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Production of Eye Tension A Safeguard Against Glaucoma – Tension – Bier’s Congestive Treatment – Stories
From The Clinic: 93. Tension in Myopia – Case Report - Announcement
A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE
PREVENTION AND CURE OF IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES
Voluntary Production Of Eye Tension A Safeguard Against Glaucoma
It is a good thing to know how to increase the tension of the eyeball
voluntarily, as this enables one to avoid not only the strain that produces glaucoma, but other kinds of strain also. To do
this proceed as follows:
Put the fingers on the upper
part of the eyeball while looking downward, and note its softness.
(Place the fingers on top of
the upper skin of the closed eyelids, not the eye itself.)
do any one of the following things:
+ Try to see a letter, or other object, imperfectly, or (with the eyes either closed
or open) to imagine it imperfectly.
+ Try to see a letter, or a number of letters, all alike at one time, or to imagine
them in this way.
+ Try to imagine that a letter, or mental picture of a letter is stationary.
+ Try to see a letter,
or other object, double, or to imagine it double.
When successful, the eyeball will become harder in proportion to the
degree of the strain, but, as it is very difficult to see, imagine, or remember, things imperfectly, all may not be able at
first to demonstrate the facts.
[The above article, which
appeared in the December, 1920, issue of “Better Eyesight,” is reprinted at the request of the editor, in connection
with the other articles in this month’s issue on “tension”.]
By W. H. Bates, M.D.
The tension of the muscles and nerves of the human eye is a very important
subject for various reasons. Perhaps the most important of all is the fact that it occurs so frequently and so universally.
When a person has near-sightedness, eye tension can always be demonstrated, because when the eye tension is relieved and corrected,
the near-sightedness is cured. All persons who have astigmatism have eye tension. When the eye tension is relieved, the astigmatism
disappears. Patients with cataract, diseases of the optic nerve or diseases of the retina are suffering from tension. When
the tension is relieved, the eye disease disappears.
In some cases, it is more difficult to relieve the tension than
in others. No matter whether it is difficult or not, there can be no cure of the eye disease unless the tension is corrected.
This tension, besides affecting the eyeball, is also manifest or can be demonstrated in any or in all parts of the body. A
person who has glaucoma is under, not only tension of the eyes, but a tension or an unusual contraction of the muscles of
the arm, the hand, or all the muscles.
Tension of the internal muscles is always present when a patient has a disease
of the chest, and it can be demonstrated that he is also suffering from tension, not only of the chest, but also of other
muscles and nerves in other parts of the body. There is a tension that contracts the bronchial tubes which interferes with
the proper circulation of air into the lungs and out of the lungs. People with pneumonia, tuberculosis of the lungs, or tuberculosis
of any part of the body are all suffering from eye tension, and when the eye tension is relieved, the tension in other parts
of the body is also relieved. It is an interesting fact that all diseases of the eyes and all diseases of the body are generally
associated with eye tension.
Singers Voice Cured by Relaxation
A very remarkable case of tension was that of an opera singer who suddenly lost her ability to sing.
Specialists on the throat examined her very carefully and they were united in the statement that she had paralysis of the
muscles on the left side of her larynx. In connection with this paralysis there was a tumor grown on the left vocal cord.
Her symptoms of paralysis were caused by tension, because when the tension was relieved, the paralysis of the vocal cord was
also relieved and cured. The tumor which had grown on the left vocal cord disappeared.
There are two things about this
case which can be discussed; one is that the paralysis was caused by tension and the other that the tumor of the vocal cord
was also caused by tension. When we analyze her case and try to give an explanation of what the tension accomplished, we will
probably say a good many things which are not so. It is exceedingly difficult, as I have said a great many times, to answer
the question, “Why?”
We may have cases of eye diseases in which it is difficult to relieve the tension,
but it may be easy to relieve the tension in the muscles of the stomach or in the various groups of muscles in the arm, or
hand, neck and when such tension is relieved, that of the eye muscles is relieved, and in this way, the disease of the eye,
no matter what it may, be can always be relieved or cured. This is a very important fact, because when understood and practiced,
some very severe forms of diseases of the eyes can thus be cured, and in no other way so well.
neck muscle tension, limited movement (often caused by computer use, eyeglasses) cause eye muscle tension, impaired movement,
blood flow to head, eyes, unclear vision, impaired eye health.
Relax the muscles in the body, chest, arms, shoulders,
neck = the eye muscles relax, eye moves freely, eye returns to normal shape, no tension in the eye, circulation improves,
eyes are healthy, vision is clear.
The question that comes up more prominently than any other is: What can the
patient do to bring about relaxation of any group of muscles? A man, by the name of F.M. Alexander, of London, England has
accomplished a great deal in the cure of all kinds of diseases. He says that all diseases of the body are caused by tension.
They can all be cured by the relaxation of the tension. He has offered many methods of bringing about relaxation in the most
interesting, although seemingly incredible way and the most successful is to bring about relaxation by having the patient
state that it is desired. (Alexander Method)
For example, a patient sitting in a chair
or lying down on the floor, whichever is easier, says: “I desire relaxation of the muscles of my neck, so that my head
can be lifted forwards and upwards.” This is sometimes repeated one hundred to a thousand times. Mr. Alexander has always
succeeded in having the patient bring about relaxation of the muscles of the neck by this method.
Mr. Alexander goes
further and brings about relaxation of the muscles of the chest, both outside and inside, by having the patient say: “I
wish my shoulder to relax and to move downwards and backwards. I wish my chest to relax and to move backwards. I wish my whole
body to relax and move backwards. I wish my foot to move backwards without effort, without strain of any muscles of the body.”
Relaxation of the body, back, chest, shoulders, neck results in easy movement, relaxation of the eye muscles,
eyes, and clear vision.
It has been a great shock to many orthodox physicians to observe the cures that Alexander
has made. Epilepsy, considered by the medical profession to be incurable, has been cured by relaxation, without the use of
any other form of treatment. Of course, rheumatism responds perhaps more quickly to relaxation than a great many other diseases,
but there are cases of so-called rheumatism affecting the shoulder in which all parts of the joint become immovable.
patient was afflicted with Parkinson’s disease; all the joints of the body became so fastened together, so immovable,
that the patient was unable to produce any voluntary movement of the hand or the arm. As time passed, the voluntary and the
involuntary muscles gradually became useless from tension. Mr. Alexander had the patient relax those muscles which she could
relax most readily. When this was done, the more difficult muscles became relaxed, until finally she was cured completely
by the relaxation of tension.
(The Alexander Method and other body movement exercises) continues
to be popular today, 2010; original and modern Natural Eyesight Improvement teachers apply body, neck relaxation, movement
as a main eyesight improvement treatment.)
Bier’s Congestive Treatment
The Coal Miner
may say that tension is a very important factor in the cause of most diseases of the body. A very instructive case was the
following: About twenty years ago I came into my clinic and found there a coal heaver whose face and hands and all parts of
his body were covered with soot, or black particles of coal. His right eye was suffering from an ulcer of the front part.
The case interested me very much and I took him in to see the surgeon in our department, a man who believed very strongly
that an abscess in any part of the body is caused by germs, and when there is a collection of pus, it is the physician’s
duty to drain it and get rid of it. I said to him:
“Would you drain that pus?”
He answered: “Certainly,
a man would be crazy not to drain it.”
I then said: “Doctor, do you know that some patients in this condition,
who have had the pus drained have lost an eye, and oftentimes both eyes from sympathetic ophthalmia?”
don’t care, it ought to be drained,” he said.
“Just watch me, I said.
Without cleansing the patient’s
face or eyes, a pressure bandage was placed over his eye and tied so tightly that his face became much swollen. I told him
that in two days, his eye would be cured. The surgeon said:
I said, “Take a good
look at him so that you will recognize him if you ever see him again.”
At the end of two days, the man came back,
very much annoyed with me. He said that the bandage nearly killed him.
“Take it off,” I said.
it off and the pus had disappeared. The surgeon who saw it said that I had not cured him, that the man did not have an abscess
to start with, that he had a perfectly healthy eye, and that anybody who said that the eye was full of pus two days before
Strange as it may seem, the pressure bandage relieved the tension in the eye to a considerable degree, with
a result that the pus in the anterior chamber was entirely absorbed. The eye recovered its health in forty-eight hours and
the eyeball became very soft, because the tension was relieved. Working in a dark coal mine, lack of
sunlight impairs the health of the eyes. Mules working in the mines developed cataracts and other eye problems, blindness.
It is well to demonstrate the results produced by tension. When the letter
“O,” for instance, is remembered imperfectly, the white center becomes a shade of gray and the black part of the
letter becomes less black and often covered with a gray cloud. To remember an imperfect letter “O” requires an
effort. The effort tires the eyes and mind. The memory of imperfect sight lowers the vision of other letters. When the effort
becomes sufficiently great to blur the letter “O” more completely, the tension becomes increased, the eyes feel
uncomfortable and may suffer considerable pain. This pain may be felt in the head, back of the neck, in the arms and in other
parts of the body.
The memory of perfect sight does not produce fatigue, pain or any other form of discomfort. The memory
of perfect sight can only be accomplished easily. Any effort, strain or tension spoils it.
clarity of vision, memory, imagination function together, are integrated. Improve one and all improve. Practice improving
every function and all are greatly improved.
When the sight is perfect, it is possible for the memory to be perfect,
because we can only remember what we have seen; when the memory is perfect, the imagination is perfect, because we can only
imagine what we remember. When the imagination is perfect, the sight is perfect, because we can only see perfectly what we
imagine perfectly. The demonstrations of these facts have repeatedly appeared in this magazine and should have suggested methods
of treatment of the greatest value.
Many writers have
stated that imperfect sight can be obtained without any difficulty. Usually, the contrary is the truth. Recently a girl was
treated for nearsightedness. With some instruction, she became able to demonstrate that to see a letter “O” imperfectly
for any length of time was difficult or impossible. She imagined the left hand side of the letter “O” to be straight.
I asked her how it felt. She answered: “It hurts.”
Then I asked her to imagine that the right-hand side was
open. She quickly said: “It hurts.”
Then I asked her what she meant by saying, “It hurts.”
“Well,” she replied, “when I imagine a part of a letter wrong, my eyes feel uncomfortable and I don’t
like the feeling.”
I then said to her: “Can you imagine what this letter might be?”
I can imagine what it might be, but it hurts.”
Then I said, “Suppose you imagine it is an ‘O,’
She smiled and said: “That doesn’t hurt. It is an ‘O’.”
pointed to a letter which came after the “O” and asked her if she could imagine what it was. She said: “Don’t
ask me, because it hurts.”
I then asked her to close her eyes and remember the letter “O.” She was
able to do this without any discomfort. The next step was to have her look at the letter “O” on the card, remember
it as well as she could, with her eyes closed, and then imagine that she could see it. The memory and the imagination were
repeated a number of times until she told me that the letter which came after the “O” was a “K.” I
said to her:
“Are you sure?”
She answered, “No.”
“Can you imagine that the left hand side is straight?”
She answered: “Yes,
and it doesn’t hurt.”
“Can you imagine the top is straight?”
“Yes,” she answered,
“and it doesn’t hurt.”
“Can you imagine the bottom is straight?”
She said, “Yes
and it doesn’t hurt?”
“What is the letter?” I asked her.
“The letter is ‘E’,”
she said, “I am sure. Yes, I am positive that it is a letter ‘E’ because it doesn’t hurt.”
During this treatment, the patient’s friends and relatives became interested. She had them all practice it and all
of them were able to demonstrate that when they imagined the letters or parts of the letters correctly, there was no pain,
and when a letter or part of a letter was imagined incorrectly, decided pain and symptoms of tension were produced.
Remember, imagine a letter correct with the eyes open, closed, open and the mind, eyes relax, the letter is
FROM THE CLINIC
By Emily C.
MISS HILDRETH LENNOX, aged twenty-eight,
came to me as a patient on May 2, 1927. She informed me that she had read, “Perfect Sight Without Glasses,” and
had studied it for about a year before coming to me. During that time she had discarded her glasses entirely after having
worn them for fourteen years. Her vision was R.V. 15/200-blurred. L.V. 15/200-blurred.
When she read the card with both
eyes, she could just about make out the 70-line, and the letters were more blurred than the 200-line letters. She enjoyed
palming, so while she had her eyes covered, I asked her to remember anything that she could remember having seen, without
effort or strain and if possible, to remember only pleasant things. She understood very readily that memory of unpleasant
things caused more strain. Being a musician, she could remember her notes very well and also compositions that she enjoyed
playing on the piano. She described to me, while her eyes were closed, how she had worked her way from Canada to Palo Alto,
California, by giving concerts on the way. Her home is in Canada, but she is now staying with her aunt, Mrs. Tucker, in Palo
After she had palmed for a while, I taught her the universal swing. This she did gracefully. She remembered to
blink each time she swayed to the right. I have noticed that the myopic patient makes a hard task of blinking. A strain is
produced then, and the vision does not improve except for an instant. Then I notice that the patient squints and squeezes
the eyes almost shut. To avoid this, I have them swing just a little faster than usual.
I find that the patient likes
to blink in unison with the sway in one direction only, and not to the right and then to the left.
I test the sight of
the patient with the white test card first—the one with the red and green lines. After the patient has palmed and has
practiced the universal swing for a period of ten minutes or a little longer, I again test the sight of both eyes at fifteen
I did this in Ms. Lennox’s case and the vision improved to the 30-line, but all the letters of this line
were seen double. The patient was again asked to palm and to describe to me what she remembered having seen from the train
window on her way to the Coast. This helped her to relax so that when her test was made again—this time with the black
test card with white letters—she read all of the black card at ten feet, as she covered her eyes for a part of a minute
after flashing each letter. When she was told that she could not possibly stare if she covered her eyes after seeing one letter
of the test card at a time, she never stopped smiling as she read one letter and then another of the test card in this way.
I did not have another patient until more than two hours later, so I spent more time with Ms. Lennox than I usually do with
any patient. She did so well for me that I encouraged her to go right on regardless of the time. Again she covered her closed
eyes and explained her mental pictures, and when she removed her hands from her eyes and then swayed her body, blinking as
she swayed to the right, she flashed 10/10 of the black card and each letter was seen clearly.
To the right of her, also
ten feet away, I had placed a test card on the wall. I directed her to blink as she moved her body to the right, and to flash
a letter of the card that she could see without making an effort of any kind. I explained that the letter could be seen best
by looking a little above or below it, or a little to the left or the right of it. She said that she could see the letter
more clearly when she followed my suggestion. She said that the letters almost disappeared, or became double, when she looked
directly at the letter as she flashed it.
Modern teachers state to look directly at the letter;
The letter can be seen clear, looking directly at it, (central fixation) when the eyes shift on the letter, even if
for only a split second as the eyes flash the letter.
The memory of each of the letters seen helped her to read
the black test card more easily. After she had finished reading the last letter of the 10-line, I was amazed to have her ask
“Mrs. Lierman, I have not seen this card before, so I am not sure, but I see a figure 10 over the
10-line letters very plainly. Am I right?”
I became excited myself and answered, “Why, yes, but according
to most of the eye specialists, it is impossible for you to see that figure 10 at ten feet. You should see that figure only
at five feet with the normal eye, not at ten feet.”
Switching Back and Forth, Near and Far
I find that myopic patients improve their sight and are cured more quickly by having them stand near a window and look off
in the distance at large signs about a block away, or perhaps not quite so far. When the patient is able to see the large
letters of the signs by blinking and shifting to a smaller sized letter of the test card, they soon become able to distinguish
sign letters which they did not know were there at all when they were first asked to read the signs within their line of vision.
Ms. Lennox could only see the large letter of a sign about half a city block away from my window. The smaller letters were
blurred to her and she was not encouraged to try to read them.
On May 3, her second treatment, we stood at the window
before test-card practice, shifting to a large letter of a sign she had seen the day before. She became able, by blinking
and shifting to the skyline, flashing a white cloud in a blue sky and then back to the sign letters, to read a sign which
had letters, I should imagine, about a foot high. This sign was more than three city blocks away. The patient never stopped
smiling and I was encouraged to help her more in this way.
The little blue booklet with Bible type was given to her.
We used the page that has Psalm 119 on it, and which has more white spaces than either the Beatitudes or Psalm 23. Holding
the fine type about six inches from her eyes, she was told not to read the type, but to look at the white spaces and remember
them with the eyes closed. Alternately closing her eyes for a part of a minute and then opening them for a second, she read
the small sign letters at more than three blocks away.
When she looked at the fine print, which she did often, she asked
me if she could read a sentence or two. At first she read the fine print, which was easy for her to do, at a little more than
four inches from her eyes. I wanted to see how far off she could hold the type and still read it. At six inches the print
was not clear and the white spaces were less white-they seemed gray to her.
I told her to look at the white clouds as
they moved very slowly and gracefully in the beautiful blue sky above us. She said she could easily remember the cloud being
very white and the sky a beautiful blue as she alternately opened and then closed her eyes. Each time she remarked that the
white clouds could be remembered whiter and the blue sky bluer while her eyes were closed. While she was practicing this,
I took hold of her right hand, which held the Bible print. I drew it twelve inches from her eyes. When I told her to look
at the white spaces and not worry about the type at that distance, she smiled and remarked, “Why, I can read this fine
print just as well at this distance.” Memory, improved by imagining white clouds and a blue sky as well with her eyes
open as with them closed, improved her myopia. Then we started the test-card practice. She read a strange white test card
with the black letters at 15/15 with each eye separately.
On May 4, when my patient came again, I noticed that her eyes
looked tired. She said she feared that she had practiced too hard, or had made too great an effort to improve her imperfect
vision. I told her she had no cause for worry and to just forget about it. We again practiced with microscopic print, shifting
to the distant building signs more than three city blocks away, then back to reading a sentence of the microscopic type by
looking at the white spaces instead of the print. (Then when the eyes are relaxed; look at, shift on,
read the microscopic print.) She read smaller letters of the signs far away and her eyes were wide open. She also read
another test card that she had not seen before, and at the normal distance, 15/15.
On May 5 she was all smiles and both
eyes were wide open. She informed me that she had made a discovery. She said, “Do you know that I don’t dare to
stop blinking, because if I do, my eyes feel like hornets’ nests. They sting. I can get relief only by blinking. I make
it a habit now, to read smaller letters of words and signs on the housetops. I shift from the white line of my fine print
booklet to distant signs that I see as I walk along the street or while riding in the trolley cars. Shifting from the near
point to the distance always improves my eye-strain and relieves any tightness that comes for an instant when I stop doing
the right thing. The moment that my eyes feel uncomfortable, I find out, to my sorrow, that I have been unconsciously staring.
I have learned that by shifting and blinking, I see all words move the least bit when I read, and I can now read book print
for hours without any discomfort.
“I notice that when I sit at my piano and read my music, I can sit perfectly
straight instead of leaning forward to see my notes. I feel proud that I can see just as well without leaning forward. I now
read my notes easily at the right distance. I feared becoming round-shouldered from leaning over to see the notes. I noticed,
too, that when I do not see things moving, my eyelids seem to close and I feel tired quickly.”
On May 6 Miss. Lennox
read Number 15, which is diamond sized type, with the Fundamental truths by Dr. W. H. Bates on the opposite side, at three
feet, ten inches. I produced the small test card with the inverted “E’s,” and held it at a further distance
from where she was standing. She began the universal swing, blinking always, and read the bottom line of the card at four
feet, ten inches.
The normal eye can tell the direction in which the letters of the bottom line of the inverted “E’s”
are pointing, at two feet-not at four feet, ten inches-so her vision had improved to more than normal in five days. I saw
the patient a week later and her vision was still the same. On her last visit she told me that she had been warned by an eye
specialist in Canada never to leave off her glasses again or she would go blind.
She said, “you know how well
I appreciate what you have done for me. I can now see my friends across the room better without my glasses than I could with
them. Before I came to you for treatment, my friends at a tea found fault with me because I did not return their smiles when
I looked at them from the other end of an ordinary-sized room. It was not so long ago that I could not read the ‘Specials’
on the menu card in a restaurant without my glasses. Now I can read clearly the print on my menu card that would be best for
me not to read, such as French fried potatoes and other things that I enjoy, but which are not good for me.”
The following is a report of a case treated by Miss Anne Woessner, West Nyack,
N. Y. Ms. Woessner is one of Dr Bates’ representatives.
aged 24, from childhood has had hypermetropia combined with partial paralysis. Very strong glasses had been prescribed for
her by a New York specialist. These glasses were shaped like two miniature searchlights, which, together with the nosepiece
and shafts, resembled some fantastic bug.
Last February, the first time she came to me, she had left off her glasses.
It was indeed pitiful to see her walk up the short path from the gate to the porch steps. Without her glasses she could only
see a dim, blurred outline of people or objects two feet away.
Upon test the four and one-half inch high “C”
appeared a gray smudge at two feet. When handed a card printed with regulation reading type she saw only a blank.
palming one half hour, she became able to read the 70-line at four feet. I then explained the importance of blinking, shifting
and swinging, which she practiced for twenty minutes. This resulted in the reading of the 20-line at four feet, but blurred
and gray in color.
She practiced faithfully at home the following week and started the next lesson with 4/40 quite clear.
From this time on she improved steadily. The sun treatments became so soothing that she often dozed, much to our mutual amusement.
Her phenomenal memory greatly helped her to relax. She could relate many incidents which had happened in her childhood.
Often I would read a story while she palmed and while still palming, she would repeat the story almost verbatim. This always
helped. The large letters became clearer and the small type on the “Fundamental” card seem to be very clear to
her in spots.
With the practice of central fixation, memory of period and two to three hours of sunlight daily, she is
now able to read newspaper type slowly and the diamond type on the back of Dr. Bates’ professional card. The change
in her appearance is as remarkable as that of her sight. She is now a true sunshine girl with large eyes of blue, cheeks and
hair touched by the sun, and is smiling always. She fairly flies around her home. She phoned me specially one night recently
to say that she had read the clock clear across the room.
There is still much to be done, however. She has had just fourteen
treatments to date and if she continues to practice so conscientiously she surely will be rewarded eventually with normal
In closing I wish to state that I am still holding her glasses which she handed me upon her second visit.
“Don’t ever want to see them again.”