The Bates method is an alternative therapy aimed at improving eyesight. Eye-care physician William Horatio Bates (1860–1931) attributed nearly all sight problems to habitual strain of the eyes, and felt that glasses were harmful and never necessary. Bates self-published a book as well as a magazine (and earlier collaborated with Bernarr MacFadden on a correspondence course) detailing his approach to helping people relax such strain, and thus, he claimed, improve their sight. His techniques centered around visualization and movement. He placed particular emphasis on imagining black letters and marks, and the movement of such. He also felt that exposing the eyes to sunlight would help alleviate eyestrain.
Although many of Bates' patients and followers of his methods have reported of successful results, (most famously from author Aldous Huxley), his methods have garnered much opposition from mainstream optometry. Bates was disbarred from the American Optometric Association because his techniques had not been shown objectively to improve eyesight. Despite this, some behavioral optometrists and visual therapists continue to employ methods developed by Bates.
Bates' main physiological proposition – that the eyeball changes shape to maintain focus – has consistently been contradicted by observation. In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, “Most of his claims and almost all of his theories have been considered false by practically all visual scientists.” Marg concluded that the Bates method owed its popularity largely to "flashes of clear vision" experienced by many who followed it. Such occurrences have since been determined to most likely be a contact lens-like effect of moisture on the eye.
Both critics and proponents of the Bates method caution against overexposing the eyes to sunlight, driving without the legally required correction, or completely neglecting conventional eye care.
Other articles related to "bates method, bates, method":
... One of the greatest potential dangers of faith in the Bates method is that a believer may be disinclined to seek medical advice regarding what could be a sight-threatening condition requiring ... from those associated with the Bates method, and parents who subscribe to Bates' ideas may delay seeking conventional care until it is too late ...
... Around 1939, Huxley encountered the Bates Method for better eyesight, and a teacher, Margaret Corbett, who was able to teach him in the method ... Huxley then said that his sight improved dramatically with the Bates Method and the extreme and pure natural lighting of the southwestern American desert ... He wrote a book about his successes with the Bates Method, The Art of Seeing, which was published in 1942 (US), 1943 (UK) ...
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