Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight) 
Author Message
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)


[Big SNIP]

James:

Quote:
>>   I don't understand.  Surely knowing Bates' errors is useful in and of
>>itself, especially to help newcomers avoid him / them?

[...]

Quote:
> Pretty true of quite a few past scientists.  It doesn't mean that they
>should be ridiculed for using the tools or methodology of the time.

  You've missed the point: Bates was a faddist, not a scientist.  Bates'
"evidence" is invalid; his data are corrupt, his testimony is discredited.  His
book is a train-wreck; his advice useless.  No, worse than useless:
counterproductive.

  His era does not excuse him, his style was not equal to the standards of that
day; this was the time of Einstein, among others.

[SNIP]

Quote:
>Then set up some studies with proper controls and provide proper proof,
>one way or another.  All you can say at the moment is that some of the
>explanations were wrong.  That does not mean that some people's eyes did
>not improve.  If they did, why?
>  Until we know that 'Why?' your claims
>are as much 'belief' as anybody else's.

  Strongly disagree.  I've the advantage of five years' subscription to vision
improvement lists, during which time I've seen hundreds of Bates-stories.

  Taking people at their word, the maximum improvement of myopia I've seen
reported was 1.50 diopters (one person), then a *few* scattered reports of one
diopter, and a few fractional improvements.  These reports were scant; the vast
majority of Bates-o-philes report *no change* in refraction.

  I've seen no reports of reduction of hyperopia or presbyopia.

  I *have* seen numerous legends of third parties reputed to have greater
improvements.  Several of those parties popped back on the radar screen, and
all of them denied the cure.

[SNIP: analogy to mystery of bumblebee's flight]

Quote:
>Errr ...  No.  The bee flies.  Some people claim their vision improves.
>Do the science on both, even if the latter turns out to have its roots
>in psychology, do the science.

  Absent supporting evidence or theory, there's no incentive to investigate.

[SNIP]

Quote:
>>  As far as improving vision, yes, it's possible.  I've done
>> it and recommend it.  It is *not* a miracle, however,
>> yielding about a diopter's improvement, works for
>> myopia only, and requires a great deal of devotion.

>>  Bates is a positive hindrance to those who would improve
>> their vision [...]
>>  Why not strip away the chaff, the superstitious
>> inert nonsense, isolate the (few) active ingredients
>> and move on?

>Which is what I have been asking for.

  Here it is:
  Select a suitable target just past your (initial) far point, and practice
focusing on it.  When/if it comes into focus, you've improved.  Move back &
repeat.  Plus lenses allow convenient practice at arm's length.

[SNIP]

Quote:
>>  It's really very simple:

>>    o learn to measure your own refraction objectively
>>    o experiment
>>    o keep a log of results
>>    o report back with any success

>One person does not make for a properly controlled study.  If this is to
>have any meaning whatsoever it has to have sufficient subjects and
>controls.

  Who cares about controls?  If the pilot study can't produce even one positive
result, what's the follow-on supposed to investigate?

  More important is documentation: refraction before and after, which is what
most Bates-testimonials lack.  Absent this there's no objective way to
determine improvement ever happened.

  Time and time again, enthusiasts relying on subjective impressions expound on
their improving clarity, ever better each day upon day, yet after six months of
such "improvement" their doctor measures no change in refraction at all.
Exactly as that person we all know: always on a new diet, always losing weight,
yet somehow the scale tips ever higher.

  IOW, glowing tales of Bates improvements are usually unverifiable, to put it
kindly.

  OTOH, the setup I described above is universal: whatever your hypothesis,
whatever your technique, be it Bates or voodoo, if it works you'll immediately
know it -- the target will come into focus.  Instant, cheap biofeedback.

  And, with a little practice, it's repeatable, and objective.  Measure the
distance. If it increases, you're improving.  Unlike acuity, you can accurately
compare today's vision with that of yesterday, a month, or even years prior.

  Do this, keep records, prove yourself diligent, careful and competent, and
you'll have my attention, at least.

Quote:
>>  When you find a practical method that works, teach others.

>Which is exactly what Bates did[...]

  Oh I hardly think so.  Have you read his book?  'Twas written to tease &
entrance, not reveal, not teach.

 -- James Arthur

"We're overpaying him but he's worth it." --Samuel Goldwyn

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
unsolicited mail accepted at h e i n e r s c a r at a o l dot c o m.



Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:51:13 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:

> > Pretty true of quite a few past scientists.  It doesn't mean that they
> >should be ridiculed for using the tools or methodology of the time.

>   You've missed the point: Bates was a faddist, not a scientist.  Bates'
> "evidence" is invalid; his data are corrupt, his testimony is discredited.
His
> book is a train-wreck; his advice useless.  No, worse than useless:
> counterproductive.

How would you know when you have only read a summary of his findings? And it
appears as though you have only skimmed through that.  His complete findings
were published in the New York Medical Journal.

Quote:
> >  Until we know that 'Why?' your claims
> >are as much 'belief' as anybody else's.

>   Strongly disagree.  I've the advantage of five years' subscription to
vision
> improvement lists, during which time I've seen hundreds of Bates-stories.

>   Taking people at their word, the maximum improvement of myopia I've seen
> reported was 1.50 diopters (one person), then a *few* scattered reports of
one
> diopter, and a few fractional improvements.  These reports were scant; the
vast
> majority of Bates-o-philes report *no change* in refraction.

I also subscribe to these lists and what you are saying is simply not true.
Virtually everyone who posts report that they have improved their sight.  I
know of at least two ladies who recently posted about 3 diopters of
improvement, one being a list owner.  Saying that most people report no
change is ridiculous.  What really happens is there are a scant few who
report no change and I would say that none of those practice what Bates
truly taught.  One man recently stated that he was no longer myopic and he
would probably drop off the list because there was no more need for him to
discuss things.
When I started practicing I was in the -6.0 range and have improved my worst
vision by about 1.0 diopter.  My vision is now very variable and fluctuates
moment to moment.  I sometimes can see nothing but blur outside of a few
inches from my face and the next moment can see with super sharp clarity
that lasts for minutes.  Then it will disappear and then come back again.
There are times that I can read 20/20 in good lighting.  Any time that this
occurs I feel some kind of movement around my eyes and certainly an ease of
pressure relieved (like my sinuses opening up).  How do you explain this?

Quote:
> >Errr ...  No.  The bee flies.  Some people claim their vision improves.
> >Do the science on both, even if the latter turns out to have its roots
> >in psychology, do the science.

>   Absent supporting evidence or theory, there's no incentive to

investigate.

How can you say that numerous claims of vision improvement are not cause for
investigation.  What is the harm in investigating?
Have you read the results of Bates practices on schoolchildren while he was
allowed to practice his methods in the public schools?  They are incredible
results.  Almost every child improved their vision.

Just a sampling:
"In 1911 and 1912 the same system was introduced into some of the schools of
New York City,1 with an attendance of about ten thousand children. Many of
the teachers neglected to use the cards, being unable to believe that such a
simple method, and one so entirely at variance with previous teaching on the
subject, could accomplish the desired results. Others kept the cards in a
closet except when they were needed for the daily eye drill, lest the
children should memorize them. Thus they not only put an unnecessary burden
upon themselves, but did what they could to defeat the purpose of the
system, which is to give the children daily exercise in distant vision with
a familiar object as the point of fixation. A considerable number, however,
used the system intelligently and persistently, and in less than a year were
able to present reports showing that of three thousand children with
imperfect sight over one thousand had obtained normal vision by its means.
Some of these children, as in the case of the children of Grand Forks, were
cured in a few minutes. Many of the teachers were also cured, some of them
very quickly. In some cases the results of the system were so astonishing as
to be scarcely credible.

In a class of mental defectives, where the teacher had kept records of the
eyesight of the children for several years, it had been invariably found
that their-vision grew steadily worse as the term advanced. As soon as the
Snellen test card had been introduced, however, they began to improve. Then
came a doctor from the Board of Health who tested the eyes of the children
and put glasses on all of them, even those whose sight was fairly good. The
use of the card was then discontinued, as the teacher did not consider it
proper to interfere while the children were wearing glasses prescribed by a
physician. Very soon, however, the children began to lose, break, or
discard, their glasses. Some said that the spectacles gave them headaches,
or that they felt better without them. In the course of a month or so most
of the aids to vision which the Board of Health had supplied had
disappeared. The teacher then felt herself at liberty to resume the use of
the Snellen test card. Its benefits were immediate. The eyesight and the
mentality of the children improved simultaneously, and soon they were all
drafted into the regular classes, because it was found that they were making
the same progress in their studies as the other children were.

One day I visited the city of Rochester, and while there I called on the
Superintendent of Public Schools and told him about my method of preventing
myopia. He was very much interested and invited me to introduce it in one of
his schools. I did so, and at the end of three months a report was sent to
me showing that the vision of all the children had improved, while quite a
number of them had obtained normal vision in both eyes.

The method has been used in a number of other cities and always with the
same result. The vision of all the children improved, and many of them
obtained normal vision in the course of a few minutes, days, weeks, or
months.

It is difficult to prove a negative proposition, but since this system
improved the vision of all the children who used it, it follows that none
could have grown worse. It is therefore obvious that it must have prevented
myopia. This cannot be said of any method of preventing myopia in schools
which had previously been tried. All other methods are based on the idea
that it is the excessive use of the eyes for near work that causes myopia,
and all of them have admittedly failed."

Quote:
> >>  As far as improving vision, yes, it's possible.  I've done
> >> it and recommend it.  It is *not* a miracle, however,
> >> yielding about a diopter's improvement, works for
> >> myopia only, and requires a great deal of devotion.

> >>  Bates is a positive hindrance to those who would improve
> >> their vision [...]
> >>  Why not strip away the chaff, the superstitious
> >> inert nonsense, isolate the (few) active ingredients
> >> and move on?

> >Which is what I have been asking for.

>   Here it is:
>   Select a suitable target just past your (initial) far point, and
practice
> focusing on it.  When/if it comes into focus, you've improved.  Move back
&
> repeat.  Plus lenses allow convenient practice at arm's length.

We cannot hardly believe these anedoctal tales without proper scientific
evidence.  This man must be a faddist. This evidence is invalid, this data
is corrupt, this testimony is discredited.  This advice is useless.  No,
worse than useless: counterproductive. :) LOL!  (I happen to agree that what
you stated can be of some help to improve your vision.)

Quote:
>   More important is documentation: refraction before and after, which is
what
> most Bates-testimonials lack.  Absent this there's no objective way to
> determine improvement ever happened.

What are you talking about?  Bates cites hundreds of cases giving their
refraction before and after.

Quote:
>   OTOH, the setup I described above is universal: whatever your
hypothesis,
> whatever your technique, be it Bates or voodoo, if it works you'll
immediately
> know it -- the target will come into focus.  Instant, cheap biofeedback.

Exactly right!  Everyone that I have spoken with who practices Bates
properly get instant results.  Within days of my practicing things began to
come into focus and every day since my vision has improved and clear vision
lasts longer and with greater intensity.

Quote:
> >>  When you find a practical method that works, teach others.

> >Which is exactly what Bates did[...]

>   Oh I hardly think so.  Have you read his book?  'Twas written to tease &
> entrance, not reveal, not teach.

What more did you want him to say. He tells you exactly what he did and what
you are to do to improve your vision.  Apparently you still have not read
the book.


Sat, 25 Sep 2004 00:02:11 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)
Jason

A difficulty I am having here is that you expect us to believe what
you say without supporting evidence.

James mentioned one person with a 1.5D improvement (I think this might
be myself?) you in turn quoted Kim and Rishi from 2see.

Kim compares her fully corrected 20/20 acuity with her transitional
lens acuity for 20/40.   What are we to understand from this?    We
need an apples and apples comparison as a basis for further questions.

Rishi is a -4 myope who has taken to driving around at night somehow
getting to his destination while admitting he is very myopic.    It
seems he prefers the concept of being a none myope and can flash
perfect vision during the day.  I cant recall who your 3rd improver
might be.

You yourself say you have improved 1D.  Is this a personal impression
or have you arrived at this via some other method?

I noticed your article by the rotating eye experimenter had some good
stuff in it supporting lens accommodation but you want us to believe
in (with no evidence at all) external accommodation.

When somebody claims the earth is really flat, we might wonder 'he
could be right?' and doubt what we have learnt.   After all the
astronauts might never have left the television studios and its all a
big hoax.   Even at 33,000 feet I cant say for sure the horizon or the
world looks curved.    The clincher for me is that when I fly from NZ
to the UK

1. I dont see any sharp edges on the earths surface

2. The moon is upside down

Therefore I appear to have rotated thru 180 degrees in my
journey.....the world appears to be round after all.

We need some reason to accept what anybody says other than just words.

When somebody we trust views similar objects and subjects as we do, we
might feel comfortable trusting their claims - otherwise we are likely
to feel they dont see things clearly.

In science we need evidence....something more than words.....whatever
you might claim has to be verifiable....repeatable by others.

Quoting Bates is like quoting the Bible.  Rather than it being
evidence its simply a written opinion.    James likes to see the whole
book as being a fairy story.    My opinion is that aside from
accommodation its very hard to show that normal sighted people dont
use their eyes as Bates suggests.   If we think of yesterdays dinner
(who what where) we cant see 'now' very well.  We do find it easier to
think of only one thing best therefore Bates is clearly not completely
wrong.  To suggest he is completely right is equally invalid.

Andrew



Sat, 25 Sep 2004 06:58:32 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)


Quote:
> Jason

> A difficulty I am having here is that you expect us to believe what
> you say without supporting evidence.

I am not asking people to believe anything.  I have quoted Bates and I
believe more research needs to be done.

Quote:

> James mentioned one person with a 1.5D improvement (I think this might
> be myself?) you in turn quoted Kim and Rishi from 2see.

> Kim compares her fully corrected 20/20 acuity with her transitional
> lens acuity for 20/40.   What are we to understand from this?    We
> need an apples and apples comparison as a basis for further questions.

I was trying to call him on the fact that he claims the vast majority of
people on the list say that they have no improvement which is completely
untrue.

Quote:
> You yourself say you have improved 1D.  Is this a personal impression
> or have you arrived at this via some other method?

I have multiple lenses and test my sight with a snellen card every day.

Quote:
> I noticed your article by the rotating eye experimenter had some good
> stuff in it supporting lens accommodation but you want us to believe
> in (with no evidence at all) external accommodation.

I do not ask you to believe anything.  I just do not believe enough research
has been done to know exactly what is happening during accommodation.  I
personally believe that the EOM's and the ciliary both play a role in
accommodation.  I do not ask you to believe this, I just ask you if proper
research has been done.  If someone wants to shut Bates theory of
accommodation up they should take the initiative to do similar experiments
to his and see what the outcomes are.

Quote:
> When somebody claims the earth is really flat, we might wonder 'he
> could be right?' and doubt what we have learnt.   After all the
> astronauts might never have left the television studios and its all a
> big hoax.   Even at 33,000 feet I cant say for sure the horizon or the
> world looks curved.    The clincher for me is that when I fly from NZ
> to the UK

> 1. I dont see any sharp edges on the earths surface

> 2. The moon is upside down

> Therefore I appear to have rotated thru 180 degrees in my
> journey.....the world appears to be round after all.

> We need some reason to accept what anybody says other than just words.

Everything we believe is just words unless you have seen it with your own
eyes.  You accept the orthodox opinion although you were not there when
those studies were done were you?

Quote:
> In science we need evidence....something more than words.....whatever
> you might claim has to be verifiable....repeatable by others.

> Quoting Bates is like quoting the Bible.  Rather than it being
> evidence its simply a written opinion.    James likes to see the whole
> book as being a fairy story.    My opinion is that aside from
> accommodation its very hard to show that normal sighted people dont
> use their eyes as Bates suggests.   If we think of yesterdays dinner
> (who what where) we cant see 'now' very well.  We do find it easier to
> think of only one thing best therefore Bates is clearly not completely
> wrong.  To suggest he is completely right is equally invalid.

I never have suggested he was completely right on everything, but on the
other hand I do not believe that he has ever been proven wrong on most
things either.
Off subject but the Bible has never been proven wrong either.


Sat, 25 Sep 2004 07:22:33 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)
Jason

True.  I only tend to believe what i can demonstrate with my senses.

When i first read the Bates book I was e{*filter*}d and very interested.  I
remain interested 15 years later.  The book made sense and yes it was
possible all i had learnt was wrong.

I went to a Harley street specialist in London and got my eyes tested.
 I expected to be told that my myopia was due to mental strain but how
was i to change this?  It might be possible.

Instead the fellow said 'The Bates method is pure bunk!  You have the
best pair of eye balls I have seen this month, your eye ball is the
wrong length'

He rubbed this in by giving me atropine prior to the exam and although
i could move my eyes normally I could not accommodate at all.   How
could accommodation be due to the external muscles?   Something did
not add up.

Can you please ackowledge this personal research?  It cost be quite a
bit of money!

You seem to think that nobody is interested in proving Bates to be
correct but if you look at the literature you will see people
researching accommodation but all the published results *always* claim
axial elongation in myopia studies and the Drexler et al study shows
no appreciable axial change in accommodation.

I cant verify other peoples research but the evidence of my own eyes
and my own research is that accommodation is not caused by the
external muscles.     If I doubted this I would personally investigate
this further but I see no evidence that I need doubt it.  However your
clear flashes interest me - what is going on?

Why not demonstrate your clear flashes to an ophthalmologist and get
some feed back?    If your clear flashes are genuine this would be
very very interesting and would be reported upon - you can at least
report the results to us.

I am a -1 myope and can just about drive at night but its a bit dodgy
but i can only see 20/40 in sunlight.     If your eyesight is varying
for optical reasons connected with correct use of your eyes you should
be aware of massive improvements in vision if you vary from -6 to what
must be around at least -1 and this will happen regardless of the
lighting level.   What happens at night?   What is the minimum
separation you can place 2 candles/small feint lights so that the
flame/lights are completely separate when they are 40 feet from you in
moon light type darkness ie you can read with *extreme* difficulty the
Bates book text.  If you do see quite well please get a friend to also
confirm your pupil diameter when this is happening.

Cheers

Andrew



Sat, 25 Sep 2004 13:52:31 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)
Here are some famous people who has claimed to have cured their
vision:

Frederick M Alexander: Australian actor and inventor of the
Alexander-technique
Richard Bandler: Co-founder of NLP and founder of DHE and writer of
many books in alternative psychology
Win Wenger: Writer of several books about accelarated learning and
brain and mind development
..and of course Aldous Huxley, who never was fully cured, but
benefitted so much from the method, that he chose to write a book
about it.



Sat, 25 Sep 2004 19:52:18 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:

> Jason

> True.  I only tend to believe what i can demonstrate with my senses.

> When i first read the Bates book I was e{*filter*}d and very interested.  I
> remain interested 15 years later.  The book made sense and yes it was
> possible all i had learnt was wrong.

> I went to a Harley street specialist in London and got my eyes tested.
>  I expected to be told that my myopia was due to mental strain but how
> was i to change this?  It might be possible.

> Instead the fellow said 'The Bates method is pure bunk!  You have the
> best pair of eye balls I have seen this month, your eye ball is the
> wrong length'

> He rubbed this in by giving me atropine prior to the exam and although
> i could move my eyes normally I could not accommodate at all.   How
> could accommodation be due to the external muscles?   Something did
> not add up.

> Can you please ackowledge this personal research?  It cost be quite a
> bit of money!

> You seem to think that nobody is interested in proving Bates to be
> correct but if you look at the literature you will see people
> researching accommodation but all the published results *always* claim
> axial elongation in myopia studies and the Drexler et al study shows
> no appreciable axial change in accommodation.

> I cant verify other peoples research but the evidence of my own eyes
> and my own research is that accommodation is not caused by the
> external muscles.     If I doubted this I would personally investigate
> this further but I see no evidence that I need doubt it.  However your
> clear flashes interest me - what is going on?

> Why not demonstrate your clear flashes to an ophthalmologist and get
> some feed back?    If your clear flashes are genuine this would be
> very very interesting and would be reported upon - you can at least
> report the results to us.

> I am a -1 myope and can just about drive at night but its a bit dodgy
> but i can only see 20/40 in sunlight.     If your eyesight is varying
> for optical reasons connected with correct use of your eyes you should
> be aware of massive improvements in vision if you vary from -6 to what
> must be around at least -1 and this will happen regardless of the
> lighting level.   What happens at night?   What is the minimum
> separation you can place 2 candles/small feint lights so that the
> flame/lights are completely separate when they are 40 feet from you in
> moon light type darkness ie you can read with *extreme* difficulty the
> Bates book text.  If you do see quite well please get a friend to also
> confirm your pupil diameter when this is happening.

> Cheers

> Andrew

Not all mypic refractive errors are due to changes in axial length.
Increased tonus of the ciliary muscle can contribute to some cases of
myopic refractive error.  This is called "pseudo-myopia," and is
amenable to biofeedback and other relaxation exercises.  Also, the
apparent reversal of some myopia in middle-age reflects the
contribution of the accommodative "system" in myopic refractive errors
(as opposed to accommodation inducing axial length changes).  We see
this all the time in the clinic, especially in those late-onset myopes
with relatively small refractive errors.  These are undoubtedly the
cases the Bates people like to dwell upon.


Sat, 25 Sep 2004 20:35:06 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:
>Here are some famous people who has claimed to have cured their
>vision:

>Frederick M Alexander: Australian actor and inventor of the
>Alexander-technique
>Richard Bandler: Co-founder of NLP and founder of DHE and writer of
>many books in alternative psychology
>Win Wenger: Writer of several books about accelarated learning and
>brain and mind development
>..and of course Aldous Huxley, who never was fully cured, but
>benefitted so much from the method, that he chose to write a book
>about it.

Don't forget Meir Schneider, founder of the School for Self-Healing in
San Francisco.

--
Smack

"Faith is a state of openness or trust. To have faith is like when you trust yourself to
the water. You don't grab hold of the water when you swim, because if you do you will
become stiff and tight in the water, and sink. You have to relax, and the attitude of faith
is the very opposite of clinging, and holding on."
        -Alan Watts

. . . take out the 'spam' for e-mail (duh!)



Sat, 25 Sep 2004 20:40:18 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)
Hi Ted

Do you have some references for these peoples claims?   I have never
heard that Alexander cured his sight.   I have read the Huxley book.
Meir Scneider does not have normal vision but i agree he seems to have
achieved something wonderful given where he started from.

The other two have web sites but dont mention vision.

Any help would be appreciated on this

thanks

Andrew

Quote:
> Here are some famous people who has claimed to have cured their
> vision:

> Frederick M Alexander: Australian actor and inventor of the
> Alexander-technique
> Richard Bandler: Co-founder of NLP and founder of DHE and writer of
> many books in alternative psychology
> Win Wenger: Writer of several books about accelarated learning and
> brain and mind development
> ..and of course Aldous Huxley, who never was fully cured, but
> benefitted so much from the method, that he chose to write a book
> about it.



Sun, 26 Sep 2004 03:42:50 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Hi all. Thought I'd pop in, since there is a little misinformation
being spread and I thought I'd point it out (or capitalize on it,
depending on your opinion).


Quote:
>  You've missed the point: Bates was a faddist, not a scientist.  Bates'
>"evidence" is invalid; his data are corrupt, his testimony is discredited.  His
>book is a train-wreck; his advice useless.  No, worse than useless:
>counterproductive.

He did spent about twenty years in experimental work before publishing
his book or beginning his magazines.

Teaching relaxattion, a form of meditation, and relief from eyestrain
is far from counterproductive, whether or not you believe it can
benefit eyesight.

Quote:
>[SNIP]

>>Then set up some studies with proper controls and provide proper proof,
>>one way or another.  All you can say at the moment is that some of the
>>explanations were wrong.  That does not mean that some people's eyes did
>>not improve.  If they did, why?

>>  Until we know that 'Why?' your claims
>>are as much 'belief' as anybody else's.

>  Strongly disagree.  I've the advantage of five years' subscription to vision
>improvement lists, during which time I've seen hundreds of Bates-stories.

>  Taking people at their word, the maximum improvement of myopia I've seen
>reported was 1.50 diopters (one person), then a *few* scattered reports of one
>diopter, and a few fractional improvements.  These reports were scant; the vast
>majority of Bates-o-philes report *no change* in refraction.

I guess you haven't read some of those lists lately. A few teachers
are on one, who of course have had a substantial improvement. A couple
other laypersons on the list also have, including myself.

You might also take into account how a person may have little or no
motivation to have an eye doctor confirm what he already knows - that
his vision is substantially beter than a couple of months back. Why do
that? To laugh in the doctor's face? To have the doctor say that the
original test must have been wrong or that the improvement was a freak
happening of nature that would have occured anyway? And to be
ridiculed for the foolish notion that vision can be improved? And do
you really think most eye doctors would take such a case and share it
with his peers in order to be ridiculed himself for the foolish notion
that vision can be improved?

There are not many teachers of the Bates Method in the world, but all
that I have heard about have claimed a good amount of improvement.

The problem with measuring vision is that a person improving his
vision learns, through experience, how extremely susceptible his
vision is to stresses and how little a measurement of his vision means
in the long run. He generally knows when things appear clearer.
Someone who goes to the eye doctor to have it checked, telling tales
of how great the Bates Method is,  might not be confident that he has
improved (because otherwise, why the need to test it?), in which case
he probably hasn't.

Quote:
>  I've seen no reports of reduction of hyperopia or presbyopia.

>  I *have* seen numerous legends of third parties reputed to have greater
>improvements.  Several of those parties popped back on the radar screen, and
>all of them denied the cure.

Who?  And were they under some sort of pressure? (ie: were they going
to be prosecuted, further bothered, or put under testing conditions
that would make them nervous)

On a side note, a huge portion of the information I've come across by
Bates Method supporters is inaccurate. People get e{*filter*}d about
something and try to explain it to others when in fact they don't
really understand what they were supposed to learn in the first place.
The most dogmatic about it aren't necessarily the ones who know what
they're talking about. Relaxation invites calmness and acceptance in
someone, not a need to persuade others to come around to his point of
view.

Some people like discussing scientific aspects of it, such as the
EOMs, but that isn't what it stands on. The Bates Method stands on
one's experience of its principles (by way of the relaxation
techniques properly done)

Quote:
>  OTOH, the setup I described above is universal: whatever your hypothesis,
>whatever your technique, be it Bates or voodoo, if it works you'll immediately
>know it -- the target will come into focus.  Instant, cheap biofeedback.

If I understand correctly, you are referring to this paragraph of
yours:

Quote:
>  Here it is:
>  Select a suitable target just past your (initial) far point, and practice
>focusing on it.  When/if it comes into focus, you've improved.  Move back &
>repeat.  Plus lenses allow convenient practice at arm's length.

What you describe isn't the Bates Method. Making an effort to focus
defeats it, although there are specific techniques used with a test
card such as flashing and the short swing, which, if done properly
(meaning without strain and plenty of patience), can improve the
vision until the bad habits take over again. If it were as easy as
looking at the card, nothing else would need to be said.

 Plus lenses are also at odds with the Bates Method.

Quote:
>>Which is exactly what Bates did[...]

>  Oh I hardly think so.  Have you read his book?  'Twas written to tease &
>entrance, not reveal, not teach.

He alluded to an enormous amount in his book, magazines, and other
articles. Other people have tried to expand on those things. Bates's
statements appear inconsistent, trivial, and boring (his prose is
quite wooden, as one person once said) at first, so it's easy to get
through the book once, twice, several times, feeling only disappointed
that more wasn't shared. People want the cure handed to them, but that
isn't how it works. When a person improves his vision, he can go back
in the book and think, "Wow, he's saying something *completely*
different than what it seemed at first. How did I read that three
times already and not understand what it meant in the context of
everything else here?". At least, that has been my experience, and
from the discussion on a couple of listservs, that of a few other
people as well. Some things just can't be understood until a person
has gotten to the point where he can put the principle into practice
and recognize it.

In the Preface of his book, he states how fallible conclusions really
are, and how those of his are offered with trepidation. His
matter-of-fact statements are presented without answering the "why" of
it, and that can be frustrating to the logical reader, but it was
necessary for him to stick with observations in order that he could
not be shot down for jumping to conclusions (and there were plenty of
authorities breathing down his neck). Perhaps he could have written
another whole book (or a number of them) on his guesses and musings,
but his guesses are not what the Bates Method is about.

--------
Imagination Blindness: http://www.***.com/



Sun, 26 Sep 2004 14:11:09 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:

> Hi Ted

> Do you have some references for these peoples claims?   I have never
> heard that Alexander cured his sight.   I have read the Huxley book.
> Meir Scneider does not have normal vision but i agree he seems to have
> achieved something wonderful given where he started from.

> The other two have web sites but dont mention vision.

> Any help would be appreciated on this

> thanks

> Andrew

Alexander is mentioned on page 15 of
http://www.ati-net.com/ex_v8n3.pdf

Win Wenger has participated in discussions on vision on various
mailing lists, that should be found if you search through Yahoo
Groups.

Richard Bandler, the most famous of these four, after Huxley, talks
about his vision on some of his CDs. He claims to now have far better
than 20/20 vision. The book TranceFormations was the first place I
heard about Bates and vision improvment. In it, Bandler says that he
cured a man from myopia, using hypnosis and age regression.



Sun, 26 Sep 2004 17:56:51 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:

> I am a -1 myope and can just about drive at night but its a bit dodgy
> but i can only see 20/40 in sunlight.     If your eyesight is varying
> for optical reasons connected with correct use of your eyes you should
> be aware of massive improvements in vision if you vary from -6 to what
> must be around at least -1 and this will happen regardless of the
> lighting level.   What happens at night?   What is the minimum
> separation you can place 2 candles/small feint lights so that the
> flame/lights are completely separate when they are 40 feet from you in
> moon light type darkness ie you can read with *extreme* difficulty the
> Bates book text.  If you do see quite well please get a friend to also
> confirm your pupil diameter when this is happening.

I am certainly aware of massive changes in my eyesight.  One moment I cannot
see anything clear more than a few inches in front of my face and then the
next moment I can see perfect 20/20 clearness unlike any vision I can
remember with or without lenses.  In the past this clear vision would only
occur in good light but in the last few months my vision at night has also
become very variable.  The clear vision moments at night are probably more
like about 20/50 or so but is getting better and lasting longer every day as
well.  I can usually go without any lenses at all when outdoors during the
day now because I generally have the clear vision more often than the blurry
vision.
I don't know about the candle experiment, but in my very darkened bedroom at
night when looking at my LCD alarm clock I generally see only a big circle
of blur, but if I relax properly the numbers come into perfect focus from
across the room.


Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:07:59 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)


Quote:

> Hi all. Thought I'd pop in, since there is a little misinformation
> being spread and I thought I'd point it out (or capitalize on it,
> depending on your opinion).

Glad to see you aboard David!  I believe I have probably gotten too far off
in discussing scientific aspects, but my main goal is just for as many
people as possible to hear that improving your sight is possible.  By
keeping this discussion going I was hoping to get some more people talking
and get different discussions going and I seem to have accomplished that.


Sun, 26 Sep 2004 21:20:22 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Quote:

>>   You've missed the point: Bates was a faddist, not a scientist.
>>  Bates' "evidence" is invalid; his data are corrupt, his testimony
>> is discredited.  His book is a train-wreck; his advice useless.
>>  No, worse than useless: counterproductive.

>How would you know when you have only read a summary of his findings? And it
>appears as though you have only skimmed through that.

  o Bates' book Perfect Sight Without Glasses, the 309 page "summary" you refer
to, is more than enough to reach this conclusion.
  o If it appears to you that I skimmed it, then appearances have deceived you.
 Again.

Quote:
>> >  Until we know that 'Why?' your claims
>> >are as much 'belief' as anybody else's.

>>   Strongly disagree.  I've the advantage of five years'
>> subscription to vision improvement lists, during which
>> time I've seen hundreds of Bates-stories.

>>   Taking people at their word, the maximum improvement of
>> myopia I've seen reported was 1.50 diopters (one person),
>> then a *few* scattered reports of one diopter, and a few
>> fractional improvements.  These reports were scant; the vast
>> majority of Bates-o-philes report *no change* in refraction.

>I also subscribe to these lists and what you are saying is simply not true.
>Virtually everyone who posts report that they have improved their sight.  I
>know of at least two ladies who recently posted about 3 diopters of
>improvement, one being a list owner.  Saying that most people report no
>change is ridiculous.

  Apparently we get different lists.  My comments stand.

  As for assessing improvement reports, it's common for afficionados to report
reduced Rx without explaining they've *chosen* a lower Rx and blurrier vision
in hopes of improving.  At the computer, I'm presently wearing glasses 2.75
diopters weaker than my worst Rx, yielding 20/30 daytime vision, a typical
"miracle" report.  Best vision of 20/13, however, requires an Rx merely 1.50
diopters weaker than worst Rx.  My actual improvement?  About 1.3-1.4 diopters,
best estimate.

   I'd like to know, for these 3 diopter-folks, if they claim this improvement
is in *actual* Rx, i.e., the power needed for best possible vision.  Keeping an
eye open for just such a case, I've yet to see one of 3 diopters.

  By all means, however, bring them to us, that we might press them for
details.  Oh yes -- if you want to prove it was ala Bates rather than, for
example, reduced accommodative spasm, then of course be prepared with data
showing their eyeballs actually shrank, or are at least presently of correct
length.

[SNIP]

Quote:
>>   Absent supporting evidence or theory, there's no incentive to
>investigate.

>How can you say that numerous claims of vision improvement are not cause for
>investigation.  What is the harm in investigating?

  The harm is wasted time and effort better spent curing cancer, for example.
Or gardening.  Or finding vision therapies that might actually work.

  If you're so keen, however, nothing's stopping you.  Rather than complaining
passively that *others* aren't doing enough to support *your* beliefs, why not
investigate?  Compile some real data?  Document some cures?  And where better
to start than by asking Bates-teachers for their cure stats...surely they'll be
eager to provide evidence of benefit from their services?

  One self-styled Bates instructor vigorously evaded such queries a few years
back -- too busy with Bates' important work for such trivialities.  Evasions
even for his own refraction.  He didn't hesitate lending his full enthusiasm,
however, to promoting improved post-training acuity in one of his "students,"
possessing bilateral 0.00 sph -3.00D cyl., as a cure of 6 diopters of myopia.

Quote:
>Have you read the results of Bates practices on schoolchildren while he was
>allowed to practice his methods in the public schools?  They are incredible
>results.  Almost every child improved their vision.

  You misrepresent.

  The passage says that in these mildest, earliest cases of new-onset
refractive errors (likely juvenile myopia(**)) -- the EASIEST to cure, one
would think -- only one thousand out of three were helped, and that's from the
fox himself.  Such bodes not well for Bates in general: claims, cures, and
prospects for higher refractive errors.

  Contrary to your remark, these kids were NOT using the hodgepodge commonly
known as Bates' method, they were practicing focusing on a distant Snellen
chart posted in the classroom several times a day.  That this method can work
to relax the ciliary I do not doubt: it does, but such does not support Bates'
other contentions.

  For you, with knowledge of Bates, to present the excerpt below as supporting
your statement above, is a distortion.

  Even if we reluctantly believe Bates' account of things, that account clearly
tells us that we needn't have bothered with all the intricacies, faith, ritual
and advice of the 262 pages preceding, that all the same benefits are gotten by
merely practicing focus on a distant high-contrast target.

  Surprisingly, I agree.  But, OTOH, it also means Bates' entire "method" is
superfluous.  No surprise there.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>Just a sampling:
>"In 1911 and 1912 the same system was introduced into some of the schools of
>New York City,1 with an attendance of about ten thousand children. Many of
>the teachers neglected to use the cards, being unable to believe that such a
>simple method, and one so entirely at variance with previous teaching on the
>subject, could accomplish the desired results. Others kept the cards in a
>closet except when they were needed for the daily eye drill, lest the
>children should memorize them. Thus they not only put an unnecessary burden
>upon themselves, but did what they could to defeat the purpose of the
>system, which is to give the children daily exercise in distant vision with
>a familiar object as the point of fixation. A considerable number, however,
>used the system intelligently and persistently, and in less than a year were
>able to present reports showing that of three thousand children with
>imperfect sight over one thousand had obtained normal vision by its means.
>Some of these children, as in the case of the children of Grand Forks, were
>cured in a few minutes. Many of the teachers were also cured, some of them
>very quickly. In some cases the results of the system were so astonishing as
>to be scarcely credible.

[SNIP: Bates: Snellen chart cures mental retardation (preamble)]
  (Conclusion)  "The eyesight and the mentality of the children improved
simultaneously, and soon they were all drafted into the regular classes,
because it was found that they were making the same progress in their studies
as the other children were."

[SNIP]
(** Bates presents "none of the children getting worse" as proof the system
"must have prevented myopia."  Since myopic shift would be a benefit to
hyperopes, I inferred above that Bates thought these patients to be myopes
only.  Further, only myopia is consistent with obtaining benefit from the
ciliary-relaxation practice described.)

  A few paragraphs later that earlier 1/3rd proportion has either been
forgotten, or grown impressively.

Bates continues:

Quote:
>It is difficult to prove a negative proposition, but since this system
>improved the vision of all the children who used it, it follows that none
>could have grown worse. It is therefore obvious that it must have prevented
>myopia.

[SNIP]

Quote:
>  Apparently you still have not read the book.

  Many times.  Too many, yet there's no escaping another Bates-apologist
gimmick: no matter how much Bates you've read, it's not enough.  If you read
the book, you need to read his magazines.  If you've read it all, you didn't
understand it.

  For devotees: if you finally understood it, then you didn't apply it
correctly.  Or yourself.  Or tried too hard.  Or needed a teacher.  Or need
more lessons.

  The excuses never stop.

  And you sir, like your hero, have told several Clintons too many.  Though
I'll rebut you, I'll no longer address you.  Our conversation is over.

  -- James Arthur

"The trouble isn't that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightning
ain't distributed right." --Mark Twain
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
unsolicited mail accepted at h e i n e r s c a r at a o l dot c o m.



Mon, 27 Sep 2004 06:58:21 GMT
 Improving myopia (was Re: Eyeball squeezing could correct sight)

Here are a few more comments of James's about the Bates Method that
demonstrate that he has damned it without even getting it right.


Quote:
>   I'd like to know, for these 3 diopter-folks, if they claim this improvement
>is in *actual* Rx, i.e., the power needed for best possible vision.  Keeping an
>eye open for just such a case, I've yet to see one of 3 diopters.

I would be very interested to find these obscure Bates discussion
groups that you subscribe to that I have been unable to locate, in
order that we may see if those people are practicing the Bates Method
correctly or merely talking about it without understanding.

Quote:
>  By all means, however, bring them to us, that we might press them for
>details.  Oh yes -- if you want to prove it was ala Bates rather than, for
>example, reduced accommodative spasm, then of course be prepared with data
>showing their eyeballs actually shrank, or are at least presently of correct
>length.

The mechanics involved and the shape of the eyeball doesn't matter if
you're interested in vision improvement rather than scientific
changes. Bates Method students and teachers are interested in the
former and often know very little about the physiology. So natural
improvement in visual quality, no matter the nature of it, is
significant without the need for measurement and indicates that the
orthodox theories aren't paying attention to something important.

How large of an accommodative spasm is typical? What if someone had
myopia since he was a baby, which grew to to about three diopters over
the years until twenty years later he was seeing perfectly? Would you
describe that as accommodative spasm that managed to extend and grow
for twenty years and "would have gone away anyway"?

If you would go so far as to say yes to that statement (which I
wouldn't expect, but I'll go on anyway), I would note that you seem to
be convinced accommodative spasm is easily cured, so what would be the
justification for eye doctors having given him glasses for twenty
years and saying nothing could be done? With that min mind, why not
suggest the Bates Method to every patient interested in improving his
vision, in order that all these nuisant cases of accommodative spasm
that have plagued your time with claims of improvement would be easily
cured and sent on their merry way?

Quote:
>>Have you read the results of Bates practices on schoolchildren while he was
>>allowed to practice his methods in the public schools?  They are incredible
>>results.  Almost every child improved their vision.

>  You misrepresent.

>  The passage says that in these mildest, earliest cases of new-onset
>refractive errors (likely juvenile myopia(**)) -- the EASIEST to cure, one
>would think -- only one thousand out of three were helped, and that's from the
>fox himself.  Such bodes not well for Bates in general: claims, cures, and
>prospects for higher refractive errors.

>  Contrary to your remark, these kids were NOT using the hodgepodge commonly
>known as Bates' method, they were practicing focusing on a distant Snellen
>chart posted in the classroom several times a day.  That this method can work
>to relax the ciliary I do not doubt: it does, but such does not support Bates'
>other contentions.

One thing that you aren't grasping is the Bates Method simply
describes the healthy functioning of a normal eye and the ways to
encourage it. It does not need to be learned by those who see fine,
and only a little nudging in the right direction might be necessary
for someone who only recently began using their mind improperly. The
children mentioned used their eyes in an unstrained manner.

It's a pity you've reverted to name-calling already. You're revealing
an unwillingness to listen by calling it names such as "hodgepodge". I
would imagine you don't care, but I mention it to the others reading
this thread.

Quote:
>  Even if we reluctantly believe Bates' account of things, that account clearly
>tells us that we needn't have bothered with all the intricacies, faith, ritual
>and advice of the 262 pages preceding, that all the same benefits are gotten by
>merely practicing focus on a distant high-contrast target.

Bates is very clear that {*filter*}s and children who have never worn
glasses and only recently acquired the bad habits are easiest to cure,
with others often taking several months (when the relaxation
techniques are taught correctly by someone with normal sight who
understands how to teach the Method).

Quote:
>  A few paragraphs later that earlier 1/3rd proportion has either been
>forgotten, or grown impressively.

He didn't say that 1/3rd had improved, but he did say that 1/3rd had
obtained normal vision. The indication is that the vision of all of
the children had improved somewhat. The paragraphs are entirely
consistent, if you would read them more carefully.

Quote:
>>  Apparently you still have not read the book.

>  Many times.  Too many, yet there's no escaping another Bates-apologist
>gimmick: no matter how much Bates you've read, it's not enough.  If you read
>the book, you need to read his magazines.  If you've read it all, you didn't
>understand it.

And you don't understand it, as plainly demonstrated by all of your
inaccurate statements about it that I have corrected. If you didn't
seriously read my replies, your understanding is no better than
before. When you wrote the comments I replied to, yesterday, you
didn't know the first thing about it. Has anything changed?

Quote:
>  For devotees: if you finally understood it, then you didn't apply it
>correctly.  Or yourself.  Or tried too hard.  Or needed a teacher.  Or need
>more lessons.

>  The excuses never stop.

How about the orthodox excuses, dismissing all proven improvements as
ciliary spasm, random or eventual growth of the eyeball, tear film
over the eye, pupil contraction, imagining it, lying, etc? Perhaps you
can think of a few more, and I am impressed by the variety of
physiological theories people have come up with to dismiss simple
improvement in eyesight as insignificant.

Quote:
>  And you sir, like your hero, have told several Clintons too many.  Though
>I'll rebut you, I'll no longer address you.  Our conversation is over.

You're free to do the same to me, as at least one other person here as
(or was it you?), but if it's okay with you, for the benefit of other
people here I will continue to point out the fallacies in your
statements about the Bates Method. You may believe you are doing a
service by attacking it, but for the sake of avoiding foolishness you
might want to either avoid attacking it or attempting to get some of
the facts straight before posting what seems to be a knee-jerk
reaction.

--------
Imagination Blindness: http://www.***.com/



Mon, 27 Sep 2004 09:53:50 GMT
 
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