Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take me to improve my vision?
Most people begin to see flashes of clearer vision and more vivid colors right away. You need successes to feel encouraged to continue. Letting go of the habit of straining your eyes is the key to improving vision. People who have mild vision correction can sometimes get out of glasses in a month or two. People with higher prescriptions, who have been in the habit of straining their eyes for many years, often have entrenched habits of strain and need more time to change their habits. The wonderful feeling of letting go of long held strain and gradual eyesight improvements along the way are what gives many the motivation to continue.
I have astigmatism. Is it still possible to improve my vision?
Moany people using our programs find that astigmatism is the first thing to improve. If you are getting reduced prescription glasses, work with your eye doctor to reduce the correction for astigmatism, or even eliminate it if it is mild, say, under 2 diopters..
My eye doctor says I have inherited eyes that are too long. Can I still improve my vision?
The Bates Model for Vision Improvement suggests it is stressed muscles around the eyes that cause the eyeball to change shape and become too long or too short. Vision improvement techniques help relax tight eye muscles, and the thoughts or stress behind them, and allow the eye to return to its natural shape.
I love wearing glasses. Why improve my vision?
According to the Bates Method of eyesight improvement, poor eyesight is caused by strain. Most people who have poor eyesight find their vision gets worse over the years. Wearing glasses for fun is one thing but wearing glasses because you can no longer see without them is a very different story. Strain caused by tight muscles around the eyeballs also causes reduce circulation. Our eyes need more oxygen on a weight basis than any other part of our body. Poor circulation can also contribute to eye diseases later in life.
It seems every few years I need a stronger prescription. Why is that?
Your eyes are constantly changing. Sometimes you might see better than other times and sometimes you might see worse. In order to see clearly from your glasses you must recreate the strain you had when you were tested for those glasses. That constant straining of your eye muscles reduces circulation to your eyes and encourages more eye strain over time. Also when you wear glasses you see best from the center of the lens. So that means you are restricting movement of your eyes and most likely your head and neck. Movement is one of the most important habits used by people with good vision.
My eyes are lazy. Should I buy one of the “Eye Exercise” programs I see on the internet?
Most people assume their eyes are lazy, and in need of eye exercises to make them work harder. This is backwards and eye exercises can actually cause more strain. It is the straining of the involuntary eye muscles around the eyeballs that cause poor vision. Relaxing involuntary muscles, such as the heart muscle, is done through relaxing the mind and body and not by effort or force. Improving your eyesight naturally is very much like meditation or yoga. Relief from strain can not be obtained by another strain.
My doctor tells me I must wear my glasses all of the time. Won’t my vision get worse if I stop wearing my glasses?
If you hurt your leg and you were giving a leg brace, you would expect the brace to eventually come off as your leg healed. If the doctor told you to wear the leg brace for the rest of your life you would probably find another doctor. The first sign of blurry vision is a sign that something is out of balance in your life. Often it is a stressful life situation that causes blur. Common childhood stressors that caused many of us to get our first pair of glasses are moving to a new town, death of someone close, a teacher who scares us, and emotional or physical abuse. Relieving the stress at the first sign of blurry vision and the belief that our eyes will self-correct is often all that is needed for eyes to heal. Locking in the strained eye muscles with glasses causes the strain to become a lifelong habit – to see clearly out of prescription glasses we have to recreate the strain that was there when getting tested for glasses.
It doesn’t feel like I have strain in my eyes. Is there a way to prove it?
Most people are initially unaware they hold strain in their eyes, especially if they have a high prescription. Palming and swinging are two wonderful vision improvement techniques that can help you become aware of the strain you hold in your eyes. Most people, though not everyone, can also quickly feel their eyes relax when they try on pinhole glasses.
I’ve read many books on improving my vision but have had little success. Why is that??
Keep it simple, don't be an information junkie - it may thwart your progress if you gridlock your vision with too many vision theories and techniques at once! Also it is more important to spend time DOING the techniques rather than becoming an expert on the theories behind improving your vision naturally. If you want to jumpstart your vision improvement consider attending a workshop or set up private consultation by skype, phone, or in person.
How much time do I need to dedicate to improving my vision?
Your goal should be to replace the habit of straining to see with relaxing ways to look at your world. Once you experience seeing more clearly with ease, rather than with strain, that can be a wonderful motivation to keep replacing habits of strain with vision techniques that will guide you towards new healthy visual habits. The more you practice the techniques, the faster your vision will improve. The most important factor in doing the techniques CORRECTLY is to do them in a fun, relaxed manner. Will power and effort will hinder your progress. Also doing techniques you do NOT like will hinder your progress. And if you feel tired or strained, STOP and do something else. Doing vision techniques upon awakening for 10-20 minutes is a great way to start your day relaxed. Doing vision techniques for 10-20 minutes before bed can keep you from straining your vision in your dreams and help you sleep well. Once you have established a relaxation response when you do the techniques, doing them for 1-2 minutes throughout the day will help you break the habit of straining all day long.
If I take off my glasses, I can’t see, or hear, or talk. I feel like I’ve stepped on another planet.
Our senses are intertwined so if we mess with one sense (like removing glasses), everything can feel out of balance for awhile. You might want to start by reducing your prescription just a bit and go slowly. Or try just removing glasses for short periods when you are home. After some adjustment period, you might be surprised to find it relaxing.
My 7 year old was just given glasses and he won’t keep them on. Does he know something I don’t know?
Often when young children get glasses, they need to be reminded to wear them. Some children eventually “loose” them or keep breaking them and others do as they are told and adjust. What are they adjusting to? The blur they were experiencing when they got tested for glasses was most likely a sign that they were stressed. If there is an obvious stressor in your child’s life, see if it can remove or addressed. The stress might have simply been getting the eye exam. There are many fun ways to help your child’s good vision return, especially if they have not had a long habit of straining to see through glasses. You might also try color therapy glasses for your child.
Is the Bates Method saying that glasses are BAD for us?!
Dr Bates came to the conclusion that if glasses were truly helpful, they should strengthen the eyes, but in most cases the opposite is true, and what is usually strengthened over time is the prescription. In order to see clearly through glasses, a person must recreate the strain he/she had while being tested for glasses. Often when we pick up new glasses, they feel too strong and we are told “We will get used to them”. What exactly is it you are getting used to? Recreating the strain you had during the eye exam so you see clearly through your new lenses.
Is there a way for me to test if I will be able to improve my vision before I invest time and money?
Yes. One way is to try pinhole glasses. If they improve your vision, then it shows that your macula, the part of your eye that sees clearly, still works. Another way is to roll your finger and look through the tiny hole. If you can see more clearly you can improve your vision.
Workshop Frequently Asked Questions
What eyesight conditions are appropriate for the workshop?
The most common successes are with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia (reading glasses after middle age). Once you understand the Bates Model that strain causes vision problems you will realize that the same principles of relaxing the involved part of the mind, neck, shoulders, back, and of course the eyes, apply to many conditions. Please contact us if you are wondering about other conditions.
If I already have the CD program will I learn new things at the workshop?
Yes! The interactive workshop adds these important dimensions that an audio program cannot convey:
Is this workshop for beginners or more advanced?
Both! The natural vision approach must be absorbed rather than conquered. If you have no previous experience with the Bates Method and natural vision improvement you will have a relaxing, inspiring weekend and get a great running start on improving your own eyesight. If you have already been applying these principles, the workshop is a perfect setting to go deeper into subtleties for better clarity and a more “dynamically relaxed” approach to your life. Many participants will have experience and success with other self healing modalities. It's an inspiring group setting.
I am very shy in groups.
You’ll immediately feel a sense of care and respect at the workshop. Greg is skilled at creating a setting of trust and safety. It is important to feel safe while you explore the blurry world out there. Letting go of visual strain can sometimes release emotions including fear, if the strain has held those emotions in check for many years. The workshop is filled with fun activities too, which helps dissolve any discomfort.
Should I leave off my glasses/contacts for the whole weekend?
If you have a high prescription you may want to keep your glasses handy, but live on the edge of wearing them as little as possible. If your glasses are not very strong you’ll do fine without them. Do what feels interesting and comfortable. Please don’t drive without glasses if they are a condition of your drivers license.
Describe the workshop setting and tone.
The workshops include a productive mix of brief theory, activities to explore and befriend Bates Method techniques, movement activities, guided visualizations, and frequent short breaks. Workshops tend to attract people who are open-minded, some with experience and confidence in naturally healing their own major illnesses. Greg is skilled at keeping things moving, while allowing ample time for questions and discussion. The overall tone of the workshop is relaxed yet very activated. Greg believes that a few skeptical questions can be a good catalyst, but he strongly encourages participants to dive in and put the linear, calculating part of the mind aside for the weekend.