Bates Method International

Do I have to practise exercises every day?

The key is to understand that the method teaches people to replace poor vision habits with good vision habits. When a person has vision problems we generally find they practise poor vision habits almost all day long.

Once a person starts lessons commonly they practise good vision habits for an hour or so each day, and poor vision habits for the rest of the time - and clearly the balance still needs to shift. The techniques that are taught in the first lessons are essentially tools to raise awareness, so that the difference between good vision habits and poor vision habits becomes clear. Once a person can recognise how to use their eyes well all day long, no techniques are necessary at all.

A good analogy is demonstrated by a rocket ship leaving the gravitational pull of the earth. The gravity represents old habits, and their pull is strong, so it is at the outset, when the rocket builds up speed from its launch, that the most intense activity is required. Once the rocket reaches escape velocity then things are a lot easier, and in parallel, once free of old habits the natural calibration of the eye maintains its own internal checks to health, good sight, and good visual habits.

Some practice is always necessary to learn new skills but essentially you change your approach to seeing in all your activities. Your teacher can help you design a programme that meets your needs.

All day long use your eyes right...
W H Bates: Better Eyesight Magazine April 1922