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What is Bates Method?
The Bates Method is a series of exercises, devised to help eyesight.
The Bates Method was devised by Dr William H Bates (1860-1931), an American ophthalmologist.
How does Bates Method work?
Bates found that the relief of mental strain was essential to good use of the eyes. He realised that the habits of eye strain, most of which are unconscious actions, need to be reversed in order for the eyes to work effectively.
He believed that surgery and the use of lenses were counterproductive as they treat the symptoms of defective vision rather than the cause of the problem, which he concluded was strain.
The style of the treatment is similar to that used in the Alexander Technique. The treatment work may also be supported by the use of other alternative therapies, such as Bach Flower Remedies, Homeopathy etc.
The main Bates Method techniques are:
Palming - placing cupped hands over closed eyes to shut out the light and induce relaxation. Blinking is also good.
Sunning - the applications of light to the eyes. With the use of this and the palming technique, the eyes can learn to discern between light and dark.
Swings - introduction of vision and mind to movement. There are various different types of swinging techniques.
Sway - a method of learning to see movement in the world.
Colour Days - a day where you spend as much of the day as you can looking for one colour of your choice.
What does Bates Method treatment involve?
Each session lasts between 30 minutes to an hour. A complete course of the Bates Method usually involves six to twelve sessions, but the exact number of appointments needed will depend on the individual.
After taking medical notes, the therapist will assess what the client can and can't see. Using the basic techniques (derived from the main techniques listed above), the therapist will devise a series of exercises devised to help, correct and support the client's specific needs. These can be incorporated into the client's daily life.
What can Bates Method help?
Eyesight problems, especially defective vision.