Bates Method International

Techniques: The Swings - Introduction

One of the best ways of helping the eyes to relax is to consciously allow them to perceive movement in the world around you. When your brain perceives movement, you effectively allow your visual experience to be fully sensed. The movement itself is always there, just that we are usually not conscious of it. However, consciously learning to perceive the movements that are ever present creates a healthier and more immediate connection between the eyes and the mind. In effect, seeing movement is like seeing reality.

Bates has been known to state that seeing movement is the single most important technique you can practise to help your eyesight.

There are several variations on the Swing - each of them providing a slightly different emphasis, and thus a different experience and learning opportunity. In order of roughly increasing difficulty, they can be summarised as follows:

In addition I've added in another swing which is approached in an entirely different way:

There are many variations on the swings, and it’s quite common for students to start making up their own variants, once the initial experience and knowledge of the swing is fully understood.

For beginners it's best to start with the long swing. This technique is very effective in shifting visual habits.