When I refer to “Allopathic” medicine, people often assume that this term only applies to the prescription of pharmaceutical drugs, but not to any non-drug approaches, such as surgery. “Allopathy” has a much broader meaning than this, and indicates a more general conceptual approach to health which doesn’t understand or treat the cause of a disease, and generally makes things worse in the process of its treatment.
The field of Optometry is almost completely overrun with this Allopathic mindset, and the common practice of continuously prescribing corrective lenses of greater and greater strength creates a downward spiral for the eye health of most patients. This comes from the same general assumption in Allopathic practices that illness and symptoms of all kinds are an inevitable result of aging, and our best response is to apply medicine or other therapeutics in correspondingly greater doses over time.
The facts turn out to be different from this assumption. Many thousands of patients have actually been able to improve their vision, and some even get rid of their corrective lenses entirely. The Bates method (invented by Dr. William Bates) is simply a collection of exercises for the muscles in and around the eyes in order to progressively strengthen, and therefore improve the vision. Eyesight, after all, is largely a function of musculature — when we are focussed on the words in a book in our hands, and then shift our gaze to something farther away, the change in focus is accomplished by our eyes through muscle movements.
Due to our increasing focus on up close work (all of the work people do now on computers, for example, such as reading this blog!), our vision becomes more and more rigid, and less adaptable to re-focussing at different perspectives. The normal solution of progressively greater strengths of corrective lenses only reinforces the underlying problem, and contributes to its worsening over time.
The practices of the Bates method, by contrast, encourage a much more varied usage of the eyes, by using exercises that utilize all the different combinations of muscle groups within the eye, by looking at different horizons, angles, and so on. It also includes other aspects of encouraging relaxation in the eyes, to give them a break from the constant strain they are often put under. “Sunning” and “palming” are two staple exercises in this realm, as well.
Some optometrists are willing to work with the patient in parallel to these exercises, in order to prescribe them progressively lower prescriptions over time, as their eyes are strengthened. It is definitely worth searching around to find an optometrist who is willing to work with you on this goal.
Aside from the basic exercises in the Bates method (which are plenty effective in their own right), I also assist patients with homeopathic remedies as well. There are some homeopathic remedies which are useful for the physical aspects of these exercises, such as Ruta Graveolens, which is very effective for releasing habitual straining in the eyes, particular for those who do a lot of up close work.
There are also the whole range of the emotional remedies available, as patients find that their progressive work on eye improvement will be tied up with any number of layers of emotional conflicts or other shocks or traumas that are being energetically stored in their ocular segment. Think of all that we may desire not “to see” when faced with emotional traumas. The ultimate goal of healthy vision is not only to have the mechanics of your vision working properly, but also the mental-emotional aspects. As you work through any blockages in your vision (not able to “see” due to unresolved grief, anger, etc.), note the progress you are making towards the goal of seeing the world through an expansive “love consciousness”. Think of how someone gazes at their beloved, or how an art enthusiast “drinks up” a beautiful painting with their eyes.
A good dose of healthy nutrition and lifestyle are always good complements to any health endeavor, and even the more specific use of certain herbs and supplements formulated to nourish the eye may also be used.
I have been working on my own vision with these methods, and have already had my relatively strong prescription drop a few points. I’ll let you know when I get rid of my lenses completely!