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Part I, Chapter 2:

Convince Yourself in

15 Minutes

(First read this entire page, and then follow the instructions.)

You see better when your eyes, mind and body are relaxed. You can convince yourself of this basic truth right now. Take off you glasses or lenses and get into a comfortable sitting position. Rub your hands for a few seconds to warm and energize them. Then close your eyes and cover them with your hands. Each palm covers one eye without touching it. The fingers cross on your forehead, and your elbows rest on a table or on your knees.

With your eyes in total darkness, first tense all muscles from head to toes- then release them and relax completely. The more relaxed you are, the more black you will see. At first you may perceive streaks of grey or colors, moving spots or stars. The degree of blackness is an accurate measure of your inner rest, and of how well your eyes function right now. Just enjoy this rest for 15 minutes. Now and then let your mind dwell on pleasant scenes in motion and visualize something black, such as black velvet.

This is called "palming". When you now open your eyes, they will see a little better than before. Things have more contrast and color. Look at things that you like, or at familiar shapes like letters. Your eyes function best when you look at (or think about) pleasant or familiar objects. By palming often you can make this relaxed state of mind/body a pleasant habit and improve your vision permanently. Continue as long as you enjoy it.

Palming can never be done too much or too often. Some people with serious eye problems have done it for hours day after day, and attained spectacular improvements. One 70-year old man who had worn glasses for 20 years did it all day. He even forgot to eat because he had an intense desire to improve his vision. In the evening his far-sightedness and astigmatism had disappeared, and never came back.

You can get similar results by palming frequently throughout the day. It also helps to close your eyes now and then for short periods. Gradually your eyes will relax. Palming looks deceptively simple, but it seldom fails to get results, especially when combined with the other practices in this book. But do it only when you enjoy it. If you get bored or tense, just do something else or get up and shake your body for a minute.

PALMING: Deceptively simple yet amazingly effective.

  • After rubbing your hands for about a minute to warm and energize them, place each palm over one eye.

  • The palms are slightly cupped, so that they do not touch the eyelids or eyelashes.

  • The fingers rest on your forehead, either crossed or parallel. The elbows rest on a table or on your knees.

  • All light is now shut out, and you can enjoy total darkness.

  • Palming can be done for short or long periods, at any time, as long as you enjoy it.

  • If you get bored or tense, get up and shake your body for a minute, or do something else for a while.



Palming is one way of relaxing the eyes, of getting you out of the staring habit. Mental strain is the enemy of good eyesight.

When you strain you are working against your nature and your thoughts struggle against your feelings. Although this can bring you some initial or superficial successes, it is bound to make you sick and unhappy in the long run. Your vision suffers together with your memory and your ability to think clearly. Life loses its joy and beauty, it becomes an effort. (More about this in Section 22.)

Strain is not the same as stress. Strain originates inside you; it is an acquired habit that you can unlearn. Stress, on the other hand, comes mostly from the outside and is often beyond your control. You cannot do much about the weather or an economic recession, for example. But by using your eyes and your mind in a relaxed way you can deal with external stresses more effectively.

The habit of straining is always harmful; it is a continuous un-ease, a dis-ease, a disease that saps your vitality. It slowly undermines your health and can kill you in the long run. It may sometimes be unavoidable in emergencies. But in daily life you can learn to avoid it, and this book will show you how.

External stresses, on the other hand, are part of life. They have a stimulating effect, they keep you fit and alert. Without external pressures and constraints you would soon get soft, complacent and vulnerable. A certain amount of stress is good for you.

To know the difference between stress and strain is crucial. By avoiding strain and adopting natural ways of seeing and thinking you improve not only your eyesight but also your general health, well-being and happiness.

Through palming and other techniques you experience four things simultaneously: deep inner rest - enjoying total darkness- feeling good inside - better eyesight.




How This Method Has Helped Others


Here are ten examples of the countless cases in which people have been helped by teachers or instructors of the Bates Method.  All of them are documented in the literature on the subject and can be looked up for further study through the bibliography of See Without Glasses program.


Case No.1      

A 37-year old wife of a medical doctor was suffering from far-sightedness, astigmatism and lazy eye.  After the first lessons she saw better and experienced less eye-strain.  After further lessons she discarded her glasses and never wore them again. 


 Case No.2      

A 25-year old man suffered from mild myopia or short-sightedness, but was determined to get rid of his glasses.  After twenty lessons he no longer needed his glasses. 


Case No.3      

A woman could see only around the edges of her field of vision because of eccentric fixation.  Prominent eye specialists in the USA and Europe had told her that she could not be helped because of some disease of the optic nerve or the brain.  But after some weeks of Bates training her vision returned to normal. 


 Case No.4      

A woman in her late fifties was beginning to develop cataracts.  After several weeks of eye training she went back to her eye specialist for a check-up. 


The doctor could find no trace of cataract and wondered how he could have arrived at his earlier diagnosis.  When she told him about the training, he snapped:  "Nonsense, cataracts never disappear." After some further lessons her far-sightedness disappeared also. 


Case No.5    

A school teacher had observed over many years that most of her students became more or less shortsighted toward the end of the term, so that they could hardly see the blackboard.  After she introduced short daily Bates exercises with the test card on the wall, all children maintained their good vision. 


In the following eight years her classes practiced these exercises for a few minutes each day, and none of her students became shortsighted at any time during the term.  But the school board and local opticians objected and claimed that the practice interfered with the school routine.


 Case No.6      

A 65-year old engineer was told that his glaucoma needed immediate surgery.  The doctors warned that even if the operation were successful, his vision would be seriously impaired.  The man was desperate and decided to try his luck with the Bates Method. 


After an intense program of eight hours a day for two weeks, the man went back for a check-up.  It was found that the glaucoma had subsided and that an operation was no longer necessary.  He was also able to wear weaker glasses from then on.


 Case No.7      

A 26-year old teacher is shortsighted and has worn glasses since the age of 10.  She is the nervous type and eats too much starch, sugar and protein.  She tends to stretch her head forward, with resulting tension in the neck. 


After learning to relax through the Bates exercises and eating more natural foods like fruits and salads, her vision improves rapidly. 


Case No.8      

Aldous Huxley, the famous author of books and plays, had suffered from poor eyesight since his youth.  He could read only with the strongest of glasses and only for short periods, often followed by headaches. 

For years he had been treated by the most eminent eye specialists in Europe and North America.  They had carefully diagnosed his condition and given him a pair of glasses.  Each doctor wrote a different prescription and spoke slightingly of the others.  None of them told him that there are right ways and wrong ways of using the eyes.  They seemed to know nothing about the interrelation between the eyes and the mind.


At age 35 he met an experienced Bates teacher (Margaret Corbett).  After several weeks of training he was able to read without glasses, and his headaches disappeared also.  He learned to relax and get into more natural habits of living, thinking and seeing.


Aldous Huxley


Case No.9      

Dr. Bates had one difficult patient who did not respond to his treatment at first: himself.  He was extremely farsighted and could not see well at any distance.  Other specialists agreed that his case was hopeless, because his lenses had hardened with age.


Finally he discovered that his eyes did indeed adjust to different distances, but always in the wrong way!  When he tried to read, they adjusted for far vision.  And when he tried to see distant objects, they adjusted for near vision.  Obviously his subconscious mind was trying very hard not to see anything in sharp focus.


One day he had a flash of clear vision while looking at letters on a calendar in a relaxed way.  By imagining the letters to be black, his eyes actually saw them as sharp black shapes.  Now his eyesight improved steadily, until he could see without glasses at any distance.


Case No. 10 

A 56-year old woman is suffering from incipient cataract in both eyes.  She has been told that there is no cure, but that the lenses can be removed surgically once the cataract is "ripe". 


In the meantime she decides to try some natural methods to cleanse her body and relax her mind.  This includes a natural diet, daily enemas and Bates exercises.  Within a month she finds her sight beginning to improve, together with her general health.  At the end of six months her sight is restored.  The operation is no longer necessary. 




When doctors are confronted with the successes of the Bates Method and their own inability to help, they often claim that the eyes would have gotten better anyway.  They call this a "spontaneous remission".  But the curious fact remains that such remissions occur very seldom without the Bates training.




I trust you've enjoyed reading this sample chapter.


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  Warm personal regards,

  Chris Markert


"I'm now experiencing dramatic improved eyesight..."


"This program is incredible! I've had poor eyesight ever since I was 9 years old. Every year my prescription got worse and worse. I'm 33 now and I must have spent thousands of dollars over the years on my glasses, contacts, solutions and prescription sunglasses. I've done your program for only a 8 weeks and I'm now experiencing dramatic improved eyesight. Thanks!"



Karen Denning

Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.






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