By Karen Banks

Becky was a thirty-six year old office worker who had initially become slightly short-sighted in her mid-teens during an intense period of exams. Over the years her vision had gradually deteriorated and she had become more dependent on her glasses. Her prescription strength was also increasing at fairly regular intervals. As she didn’t like wearing glasses, she preferred to wear contact lenses particularly in social situations but was finding them physically very uncomfortable.

Becky began to experience dry, gritty, sore eyes and daily headaches, particularly after spending a few hours working at her computer. She also noticed her vision appeared to be more blurred even when using correction, particularly if she was tired or stressed.

Becky decided to try the Bates Method initially to ease her headaches and to make her contact lenses more comfortable.

As usual the initial consultation involved taking a full case history to gain a further understanding of Becky’s visual situation. We discussed her visual and general health history, current lifestyle, past and current emotional situations.

It became apparent that Becky had started to experience an increase in headaches and eyestrain during the last six months. Prior to that time she had experienced considerable upheaval in both her personal and working life. At work she had achieved a prestigious promotion, but this had resulted in alienation from her old work colleagues and increased the amount of time she now worked in the office, usually in front of a computer for long stretches of time. These additional pressures and additional hours had resulted in increasing tiredness with less time for socialising and exercise.

Becky hadn’t considered her vision in a holistic way and was quite surprised that these factors could contribute to her discomfort and blurred way of seeing. Our initial consultation ended with a discussion of ways to help reduce visual discomfort and also to bring more balance into a stressful, imbalanced life.

These suggestions included:

  1. Bates relaxation exercises including palming
    (Resting the eyes in darkness by covering with the palms).
  2. Taking regular breaks away from the computer. Blinking more frequently and
    looking away from the screen.
  3. Developing a more nurturing/balanced lifestyle which included re-establishing
    an old exercise routine, taking time out to visit friends, and reading less in
    order to avoid straining eyes further.

Becky continued to attend regular sessions whilst she continued to make adjustments to her lifestyle and included regular practices to encourage visual relaxation. She reported that her headaches disappeared and that her eyes felt moist rather than dry. As a result her contact lenses were comfortable again and she had been surprised to notice that not only were things not so blurred, but seemed sharper and clearer particularly after resting the eyes.

Having achieved her initial goal Becky decided she would like to continue working with natural vision improvement. We now meet less frequently as Becky is now able to practice most of the techniques and has begun to integrate the ideas into everyday life in order to retrain her eyes. As her natural vision continues to improve her reliance on glasses and contact lenses has diminished and she is currently enjoying a more satisfactory way of life.

About the Author
Karen Banks can be contacted at:
The London Bates Centre
0207 8317924
Or
The Nottingham Natural Health Centre
354 Mansfield Rd
Nottingham
NG5 2EF
0115 9608855

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