The Cure of Imperfect Sight by Treatment
Without Glasses - online book

The Original Bates Method, for correcting vision defects

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A LL the methods used in the cure of errors of re fraction are simply different ways of obtaining relaxation, and most patients, though by no means all, find it easiest to relax with their eyes shut. This usually lessens the strain to see, and in such cases is followed by a temporary or more lasting improvement in vision.
Most patients are benefited merely by closing the eyes; and by alternately resting them for a few minutes or longer in this way and then opening them and looking at the Snellen test card for a second or less, flashes of improved vision are, as a rule, very quickly obtained. Some temporarily obtain almost normal vision by this means; and in rare cases a complete cure has been effected, sometimes in less than an hour.
But since some light comes through the closed eyelids, a still greater degree of relaxation can be obtained, in all but a few exceptional cases, by excluding it. This is done by covering the closed eyes with the palms of the hands (the fingers being crossed upon the forehead) in such a way as to avoid pressure on the eyeballs. So efficacious is this practice, which I have called "palming," as a means of relieving strain, that we all instinctively resort to it at times, and from it most patients are able to get a considerable degree of relaxation.
But even with the eyes closed and covered in such a way as to exclude all the light, the visual centers of