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H. Bates M.D.Stories From The Clinic by Emily C. A. Lierman, BatesUse Your Own Eyes & Normal Sight Without Glasses by Dr. William B. MacCrackenStrengthening The Eyes - A New Course In Scientific Eye Training By Bernarr MacFadden, W. H. BatesMedical Articles By Ophthalmologist William H. 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Try Dancing - Common Sense - Stories
From The Clinic: 40. Palming – June Meeting of the League - A Book Patient's Experience - "A Chain Is Only as Strong
as Its Weakest Link" - Parents' and Teachers' Page - Minutes of The Better Eyesight League – Eyes But They See
Not - The Question Mark - Use your Eyes Not Your Glasses
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE PREVENTION AND CURE OF
IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES
has been repeatedly published in this magazine and in my book that the imagination of stationary objects to be moving is a
rest and relaxation and a benefit to the sight. Young children, when one or both eyes turn in or out, are benefited by having
them swing from side to side with a regular rhythmical motion. This motion prevents the stare and the strain and improves
the appearance of the eyes. It helps the sight of most children to play puss-in-the-corner or to play hide-and-seek. Children
become very much excited and laugh and carry on and have a good time and it certainly is a benefit to their sight. It seems
to me that these children would be benefited by going to dancing school. Many of my patients practice the long swing in the
office and give strangers the impression that they are practicing steps of a dance. One patient with imperfect sight from
detachment of the retina recently told me over the telephone that he went to a dance the night before and although he lost
considerable sleep his sight was very much improved on the following morning.
Dancing is certainly a great help to keep
things moving or to imagine stationary objects are moving, and is always recommended. Some people have told me that the memory
of the music, the constant rhythmic motion and the relaxation have improved the vision.
By W. H. BATES, M.D.
people have asked me what I call my treatment. The question was a very embarrassing one because I really have no name to give
it unless I can say that my methods are the methods employed by the normal eye. When a person has normal sight the eye is
at rest, and when the eye is at rest, strange to say, it is always moving to avoid the stare. When the eye moves it is possible
to imagine stationary objects are also moving. When the normal eye stares at one point of a letter or at all parts of a letter
the vision always becomes imperfect. Persons with imperfect sight are always staring. Under favorable conditions all persons
with near-sightedness do not stare, do not try to see, and the near-sightedness disappears for a longer or shorter time; no
exceptions have been observed. In other parts of this magazine I have mentioned this fact and recorded that even patients
with 40 D have moments when they are not nearsighted when they do not try to see.
The fundamental truth which should
be demonstrated by all persons who desire to be cured of imperfect sight is the fact that the memory of perfect sight can
only be accomplished easily and without effort. Furthermore, the memory of imperfect sight is difficult and requires time
and is never continuous. Another truth of practical importance is that one cannot remember perfectly and imperfectly at the
same time. What is true of the memory is also true of the imagination and of the vision.
I am in the habit of testing the vision of persons with imperfect sight at
fifteen or twenty feet. Then I Have them close their eyes, rest them, and if possible forget that they have eyes by remembering
other things which are of interest to them. When done properly, and most people if not all are able to do it properly, the
vision is always temporarily improved. I spoke to one of my patients after this had happened and asked the question: "What
did you do to improve your sight?"
The patient answered, "I do not know."
This seemed to me a remarkable
answer. I asked a second question: "What did I tell you to do?"
The patient answered, "You told me to
close my eyes and rest them."
"What helped you then to see better?"
"I do not know," answered
Then I had to start in and talk and explain and tell the patient that it was the rest that helped the patient
and not any efforts that were made. It is a matter of common sense. Most people would realize that if they rested their eyes
and their sight got better that the rest must have had something to do with it; and, strange as it may appear, I have seen
very few people who could realize or understand this truth.
So many people ask me how my patients are benefited. Is it
Christian Science, is it auto-suggestion, is it hypnotism, psychoanalysis, psychology, or has it to do in any way with mental
science? The only answer that seems to me to approach the truth is "common sense." Now when I come to review my
cases and try to fit common sense to the results obtained I get all mixed up. Most people have common sense, which is ordinary
intelligence or the ability to do things in a reasonable, proper way. People who are highly educated, college graduates, professional
men, teachers and college professors, would be expected to have a greater amount of common sense than ordinary persons, but
I am sorry to say they do not. I have very little respect for mental science because of the numerous assumptions, theories,
that are advanced. A theory is always something which makes me uncomfortable. I have never been able to make any progress
with a working hypothesis. All my facts which were of benefit to me have no connection whatsoever with mental philosophy.
I wish to confess that it gives me a great deal of unholy delight to prove, demonstrate, that all the theories of physiology
are wrong. This is not a popular statement to make, but I do not cure my patients by being popular. The sweetest morsel on
the tip of my tongue is to say, what somebody else has said before, that logic is an ingenious method of concealing the truth.
When a problem comes to me which is very difficult for me to solve, instead of starting out with a working hypothesis it
is my custom to accumulate as many facts as I possibly can, to analyze these facts in various ways and by every method known
to science to try to discover whether my facts are true or not; and, believe me, that is not always an easy thing to do. Someone
said to me that it was impossible to scientifically prove that my method for the prevention of myopia in school children ever
actually did prevent myopia or near-sightedness; in other words, that it was impossible to prove a negative proposition, or
that the children did not or were not prevented from acquiring imperfect sight. It has always given me great pleasure to make
the statement that every child with normal eyes who has not worn glasses, who is under twelve years of age, can improve their
sight by reading the Snellen test card first with one eye and then with the other, every day. It is a benefit if the pupil
learns the letters on the test chart by heart. They all improve; when I say all, I mean all, there are no exceptions. I challenged
the ophthalmologists of this country to bring forward one exception to any of my statements. One exception would prove that
the statement is not a truth but at best only a working hypothesis. What is it that improves the sight of these school children?
I have already stated that when the sight is normal the eyes are at rest. When the child reads a familiar card with normal
sight the eyes are at rest. Common sense, just ordinary common sense, would conclude from this fact that the vision was improved
by rest. Some teachers improve the sight of their children by having them close their eyes for a few minutes or less, frequently
during the school session. They told me it always improves the sight when tested either with a familiar card or when tested
with an unfamiliar card. When a child cannot read the blackboard his sight is usually improved by closing the eyes and resting
them for part of a minute or longer.
The cure of imperfect sight without glasses is not a matter which is complicated,
which can only be explained by the abstruse incomprehensible theories of the professors of mental science. The truth is that
all can be explained by common sense.
One day I was testing the sight of some school children. The teacher was interested
in one boy. In order to illustrate to the teacher and to the children the bad effects of staring I asked the boy to stare
at the letter F on the bottom line of the Snellen test card at twenty feet. This card had been permanently fastened to the
wall where all the children could see it from their seats and it had been in place for some months. When I asked him to do
this he sullenly said to me: "Not for me, I tried it once and it gave me a headache and spoilt my sight. I am too wise
to do it again."
The boy's common sense enabled him to realize that staring was a bad thing. I told the class that
if they would all profit by his experience that they would never acquire imperfect sight and need glasses.
Stories from the Clinic
By EMILY C. LIERMAN
day an Italian mother brought her little son, Joey, nine years of age, to the clinic to be fitted for glasses. His teacher
in school thought he needed them. After Dr. Bates had examined his eyes with the retinoscope, I tested his sight with the
test card and then I told the mother he could be cured without glasses. This interested her greatly. She had wonderful sight
herself, for she could read the smallest letters on the card at more than fifteen feet. I gave her doctor's diamond type card,
which she read with perfect ease at four inches and also at twelve inches from her eyes. She told me her age was thirty-eight
and that she was the mother of ten children. With a great deal of pride, she said that they were all born in this country,
and that they were all alive too. Here was a real mother, proud of her big family. I liked to hear her talk, so encouraged
her to do so. Like many of her race and sex, she had beautiful teeth and smooth olive akin. Although she was poor, her clothes
were neat and clean, and Joey was just as neatly dressed as she was. She looked at him smilingly and said: "Think of
it, Joey, you don't have to wear glasses." Before this little talk Joey seemed scared to death, or as though something
terrible was going to happen to him, but when his mother began to show confidence in me, he smiled and looked happy, as all
normal boys do. Both watched me very closely as I explained the method of palming to them. Dr. Bates found no organic trouble
with Joey's eyes, but just near-sightedness. At fifteen feet he read the fifty line before palming. After palming ten minutes,
Joey obtained normal sight that day. When he read the card with each eye separately his left eye seemed to be the better of
the two, because he made a few mistakes in reading the ten line letters with his right eye. He was encouraged to palm again
for a few minutes, and then he became able to read 15/10 just as well with his right eye as he could with the left. His mother
stood where she could see all this, and beamed with happiness as she saw her little boy's sight improve. I started to explain
to her the necessity of Joey resting his eyes as soon as he wakened in the morning, because be might have strained during
sleep. Also to rest his eyes again at noon, after school and before bedtime. She listened very attentively and then she said:
"Maybe you think you tell me something new, but I don't think so. All the time when I nurse my babies, I put up my one
hand to my eyes as I close them, and I keep quiet while my baby is nursing. Then my baby goes to sleep quicker and easier
and I am rested too." I asked her with a great deal of surprise who taught her to do this, and she answered, "Why,
nobody did. I found that out myself." She was thankful, however, that Joey did not need glasses, and promised to help
him every day until his eyestrain was entirely relieved.
She returned a week later with a good report of her boy. The
test card I gave him for home treatment was appreciated by the whole family. Joey's mother tested the sight of all her children
and found two of her little girls also had eyestrain. She taught them to palm and cured them herself. Here was a busy mother,
with ten American citizens to help support and educate, and yet found time to teach them how to obtain normal sight. Surely
they are worthy members of our Better Eyesight League. I saw Joey and his mother but twice, but Joey had suffered no relapse,
nor has there been any complaint regarding his eyes from the school he attends.
The last time I saw Joey he was anxious
for me to know that his father, who has no trouble with his eyes at all, came home from his work one evening and thought the
family were all playing peek-a-boo with him. The mother had them all busy palming, which was a strange sight to him.
people, like myself, have not the time to palm daily. However, if I suffer from eyestrain, which sometimes happens after a
strenuous day, I find the memory of palming is all that I need to obtain relaxation. The memory swing, which Dr. Bates explained
so tactfully in one of our Better Eyesight magazines, has helped a great many patients. So it is with the memory of palming,
or, in other words, remember how relaxed you were and how free from strain you were the last time you were able to palm successfully,
and this will help you through the day while at work, or at the theatre, or any place where it is impossible to place the
palms of your hands over your eyes.
Meeting of the League
The newly appointed program
committee, with Miss Reicher as its chairman, is most successful in securing interesting and instructive speakers for the
League meetings. The committee has the privilege of announcing Dr. Cornelia J. Browne, President of the Better Eyesight League
of the Oranges, as the speaker at the meeting on Tuesday, June 12. Dr. Browne is well known not only as a physician but as
a speaker of unusual force and charm.
Those who did not have the good fortune to hear the convincing talk of Superintendent
Husted, of North Bergen, at the May meeting, will be interested in the brief summary which appears in the minutes of the League.
A "Book Patient's"
AS a result of reading Dr. Bates' book, PERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES, I
was enabled to discard my glasses, which I had been wearing for twenty-one years. I first heard of Dr. Bates and his book
through my old partner, a doctor who had seen him personally, and was able to tell me the details of the Bates' method. This
doctor gave me a copy of Dr. Bates' book in March of last year, and after reading it carefully I decided to lay aside my glasses.
At that time I had so much astigmatism in my right eye that anything at which I looked appeared double or blurred. For the
first five days after laying aside my glasses I had considerable pain in the muscles in my right eye, but I paid little or
no attention to these pains, as I knew they were due to accommodation efforts of the extrinsic muscles of the eye-ball.
(Outer, and inner eye muscles returning to correct function; normal relaxation, contracting, un-contracting,
coordination and allowing the eye, cornea, lens, retina to return to normal shape. Tension on optic and other nerves, blood
I relaxed as much as possible during this time, used the palming quite frequently and got
as much sleep as I could. By the end of three or four weeks I began to pay no attention at all to my eyes, except to shift
whenever I found that my vision was not as clear as usual.
Before using these simple methods as advocated by Dr. Bates
I would have a headache in a few moments' time, due to eye strain, if I read without my glasses.
I did more reading last
summer in three months' time than I had done before in a year, and in spite of, or perhaps because of it, my eyesight is better
than it has been since I was a boy. I found that if my eyes became fatigued I could easily rest them by reading finer print,
and as my work consisted of reading many of the technical journals I found that I could do this with benefit, as most of the
technical literature is in fine print.
I take great pleasure in recommending Dr. Bates' book and his method to my friends
and patients, and everyone else who is interested in having perfect sight.
Very truly yours,
WM. JAY DANA, B. Sc, D.C.,
North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh,
Is Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link"
M. E. Marvin
IN the lecture
given last Monday evening before a body of chiropractic students and others numbering 200 or more, Dr. Bates demonstrated
this fact very clearly in explaining his method. For the benefit of those living out of town who are unable to take advantage
of these instructive talks, we will try to cover the important points discussed.
To begin with, Dr. Bates was in his
finest oratorical form. His little anecdotes were genuinely appreciated, and it must be said here that in these he was not
always the "hero."
It is always interesting to the new followers of Dr. Bates to learn how he came to discover
the method that is revolutionizing the study of the science of the eye. This he told in his quiet, modest, matter-of-fact
way, until those who knew him were almost tempted to cry out to the audience, "Let us tell you how Dr. Bates came to
discover the facts he produces, and let us tell you how this scientist has been discouraged, handicapped, yes, and humiliated.
Why? Because he thought for himself, and would not accept the theories that were presented to him." Our feelings notwithstanding,
we did not say the things in our minds, and we venture to say, nevertheless, that everyone in the audience, be they doctor
or layman, was now eager to learn more.
Dr. Bates then cited some of the theories under which the eye specialists are
working today, and then, in opposition, offered his facts, which defy contradiction.
The first theory was that presented
by Helmholtz, who was one of the greatest authorities on the physiology of the eye. He says that the eye changes its focus
for near and distant vision by altering the curvature of the lens. Dr. Bates has shattered this theory by demonstrating on
many pairs of eyes that the lens is not a factor in accommodation. In substantiation of the above, he told of an interesting
experiment upon the eyes of a rabbit. The lens of the right eye was removed each eye having been tested previously with the
retinoscope, and found to be normal. The wound was allowed to heal, and for a period of two years after electrical stimulation
always produced accommodation in the lensless eye precisely to the same extent as the eye having the lens. At a meeting of
ophthalmologists of the American Medical Association, held in Atlantic City, Dr. Bates exhibited the subject in the ante-room,
and to eye specialists from all over the world. Each one of them admitted that Dr. Bates was right but in their subsequent
articles never mentioned the fact.
Don't you see that there are exceptions to their old theories? This makes nothing
more than a working hypothesis of the Orthodox Ophthalmology. Dr. Bates admits NO exceptions. Not a single one. As he says
so often, "If one exception to any statements that I have made in my lectures or in my book can be produced I will acknowledge
my whole method to be wrong."
Secondly, was the theory concerning presbyopia, commonly known as old-age sight. For
centuries we have been led to believe that when one reaches the age of 45 or thereabouts, one was to expect an organic change
to take place in the shape of the lens, which lessened the power of vision. This theory, too, was annihilated. Dr. Bates has
proven that presbyopia is merely a functional derangement in the action of the extrinsic muscles and has cured thousands of
this defect, including himself. In various experiments he has proven that age is positively no barrier to one wishing to attain
perfect sight. He related the cases of the old gentleman, passed 106 years of age, and the old colored "mammy" who
lost track of her age after the 90th year. Both these were cured of old-age sight, together with other errors of refraction.
Parents' and Teachers' Page
By EMILY A. MEDER
ONE of the teachers who was attending a lecture at which Dr. Bates was expounding
his treatment, explained that she was intensely interested in his method, and would love to be the medium through which the
children in her classes could attain better eyesight. She said, however, that inasmuch as she had no technical knowledge of
the work, she was rather timid about attempting the method by herself, and that there was a possibility of her doing more
harm than good.
For the benefit of those who are in a similar position, we want to say that no technical knowledge is
necessary. If one realizes the harm done by glasses, and if one is desirous of helping those wearing them, then the good one
can accomplish is unlimited.
The following instructions may be carried out either in the home or in the classroom, and
while the form used is particularly applicable to teachers with large classes, it may be used in the home on a smaller scale.
The installation of this method requires a little more time than is necessary for its continuation. The first step is to make
a list of the children's names, together with their age and the date of the first examination. This requires about two minutes
for each child. Place the Snellen test card on the wall, and have each one read as far as she can, first with one eye, and
then with the other. The lines on the card are numbered. Place the child at a distance of ten feet, and if she can only see
the top line which is a big C and line number 200, then her vision for that eye is 10/200. Her record will read as follows—
above report indicates that Mary's sight is very defective. The line numbered 200 should be read at 200 feet by the normal
eye. Here is a point to remember: when the denominator is greater than the numerator the vision is defective.
It is not
necessary to keep a daily record, but a general examination should be made every month, and the improvement noted. The results
will be astonishing. We have seen cases where the card was read every day in unison by the class, and was the means of raising
the average 87%.
Many people question Doctor Bates as to how it is possible for the test card to make such radical improvements
in children's eyesight, and he always replies that he is not certain which of the exercises are most beneficial, but seeing
those black letters every day, and shifting the eyes from one letter to another, breaks the stare, and tends towards complete
relaxation, which is the keynote of the treatment. Concentration is the antithesis of relaxation, and if you are not relaxed,
you strain. No good can be accomplished when one strains.
Another point often brought up is that a child may memorize
the card. Doctor Bates says that in all the thousands of school children he has examined, many of whom have had the Snellen
test card in their possession until the letters were bound to be memorized, he has never seen a case where a child would say
that she could see the letter when she could not. You will find that the children are more interested in this than you would
be lead to believe. We do not believe children wearing glasses should be included in this, because it is understood that they
are under the care of a physician, and since no permanent benefit can be obtained when glasses are worn, we do not think it
advisable to include them.
Further information anent (about, concerning) the prevention
of imperfect sight in children may be had by writing this office, and enclosing a stamped envelope. We hope to receive many
reports from teachers and parents.
REMEMBER: AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF GLASSES.
of the May Meeting of the Better Eyesight League
By F. B. RUSK, Recording Secretary
THE large room of the new headquarters of the Central Fixation Publishing Company was crowded to
its utmost capacity at the May meeting of the Better Eyesight League.
Mr. M. F. Husted, Superintendent of Public Schools
of North Bergen, New Jersey, was the speaker of the evening. Mr. Husted explained, with the aid of charts, the experiment
he has been conducting during the past three years.
In the fall of 1919 a Snellen test of the eyes of all pupils in the
North Bergen Schools was made. A Snellen test card was then placed in every class room. Those children whose vision was defective
were encouraged to read the card more frequently. In June, 1920, a second examination was made in order to test the value
of the methods used. The same experiment has been repeated each year since with amazing results.
After hearing of the
remarkable benefits which accrue to children who practice central fixation, a visitor asked if there was any hope for the
old folks. One of the audience volunteered that he was acquainted with a lady who had had a complete cure after wearing glasses
for fifty-six years. As a result of her experience he had traveled 2,000 miles to see Dr. Bates (and attend the May meeting
of the Better Eyesight League)!
In reply to the question as to whether astigmatism was curable, Dr. Bates said that if
there was any one kind of astigmatism which was worse than the others, it was conical cornea—a condition with which
he always had marked success.
F. B. RUSK, Secretary.
Eyes But They See Not
By EMILY A. MEDER
THE ostrich is known to be the swiftest of birds, and can outdistance the fastest horse with ease.
Yet when he is attacked unexpectedly, or run into a cul-de-sac, he foolishly hides his head in the sand. He DOESN'T WISH TO
SEE. Naturally his fate overtakes him, and he is doomed. His wonderful body, made especially for swift and long-distance running,
his exceptional endurance, are assets which avail him nothing when he "sticks his head in the sand and will not see."
I have come in contact with people who have many desirable assets but when a thing looks a little "strange" they
become dogmatic and refuse to learn. They literally stick their tails in the air and their heads in the sand. The same thing
happens to them that happens to the ostrich. Their doom overtakes them. THEY WEAR GLASSES. As evidence of these "mental
errors of refraction" I will tell of two instances which I noticed particularly.
In a popular magazine there appears
an article each month by a very noted writer who gives Beauty Hints to women over forty years of age. She gives very minute
directions of the care of the hair, skin, teeth and figure generally, and I admit I was very surprised to see an item about
the eyes. This, unfortunately, is a part of the physiognomy that is usually neglected by these Beauty Doctors. She explained
that from her observations, many people received excellent relaxation by closing the eyes and forgetting that they possessed
them, excluding all the light by putting the palms of the hands over the eyes very lightly, and thinking of black objects
which tends to rest them more quickly. This interested me because this is part of Dr. Bates' own method. When I read on a
little further, I was disagreeably astonished to read something like this—"that she had heard of a new body of
oculists who say that they can cure eyes without glasses. This she says is impossible, because when a woman reaches the age
of forty, she simply has to fortify her eyes with glasses, as this has been done for centuries, and it does not seem possible
that man has it in his power to cure the defects at this age."
This is a typical case of the ostrich again. Why
doesn't this writer make herself more popular by believing this could be done, and by reading the book with an open mind.
She is in a position to help thousands suffering with eye ills, and her scope is unlimited.
One more case of "mental
At a dinner given at the Hotel Astor under the auspices of the Society of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Bates
was asked to speak, along with five or six other doctors, all specialists in their respective branches. Senator-elect Royal
S. Copeland was Toastmaster, and a very good one he made. Everyone knows the far-reaching results of Dr. Copeland's administration
when he was Commissioner of Health of the City of New York. The many improvements he made while holding that position are
a credit to him. But even Dr. Copeland has a vulnerable spot that might be pierced.
Doctor Bates was the first to speak,
and as he knew many others would talk after him, he limited his remarks to about ten minutes. He gave a brief synopsis of
his method of treating imperfect sight, and ended by telling the audience that Germany had adopted his method, and was using
it in all the schools. At the conclusion of his discourse and before the next speaker had been introduced, Senator Copeland
thanked the Doctor for his remarks, and said that he was sorry that Dr. Bates did not have more time to explain his treatment,
but he had worn glasses so long, and besides now being a United States Senator, he was a hard man to convince.
no wish to "convince" anybody. If they read the book and assimilate the facts, they will convince themselves. PEOPLE
WEAR GLASSES FROM HABIT, NOT BECAUSE THEY NEED THEM.
The Question Mark
one's arms become tired while palming will a black silk handkerchief covering the eyes, produce the same amount of relaxation
one gets from palming? "R. E. F."
ANSWER—No. Palming is the best method for relaxation and improvement
in vision. When tired of palming, the hands can be removed and the eyes kept closed until one feels relaxed.
QUESTION—Will it still be necessary to continue practicing the method of swinging and shifting after my
eyes are cured? "W. B. D."
ANSWER—No. When you are cured of eyestrain you will not be conscious of your
eyes. However, if you strain them you will know what to do to relieve the strain.
East Orange, N. J.
squint be cured by treatment without glasses after an operation proved unsuccessful? Does age make any difference? G. A. B.
ANSWER—Yes. No, age does not make any difference.
QUESTION—Can the vision be improved
without glasses after the lens has been removed for cataract? L. G.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dr. Bates approve of dark glasses to protect the eyes from the glare of the sun at the sea shore?
glasses are injurious to the eyes. The strong light of the sun is beneficial to the eyes, although it may be temporarily painful