Below are some wonderful cases of extremely fast eyesight cures and Dr. Bates’ surprising and insightful reactions to these special cases. These examples are probably too unique and creative to be called the "BatesMethod". This article originally appeared in Dr.Bates' Better Eyesight Magazines -gm
By William H. Bates, M.D.
QUICK cures are desirable. At the same time let me hasten to state that we must use the word "cure" with great care. It means a great deal more than most physicians realize. A patient's definition of a cure is more complete, more thorough, and more lasting than he realized or remembered at his first visit.
To promise any patient a cure is unwise from a scientific standpoint. In my work I take particular pains to make the patient understand that I do not expect or guarantee a cure in any case. The most I say to them is "Yes, I have cured people much worse than you, but that is no guarantee that I can give you the slightest benefit."
This seems to eliminate a certain amount of subconscious antagonism on the part of the patient, who may consciously say that he desires to be cured, but deep down in his heart feels unconsciously, "I don't believe you can do it with my help, and I am quite sure you can't do it if I oppose you."
Like the Irishman who said "he was willing to be convinced, but he would like to see the man who could do it."
Quick cures have their disadvantages. A patient feels that since his benefit came easily, now, with his good sight, he can go off at any time he likes and have a spree, in which he stares and strains and uses his eyes to his heart's content without any danger of a relapse. He forgets that all persons with normal vision can acquire imperfect sight at any time. The attending physician must be on his guard when referring to those patients who have been cured quickly, and not give the impression that it is an easy thing to do, because too often those patients who know about quick cure cases expect to be cured themselves in the same way as quickly and as permanently. If they are not, they are disappointed, and they have a way of expressing that disappointment which hurts.
Personally I am very much upset every time a patient surprises me with a quick cure, because of the favorable criticism which may follow and which is seldom desired by the attending physician. If we could only practice quick cures in favorable cases and not have to struggle with the obstinate ones, things would get along perhaps better.
It is well to bear in mind that most quick cures happen when least expected and we do not always know what particular thing accomplished it.
One question is often asked: "What kind of cases are most quickly cured?" I do not believe that we have sufficient facts to answer this question at all intelligently, because mild cases of imperfect sight may require long periods of time – years – before recovery, or a permanent recovery, occurs. I have a number of patients whose amount of imperfect sight is very small, indeed, and yet after some years of more or less continuous treatment they are still not permanently relieved. In other cases a large amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness without any special reason, practicing the same method of treatment, would obtain a permanent cure at one visit. I wish I knew why.
Quite a number of patients with imperfect sight for the distance, and also unable to read the newspaper at a near point, have been permanently cured after a half hour or more of palming. Other cases have practiced palming apparently just as faithfully without much if any relief after many months. It would be perhaps a good thing to know why palming was so very beneficial in some cases while in others the benefit was imperfect.
One patient 60 years of age with imperfect sight from cataract, whose vision was not improved at all by glasses, obtained normal vision without glasses at the first visit. The cataract and all the other troubles disappeared almost immediately after palming. It was interesting to learn that this patient had worn quite strong glasses for nearly fifty years. During this time even with his glasses he suffered pain, fatigue and other discomforts. He told me that all he wanted or that he would be satisfied with, was the cure of the cataract, so that possibly, with glasses, he could do his work. The very thought of it made his face brighten, but when after palming he obtained not only a cure of his imperfect sight but of every other symptom he could remember, he certainly was grateful and he showed it in his face.
Another patient said he was 106 years old. His vision for distance was poor and he was unable to read fine print with or without glasses. He had cataract in both eyes, so opaque that no red reflex could be seen in any part of the pupil with an ophthalmoscope. He was placed in a dark room and told to close his eyes and keep them closed. At the end of a half hour his vision was improved to 10/10 and he read diamond type [very tiny print] at six inches without glasses. He was told to repeat this treatment frequently during the day in order to avoid a relapse.
He came back at the end of a week with his vision still further improved. As he went out of the office without an attendant to guide him he stopped and spoke the only words I ever heard him say: "Doctor, you did me good." I wish I knew what I did or did not do. It would be a great satisfaction to me to find out how the patient by closing his eyes for a half hour improved his sight so much and so quickly. A large number of other patients have been told the same thing; the same words were used as were spoken to him, but the results were seldom repeated.
It is well to emphasize that under the most favorable conditions quick cures are exceedingly rare. They generally occur when least expected, but when they do occur the definition of the word "cure" includes a great many more benefits than the patients expect.
One of the quickest cures I ever had was in the case of a very ignorant man who was suffering from sympathetic ophthalmia. At school, he told me, he could never understand fractions, and yet I found that he had the most wonderful imagination in my experience. Although he could not tell the big "C" at ten feet, when I brought it up close to him he said that he could imagine it and could imagine it perfectly. Knowing that it was a big "C," he was able to imagine it perfectly at ten feet, and when I told him that the first letter on the line below was an "R," he became able almost immediately to imagine it so perfectly that he could imagine he saw a letter "B" on the same line, and a letter "T," the first letter on the line below. He kept insisting that he did not see any of these letters. He only imagined them.
When I pointed to the first letter on the bottom line he said it all looked black. When I told him that the first letter was an "F," at once he said he could imagine it perfectly, and much to my surprise after the perfect imagination of that letter "F," he became able to imagine in turn the other letters on the bottom line which he did not know. He kept insisting that he did not see these letters—that he only imagined them. But always when he imagined perfectly one letter on the Snellen test card, the whole card became clearer and perfectly distinct and he could see or distinguish neighboring letters which he did not know. His imagination improved his sight to normal. To walk around the room without running into the furniture and to see surrounding objects, all he had to do was to imagine one letter of the alphabet perfectly.
Many of my patients have been teachers in the various universities, have the highest intelligence and are authorities in their fields, yet whose imagination of mental pictures was very poor.