deal to do with mind strain. I believe that people are much happier now that brighter color combinations are being used in our homes.

Sometime ago I had a patient over sixty years of age who had double vision almost all the time. Large objects were seen single but small objects were always seen double. Test card reading was not easy for this patient so I had to conceal every letter on the test card with the exception of one. After he mentioned that one correctly it was covered over and another letter was exposed to view. If he looked at a card longer than a fraction of a second, without turning his head either to the right or to the left, he would always see the letter double. Shifting quickly from a letter to the blank wall on either side of our room helped him to see the letter single and not double when he looked at it again. He was told to do the long shift when he practiced with the card and to shift only an inch or two to the right or to the left whenever he was looking at anything else either up close or at the distance.

This patient did not come regularly for treatment, but he came off and on for about a year, when he was finally cured of his double vision. A variety of flowers which were growing near his home helped when he was out-doors where he practiced the sway of the body, moving from left to right and always remem)2ering to blink. As he did this he saw the flowers as they were, instead of see-ing them double which had been his trouble for many years.

At the present time we have a little child taking treatment for blindness in one eye. Both eyes have cataract, but the left eye also has scar tissue in the cornea. Apparently there was not any sight in the left eye because there was no red reflex seen when the ophthalmoscope was used. Toys of different colors were placed before her and as she mentioned the names of each of the animals they were placed on the floor at a distance of five feet or farther. At this distance she sometimes made a mistake in naming the animal. The harder she tried to see the toy at the distance, the more blind she became.

I taught her the long swing, having her shorten the swing to a short sway of the body and advising her to blink as she swayed. She then became able to name the animals correctly as they were placed a few feet farther, but only when she mentioned the color of the toy first. Just by blinking as she swayed she remem-bered for part of a minute the color of the animal she was asked to mention. When she was not reminded to blink or to keep up the sway she made an error in naming the animal.

It is good to have someone in the room while such patients are under treatment, especially if they are to help the patient away from our office. They can understand very readily why some patients fail when they stare even for only a fraction of a second. It is necessary constantly to remind the patient that in order to bring about a permanent benefit, he must not fail to do as he is advised when away from the office.

Failure to remember a color with the eyes closed lowers the vision and causes the sight to become imperfect. Failure to take time enough to practice or to read the chart every day is a mistake and causes failure. Daily practice counts, no matter how little time one has. After all, the Bates Method is eye education. To miss one day in the cure of the eyes when they need attention for the improvement of sight is much like failure to study a certain lesson each day in school, or to attend to any work which requires daily study or practice. In most cases when improvement is made in the sight by a teacher of eye education it is only a temporary one, but it is enough to encourage the patient to keep on with the practice until the sight becomes normal. Patients who are cured in one visit are those who can retain the relaxation and rest which is the foundation of the method.

Eye diseases such as atrophy of the optic nerve, iritis, glaucoma, and cataract, are always benefited when tha patient does not neglect to practice every day. The sight of patients who suffer from organic diseases is usually very poor. All organic diseases become less when the sight improves by relaxation and rest.
January 1925

Questions and Answers

Question—I can read with no trouble but cannot distinguish things at a distance, especially the features of people. What would you suggest?

Answer—You are near-sighted. The imagination cure is the quickest and most satisfactory cure of myopia. Use two Snellen test cards, one held at one foot or nearer, or at a distance where you can see it best; the other placed at five feet or further. Look at the first letter of one of the lines of the near card and with the eyes closed remember it for half a minute or longer. Then look at the same letter on the distant card at five feet or further and imagine that letter for not longer than a second. Then look at the near letter again for part of a minute, close your eyes and remember it, and then glance at the same letter on the distant card for not longer than a second, and imagine it as well as you can. Alternate. When you become able to see the bottom line on the distant card, place it a few inches further off and repeat.

Question—What method is most helpful in myopia?

Answer—Palming, swinging, and the use of the memory or imagination (described above), are most helpful.

Question—Can you tell me what to do for inflammation of the white of the eye? Do you think sun gazing would help?

Answer—The light treatment is beneficial. Sit in the sun with the eyes closed and let the sun shine directly upon the closed eyelids. Move the head a short distance from side to side. Practice this for half an hour or longer three times daily when possible.

Question—Will you kindly tell me what I can do in order to read as well with the eyelids fully open as I can when they are slightly parted?

Answer—Improve your vision with the aid of tht imagination cure as described above in answer to question 1. When your vision improves, your eyelids will be more open.

Question—Is there any exercise or any particular, method of relaxation that will help double vision?

Answer—Closing the eyes and resting them is a cure for double vision. Blinking frequently, just as the nor-mal eye does, is also beneficial.

Question—Please explain the elliptical swing.

Answer—In the elliptical swing, the head and eyes are moved continuously in the orbit of an ellipse or a circle. ';he continuous movement of the head and eyes prevents thstare or strain, since staring requires that one try to keep the eyes from moving.

Question—How many times a day should the sun treatment be given?

Answer—The sun treatment should be given for half an hour or longer three times a day, or more often, when possible. The more sun treatment, the better, as it rests and strengthens the eyes.

Question—What treatment helps most people?

Answer—Palming is generally most helpful.

Question—Is it possible for some people to be cured by the help they may obtain from your book "Perfect Sight Without Glasses"?

Answer—Yes. By practicing the methods recommended in my book, many readers have improved their vision without my supervision. It helps to have some one with perfect sight supervise your treatment.

Question—Is myopia hereditary?

Answer—No. It is, however, contagious in many cases. When parents are cured of myopia, their children may recover without treatment.

Question—How long does it take to cure an average case of myopia?

Answer—Some patients are cured more quickly than others. The length of time is uncertain, as patients differ in their response to treatment.
After the World War we treated many of the boys on their return from France. One of them had been gassed. His mind was very clear and he related some interesting things that happened overt there. I noticed, however, that when he described something unpleasant or horrifying, he stared and the sclera or white parts of both his eyes became bloodshot. His vision was normal both for the distance and the near point when he did not stare or become excited. He said the only thing that kept; him from going insane while he was at the front, was the knowledge that his little son, who was born after he arrived in France, was waiting for his return. He saw his pal shot to pieces almost by his side. His mental pictures were not pleasant ones, but when a photograph of his wife and baby arrived, he carried that picture with him all the time.


From that time up to the present writing mother and daughter have come regularly three days a week. Selma now reads the twenty line with her left eye at twelve feet, and with her right eye, at the same distance, she can read the ten line. Except when she becomes excited or over-anxious, her left eye is straight most of the time. The improvement in the mother's sight seems almost equally remarkable. She reads and sews without her glasses, the lines in her face caused by strain have disappeared, and she looks so much younger that she might easily be taken for her daughter's sister. We have all become fast friends and, although I shall be glad when Selma is completely cured, I will be sorry not to see her smiling face any more at the clinic.

His mental strain was relieved and did not return except temporarily, when he became excited and talked rapidly.


It was amusing to see James looking toward my purse which was hanging on the wall in the Clinic room. He was thinking of that nickel I promised him. I produced a strange test card which he had not seen. When he began to read the card I placed him fifteen feet away, which was five feet further than the first day. He was so excited that his squint became worse and he could not read. Dr. Bates said his trouble was mostly nervousness. I told him to palm again and reminded him of the letter E with its straight line at the top and to the left, with an opening to the right. Then he became able to see the letters after a few moments' rest. I called Dr. Bates' attention to the sudden improvement in his eyes as he read one line after another until he reached the thirty line, when suddenly his eyes turned out again, but after he had rested his eyes again they became straight. I gave him the promised nickel that day, which made him very happy,
Thanks, Nice posts! State of mind, emotions affects eyesight.

May, 1922
(Colored = Modern = Black, African American)
By Emily C. Lierman

One of slavery's obscure brutalities sent a pitiable patient more than half a century later to the great metropolitan clinic where the new science of the eye is relieving scores each week. Read this little document of human pain, and human helpfulness, and realize the wealth of fine accomplishment that the ministrations of those devoted to the cause of better eyesight have before them.
FREQUENTLY colored people have difficulty in remembering their ages, especially when they are middle aged or older. But just now we have a colored woman who does not know where she was born. The nurse was making a record of her age, name and address and then asked her where she was born.
"Ah dun know where ah was horn. How should ah know? It am so long ago—anyway it was a very hot place, dats what ah knows."
Her eyes do not trouble her for reading for she does not know how to read. But she complains that her eyes burn like fire and that she cannot see at a distance. Palming helps her. and the sun treatment relieves the burning of her eyes instantly.
An old fashioned mammy negro, age 72. who has been coming to us for about one year is being treated for cataract in both her eyes. When she first came she was fully convinced that we could help her so that she would not need an operation. She was employed by a former patient who was cured by Dr. Bates. At first she could just make out the seventy-line at ten feet with each eye. The first treatment improved her vision to 10/40. She was told to do a great deal of palming and swinging every day and now she reads 12/20.
Incidentally I can prove that eye strain caused her cataracts, for one day she was sufficiently relaxed to read some of the letters on the bottom line of the card, 12/10, temporarily.

Sadness Brings Its Strain

And another day she came and I knew she was in trouble of some kind. I love to talk to her because she is so clean and neatly dressed, although very poor. Her manner is so apologetic and she is extremely grateful for the benefit she receives. This day, however, I noticed her eyes were swollen from weeping. She was eager to please me and started to read the card without success. She turned toward me and said. "Mam, I cannot read. The card is all blurred, I cannot see one letter clearly." Then she began to cry softly and told me her trouble.
"Many nights I have not slept," she said, "because my son was sent to prison. He is not bad but he did get into mischief."
She loves her boy very much but she did not tell me the nature of his trouble. But, oh, how she strained and suffered for him! I wish I could have told her boy all about it. I think he would have been sorry. I comforted her while she palmed and reminded her that everything might be so much worse. I observed that she was under a terrible tension all the while she palmed, but after awhile as she became more calm, I saw her relax. As she again removed her hands from her eyes to read the card, she exclaimed with relief:
"My, how the letters clear up! What did you do to me? I feel so much better now."
I told her that she did it all herself. The poor woman had strained so much that it made her cataracts worse.
My mind was greatly relieved because her vision had cleared up. She comes with a smile now almost every clinic day and she is eager to read 10/10 with each eye permanently and I am striving to help her do it.
Another old mammy who remembers the Civil War very well but does not know when she was born, also suffered from cataract in both eyes. Her condition was so bad in the beginning that she could not see anything on the test card at three feet. When she was instructed to palm she looked around the room observing several patients who were also palming and then remarked:
"Good lor, mam, dis here room looks like a prayer meetin' and beleeb me ahs ready to join in too."
She had the saddest looking pair of eyes I ever saw in a negro and even as she smiled she looked sad. I found out after we got acquainted with each other, the real reason for her look of sadness. The story she told me was almost unbelievable but I will tell the readers just what she told me.
First I would like to say that her vision improved at the first visit so that she read 12/200 and in flashes read 12/100. This amused as well as pleased her, and she would have it that palming alone did not improve her vision but that I must have done something mysterious to her while she had her eyes closed which caused this wonderful miracle. No amount of explaining to her that day would make her understand that the eyestrain which caused the cataract was lessened by palming. Every clinic day she was there and her vision at the present time is 12/30. She has been coming to us about one year. Now for her story.

A Tragedy of the Past

"You know mam, a long time ago ah had a master an he was good and kind. Den came a new master an he was bad to de help. Dey was twenty of us in help and we did work on de plantation. After awhile ah was sick an was becomin' weary 'cause a li'l stranger was on de way. De sun was hot in de fields, mam, an' mah back was ackin' powerful bad. De old master would sure hab sent me to bed but de new one he jes tells me to get a move on. One day when all felt so bad an hungry dat ah falls down on mah knees. Ah jes couldn't get up. De master beat me wid a lash right before de oder niggers to teach dem a lesson an said ah was only lazy. When mah little boy was born he did hab de stripes oh de lash on his hack de same as was on mah own back. One night ah ran away with mah baby and dis was jes before de niggers were freed by Lincoln."
She looks very old and I should judge, as does Dr. Bates, that she is about eighty years of age. It is remarkable what a good memory she has. I have asked her several questions on different days to confuse her or to test her but she has always been correct in her answers.
The strain of squint, especially in children, has a great deal to do with their disobedience. I feel quite sure of that because I know of several clinic patients who, after they were cured, became manageable and less nervous. The change was so great in their conduct both in school and in their homes, that mothers and teachers would come and tell me about it.
Some time ago in one of our back numbers of Better Eyesight I wrote about a little colored boy named Frisco who suffered from squint in one eye. His poor mother could not live with him, he was so bad. His brothers and sisters continually punished him for the terrible tricks he played on them all. He was finally taken care of by his grandmother who did the very best she knew for his welfare.
She heard of Dr. Bates and our clinic so she came with him, for treatment. Before I had a chance to speak to him, his grandmother told me that she was afraid he was hopeless and that I might not be able to do anything with him for he was never still a minute.
She was anxious to have his eye straightened even though he was a naughty boy. I spoke to him and the only answer he gave me was "I don't want to! I won't!" I ignored his remarks and just said, "All right, you don't need to."

Strain and Behavior

His grandmother frowned and said she was so sorry he was a bad boy. I paid no attention to him for some time and fortunately there was a little girl in the room being treated for squint so I let him watch the little girl and me. For his benefit I said to the little girl. "You don't want a bad eye, do you? You want two good eyes, don't you? Your good eye is doing all the work; just make your bad eye do some of the work and you will soon have two good eyes instead of one."
When I was ready to treat Frisco he asked with his head and shoulders straight. "Have I got a bad eye? Won't you show me how to make the bad eye do some work?"
"Why of course I will show you," I told him. As I explained in the article I wrote about him, he became a very willing patient then and with his dear grandmother's help at home, Frisco was absolutely cured in six months.
Several months after he was cured I noticed one clinic day a colored woman standing in line smiling pleasantly and when I asked what her trouble was she answered, "Nothing at all, nurse, I just came to tell you that Frisco has returned home to his mother. He is the best behaved of all his family and he receives the highest marks from his school teacher for his studies. He shows no more symptoms of nervousness and plays no more tricks."
This squint case was so bad that one could see only the white of the left eye. Palming, swinging and alternately opening and closing his eyes many times every day, cured this boy.
(Movie by Emily C. Lierman, Bates Method)
Seeking this old movie by Emily Lierman to post FREE on YouTube before corrupt teachers find it and hide it away or sell for a high price;

Better Eyesight Magazine
May 1927

Because of the increased demand for the Bates Method in California, Emily C. Lierman, assistant to Dr. W. H. Bates for fourteen years and also manager of the Central Fixation Publishing Company of New York City, has opened an office at 609 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, where she is treating patients. Mrs. Lierman is also giving courses of instruction to those who desire to cure imperfect sight by the Bates method. At the completion of the course, the student receives a certificate authorizing him or her to improve defective vision by treatment without glasses.
Mrs. Lierman is delivering lectures throughout California and is showing moving pictures which illustrate the Bates Method of curing imperfect sight.

If anyone out there finds it; place it on YouTube and link it here. All people regardless of financial level have the right to the best Natural Eyesight Method.
Little Girls Cure Homeless Man of Blindness

Editor’s Note. - This letter from a school teacher was just received, and seemed so worthwhile that we decided to make room for it in this issue. It substantiates Ms. Lierman’s reports that those who know the method can improve the sight of others. We regret that we did not have time to obtain the permission of the writer to publish this article, and are therefore withholding her name.
Dear Dr. Bates:
I cannot resist telling you what my little Edith Collins, aged twelve years, has done for a blind man that she picked up on the street.
His eyes were very much sunken. She taught him to palm and sun-gaze. She and a little girl friend visited him in his hovel once or twice a week. Much of the time he was so ill that he kept to his bed, but had this so placed that the sun shone on his eyes. Little by little his eyes came forward. He palmed faithfully and swung a chart that was given to him. A visiting nurse was telling him it was all “bunk” one day, as Edith entered. She spoke to the nurse and informed her it was not bunk, and that if she (the nurse) would come back in two or three months she would find out for herself.
Well, up to July the reports were that he was gradually looking better, and his eyes seemed fuller. When school opened, Edith came into my room and said, “He sees!”
I had forgotten about the man, and for a minute I wondered what she meant. She told me that she had met this man on the street a week or two ago - he was very happy - sees to get around, can read headlines in the papers, and can pick out the smaller words in spots. He has promised her that he will not stop exercising till he obtains perfect sight. He also told Edith that if he had not met her, he would still be a blind man begging for food. Now he intends to find work in some other city.
Isn’t this a wonderful thing for a little girl to do? Of course, if it were not for Edith, the man would still have been blind. Children do not discriminate as to whether a man is a beggar, a worker or worthy. To them there are no differences. They scatter the good into every nook and cranny, and what is more, if it had not been for the revolutionary discovery of this very, very natural way to see and think, I would not have been able to have carried it on to the children, who so unquestionably take to the truth when presented to them.
I have been so excited about this that I had to write you at once!

MAY, 1926
The Blind Man

WE are sure that many of our readers will be interested to read about Edith Collins. Edith is a pupil of Miss Elizabet Hansen, a teacher in Chicago, who cures imperfect sight by Dr. Bates' method.
One day Edith and her little girl friend passed a blind beggar on the street and feeling very sorry for him, she stopped and talked with him. Edith had been treated and cured of imperfect sight by Miss Hansen, and had become very adept in applying the method herself, so she began teaching it to the old man. She and her little girl friend visited him twice each week in his hovel, and taught him to palm and use the sun treatment.
He was so ill that much of his time was spent in bed, but Edith told them to move his bed so that the sun would shine directly on his eyes. Little by little his sunken eyes came forward and he began to feel better. He followed the little girl's rules faithfully, even though a visiting nurse laughed and called the method "bunk." After three months, even the nurse must have changed her opinion, as the little girl rushed to Miss Hansen and told her that the old man was cured. She had met him on the street and he could see! He told little Edith he could read the headlines of the newspapers and smaller words in spots and that he was going out of town to look for work.
Miss Hansen wrote us about what Edith had accomplished, but to make it more authentic, we received the following misspelled letter sent to Edith by the old man himself.

Dear edith:
i am in clear water florida i am traveling and you don't know how tickled it made me feel when i could see but when i reached my sister out here she nearly fainted when she saw me, and at first she wouldn't beleave that i could see so she took an apple and held it up to see if i really coud see now we are traveling and want to go California i hope you are well and thank you again and again for helping me.
i remain
your patient who was once a blind man.
The Sway! See the background musicians;
I think I have finally understood this after talking to a couple teachers and rechecking the mags. Simplified;

11. It is very important that you learn how to imagine stationary objects to be moving, without moving your head or your body.

When the eyes move, shift, stationary close and distant objects appear to move in the opposite direction. Distant objects can appear to move with the eyes in the same direction when the head moves with the eyes a lot; as when doing the sway, long swing. Practice shifting on close and distant objects and seeing the opposite movement with the eyes open and in the imagination with the eyes closed. Moving the head and body with the eyes when shifting is the normal function of the visual system and improves/perfects shifting, central fixation, appearance of oppositional movement, keeps the neck, head, eyes relaxed, mobile and vision clear. When shifts are very small, tiny, the head movement may be very small or not occur but the head, neck, eyes remain relaxed, loose.

Bates and Emily's other articles, Fundamentals do say to move the head with the eyes.


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