I contacted Quackenbush about a comment he left on Amazon, viz:
The Bates Method has never stated that accommodation (focusing near and far) occurs by the cornea changing. Dr. Bates believed the external eye muscles produced accommodation. This is mostly wrong; but is irrelevant. The lens is the primary mechanism of accommodation. It is controlled by the ciliary (internal) eye muscle. If this muscles is not functioning normally, then accommodation will likely not occur. (There are some reports of lensless accommodation.) Who cares what the mechanism of accommodation is when people improve their eyesight naturally?
Because you know, in his book, he says definitely he agrees with Bates that it’s the external muscles and not the lens, and that the purpose of the lens may well be something else besides accommodation. But what he replied was:
I do not agree with Bates. The primary mechanism of accommodation has
been reverified by modern instrumentation showing that it is definitely the lens.
In any case, on a practical level, it doesn’t really matter to me or many others.
Improving vision naturally is the most important issue for most of my students.
Okay, fair enough, but this leaves so many questions. This is not something an Aspie brain can allow to slide!
Let’s start at the beginning. Orthodox theory states that those with myopia (we will just concentrate on myopia for now) have eyeballs that are too long and the lens cannot cannot compensate for this and as the lengthening of the eyeball is permanent and genetic, it cannot be reversed naturally.
Bates spent two years trying to prove that this was correct, but failed. He found instead that the abnormal lengthening of the eyeball is caused by the external eye muscles pulling the eye into this longer shape, and that relaxation of the mind causes relaxation of these eye muscles, returning the eye to its normal, round shape.
See, now what I don’t get is, if Bates’s theory is wrong, and the orthodox theory is right, how on Earth does relaxation do anything at all? If the lengthening of the eyeball is genetic and irreversible, then no amount of relaxation should do anything to improve the sight. And yet it’s been proved, time and again, that it can and does.
So I’m stuck. I’m willing to accept that the orthodox theory is in fact the correct one after all, but only if someone can explain this discrepancy to me. Because right now, it doesn’t make any sense.
Yaiiieeee! Okay, my eyes are definitely better since I stopped wearing glasses (a thousand curses upon you, ye treacherous pieces of glass!). I know this because I found my old specs – the ones that caused me to discard them forever – and good gracious! They were so strong. But still my eyesight is far from normal and now I think I know why.
It was pure chance that I came across a negative review of Quackenbush’s book on Scamazon and noticed he himself replied and it turns out, you know, I was doing it wrong all along. Here’s what he said, anyway:
Here are some facts, instead of fiction:
- Thousands of people have improved their eyesight with the Bates Method. (See the 132 magazines in “Better Eyesight: The Complete Magazines of William H. Bates” for many documented case histories. I have personally watched thousands of students improve their eyesight for nearly 25 years of teaching. In fact up to 80% of my students have been referrals from satisfied students.
- The basis of the Bates Method is not “exercises.” The fact is most people who have approached the Bates Method using exercises have failed. For the Bates Method to be successful, one needs to re-establish correct, natural, relaxed vision habits “all day long” [Bates]. This is what Dr. Bates actually stated and taught. After he died in 1931 his teachings have been distorted and misunderstood as exercises for 20 minutes a day. If you keep wrong vision habits, you will not succeed.
- The Bates Method has never stated that accommodation (focusing near and far) occurs by the cornea changing. Dr. Bates believed the external eye muscles produced accommodation. This is mostly wrong; but is irrelevant. The lens is the primary mechanism of accommodation. It is controlled by the ciliary (internal) eye muscle. If this muscles is not functioning normally, then accommodation will likely not occur. (There are some reports of lensless accommodation.) Who cares what the mechanism of accommodation is when people improve their eyesight naturally?
- There are many people 60, 70, 80, 90+ who still accommodate. I have watched hundreds of people improve their so-called old-age presbyopia. So, getting reading glasses obviously not necessary.
- No one has ever stated the Bates Method is a “quick fix.”
- Eye glasses ruin eyesight, a common experience of almost everyone who wears them. It is strangely curious that most eye doctors prefer to not talk about this fact. What is your vision like after wearing glasses for an hour or two? Most people say they see worse than before they put the glasses on. Optometrists and ophthalmologists (I have taught both in my Bates classes) are taught that people are helpless—that poor eyesight is either genetic or due to old age. So they will give you glasses, drugs and surgery (sound familiar?), which can never remove the ***cause*** of blurred vision, and which make your eyesight worse. This is one reason it never gets better! The conventional solution for eyesight makes eyesight worse.
- Natural vision students are encouraged to have their eyesight monitored by an eye doctor.
- It is impossible to prove a negative proposition. Every highly trained scientist knows this.
- “They can’t teach you what they don’t know, and they can’t lead you where they won’t go.”
Have you ever seen your eyesight fluctuate? Down at times when you have more stress; up at other times when you are more relaxed? Almost everyone I have asked this question to for the last 25 years has said, “Yes.” If you say “Yes” also, then your own experience contradicts virtually every eye doctor in the world who keep telling people “Eyesight cannot improve.”
Think for yourself, and benefit from it. Follow the solutions from eye doctors and you will never see naturally clearly with your own eyes: Guaranteed.
Let’s get the facts, not fiction, before drawing conclusions.
Tom Quackenbush, Author of “Relearning to See: Improve Your Eyesight—Naturally”, the world’s best selling natural eyesight improvement book http://www.NaturalVisionCenter.com
A few more ramblings on the Bates method for better eyesight…
Think of it this way: if you’ve had your legs in a cast for 4 months, you will not expect, after one or two days’ physio, to be able to walk perfectly. Your eyes are also controlled by muscles. You can’t expect, after torturing your eyes for months, or even decades, to be able to see perfectly after a day of Bates treatment. Be patient. This does entail a bit of hard slog, but I think you’ll find it’s worth it in the end.
I shall mention here the words of another eye-specialist, Joseph J. Kennebeck O.D., who later came to reject the orthodox teaching that the lens is the determining factor in accommodation:
No one is blind without glasses. Anyone who can see with glasses can also see, in a way, without them, at least well enough to get along until his eyes improve. Only the blind ARE blind, and they cannot see even with glasses. Too many of them are blind from wearing glasses. Let it be understood that near-sighted eyes can do close work easily without glasses.
The severe cases of today were the mild cases of yesterday, just as the mild cases of today will be the severe cases of tomorrow, from wearing glasses. There are eye troubles — that is true — but no one is so bad in the beginning that he has to resort to glasses and wear them as he does, to supposedly see with or to supposedly save his eyes. One might be able to see with glasses until they need changing, but the glasses will not save his eyes. Of course if one does not live very long, it makes little or no difference if he wears glasses, but no one knows how long one will live. If one lives to a ripe old age, he will have the poorest eyes, at middle age and past, if he wore glasses before. Therefore, one must fight off glasses at a younger age to have the best eyes at an older age. One cannot wait until it is too late to do it. No one would be hurt by fighting off glasses, as much as all are hurt who resort to glasses.
Loyalty to the old tradition of glasses is widespread, and practically universal. As said before, all must save face and not be proven wrong in what all have believed in throughout the years. If all were as loyal and true to their eyes as they are to glasses, all would be better off in the long run. But all have more confidence in glasses, and less confidence in their eyes; too bad. Those who wear glasses think that they are wiser than those who do not, and will not, wear them. Why be so loyal to glasses, when glasses are not loyal to eyes?
More on eyesight improvement at I-See.org