It's about eyesight, and more broadly about attitudes towards health care and responsibility for individual health. I'm writing this today because I've just got back from a session with Kevin Wooding (an eye expert, as will be revealed) and have fresh vigour for actually trying this method out for myself in the hope that my deteriorating eye sight (I've been myopic (short sighted) since the age of about 7 and require contact lenses to see clearly) might be something I can actually take charge of.
(Image below by Rankin!):
I hate wearing glasses - really, I HATE it. I can get quite emotional about it. I don't feel like I'm truly comfortable or happy when I'm wearing them. I grew up a frizzy-haired four-eyes. I was never bullied, thankfully; it was all in my head and I somehow was always accepted by the 'cool' kids at school as one of them (ha!), but I didn’t feel particularly attractive either. Specifically, I didn't feel serene, sleek or delicate, or even very grown up; I had a big, clunky apparatus on my face which announced to the world in bright plastic that I wasn’t a natural visionary. This might sound extreme, but I truly believe it’s not something people understand unless they’ve experienced it; I have one friend who, to this day, regrets wearing her glasses during our travels to South East Asia on our gap years six year ago because she thinks it made her ‘not be herself’ when we met people. She wishes she’d worn her contact lenses for four months straight like me, despite the fact I came back with a serious eye infection from over-wear (I now wear daily disposables; no problemo, infection-wise, but a mad discrepancy between my eyes in terms of prescription, and a rather exotic-sounding couple of scars on the backs of my eyeballs which only opticians with their fancy equipment have the pleasure of viewing).
Hopefully, you get an idea of why visual health is quite interesting to me. Maybe you'll find it interesting too.
Here's that article I wrote. Our bodies are amazing; it makes sense to work with them and understand what's going on with them, rather than just ignore the problem or 'fix' it according to conventional technology.
Better Eyesight Without Glasses by William H Bates –an abridged version of Bates’ original book.
The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment without Glasses by William H Bates – the original version can still be obtained as a free download – see www.seeing.org below.
The Art of Seeing by Aldous Huxley – Huxley received lessons from one of Bates’ students, Margaret Corbett. Huxley had been facing the prospect of blindness prior to his introduction to the method. (Perhaps one of the most accessible of books on the subject.)
The Bates Method by Peter Mansfield
Relearning to See by Thomas Quackenbush
It is also possible to obtain the complete collection of magazines that Bates published between 1919 and 1931. These contain his ongoing experiences and research into his new method with case histories, discussions of eye problems and their solutions. It can be ordered as a PDF download from the Visions of Joy website below.
www.seeing.org – The Bates Association for Vision Education – also contains more in depth descriptions of various techniques used in the method.
The Bates Association in the UK has an advice line and can help interested people to find a teacher – there is also an international teachers list on www.seeing.org.
The Bates Association for Vision Education
95 Brodrick Rd
Tel: +44 (0)800 055 6130
Fax: +44 (0)845 225 5098