[ Robert Silverman ]
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[ Cybernetically, Bicycle Bob Xe-Dda.p ]
Improve and Save your Vision

Do you want to throw away your glasses?
Do you want to progressively reduce the strength of your lenses?
Do you want to wear your spectacles less often?
Do you want to see better?

I have improved my vision substantially in the last two years. At that time I wore bifocals with the lens having a corrective strength of 8.5 diopeters. I was very short sighted. Since then I have reduced the strength of the lenses four times. I now wear, sometimes, glasses with a lens' strength of 2.5 diopeters. However, for many activities such as reading, bicycle riding in the day, walking and playing volleyball, I no longer wear them.

Pioneers in vision-therapy

How did I improve my vision? I simply followed a series of physical, mental and emotional exercises. These exercises are not new. They are simply not part of the mainstream consciousness. The idea of better vision without glasses was first developed by the American doctor, Dr. William Bates, over sixty years ago. Bates, an ophthalmologist, observed that glasses simply worsened your vision as the eyes quickly adjusted to the artificial lens. Accordingly, instead of glasses, he developed a series of eye and body exercises to improve your vision. His pioneering book, Better Eyesight Without Glasses, gives the specific exercises.

Aldous Huxley, the great English author, found out about the Bates method in 1939. With the help of Margaret D. Corbett, Bates disciple, Huxley began to do the exercises. “At sixteen I had to depend on Braille for my reading and a guide for my walking. Thanks to the Bates' method I am now wearing no glasses, reading and all without strain...My vision... is about twice as good as it used to be when I wore spectacles, before I had learned the art of seeing.” After learning the art of seeing Huxley wrote a book with that name as an expression of gratitude to Dr. Bates and his followers. It was Huxley's book and Huxley's visual improvement that literally opened my eyes that I also could improve my vision.

An unusual class

I had seen the beginning of the light. In late June 1983, a distant acquaintance from the holistic therapy movement phoned to tell me about a seminar on vision which was to take place in Ottawa. The weekend seminar was called EYECLASSES. The poetry and dialectic irony of the name attracted me immediately.

For the whole weekend, beginning Friday evening at 6 and continuing to Sunday night at 10, I did assorted eye and body exercises, divided into three categories in appreciation of three main factors in vision: physical, mental and emotional. The room was equipped with fusion strings, a six foot long string with ten equally spaced red and blue beads. In response to instructions on a cassette we ran our eyes up and down the string to improve our focusing and the coordination of our two eyes. Eye charts taped to the walls facilitated eye rotation exercises. We all got eye witness partners, who stayed together for several exercises, to assist, to share experiences with and inspire reciprocally. We did emotional exercises which took us back to the time around when we first noticed limitations in our vision. Often long burning painful feelings surfaced, feelings that had become encrusted in our visual system, and which continued to limit our vision. The releasing of these stored feelings help us to see more clearly. A few days after the weekend I got weaker glasses. The great turning point had arrived and my vision had begun to improve. A limitation I had lived with for 40 years had begun to erode.

Better eyesight literature

The most practical and up to date of the books on vision improvement is VISIONETICS by Lisette Scholl. Visionetics is the natural way to improve your eyesight. This system, in treating vision as an integral part of the body's total health, draws upon exercises to strengthen eye muscles, condition the whole body, and relax the mind. These exercises work for everyone, whether you are near-sighted like me, far sighted, or suffer from astigmatism.

However, visionetics is not just a simple book of exercises specializing on eyes. Its optimistic and life supporting karma permeates the book. Many of the exercises transcend the body. The repeated visualization and memorization exercises are particularly beneficial. This is because people with poor eyesight are also poor visualizers of visual details. At the end of the book is Scholl's own eyelogue and other varied aspects of her own journey to better vision. Her eyelogue is also warm and amusing and engrossing.

Another important book on the road to better vision is TOTAL VISION by Richard S. Kavner, O.D. and Lorraine Dusky. This book has much information on vision in various other cultures. We learn, for example, that Eskimos used to have virtually no cases of myopia. Within one generation, half of those who went to school needed glasses. We also learn that poor vision correlates positively with higher education. The more years of schooling, the more likely you will have vision defects. Poor vision comes from stress. Studying, excessive reading, examinations, competition for grades are school-associated stresses which often lead to limitations on vision. So do more personal family stresses such as a death of a parent (in Huxley's case, his mother), a painful family situation, moving and the sense of being uprooted, and other pains which make not seeing less painful than seeing a painful reality.

Diet is an important factor in vision. Total Vision contains a long chapter on this and on vitamins and vision. A completely original and even mind-blowing book on health is John Ott's HEALTH AND LIGHT. This indispensable book educates us on the healing role of natural light and warns us of the negative effects of much artificial lighting. Fortunately, however, we learn that at last there is an artificial light which matches the spectrum of natural sunlight 91%. It is Vita-Lite made by the Duro-Test Corp. I have equipped my home with these bulbs and they are much softer on the eyes than standard bulbs. They also last much longer.

All the books on vision improvement warn us of the harmful effects, on vision and on the whole body, of sun glasses. The tinted lens prevent a vital ray from the sun from entering the system through the eyes. These solar rays activate the glands which prevent and control diseases. Particularly powerful is Dr. Albert Schweizer's observations about the connection between cancer and sunglasses. When Schweizer arrived at Lambarene, Congo, there was no cancer at all. Years later, “it became a problem”...“natives paddling their dugout canoes up and down the river in front of the hospital often wore no more than a loin cloth and sunglasses. Sunglasses represented a status symbol of civilization and education.” (John N. Ott; Health and Light, p.162). My vision continues to improve. I do the necessary exercises daily. EYECLASSES was my first big step to better vision. The EYECLASSES fusion string, literature and cassettes have facilitated these exercises.

For more information: rsilver@cam.org

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By Robert Silverman.

Published in the Le Monde à Bicyclette Journal Autumn 1985.

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© Robert Silverman 2000