Visions of Joy aims to increase public awareness of the alternative
to glasses, contacts or laser surgery. I want the whole world
that eyes can heal too! You CAN See Better Naturally!
Blurry vision is
not a life sentence, it is only a signal to us that we
are doing something wrong and that we need to make a change.
The natural approach to eyesight improvement has no negative
side effects (actually it has many beneficial side effects!)
and it is the cheapest. Also, in my humble opinion, it gives
the best results, it just takes a little patience and persistence.
Allow Visions of Joy to help you discover how you can improve
your own eyesight and see better. One hint: It
does not involve staring at a bee on your nose... Because that's
not relaxing at all.
Stop straining to see...
How long will it take? The typical first question is: "How long before I will 'see'
My answer is: "That depends... "
Learning to see better naturally
is different for everyone and the time it takes varies with
the strength of the prescription and the number of years glasses
were worn. It depends on how well you understand the principles
of natural eyesight improvement, on how much you apply them,
on how good your overall health is, how stressed you are and
how you deal with that stress. Furthermore, it depends
on the experience and ability of your teacher. There is
no set time. Everyone is different. Many people
have used corrective lenses for years, or, like me, squinted
for years. As much as we'd like to see clearly NOW, it's
unlikely that years of blurry vision will completely heal instantly.
My own experience proves that 16 years of blurry vision
can clear to 20/20 clarity within a few weeks, under relaxed
circumstances and with conscious awareness of vision habits.
There have been cases in Dr Bates' clinic who regained perfect
eyesight almost immediately. I've had one man come to
me who only needed one hour to see better and was then able
to pass the drivers test that he had just failed for the first
time. And a nearsighted friend who couldn't see any letters
on the eye-chart without his glasses read the 20/50 line without
glasses after one month. This speedy improvement may happen
for you too, but it is not similarly fast for everyone.
How long did it take you to get to this point of deteriorated
vision?? Often many years of bad habits need to be unlearned,
and it takes some determination and persistence to get back
to healthy vision. Ultimately, it is your
choice. The good news is, it does NOT matter how old
you are or how bad your vision is, everyone can benefit from
natural eyesight improvement, and it usually doesn't take as
long to return to clarity as it took to get to your current
level of blurry vision. In my classes, I find that nearly
all people experience a temporary improvement in their vision
within the first hour, and that most people get lasting improvement
of some degree within just a few weeks.
Despite the many factors that influence your ability to see
better, I think the two main factors will be: #1. how well you
understand the Bates Method,
and #2. how much you apply it.
You have total control over the second one, while my specialty
is to help you with the first one. That's what I am good at
and what I love to do.
If you really want a rough time-line
before you'll even give the Bates Method a chance, I suggest
you use the following equation: Count on needing at least
one month for every diopter of prescription. Add a week
for every year glasses were worn. Multiply by your levels
of health and motivation (1 is best/highest, 5 is worst/lowest).
Subtract a month for every year of experience your teacher has.
If the answer is more than 12 months, you may want to increase
your motivation or change teachers... :-) Okay, I'm just
kidding. Maybe now you understand why it is hard to predict
how long it will take.
Before we start
First, let me make clear that I am a teacher - not an ophthalmologist
(as Dr Bates was) nor am I an optometrist,
therefore I do not diagnose eye diseases nor prescribe corrective lenses,
but I do love to help people regain good eyesight in a relaxed effortless
way. (Please read the disclaimer)
There is a lot to learn about natural eyesight improvement, and you've
come to a good place to start. Visions of Joy will point you in a new
direction, whether your problem is nearsightedness, farsightedness,
"middle-aged vision" (presbyopia), astigmatism, "cross-eye"
(strabismus), "lazy eye" (amblyopia), floaters, or other vision
You will find links to other related websites,
with lists of Natural Vision Educators world-wide. Attending
classes with an experienced Bates
teacher gives you the best chance of improving your vision.
If you can't take a class just yet, you may want to get started
with the suggested book list. Visions
of Joy has published several books on the Bates Method, such
as the recently added Read
Without Glasses at Any Age, and Bates
Method Nuggets. Either way, it is nice to have an idea of
what to expect, so the following are some basics to get you
on your way to clearer vision without glasses.
O who's who?? Ophthalmologist - this is an eye surgeon Optometrist - an eye doctor who examines your eyes, and who can prescribe glasses Optician - the technician who grinds the lenses, makes glasses and fits them to your face Optimist - you and me, who believe we can happily live our lives without glasses
Seeing, like breathing, is something we do without much conscious thought.
But as we grow up, we don't all keep doing it right. Some of us have
stopped breathing abdominally - now using the chest instead, and some
of us have stopped seeing effortlessly - now straining to see instead.
Somewhere along the line, something interfered with our natural habits,
and we started on a downhill slide. Can you remember a time when your
vision was perfect? What happened when it began to deteriorate? Were
you doing lots of reading or close up work? (School years are often
the start period for nearsighted people.) Did you go through a stressful
period? Was there an accident? When asked these questions some of my
students discovered a link between the beginning of their vision problems
and a major change in their life. For one person it was a neck injury,
someone else went through divorce, yet another had a hard time living
up to expectations during college, and one person realized his vision
problems began when he got a job involving long hours working indoors
without windows. My visual blur started when I was 17 and in a relationship
that my parents didn't approve of. The emotional turmoil caused mental
strain which caused visual strain, and it resulted in nearsightedness.
I really didn't want to deal with the big picture at that time. Tracing
the initial cause may help us understand the current problem and can
be the first step toward healing.
We don't see things as they are
~ we see things as we are. Anais Nin
Is there a way back?
Can you regain the clarity of vision that you once had? Is there a chance
for you to rid yourself of those cumbersome glasses and contact lenses?
Many students of the Bates method, including myself, have done exactly
that. We relearned natural vision habits, regained our natural clear
vision, and no longer need those eye 'crutches'. Now it is your turn
to follow in our footsteps. Although you can
not undo your past experiences, you may be able to view those experiences
differently, and you can learn to undo the continued resulting strain
on your eyes. There are many simple things we can do to help our eyes
cope with the demands we put on them. Our eyes are designed to last
a life time and will serve us perfectly if we know how to take care
No anatomy, no exercises
You'll be pleased to know that there is no need to know much
about anatomy, about the structure of your eyes in order to
see better. It may be handy to know some anatomy/physiology
basics and understand why Natural Eyesight Improvement works,
but that is simply not a requirement for improving your own
More importantly, Natural Eyesight Improvement isn't really about doing
eye exercises. Seriously!
Why no exercises?
Because it is not due to a
lack of eye exercises that your vision became blurry!
Bates discovered that the main cause of functional vision problems
is tension. So I do not recommend "eye push-ups" - the muscles
around your eyes are likely tight already, and adding strain to tense
muscles will not do much good. Seeing is such a natural function, you
just need to learn how to stop interfering with what your eyes and brain
are designed to do effortlessly.
Dr. William H Bates
Have you ever noticed times where your vision is better or worse
than usual? Perhaps you find that sometimes you see better
in the morning after a restful sleep, and that your eyesight
gradually gets worse during the day as work requirements demand
attention. Or you see better on a relaxing day spent at
the beach in the sun, while indoors under artificial light you
need your glasses all the time.
On one of my trips to the USA from Europe I was stopped at the
immigration check point in Atlanta airport. I hadn't done
anything illegal, but the interrogation to which I was subjected
was stressful enough that I tensed up, worried about missing
my connecting flight. I noticed my vision deteriorate
dramatically, the flight details on the monitor became a giant
blur. My vision returned to normal a few hours later when
I was aboard the plane to the West coast and my tension and
frustration had dissipated. Vision is clearly not static.
Vision is subject to fluctuation. So, if your eyesight
can fluctuate on a hourly basis, it makes sense that there must
also be a way to reverse the downward slide you are on, and
start to see better on a more permanent basis.
The only thing you can change in
the world is yourself,
and that makes all the difference in the world. cher
your eyes- moving versus staring
Many people associate relaxing with not moving. For the
eyes, this is not appropriate. The eyes like to move.
They are designed to be on the move all the time; shifting 70
times per second is normal for healthy eyes. Staring is
not your eyes' favorite pastime; it can actually be painful.
My definition of staring is keeping your head still, your
eyes don't move either, you don't blink, and there is no change
in focal distance (i.e. you keep your eyes locked on one fixed
- Okay, how did that feel?
My eyes don't like it at all any more; they hurt when I stare,
and the object I'm staring at quickly becomes blurred. Staring
demands that the muscles around the eyes tense up. Those
muscles don't like that, they are designed to move. Movement
helps blood flow, blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen.
Staring is out...
Holding tension for prolonged periods is unnatural for eye muscles.
They prefer to shift regularly between near and far vision,
and they generally like to move around. Staring also reduces
the rate of blinking drastically, which can cause the eyes to
become dry and prone to infections.
Are you in the habit of staring?
If so, next time you catch yourself staring, shake off
that stare, move your head and eyes, take a deep breath in,
and return to regular relaxed blinking. Your eyes will
be grateful and you may find you see better already.
Healthy eyes blink every 2 or 3 seconds on average. It is a
quick, effortless blink, lasting only 1/40th of a second, which
is barely noticeable and does not interfere with seeing.
Blinking lubricates and cleanses the eyes. It also gives the
eyes a mini-rest. Here
is a great example of natural blinking by Cheryl Richardson
on youtube. She is not aware of her own blinking; it is
fast, quite regular, and clearly effortless.
Catch up with blinking: do some fast blinking, or do a squeeze
blink, and allow your face muscles to squeeze also, making funny
faces, then return to relaxed mode.
Ask a partner/relative/friend to tell you when you are staring.
The more you increase your awareness, the more chance you have
of eliminating the staring habit and the sooner you will return
to a healthy blinking habit.
Did you know that the eyes and the brain use more oxygen than any other
part of your body??! A deficiency of oxygen significantly reduces our
ability to think and see clearly. Therefore our breathing pattern affects
our vision, and a return to clear vision requires a return to natural
In my classes I give a simple test, and while everyone is concentrating
on doing this test, I ask if anyone is still breathing.... Gasp! To
most everyone's surprise, they find that they were so busy doing something
new and unusual, that they 'forgot' to breathe. Breathing tends to become
very shallow when people concentrate. We tend to hold the chest and
belly area tight and thereby restrict the movement of the diaphragm
and ribcage, and thus the ability of the
lungs to expand outward and fill fully with oxygen. In the second run
of the same test, people discover that it is really easy to breathe
abdominally while still paying attention, and that the task then becomes
more relaxing; less effort is required. This is a dynamic relaxation:
doing more with less effort.
A lot of people have different
ideas about how we should be breathing. One thing is for sure; the more
we can use our full lung capacity efficiently, the better our health
and vision will be. For more information, go to the page on natural
Dr. Bates wrote in his books about the importance of 'central fixation'.
What does that mean?
when you look at the cross-section of the eye at the right, notice the
retina which lines the back
of the eyeball (red
line). At the center
of the retina is a small indentation named the 'fovea', also known as
'fovea centralis'. Without getting technical and detailed (come to a
for a more in-depth explanation of this), the fovea is the area of the
eye that gives us our clearest vision. With that small central area we
see details the best. This means that only objects in the center of our
field of vision can be seen with total clarity.
Our peripheral vision does not give us a clear picture; it is somewhat
blurry and is not designed to give us vision that is quite as sharp as
our central vision. Peripheral vision is our safety net; it is quick to
notice movement, and it serves us well in low light, but it can not give
us a sharp image. So central fixation is simply an awareness
of seeing best in the center of our field of vision, while at the same
time remaining aware of our peripheral vision.
of best clarity in the center, combined with a continuous relaxed easy
movement of the eyes, results
in a more relaxed way of seeing, because the eyes are designed to see like
that. Trying to see the whole picture clearly is a strain on the eye,
because it simply is not possible for the eye to see everything clearly
at one time. Instead, to get a complete picture, the eyes move all over
the picture, picking up details here and there, wherever our attention
What we see
depends mainly on what we look for John Lubbock
Overall, the key to eyesight improvement is relaxation, and
relearning to use our eyes the way nature intended them to be
used. In vision improvement classes
we cover the natural vision habits in detail, exploring a variety
of ways to relax our eyes. Together we look at the influence
of various forms of visual strain, at how the mind affects vision,
and at posture, eye & body motion, massage, diet, color
lights and sunlight. You'll learn which of the various
vision support tools help you most and you'll soon be well on
your way to clarity without glasses.
Throw out your glasses?
Dr. Bates knew that the quickest way back to clear vision is
to stop using corrective lenses altogether. However, many people
can not see clearly enough to accomplish their daily tasks without
using corrective lenses some of the time. For these people,
it is impractical to throw out the glasses or contacts on day
one of their natural vision course. Instead, they use
reduced prescription lenses which correct the vision to 20/40
acuity. 20/40 Acuity is legal for driving in all states
of the USA. This slightly blurry 20/40 vision will allow
the eyes some room for improvement. Through practicing
natural vision habits these '20/40s' will gradually give 20/20
vision, which indicates it is time to progress to the next reduced
prescription. This way you can work your way back to clear
vision and to that wonderful day when you can ceremoniously
discard your glasses forever... Visions of Joy!
more light you allow within you,
the brighter the world you live in will be.
is how bright our world is; let your eyes and mind enjoy David
"It's a Wonderful World" video! (Two incredibly delightful minutes...)
ready for better vision?
Do you want to know how to improve eyesight naturally?
Check out the classes offered here!