The eyes contain many small muscles, and there is no doubt that eye exercises can do little harm to your eyes, but can they actually be of benefit?
A New York ophthalmologist called Dr William Bates, developed a series of eye exercises to improve eyesight without resorting to lenses or surgery. Dr Bates felt that many eye problems had their root causes in stress, tension and laziness of the eye and he thought that because of these causes, the eyes could be treated without correction such as lenses, spectacles or even surgery. Dr Bates’ methods were first devised at the beginning of the 20th century, but many people still practice them today.
Dr Bates’ theory revolved around the notion that the muscles of the eye became fixed on a scene causing strain to the eyes. Dr Bates felt that the eyes could be re-trained to relax and improve the link between the optic nerves and the brain.
Dr Bates’ theories have been largely ignored by the world of medicine. However, many people around the world have claimed remarkable improvements in short sight, long sight, astigmatism, squints and lazy eyes using these methods. Even young children are able to practice the exercises and people with normal vision may improve concentration, reading skills and co-ordination by following the routines suggested by Dr Bates.
In essence, you can expect to perform some simple exercises for about half an hour a day. These can involve some of the following:-
To rest and relax your eyes, sit comfortably in front of a table, resting your elbows on a stack of cushions high enough to bring your palms easily to your eyes without stooping forward or looking up. Close your eyes and cover them with your cupped palms to exclude light, avoiding pressure on the sockets. Breathe slowly and evenly, relaxing and imagining deep blackness. Begin by doing this for 10 minutes, two or three times a day.
Relax and keep the eyes mobile. Stand up and focus on a distant point, swaying gently from side to side. Repeat 100 times daily, blinking as you sway. Blinking cleans and lubricates the eyes, which is especially important if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
You may be asked to have a ‘colour day.’ Choose a colour and look out for it throughout the day. When you see it, be aware of the colour rather than the form. For example, if it’s a red truck, experience the shade of red, not the truck.
Why not try some of these exercises yourself?
See Clearly Method