Southern California

Natural Vision Educator

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Vision Tips
About Bates
A New Way of Seeing


The Bates Method

The Principals of the Bates Method originated with Dr. William H. Bates, an Ophthalmologist in the early 1900’s. He was a distinguished researcher, teacher and surgeon, who found significant contradictions in the standard approach for ‘correcting’ vision by prescribing glasses. Although he had a very lucrative practice, he came to realize that giving out glasses was not helping the vision of his patients. He observed that lenses tended to weaken vision and increase the likelihood of more serious eye problems over time.
Through years of research, Dr. Bates discovered that mental strain is responsible for most cases of defective eyesight. It was a revolutionary concept that went against the tradition of 100 years of Ophthalmology and the practice of dispensing glasses. He left his practice to pursue his work of ‘Correcting Eyesight Without Glasses’. Working with thousands of patients in a Harlem Hospital clinic and thousands of students in city schools, he refined his methods to cure his patients eyesight by natural means.
  Dr. William H. Bates
Dr. Bates created a variety of techniques to end mental strain and relax the visual system. When this was achieved, the eyes would heal and resume functioning normally. Much to his own amazement, he discovered that many more serious visual maladies responded beneficially to the treatments. This work has helped innumerable people to improve their eyesight in natural ways. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Relaxation Method’: it later became known as the ‘Bates Method’.
Before Dr. Bates made his discoveries regarding eyesight, he created an innovative operation for relief of deafness by incising the eardrum – and it is still in use today. He also discovered the astringent and hemostatic properties of what became known as adrenalin, an important substance related to the stress response.
There are many websites and books that describe Bates’ story in detail and his original work the ‘Perfect Eyesight Without Glasses’, can be found here.

One of Bate’s students, Margaret Corbett, was sued in California in the 1940’s for ‘practicing medicine without a license’. She explained in court that she did not represent herself as a doctor, but only as an ‘instructor of eye training’ and emphasized that she was educating people in relaxation and proper use of their eyes. Many of her students testified on her behalf and she won a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

These days we have more understanding of alternative approaches to health and there’s a resurgence in practice of the Bates method. New technologies are revealing the incredible interconnectedness between mind, emotions and body. Bates was ahead of his time in seeing this connection. He discovered that relaxed use of the eyes can bring increased health of the mind: and relaxed use of the mind can bring increased health of the eyes. More people are experiencing and teaching this work and finding that it’s a great path to clearer vision.