- Description, advantages and disadvantages
- Principles of the Bates Method
- Performing the Bates exercises
- Advantages of the Bates Method:
- Disadvantages of this method Bates method:
Description, advantages and disadvantages
Many people have had problems with their eyes for a long time, sometimes from birth, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness or astigmatism. Everyone who has a pathology tries to get rid of it, but not everyone is willing to undergo surgical correction.
Dr William Bates developed a theory based on the fact that all vision problems are related to mental overload, which causes physical fatigue of the eye and optic nerve. Bates developed specific exercises to strengthen and relax the eye muscles and restore vision. Today, there is ample evidence that vision can be restored or at least improved by several units.
Principles of the Bates Method
There are six muscles in the human eye that are directly involved in eye movement and vision:
- Upper oblique muscle
- Upper rectus muscle
- Inner rectus
- Inferior oblique
- Inferior rectus
- Outer rectus muscle.
When all the muscles of the eyeball are relaxed, the eyeball takes on a spherical shape and the internal pressure brings the lens into focus on the retina. In this state, a person can see objects at a distance. To see close up, the oblique muscles must be further relaxed, the upper and lower rectus muscles must be contracted and the eyeball must be squeezed. This state is similar to the action of a camera lens. The lens is pushed forward and the person can see close objects perfectly.
Dr William Bates spent 30 years studying the workings of the human eye and discovered that poor vision is linked to a malfunction of the oculomotor muscles. He proved that nearsightedness is caused by constant tension in the oblique muscles of the eye, and farsightedness is caused by excessive tension in the direct muscles. The professor developed special exercises to restore normal vision.
Important! It is not advisable to apply sudden heavy loads – this will only lead to overstraining and severe pain in the eyes, which will only have a negative effect on vision. Start with light exercises and gradually increase the load.
Performing the Bates exercises
It is recommended that you do the exercises in a standing position, without glasses or contact lenses, within an hour of eating. Eye movements should be performed in a calm and relaxed manner with controlled breathing. When doing physical exercises, do not blink and do the whole set without stopping.
Try these simple exercises:
- Switching focus:
a. Focus on a close object for a few seconds, then abruptly switch to a distant object.
b. Repeat this several times, trying to make the switch as sharp and clear as possible.
- Circular eye movements:
a. Slowly make circular eye movements, first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
b. Do this smoothly and evenly, trying to cover as wide a range of eye movements as possible.
- Look far and near:
a. Focus your gaze on a distant object, then quickly switch to a close object.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to make the switch as sharp and clear as possible.
- Move your eyes diagonally:
a. Slowly move your eyes diagonally from top left to bottom right and vice versa.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to keep the movements smooth and even.
- Tense and relax your eye muscles:
a. Tense your eye muscles for a few seconds, then relax.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to achieve maximum relaxation during each cycle.
- Exercise “Snake”:
a. Draw an imaginary “snake” with your eyes, moving left and right, then up and down.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to make the movements clear and controlled.
- Exercise “Rectangle”:
a. Imagine a rectangle in front of you and follow its outline with your eyes, moving clockwise and anti-clockwise.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to keep a clear and even outline of the rectangle.
- Sighting exercises:
a. Focus your eyes on small objects at close range and slowly move your eyes from one object to another.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to keep your perception sharp and clear.
- Exercise “Eight”:
a. Draw an imaginary “eight” with your eyes, moving around and between two invisible points.
b. Repeat this exercise several times, trying to make the movements smooth and controlled.
- Exercise “Sun”:
a. Draw an imaginary “sun” with your eyes, moving around its rays as if they were emanating from the center.
b. Repeat this exercise several times.
In the picture you can see examples of eye movements from the exercises described and other figures that are also useful:
It is recommended that you practice each exercise of the William Horatio Bates Method for a few minutes, usually 2 to 5 minutes for each exercise. However, the time may vary depending on your comfort and level of eye fatigue. Important: Regular practice of the above exercises will improve circulation and restore normal eye muscle tone.
Breathing exercises. At the end of the exercises, it is recommended to do special breathing exercises to stimulate blood flow to the eyes. Important! It is known that 99% of people suffer from oxygen deficiency. When this happens, the eyes become weak, strained and vision deteriorates. When the eyes are normal, vision becomes unconscious and natural, and other muscles in the body, such as the chest muscles, relax, allowing deep, natural breathing.
Physical exercise requires the body to get enough oxygen, so open a window or go out into the fresh air. Before exercising, take a few breaths to “speed up” your circulation. This will get oxygen to all your organs. Take a deep breath, hold it without breathing out, bend at the waist, bend your knees slightly and lower your head so that it is below the level of your heart. This will bring oxygenated blood to your head and eyes. Hold this position for a count of five. After a week, you should be able to hold your breath for 10 seconds. This exercise is very important.
Oxygen burns toxins in the blood vessels and muscles of the eyes. It stimulates blood circulation in the tissues and cleanses the eyes. It is recommended to do 10 breathing exercises a day.
After doing a series of exercises to improve vision, it is recommended to do palming.
Palming is a method of relaxing the eyes invented by William Bates. To do this, close your eyes with your palms, touch the bridge of your nose with your fingers and imagine a deep black colour, as rich as possible, without glare or colour spots. Then relax and visualize something pleasant. Do this at least four times a day. The duration of the exercises should be at least 5-10 minutes.
Advantages of the Bates Method:
- Eye exercises require no financial investment;
- The set of exercises can be done in a convenient place;
- The method is physiological;
- Exercises for the eye muscles allow you to treat visual anomalies without surgery;
- Blood circulation improves not only in the eyes, but also in the neck and spine;
- Eye muscles are strengthened;
- Increases the ability of the lens to accommodate.
Disadvantages of this method Bates method:
- Not yet accepted by mainstream medicine;
- There are contraindications to the use of tobacco and alcohol;
- Results are not as quick as with glasses or contact lenses.