Newsletter - August 2017

1) NVI article #1 – Article from Dr. Bates’ magazine - Better Eyesight – Crumbs for Bores, March 1923

Attached (in the Newsletter) is the article Crumbs for Bores, by Dr. Bates.  I am including it in this edition of the Newsletter for a couple of reasons.  First, to give some examples of the types of things that can cause mental strain.  And secondly, to provide an example of how and when to practice.

In the article the author, James Hopper, a patient of Dr. Bates, gives a couple of examples where he noticed his vision was imperfect and what he practiced.  As you read the article, though it may be obvious to some of you, I know I have to be explicit in writing that the author’s reference to “diabolisms” is merely his playful way of referring to the Bates techniques which he had learned and practiced.  In his day a method that was cunning, obscure or little known could be referred to as a “diabolism”.  The specific techniques that he practiced are swinging stationary objects, (Seeing Motion), and remembering a period, black dot or black period, and central fixation.  The purpose of my comments here is NOT to have you do these specific techniques.  The purpose of my comments regarding this article is to relate how mental strain is behind imperfect eyesight.  If I’ve shown you how to do any of the techniques and they get you to relax you can use them.  As Bates writes in many places, ALL the techniques are merely a way of getting the person to relax or rest. 

The point the author makes is that some days the techniques worked, while on other days they wouldn’t.  In both of the situations that Hopper gives, the key is that the specific technique got him to relax in that situation.  On some days while “swinging the signs” the exercises worked perfectly.  When they didn’t, the mental strain of being concerned about several big bills predominated in his mind.  Though he might have been mechanically looking for motion, his thoughts, either consciously or subconsciously, were actually on the big bills.  When he sat for dinner with people whom he liked, he was relaxed.  When he sat with people that were “bores” for him, he experienced mental strain.  The mental strain was released, though, when he practiced Central Fixation or Swinging of a bread crumb.

Hopper happens to write that he is not listening to the bores, but rather that he is swinging the bread crumb.  Once a client learns any Bates technique which gets them to relax, I’ll purposely talk to them while they practice it.  I often have to point out to clients that they can “let go” of grasping for what I am saying, of making an effort to listen and understand.  Because any effort causes strain.  I tell them that I’m going to continue talking, but that they can let go of “focusing” on what I’m saying and instead practice whatever technique they know how to do to relax.  In addition to discovering that they can relax, they also discover that they are still able to hear me.  You’ll see evidence of this throughout your day, that people will often squint when you tell them something that they don’t understand, or anything that makes them go into mental strain. 

The other reason why I included this article is to illustrate that Hopper was practicing throughout his day.  And that is why I’m including the following article too.

2) NVI article #2 – Article from Dr. Bates’ magazine - Better Eyesight – Practicing, October 1922

Attached (to the Newsletter) is the article Practicing, by Bates. 

There are two parts to practicing.  The first is where you set aside time to practice techniques that I’ve taught you so that you become able to get yourself to relax and improve your eyesight during your practice.  Learning the techniques is not a matter of knowing what they are intellectually.  It is a matter of being able to use the technique so that you actually relax, and that as a side effect of your relaxation you vision improves on its own, effortlessly.  In order to make use of a technique so that it has this effect you have to set time aside in your week, every day, every other day, three to four times a week,

The second part is practicing all the time.  That is what this article is about.  It means practicing being relaxed all the time.  Practicing the techniques that you have learned and know how to use and applying them throughout your day.  Life can be stressful.  This practice is a matter of learning to recognize when you are experiencing mental strain, and knowing what to do to relieve it.  It’s learning that when your vision is imperfect, that is a sign that you are not relaxed.  It’s recognizing at that moment that you can do something beneficial for yourself, that you can put yourself at ease, and that when you do that, your vision gets better right away, seemingly on its own. 

Initially you practice consciously.  You set time aside and you practice.  Next you remember to practice throughout your day.  By doing that regularly, the conscious habit becomes an unconscious one.  It’s like driving a car.  Initially you had to learn how the steering wheel and pedals worked, how much you needed to move each so that the car did what you wanted it to do.  After driving for years, you can now get in the car and you operate the car easily, with very little conscious effort, without having to think about what to do when you see a red light or a green light.  Your body just does it.  You can get to that point with your eyesight.  Like driving, you just have to get in the car regularly and drive. 

It’s the same with your eyesight.  You can either practice mental strain, and get “good” at that, or you can practice relaxation, and get “good” at that.  Since you are using your eyes all day long anyway, why not use them such that you physically feel better AND your eyesight gets better too.

My comments regarding articles from the writings of Dr. Bates.


Newsletter - October 2017

1) NVI article #1 – Blinking, article from Dr. Bates’ magazine,

Better Eyesight , June 1924

Attached (in the email Newsletter), is the article Blinking, by Dr. Bates. 

Blinking is fundamental and necessary for normal sight.  Blinking rests the eyes, shifts the vision naturally, keeps the eyes moist, comfortable and reduces or eliminates pain in the eyes and head.

Whenever you notice your vision is less than you would like, blink, and then blink again.  If you let your eyes alone, that is, if you stop making an effort to see, your blinking will becomes very fast and frequent by itself.  If done easily, without strain or effort, you’ll notice your vision improve as you blink.

2) NVI article #2 – Demonstrate, article from Dr. Bates’ magazine, Better Eyesight, February 1926

Attached is the article Demonstrate:  Effort, Blinking and Palming, by Bates. 

 The article is quite clear and easy to understand if you practice regularly. 

I wanted to note that Palming can be done imperfectly.  If any effort is made to “see” the “perfect black” Bates describes, Palming is being done wrong.  Also, many people when they first Palm notice colors, shapes or lights.  These are all signs of mental strain.  The strain is relieved by resting or letting the mind go to pleasant, enjoyable memories or imagined scenes.  Many adults benefit from picturing themselves on a tropical beach.  I often ask kids to tell me what they’re favorite ice cream is as they Palm.  This brings the experience to mind.  Details of the imagined scene can be adjusted, including more favorable details and excluding less favorable ones.

If Palming or any other Bates technique makes you feel worse, causes pain or a drop in the vision, stop doing it.  Any Bates technique can be done incorrectly.  If you are unable to use any of the techniques described to rest, relax and improve your eyesight, you just need help.  Contact me to set up a series of sessions.

I've started this page on August 23, 2017.  It contains portions of the monthly email Newsletter that I send out to those that subscribe to it. 

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