Who was Dr Bates?
Dr W H Bates was a respected American Ophthalmologist who practised mainly in New York. He noticed that the vision of many of his patients was extremely variable and realised that this meant it could be improved. He later gave up his orthodox practice in order to devote his life to discovering, then showing others, how long sight, short sight and astigmatism could be prevented and improved in children and adults without the use of glasses.

What does the method entail?
Learning to keep the eyes and mind relaxed while becoming ever more interested in the world around. Special techniques are used to give extra stimulus where this is needed, but the emphasis is on improving the use of the eyes in everyday life.

Is there any guarantee that it will work?
No! It is an educational method and everything depends on the pupil’s ability and willingness to learn. However, most of those who take it up seriously do experience substantial benefit.

Do I have to practise every day?
No. Some practice is of course helpful but it is much more important to be prepared to change the approach to seeing in all your activities. Your teacher will help you design a programme that is manageable and meets your needs.

Do I have to stop wearing glasses completely?
Not all at once. You can begin by just leaving them off when it is convenient.

Isn’t it normal for sight to deteriorate as you grow older?
No. The loss of focusing ability in later life is mainly due to acquired habits of strain and can be both prevented and reversed.

Can the method help with eye disease?
Eye diseases are symptoms of general disease and should always be treated constitutionally. The Bates Method helps to obtain the best and most comfortable vision from damaged eyes. Allowing the eyes to work in the most normal and relaxed way can also encourage healing.

Can it be used with young children?
Yes. Children from about five years can work very happily with a teacher. Younger children can be helped by their parents with a teacher’s guidance.

What about lazy eyes and squints
Subtle and effective techniques based on relaxation and brain integration designed to improve the ability of the eyes to work together often provide a most effective solution to these conditions.

Is the method only for people with poor sight?
Not at all. Apart from the value of prevention, ‘normal sight can be improved still further and many people with good sight have experienced such benefits as improved concentration, faster reading, better all-round co-ordination etc.

Will using a computer harm the eyes?
Not necessarily. Looking at a computer screen can become tiring and uncomfortable….if you strain. By learning to keep the eyes relaxed while working many problems can b e avoided. Many professional computer users now regard the Bates Method as essential training.

How many lessons will I need?
It usually takes 6 – 10 lessons to learn the basics and many people find they make good progress in this time. Difficult and long-established conditions may need longer term commitment.

What will it cost?
Currently fees range from £20 to £30 per lesson. A lesson usually lasts an hour.

How can I start?
If you want to read more before you start lessons, the following books are available from all good bookshops:-

“Better Sight Without Glasses” by Dr W H Bates

“The Art of Seeing” by Aldous Huxley

“The Bates Method” by Peter Mansfield

Information Courtesy of:
Karen Banks

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