The purpose for the Bates techniques

I haven’t been doing too much lately as far as a vision improvement routine.  I’ve been doing long swings once or twice a day, I’ve taken off my glasses when I didn’t need them, and I’ve tried to see with an open focus.

One thing I have been thinking about is the purpose or intention of each of the techniques Bates used to cure people’s eyesight.  I know the end goal is to allow mental relaxation, which will lead to the improvement in one’s vision.  However, I have wondered why certain techniques help some people but not others.  From what I know about vision improvement, it seems that a technique will improve someone’s vision if it reduces the source of mental strain for that person.  Therefore, if a Bates instructor, another person, or the person himself knows what is causing a mental strain, a certain technique should be able to reverse their bad vision condition.  I know I can’t figure this out myself as I have only helped my own vision.  However, if all the Bates instructors and people who have improved their eyesight combined the data on what techniques helped people with certain types of mental strain, it seems that the vision improvement process could be more quickly and efficiently carried out.

Anyway, I thought I would at least give my limited opinion on the purpose of each technique:

  • Long Swings: The purpose of this technique is to prevent staring.  Since one’s visual window is constantly moving (as one’s focus does with the universal swing), one is not able to look at any point for more than a split second.  This technique should be helpful for those who have bad eyesight because they constantly stare at objects for too long without movement.
  • Palming: The purpose of this technique is to allow physical and mental relaxation.  One’s body is relaxed because they sit/lie in a comfortable position to do this technique, and one’s mind is relaxed because all light stimulation is blocked out and there is nothing to see.  This technique should be helpful for those that have reduced vision because they are constantly stressed out with their body and/or mind.
  • Shifting: The purpose of this technique is to prevent staring.  This is at a smaller level than the long swing because it only applies to the center of one’s visual field.  This technique should be helpful for those who have poor vision because they do not look at many tiny parts of an object in order to see the whole.
  • Central fixation: This is not an action or technique, but it is a characteristic that describes how people with clear vision see.  With a central fixation of vision, one sees the periphery and center of the visual field at the same time, but the center is the clearest area.  This technique should be helpful for those who have decreased eyesight because they try to see entire objects clearly instead of seeing one small part of the object clearly at one moment.

I’m sure this classification of the techniques is not perfect (and maybe the techniques aren’t even able to be categorized), but this is what I currently believe the purpose of each technique is.  If anyone has any suggestions for changes/additions/removals, please leave a comment and I will be happy to read them. 🙂


One thought on “The purpose for the Bates techniques

  1. fuoco says:

    Hi Mark,

    that’s really nice!
    Yesterday I again came to the realization that eventually if I succeed in relaxing my eyes, in using them in a relaxed way, central fixation and better shifting become automatic. So again I realized that mental relaxation should be the basis of all this work.
    Then later on Nancy posted on EFT (on which I still haven’t commented). I knew nothing about it before and read a lot since yesterday. And I don’t yet know if I believe it or not, but say for a moment it’s real and effective – this has a potential to allow one to tap into the original cause (emotional/traumatic) that started the strain and that disturbs one from securing relaxation. Seems to me that theoretically it could be a way of accelerating the process because you go even closer to the source.
    Now that’s only my first impression and probably influenced by quite some excitement 🙂 maybe too much who knows, but still I would like to check it out.
    Specifically if you’re interested there are these resources directly about eyesight:
    and some other stuff around including audio interviews with these people who experienced with this stuff.
    I should also post that on Nancy’s blog, soon… 🙂

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