Posts Tagged ‘eyesight’

Bates Method

December 16th, 2011 No comments

What is the Bates Method?

The Bates Method was developed Dr. William Horatio Bates who was an Ophthalmologist in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  He received his training at Cornell University and ended up teaching and doing ophthalmology research in New York.   What is  The Bates Method

Dr. Bates believed anyone’s eye vision could be improved.  He developed several ways to improve eyesight primarily using visualization and movement.  His techniques focused on relaxation and showing patients how to help their eyes improve and heal.  Dr. Bates believed no one should have to wear eyeglasses to see clearly.

The Bates Method began as a way to help children in school learn and retain more information without eyestrain.  Dr. Bates felt eyestrain contributed to poor vision.  He discovered most eye problems and bad habits started with school-aged children.  They naturally want to learn and have a curiosity about new things.  But in school information on all topics gets steadily pushed on students and they have to memorize it all whether they are interested in it or not.  With that much of a load the student’s mind will tire and their eyes get strained.

The eyes work harder when trying to memorize new information.  When attending school for a full day, 5 days a week Dr. Bates said children had to continually soak up new material without an opportunity to have their eyes relax.

Why Does The Bates Method Work?

The Bates Method helped fix this problem.  He developed a big chart composed of various shapes and letters.  The method called for hanging the chart up on a classroom wall in front of the class.  When children felt overwhelmed they were told to spend some time looking at the chart.  Just continuing to look over the chart for just three minutes a day would remove the eyestrain.

When the Bates Method came out a few schools tried it in the classroom.  Teachers saw a big change for the better both in concentration and learning progress.  However, the school boards ended up feeling the method added too much of a distraction in the classroom and stopped the practice.  As of now the only country teaching students vision training is China.

Can the Bates Method Work for Adults?

Despite the fact that the Bates Method doesn’t get used in schools doesn’t mean it can’t be used in other situations.  Anyone can make their own card or chart and use it during the day.  By looking at the chart on numerous occasions during the day their eyes will stay relaxed and eyestrain reduced.  Teaching your eyes with eye exercises to relax and avoid strain will continue to strengthen your eye muscles and improve your vision.

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