Natural Vision Improvement was pioneered over 100 years ago by Dr William H Bates (1860 – 1931). Dr Bates was a trained ophthalmologist who operated his practice in a conventional manner. He would prescribe lenses to patients and assumed, at the time, that this was all that could be done to improve poor vision in his patients. Becoming dissatisfied with the methods of treating eye disorders using artificial lenses, Dr Bates began seeking the reasons for poor vision. His book ‘The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment Without Glasses’ was published in 1920 and has been the basis of many, if not all, natural vision improvement methods used to this day.
He developed methods to improve short sight, long sight, astigmatism, old-age sight, squint, ‘lazy’ eye, and even macular degeneration. He discovered that everyone could benefit by developing better eyesight habits.
He was a well-respected surgeon, yet his radical views on natural vision improvement were a source of conflict amongst his peers. Dr Bates had a desire for knowledge and was not afraid to push boundaries.
Margaret Darst Corbett ( 1889 – 1962) was a prominent Vision Educator who first became interested in the approach of Dr Bates during a consultation with him about her husband’s vision. She became his pupil, and eventually taught his methods of vision education in her Los Angeles “School of Eye Education”.
Her specific techniques included the classic Bates method drills – sunning, shifting and swinging. She also, like Bates, placed great emphasis on mental drills, and one’s attitude to seeing. Amongst her many pupils was Aldous Huxley. As a result of his natural vision improvement education by Mrs. Corbett, he was inspired to write the book – ’The Art of Seeing’.
In late 1940 Mrs. Corbett and an assistant were charged with violations of the Medical Practice Act of California for treating eyes without a licence. At the trial, many witnesses testified on her behalf. They described in detail how she had helped to improve their vision and had often enabled them to discard their glasses. One witness testified that he had been almost blind from cataracts. After using the vision improvement method, his sight had improved to such an extent that, for the first time in years, he could easily read for eight hours at a stretch without glasses. Mrs. Corbett explained in court that she was practising neither optometry nor ophthalmology and represented herself not as a doctor but only as an “instructor of eye training”.
The trial attracted wide-spread interest, as did the “not guilty” verdict. A number of optometrists and ophthalmologists campaigned to have a bill introduced into the Californian State Legislature to make such vision education illegal without a optometric or medical licence. After a lively debate and media attention, the bill was defeated.
Despite the fact that natural vision improvement has been around for many years and is proven to be an effective technique, few people have heard of it. The reasons are perhaps obvious as prescribing lenses is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Another reason being that many professionals may not be willing to accept there is such an incredibly simple way for so many of us to avoid or reduce wearing glasses or contact lenses through natural vision improvement techniques.
Why is it that so many of us accept the wearing of glasses without thought to finding other options? As we age it seems inevitable that we must wear glasses at some point, often going through a process of denial. We hold books and other reading material at arm’s length, refusing to succumb to the fact that we can no longer see the print clearly and may need glasses. Finally we wander off to the optometrist and generally part with silly amounts of money for fashionable frames and lens’ that, ultimately, do nothing to improve our vision overall. Instead, return visits over the years are necessary to acquire stronger prescriptions. So the cycle continues.
This process is so embedded, that we believe there is no other option. Trained experts prescribe glasses to children and adults alike. We are so often willing to believe that this is a lifelong sentence from which there is no escape. It does not necessarily have to be this way.
The continued use of corrective lenses can actually contributes to the deterioration of vision as the eyes begin to rely on them, much like a crutch. Improving your vision and strengthening your eyes is made more difficult if their function is constantly supported by the use of glasses or contact lenses.
Our children are not generally taught good vision habits, many eyesight problems occurring throughout their school years due to constant close vision work. Computers and television can exasperate this situation enormously. Implementing natural vision improvement techniques throughout schools could be of enormous benefit to students, continuing into their adult lives.
Natural Vision Improvement Techniques
Through simple techniques and routine, you have the power to improve your vision. You can reduce, and very often completely eliminate the need for glasses by re-learning the visual techniques that the majority of us were born with.
Vision improvement can be achieved at any age, it is never too late to begin. Even if you have worn glasses for years, it does not mean you cannot begin a journey of self help with natural vision improvement.