Bates method is a type of alternative therapy primarily aimed at improving the eye sight and restoring the normal functioning of the eyes.
An American scientist, Dr. William H. Bates deserves the credit for this brilliant discovery. He suggested that all humans possess visual strength that they are not aware of but they can be developed and improved with practice. He was practically not in favor of spectacles and believed that most of the problems of eyes are caused because of persistent strain.
Dr. Bates proposed a theory that the eyeball in the human eye changes its shape in order to focus on a closer point. Although, his treatment method seemed to become popular, it was not supported and accepted by many. However, the main principle of bates method remained that eyes are affected because of habitual strain and that they can be relieved by relaxation. Thus, this method is practiced considering that the principle of relaxation is the key to relive eye sight problems.
Some of the treatments suggested under the Bates method are:
- Palming – Closing the eyes with one’s palms without giving pressure on the eyeball. This can be practiced for few minutes daily, for relaxation.
- Movement – The Bates method suggest movement of eyeballs back and forth to get a swinging effect. These were then simplified to moving the eyeballs up and down, side to side and sifting focus between far and a near object.
- Visualization – Visualizing mental images and possibly imagining letters or pictures slowly decreasing in size. It is considered good to imagine letters becoming smaller and darker, just like the eyesight detection chart.
- Sunning – This method proposes looking directly at the sun as normal eyes can directly look at the sun or bright lights without causing any discomfort to the eyes.
The Bates method has now been used by specialists in a modified form. The principle of relaxation is accepted by many and so is the need for movement of eyeball. Some experts use these relaxation methods and treatments as eye exercises. Many use them with their regular treatment. Some of the problems in which these methods are used are:
- Eye strain
- Sensitiveness to bright light
- Errors of refraction