Bates Method International

Seeing truthfully and clearly

Age: 43 Condition: Short sight

By Angela Bradshaw

August 2012
As a child in the early 70s I loved the TV programme Vision On featuring Tony Hart. Now the words in the title have even greater significance and meaning to me.

For the last two years I have been taking lessons in the Bates Method (Natural Vision Improvement) with Lizzie May in East Sheen, London.  She is an amazing teacher and it's been an astonishing personal journey.  

I have worn glasses since I was 13 years old and really thought I'd forgone any opportunity to improve my shortsight in this lifetime.  My original intention for going to see LizzIe was to enable my two daughters to learn GOOD habits of vision so they wouldn't go down the familial route of being reliant on glasses / contact lenses.

The girls took to it like a duck to water and their vision improved rapidly.  The method has set them up for life with the knowledge of how to keep their eyes well and relaxed under all conditions.

Myself? - Well that was a different matter!  I'd worn glasses for longer than I hadn't, so my habits were well entrenched.  Initially seeing without glasses was a problem for me.  It was scary.  EVERYTHING was blurred.  I felt vulnerable, unsure, invisible.  Over the course of my lessons however I have learned the art of sunning and palming.  I have learnt to notice my true feelings around circumstances where I feel vulnerable, unsure or afraid.  I am still a works in progress but within a year my prescription had been halved from -4.25 in both eyes to -2.50.  The optician couldn't believe her eyes and she supports this method!

I am now able to undertake many tasks and activities unaided by glasses in the right conditions – amazing!  There are certain conditions where sometimes this is not yet possible i.e. bad weather, dark conditions, night time.  But I am noticing that my vision is continuing to improve.  I trust my eyes more and therefore my whole self too.

As a teacher of the Alexander Technique I have found that by giving my eyes clear directions, my vision is positively influenced despite challenging external circumstances.  My eye directions always positively influence my Primary Control ( the head, neck, back relationship) too so they come first, before my regular  directions now.

Here are the directions I send my eyes for the benefit of anyone who is willing to give them a try themselves...

  • Let the eyes be free (of tension)  so that...
  • The eyes can float back into the space surrounding them in their sockets, and then
  • the cornea can lengthen, the choroid and retina can widen,
  • the eyes can soften, staying back off the lens and I can think up off the optic nerve so that
  • the visual cortex within the brain can lengthen, widen and deepen...

Aha that's Vision On!

Angela saw Lizzie May, who teaches the Bates Method in South West London. To find a teacher near you, check out the Teacher pages.

Case History copyright © 2012 by Angela Bradshaw