The Bates Method

Frances Makim writes about her experience with the Bates method.

My main introduction to the Bates Method was an evening presentation given by Lizzie May and Kevin Wooding. I had seen a leaflet explaining how one could bring one's eyesight back to normal by exercising the eyes and this brought about my interest. My eyesight was OK and I didn't wear glasses but I felt that it was fading. My left eye pulled and I was unable to read very small print. I was fascinated by the evening's presentation and really enjoyed the exercises and telephoned Lizzie for an appointment.

I work full time running an architectural and design practice with my husband. I have done yoga training and teach yoga one evening a week. My yoga has changed my life and continues to do so. I was keen to look further into the Bates Method in order to pass onto my students my experience with the method of improving eyesight.

The lessons are tailor-made to the client's requirements. My lessons went through sunning, palming, peripheral vision, games, sways, swings, 3D and colour.

  • The sunning and palming I do most lunchtimes for about 20 minutes and this makes me feel refreshed and I am able to tackle the afternoon with alertness and solidity.

  • Colours appear much brighter.

  • I am much more aware of my surroundings and far more irritated by mess. We have started a reorganization of the office and are decorating the house. The effects are very catching: my husband has caught the 'clear-up' bug.

  • When we worked on the peripheral vision exercises, I had a revelation: we are moving forward constantly, time is passing and we cannot reclaim even a second of that time once it has passed - it has gone forever. Make the most of every minute, enjoy, don't look back with longing thoughts or misgivings, simply just learn from the past, move on and grow.

  • During the long swing, these rebellious feelings came over me, and a voice inside me said 'Don't take any more nonsense'. I am a very giving person and I do let others put upon me. I am now more assertive - I see situations for what they really are.

After working with 3D, I was sitting in the garden and suddenly realized I was seeing in real 3D - before everything looked less 3D -on one plane.  This was a really beautiful experience.  After a rather strenuous meeting driving home in the car one day, I realized everything was flat again.  I started to panic.  I tried to force the 3D into focus - it just would not come, then I realized I was straining and as soon as I relaxed the vision, the world jumped back into 3D.

My vision is changing my life. I have found the outside world and nature completely overwhelming and quite hard to live with. The world looks so fantastic, extremely beautiful - colours are just breathtaking. The detail and clarity I see is breathtaking. I do not let myself see like this all the time because I cannot cope with the beauty, nature is so exquisite. I do not feel worthy enough to see this beauty so I retreat into my dull vision. I am truly learning to see life in a different way, to see what people are really about.

My yoga with the Bates Method has really moved me forward. I have greater capacity that I ever had before. Opportunities keep coming at me and I just keep accepting them and I can cope. Life is full and very exciting.

No limits, no boundaries, no barriers, unconditional love, seeing life truly, seeing how things really are.. The Bates method has worked holistically for me. It has changed my life and I thought I was going to eye exercise lessons . . . WOW!!

Age: Early 40s Condition: Presbyopia
Case History © by Frances Makim

It has changed my life . . .
and I thought I was going to eye exercise lessons . . .

Frances Makim

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Learn more about the method


Frequently Asked Questions - a great place to learn and refresh your knowledge of the Method.

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History of Dr Bates

Dr Bates became increasingly dissatisfied with conventional ophthalmology, and he soon began his own research into eyesight disorders . . .

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Basic Principles

An overview of Bates Method Techniques and how they work to relax and rejuvenate your eyes.

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