Bates Method vs Active Focusing

There are many methods that people have said that they used to restore their vision, but the two most popular ones are the Bates Method and Active Focusing. William H. Bates created the Bates Method in the late 1800s/early 1900s. The Bates Method taught me that vision loss is caused by eyestrain and if you take the strain off the extraocular eye muscles (the muscles that control the movement of the eyes) your eyes will become relaxed so you see more clear. Dr. Bates believed that we have too much tension on one or more of these muscles, then our eyes become strained and we lose our vision.  By doing techniques to relax the eye muscles such as swinging, palming and sunning we reteach those muscles to relax. This is just a brief overview of the Bates Method.

Learning the Bates Method allowed me to learn how to move my eyes and head together at the same time. For example, when reading I would keep my head still and just moving my eyes to read a sentence I now move my head and eyes together. By doing this, I get less strain from reading for long periods of time because my external eye muscles aren’t doing all the work.  It was a little hard to learn to move my eyes and head together at first, but now I do it naturally without thinking about it. You can learn to do this by swinging, which is essentially turning your head from left to right and then back to the left while keeping your eyes centered. Doing this you’ll notice the world moves. So when you turn right the world moves left and vice versa. This is important to understand, and I’ll come back to this later.

I was doing the Bates Method in the first month or so of my vision restoration and sometimes after swinging from side to side I would get clear vision after say 30 minutes. Again I just couldn’t hold the clarity long. I would get so excited from seeing clear and boom, just like that it was gone. That just gave me more determination to get it permanent.

I also found out about Active Focusing. I don’t know who came up with this method first, but the term has been coined by Todd Becker and Jake Steiner. I found out about Active Focusing after learning of the Bates Method and I did both techniques for a while.  Active focusing teaches you can slowly unlock your ciliary muscle by moving back and forth from the edge of blur until you see clear. It works like this. Get close enough to something that you can read in focus without your glasses. Then move back until there is a little blur. Blink a few times and see if it clears up. Keep moving back and forth until the vision clears. Over time, this will slowly unlock your ciliary muscle.

Active focusing also promotes stepping your lens prescriptions down in strength until you get 100% clear. So say you’re at a -5.00 in each eye. You get a prescription for -4.50 and then active focus until you can get as clear as you were with the -5.00 lenses. You can still do active focusing while wearing lower prescription glasses to help with the vision restoration progress.

Along with Active Focusing, they recommend getting as much outdoor time as possible and looking at things in the distance. Again, we get locked up from looking at stuff that is too close so you have to look at more stuff far away. If you look long enough at stuff in the distance, eventually it will start to clear.

Both Bates and Active Focusing work and had some great take away points, but they were missing something. I had stepped down my prescription a few times but the thing was I was seeing crystal clear at times that were getting longer and longer without glasses! Both techniques lead to gradual vision restoration, but I was getting almost full vision restoration for short periods of time. I then figured out part of what was happening and link between Bates and Active focusing that was allowing me to get clear vision when I concentrated on it long enough.

I realized sometimes I could get clear vision faster and other times it took me a while. I noticed when I could clear up my vision faster when I was paying more attention to my peripheral field of view. I was noticing objects outside of my central vision and mentally noting how far away they were. I also noticed things like color and shape. I was truly on to something but was it really that simple?

As I already determined, loss of vision is mostly because of a mental block. I’d even say probably about 80% of it is mental. Glasses make our vision loss greater but that’s only 20% of the problem. The longer you wear glasses the worse or lazier your eyes get and because you never addressed the mental, you go down a rabbit hole of vision loss.

I concluded that one reason I had vision loss and became nearsighted is because I mentally blocked my brain’s ability to triangulate with my external peripheral vision. This is my theory and conclusion that I’ve arrived at using my own techniques that allows me to correct my vision after a few minutes when I’m consciously thinking about it. In other words, when we lose our ability to use our peripheral vision to determine depth of field and distance of surrounding objects in our field of view, we can’t focus clearly on the thing we want to see in our central view. If I really needed glasses then how could I clear my vision almost perfectly after a 20-30 minutes of concentration? This told me I never needed glasses in the first place I just needed to be taught how to use my eyes properly!

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