When William Bates developed the Bates Method for improving eyesight naturally, without surgery or spectacles, he was bucking established medical beliefs. Bates was a trained, practicing ophthalmic surgeon whose switch to natural means of improving sight took him 180 degrees away from his training and approved methods.
His ideas were shunned and he even faced the threat of court before his death in 1931. The Bates Method has been around, in the shadows, for more than a century, during which time practitioners assure students they are not medical professionals but teachers.
They don’t make any medical claims although the medical profession calls their methods into question and accuses advocates of malpractice at times. This is why you won’t hear of many people who propound the Bates Method openly; they tend to be a little bit quiet about it as an act of self-preservation.
What Is the Bates Method All About?
William Bates believed that people were being forced to look in one direction for too long. They were filtering out too much of the world around them and yet, in some respects, were he alive today Bates might say certain filters are missing.
For example, the constant visual input of our highly visual societies is almost an assault on the mind. What Bates was most concerned about, however, was over-focusing and the stress this placed on the eyes over time.
Vision and Body
He saw a world where people were under pressure and giving them glasses wasn’t going to help in the long run. Bates wanted to create ways to help his patients recover their eyesight naturally; without surgery or spectacles.
He believed the right way was to lose focus in a sense. In some ways his methods reinforce this idea as you will see. Advocates continue to use these methods in order to free the eyes from their locked position, make the muscles more flexible, and to educate people as to how they can overcome short- or long-sightedness and even degeneration.
Swaying and other Movements
The Sway is where it all starts; just a gentle motion people are generally familiar with. Some people do this naturally in lineups, but the trick is to employ that motion for the sake of your sight. Stand in one place, swaying gently, and close your eyes. When you open them again try to see more than you did before. There is more to it than that which is why guidance is helpful.
Try the Swing, a long or head Swing perhaps, each one requiring the eyes to follow an object. With the long Swing you turn your body side to side regularly and follow an object held out in front of you with both hands. This unlocks your eyes and forces them to move in a certain way rather than allowing the muscles to make automatic adjustments. A head Swing does not involve so much movement.
Take time not just to smell the flowers but to see them as you have never seen them before. Go out in search of a particular color wherever you can find it. Train the brain to experience color and forget about the functions of things. View this as a treat, like eating dessert at the end of a meal. A color search is sweets for the brain.
Every discipline employs games in order to attract interest and to help people develop skills while having fun. A website for the Bates Methods lists techniques and also vision games which are great for everyone, especially kids who are reluctant to practice something if it seems like work.
These are still in development and will be posted on the Bates website when their development is satisfactory. Two games are featured in this section already, both of them swinging games.