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New and Needing Guidance
#1
Hey!

So, I'm the noob. Here is the back story...

I was prescribed glasses to treat my myopia in 2003 when I was in 10th grade. I was quite upset about having to get glasses and I revolted by not wearing my glasses...which resulted in the worsening of my myopia. Now, currently I am -2.50 in both eyes...actually the left is a little weaker, but that is my prescription...

I am really into the holistic living thing. Apple cider vinegar, juicing, going barefoot/using minimalist shoes, oregano oil, honey...grounding... I mean... if it is a credible natural solution, I'm all over it.

My epiphany came a few days ago where after several sleepless nights with sick babies, I was under so much stress and tension that I felt a panic attack coming on. I went outside and lied on my back on the deck in the late afternoon sun... and then I took off my glasses and my eyes began to water from direct contact with air and light. My eyes began to tear up and I could barely open them.

I felt so disconnected from the world... with the very aspect of my human physiology that perceives it!

Why had it never occurred to me that there should be a natural solution to my myopia?

So then I started doing research on the computer (which is killing me because it is really hard to relax my eyes looking at screens, even without glasses). With two kids and house mommy chores, and a seasonal scorpion problem in the home we just moved into... I am desperate for guidance on where to start and some quick practical tips on how to correct my vision. I am stealing time to even write this post...

So far I have discovered how tense and messed up glasses have made me. When I took my glasses off (as a serious commitment to this) yesterday, I realized how much ADHD my eyes had acquired. It is amazing how quickly my eyes began to relax.Now I am trying to simply observe how my eyes take in the world without straining or tensing. It feels great, but it is also hard to see. I need the aid of my glasses while doing the scorpion search and destroy rounds, and I need to see my kids once in a while...

I have read David's Method, 3 times so far...I've applied what I understand, and I feel generally less tense which is amazing.

What I am asking for are some quick tips, links, guides to extremely useful information with practical, efficient advice.

I'm really excited about improving my perception of the world, relaxing and experiencing life through my eyes to the fullest.

Thanks for all your help!

-Raccoon
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#2
Hi,

The main goal of practicing Bates is to calm and control the nerves, and relax the mind. Overacting nerves are the cause of much tension in the visual system, as well as other parts of the body. To that end there are probably countless things that you could practice while in the care of your little ones. It may take a little creativity, and taking advantage of those moments when your children are napping.

If you don't have a strong routine and schedule, it would probably be good to start one. Then you'll know when you can consistently find those moments for practicing some techniques you otherwise wouldn't be able to do. Palm, or close your eyes several times a day for a couple minutes or more when possible. It's important to learn to relax your mind while doing this, else it's not very effective. Let you mind drift on pleasant things, set aside your cares, worries, anything that makes you nervous or anxious. Several small moments of relaxation can be just as powerful as one long one. Some people actually relax better with shorter sessions.

You rock your babies? Well, rock yourself as well. Feel how it relaxes your nerves as well! Notice how things move opposite to the direction you are rocking. Sit in front of a window and rock your babies, and notice the oppositional movement of the whole house and close objects outside. When carrying a baby around the house, notice how everything moves towards you as you walk, and past you at the sides. Put up an eyechart on a wall where you can view it from a distance. Memorize it, look at it easily every time you walk by, get very familiar with each letter and their curves, openings. Do you see it better from different distances? when playing with the children, practice your own shifting on their toys, noticing their colors, shapes, details you may not have noticed before.

Don't make any of this laborious; keep it simple, easy, fun, and relaxing. The calmer your nerves and composure is, the calmer your children's nerves will be as well.
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#3
Thank you for the advice arocarty. I think I'm understanding the general principals of the method.

I'm learning that my eyes have been thoroughly trained to not focus, and instead they scan everything very superficially and my brain fills in the rest and we call it vision. When I take off my glasses and try to follow lines or outline an object my eyes skip forward and I don't know how to calm them down.

Also, the principal of swinging (and bouncing) seems to be really beneficial. I started last night and this morning when I had to put my glasses on to drive, I had the worst headache! I had to take 2 tylenol to get through my meeting. Is that a good sign?

I am stuck in this predicament now... wear the glasses and see but have a headache and lose progress (or so i assume), or don't wear the glasses, have blurry frustrating vision all day, fight the habit of straining and not see.

I am very frustrated with my options.

I've also noticed that since I started, on the days I wear my glasses more often, my shoulders get sooooo tense.

On average, how long does it take to notice a change in vision...and to what extend does wearing glasses erase all progress made?
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#4
Getting permanent improvements is dependent on practice. I have been at this for 6 months and have had countless temporary improvements but no permanent ones. You will find that your vision is actually quite variable when you go without your glasses for a time. As you understand the concepts more and gain more successes, it will become even more variable and improvements will take entirely new shapes. My advice to you would be to illustrate the fact that this is an mental thing having to do with your attention, how you go about acting and interacting with the world and how you deal with your everyday thoughts and feelings. Understanding that the mind is what sees will help you immensely and take the physical burden that so many (including myself) struggle against in vain when we first start.
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#5
Hi,

Tsukiomi is right - vision improvement is mostly a mental process, and avoiding physical 'exercise' temptations and impulses will help one move forward more quickly.

Raccoon Wrote:I'm learning that my eyes have been thoroughly trained to not focus, and instead they scan everything very superficially and my brain fills in the rest and we call it vision. When I take off my glasses and try to follow lines or outline an object my eyes skip forward and I don't know how to calm them down.

It takes a certain level of mental control to actually look at something, to fixate on it's interesting points and areas, while treating the rest of the visual field as less important at the moment. Myopes want to treat everything equally important at the same time. The recovering eyes (and mind) need time to process detailed visual information. I don't know about following lines or tracing - to me that was always more of a strain and unnatural, belonging more to the type of eye movement called pursuit (smooth pursuit). Smooth pursuit is used when tracking moving objects, not when looking at stationary objects. Trying to force the eyes to trace could certainly cause them to jump around. It's not a natural way to examine something stationary. Better to shift your attention from one area or point to another of an object, letting your attention explore for detail. A detail is only processed for a second or less, then the attention either moves consciously or unconsciously to another nearby, or on to somewhere else.

Raccoon Wrote:Also, the principal of swinging (and bouncing) seems to be really beneficial. I started last night and this morning when I had to put my glasses on to drive, I had the worst headache! I had to take 2 tylenol to get through my meeting. Is that a good sign?

You may experience all sorts of aches as you reintroduce the natural movement of things to your visual system, then jump back into lenses which have trained the mind to see most of the world as stationary. The body is usually going to protest when it has become so conditioned and adapted to the unnatural vision of lenses. Over time it lessens like everything else.

Some people get reduced prescription lenses to lessen the counterproductive affect when one must wear lenses. Just be sure that you can see at least 20/40, or whatever is the minimum driving requirement in you state/country. How long it takes to realize benefit depends on the individual; everyone is different, everyone's mind is different. As soon as you learn to effectively rest and use your eyes correctly. Generally, when one wears lenses you lose a lot of what you gained. But that can vary as well. I recall Emily Bates stating that they were occasionally very surprised when some patients came back with normal vision, and they were ones who had considerable trouble giving up their glasses. So nothing is set in stone. Practice (correct practice) makes perfect.
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#6
Tsukiomi-

Thanks for that tip. I was wondering, though... from the time you started, have you found that your general everyday vision is much improved...aside from the clear flashes that is. Or do you have clear flashes that are basically "less blurry than usual" flashes? Or are they perfect 20/20 flashes?

Arocarty-

I'm glad to know that following lines is unnatural...because that is definitely how it felt. But then again, right now everything feels unnatural because my eyes and mind are so used to doing the wrong thing.

I know the emphasis for restoring proper sight is on relaxation. Have you tried any other full body methods of relaxation to induce normal vision? If so, what were they and how effective was it?

As I said, yesterday I wore my glasses and basically killed my shoulders with tension. Then after I posted here I took a warm shower and did some stretches. When my husband brought my baby in so I could wash her...I noticed I could almost clearly see both of there faces from a distance that I think normally intensely blurry for me.

I haven't printed any charts out yet because I am low in black ink, so I can't really measure my improvements or illusion thereof.

This morning my vision is back to blurry as usual.
But I've only been at this less than a week... heh. I've got nothing on you guys.
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#7
Well, I had simply taken off my glasses for good 2 years ago. I didn't start doing bates until 6 months ago and I feel that my vision may have gotten a slight permanent improvement to around 20/50. However, this is only an average- there are time where its as bad as 20/70 and other times where its 20/40. This is not during clear flashes mind you, and I gathered this data over time when I would look at the chart at various times of day. My clear flashes usually vary somewhere from 20/30-20/15, I have had around 2 seconds of 20/13 once. Usually the most distinct clear flashes happen outside.
One extra thing I want to mention, is that the vision seems best to me when I am not feeling strain attached to a clear flash, which has been a recent phenomenon for me. Also, this is very hard to describe but there is a literal transition to how you perceive depth and shapes when you get the true jump in visual processing. I got such a jump in visual processing yesterday that I have become hyper-aware of all the strain I currently carry with me, you will be surprised how much there actually is.
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#8
Raccoon Wrote:I'm glad to know that following lines is unnatural...because that is definitely how it felt. But then again, right now everything feels unnatural because my eyes and mind are so used to doing the wrong thing.

That's right, in our mind we may know better, but out bodies become conditioned to, and adapted to what is wrong, and it becomes a pseudo 'right' in a sense.

Raccoon Wrote:I know the emphasis for restoring proper sight is on relaxation. Have you tried any other full body methods of relaxation to induce normal vision? If so, what were they and how effective was it?

Nothing really formally. I tried working with progressive muscle relaxation a little. (tensing different muscle groups and relaxing them to learn better control over tension) The long swing is suppose to be very helpful in relaxing the whole body. It definitely helped my body to relax, but I never got any major visual benefits from it. There are a lot of things out there that can help you learn to relax your body - and any way which works for you is helpful in that it clears away bigger tensions, making it more possible to become aware of the more subtle, unconscious tensions which plague your visual system. Many tensions in the body stem from visual, mental strains, so until you learn to become aware of, and let go of those, others will persist to one degree or another.

Raccoon Wrote:I haven't printed any charts out yet because I am low in black ink, so I can't really measure my improvements or illusion thereof.

Don't think of the chart as just a way to measure improvement. It is far, far more that - it is a tool to help facilitate improvement. Look at it every day, from a distance at which you can see it best. Which letters are the easiest for you to remember, to imagine. Play with different distances, you may see some things better from one distance than another. You vision will vary, by day, sometimes by the hour, or minute. Remember any positive feedback it gives you, and forget any negative feedback.
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#9
Quote: Nothing really formally. I tried working with progressive muscle relaxation a little. (tensing different muscle groups and relaxing them to learn better control over tension) The long swing is suppose to be very helpful in relaxing the whole body. It definitely helped my body to relax, but I never got any major visual benefits from it. There are a lot of things out there that can help you learn to relax your body - and any way which works for you is helpful in that it clears away bigger tensions, making it more possible to become aware of the more subtle, unconscious tensions which plague your visual system. Many tensions in the body stem from visual, mental strains, so until you learn to become aware of, and let go of those, others will persist to one degree or another.

If there is any immediate benefit from this system, it is that I have fond a major source of my tension and anxiety. My shoulders are chronically tense and I've been in a state of perpetual tension since my first son was born. I started having panic attacks and crazy anxious feelings that I never had before. I am not very nervous by nature, or at least that's what I tell myself. But my physical tension as pushed me so close to the edge that it just takes a little bit to make my body go into panic mode. Since starting this, I have experienced less tension and anxiety...actualy, as I said in the first post, it is anxiety that lead me to try to improve my eyes naturally.

What is interesting is that I had one of my husbands friends over for lunch and he told us that he has panic attacks, especially in Atlanta traffic. He said his doctor told him that the movement and motion he perceives caused his body to react. But I noticed he also wears glasses.

If you are a myope and perceive everything equally with glasses, then it is no wonder our brains go on overload and freak out. That natural ability to focus (in normal vision) by temporarily ignoring other parts of the picture keep our minds from becoming overwhelmed.

I would love for someone to do a study on anxiety in correlation with vision correction - particularly myopia.



Quote: Don't think of the chart as just a way to measure improvement. It is far, far more that - it is a tool to help facilitate improvement. Look at it every day, from a distance at which you can see it best. Which letters are the easiest for you to remember, to imagine. Play with different distances, you may see some things better from one distance than another. You vision will vary, by day, sometimes by the hour, or minute. Remember any positive feedback it gives you, and forget any negative feedback.

Thank you so much for that... today I was feeling less enthusiastic and a bit frustrated. I don't give up easily, but today was one of the "pick me up" days, and you provided that. I was feeling doubtful about my perceived improvement the night before because I was thinking maybe I didn't remember my normal blurry vision correctly and it was wishful thinking on my part that made me think i had improved. I do need a more objective way to measure improvements so i can avoid doubting my way into frustration.



Last night I was washing my face in the mirror, and for the first time I noticed my eyes dilating. I know that sounds odd, but because I have some anxiety usually and I was suspecting adrenal fatigue, I usually watch to see if my eyes dilate (delayed dilation or no dilation is usually a positive indicator of adrenal fatigue). This is after I spent a good portion of the day without my glasses on, including a few hours before this incident.

I suspect this could mean a couple things, but I am not sure:
1) My eyes could have just been focusing long enough for me to notice them dilate, which means my eyes could be getting better at centralizing my vision.

2) I am not as tense as I usually am...maybe this helping?

3)My eyes were so used to be stuck at a specific dilation to perceive the flat image that the glasses present...and now they are unshackled and are trying to move again.


Does anyone know of eye dilation in relation to corrective lenses, or augmented dilation in relation to to not wearing correction?
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#10
Tsukiomi Wrote:Well, I had simply taken off my glasses for good 2 years ago. I didn't start doing bates until 6 months ago and I feel that my vision may have gotten a slight permanent improvement to around 20/50. However, this is only an average- there are time where its as bad as 20/70 and other times where its 20/40. This is not during clear flashes mind you, and I gathered this data over time when I would look at the chart at various times of day. My clear flashes usually vary somewhere from 20/30-20/15, I have had around 2 seconds of 20/13 once. Usually the most distinct clear flashes happen outside.
One extra thing I want to mention, is that the vision seems best to me when I am not feeling strain attached to a clear flash, which has been a recent phenomenon for me. Also, this is very hard to describe but there is a literal transition to how you perceive depth and shapes when you get the true jump in visual processing. I got such a jump in visual processing yesterday that I have become hyper-aware of all the strain I currently carry with me, you will be surprised how much there actually is.


What was your prescription of corrective lenses before you took off your glasses?

and what was your vision when you first started the bates method?

I just put up my chart and measured out 20ft.... and right now, I've kind of sad because I can barely see 20/200. I can't make out the middle part of the E.

I didn't think my vision was that bad, but wow...no wonder.
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#11
Raccoon Wrote:I just put up my chart and measured out 20ft.... and right now, I've kind of sad because I can barely see 20/200. I can't make out the middle part of the E.

I didn't think my vision was that bad, but wow...no wonder.

You'll psyche yourself right out if you try too much too soon - start with the chart at 15, 10, 8, or less feet. It's actually even better to have two identical charts, one you can hold at the nearpoint, where you see it best, practice looking at a letter then closing your eyes and visualizing it, look at it again, close the eyes again, then briefly look at the distance chart. This is real memory/visualization work. Palm for a couple minutes to rest them if you feel the need. You can't remember something perfectly if it has not been seen perfectly, which you can only do at the nearpoint right now. The better your memory of the letter, the easier it will be to remember it while looking in the distance.

To remember something imperfectly is a strain, so try to avoid remembering anything that has been seen imperfectly, and remember those things which have been seen clearly.
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