This weekend I was able to spend a significant amount of time without glasses and am still able to read 20/70 (however, I need to note that these letters are not perfectly black; I can discern what they are but they are not perfect). I am working on writing up a post to discuss this issue and my theory on why my Snellen chart readings do not correlate to the lens power I require.
My whole philosophy is changing on the Bates Method. While I still love and value all of the Bates magazines and believe that the key to vision improvement resides in this initial research I have been questioning the way I have approached the Bates Method. When I first began learning about this method I became very obsessed with only the work done by Bates; thinking that this was the only source I should consider and I should exactly follow the methods outlined in his magazines. Ever since I met with Greg Marsh I have realized that this was a naive and close-minded approach to this opportunity of vision improvement. Just like anything in life, there are always other perspectives and methods, including those that we “invent” ourselves that can work just as well. I don’t believe there is one and only one way to improve vision. Becoming addicted (I used this word intentionally) to a negative lens (which is what has happened to me) is a long and complicated process that nobody fully understands. And I believe this to definitely be true, nobody fully understands what happens physiologically when we wear a negative lens. Glasses work in a very unnatural way by focusing all of the incoming light directly onto our fovea. Our fovea only contains 5% of the photoreceptors on our retina, thus leaving the other 95% completely unstimulated. What does this do to the neural pathways leading to and within our visual cortex? How can we “rewire” our visual cortex if we’re constantly switching back and forth between wearing glasses and not wearing glasses? (I believe it can be done, I just think this is why it takes so much longer). Anyway, I’m getting off track- I’m going to save this discussion for another post. My point is, I believe that becoming attached to only the Bates method can exclude many other methods that may work for improving vision and can blind us to the overall reason we can improve our vision. It’s not specifically the long swing and palming that fixes our vision (and Bates knew this) but I think that some of us focus on these very specific relaxation exercises (or others) and think if we do these perfectly and regimented everyday we will regain clear vision. I love the long swing and palming and find them both very useful tools in improving my vision, but I also believe there could be other ways of doing things and we should be asking ourselves, why do these work? … focusing on really paying attention and bringing awareness to every part of our body during these exercises to notice how they affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Bates’s work is being continued it’s just not blatantly apparent. For instance, Peter Grunwald (the author of Eyebody and the man who discovered the Eyebody Patterns) is in essence, continuing the work started by Bates. It may look like it’s not because it’s taking a new shape (by focusing on the upper visual cortex and experiential anatomy) but this is what happens over time; ideas evolve and new correlations are made. How many others are also doing the same but disguised under differently named methods or philosophies? But for those of us who get stuck in strictly Bates method’s I think we believe that only Bates did this work and there hasn’t been anything new, and this is not true. We must all keep our minds open and be looking for other techniques that hold value. I am still in, what I consider, my intellectual infancy with respect to vision improvement knowledge; but I hope that over the course of my lifetime I can make a contribution to this effort and I hope that all of you out there who are reading my posts can have success with your own vision improvement. And I would encourage each of you to document your experiences and publish them in order to increase the amount of available information and personal experience documenting the success of any and all of these vision improvement methods. Each of us can have a significant impact and part in changing eye care methods worldwide which will dramatically change the way future generations see and experience life.