Sunday 8 January 2017


2017 0108 02  Dr Harry Benjamin:  Excerpts from "Better Sight...



The main cause of defective vision is mental strain which sets up a corresponding physical strain upon the eyes and their muscles and nerves – thus leading to defective vision. A highly nervous temperament, with a tendency to mental tenseness and rigidity of thought, is the cause of most cases of serious visual deficiency. The degree of defective vision in all cases vary with the temperament and nervous condition of the individual.

Consequently, Dr. Bates concentrated his efforts upon methods of treatment which will remove the condition of mental strain, and the keynote of the " Bates Method ” is  therefore relaxation

If the mind of the patient can be relaxed, then his eyes (together with the muscles and nerves connected with them) will become relaxed in turn, and similarly, if the eyes and their muscles and nerves can be relaxed, then the brain (and consequently the mind) will become relaxed in turn; and so we see that the Bates method of treatment aims at mental and physical relaxation. 

      2. FOOD

Not one of the millions suffering from old sight (nor their medical  advisers)  realize  that the wrong feeding habits of 45 or 50 years of living are responsible for this change in their visual powers ; but this  is  undoubtedly  the case and normal sight can be restored to any sufferer from presbyopia simply by the introduction of a sensible dietary  and  the carrying out  of  a  few  simple eye exercises.
To     emphasize      the     vital     relationship between food and vision,  it needs only to be stated that there are on  record  many authentic  cases of defective    vision    being    cured   simply by fasting.

The increased elimination induced by the fact has the effect of unlocking  the  accumulated stores  of  waste  products  which  have been clogging the muscles and blood-vessels surrounding the  eyes,  and  as  a  result  the muscles  are   relaxed  and   vision improved.


The two chief causes of defective  vision are mental strain and wrong feeding, but there is a third factor capable of affecting the sight of the individual—thin is an improper blood and  nerve  supply.
Unless the  eyes  are  fully  supplied  with blood and nerve force, the process of vision cannot be   carried  out  properly;  and  so  any factor capable of interfering with either the blood-vessels or the nerves of the eyes is  a possible  cause   of  defective  vision.
Of course it is understood that both mental strain and wrong feeding interfere with  the proper blood and nerve supply to the eyes, but there are some purely mechanical ways in  which  this  may  be brought about. 

The chief seat of  mechanical  interference with the blood and nerve supply of  supply The chief seat of  mechanical  interference with the blood and nerve supply to the eyes lies in the muscles covering the upper portion of the spine at the back of the neck.

It is necessary, therefore, in all cases of defective vision to make sure that the muscles at the back of the neck are perfectly relaxed and loose, and that no spinal defects are present.  [Better Sight Without Glasses pp 38-43]


The practice of reading is supposed to be responsible for much eye-strain, especially when carried out in a  bad light; but in  point of fact, reading is one of the best  ways  of keeping the eyes active and healthy, and  can never cause defective vision, no matter how  much reading is done, providing the eyes are relaxed  the  whole  time.

People with normal sight can read in any light without harm, but those whose vision is defective, and especially those who wear glasses, are subjecting their eyes to an additional strain every time they read.

In spite of this, however, one of the best ways to restore normal sight to those suffering from defective vision is to make them read (without glasses, of course) a fair amount every day.

If the reading is carried out properly, nothing but good can result, but if it is done in the usual manner, matters will be made worse than before.

  The secret of successful reading is to read without strain, and this is accomplished as follows:

Palm for a few minutes, then take a book or newspaper and begin to read at the distance you see the print best.  For those with myopia, this may be anything from twelve to six inches, and for those with hypermetropia, or presbyopia, two feet or more.  

Read a few lines, or a line, or even a few words, as the case may be until you feel the eyes beginning to tire. then stop, close the eyes completely for a second or two, and begin again. Keep blinking regularly all  the time you are reading, and in this way you will find yourselfable to read with ease and without strain.

Reading, carried out in this  manner improves vision, and gives the eyes work that they  want  to do it is their function to see but they must never be strained.     [Better Sight Without Glasses pp 56-57]

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