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May 1927

Demonstrate – Myopia or Near-Sightedness: Memory and Imagination, Central Fixation, Universal Swing, A Test of the Imagination, A Familiar Card, Case History, The Snellen Test Card – Stories From The Clinic: 87. Cases of Myopia – Announcement – Hypermetropic Astigmatism – An Experiment With Simultaneous Retinoscopy – Announcement – Lernt Wieder Sehen & Lernt Sehen (Learn to See) German Bates Method Natural Vision Improvement Books



MAY, 1927


1 - That a short, swaying movement improves the vision more than a long sway.
Place the test card at a distance where only the large letter at the top of the card can be distinguished. This may be ten feet, further or nearer. Stand with the feet about one foot apart and sway the body from side to side. When the body sways to the right, look to the right of the card. When the body sways to the left, look to the left of the card. Do not look at the Snellen test card. Sway the body from side to side and look to the right of the Snellen test card, and alternately to the left of it. Note that the test card appears to be moving. Increase the length of the sway and notice that the test card seems to move a longer distance from side to side. Observe the whiteness of the card and the blackness of the letters. Now shorten the sway, which, of course, shortens the movement of the card. The card appears whiter and the letters blacker when the movement of the card is short, than when the movement of the card is long.

2 – Demonstrate that when the eyes are stationary, they are under a tremendous strain.
Stand before the Snellen test card at a distance of fifteen or twenty feet. Look directly at one small area of a large letter, which can be seen clearly. Stare at that part of the letter without closing the eyes and without shifting the eyes to some other point. The vision soon becomes worse and the letter blurs. Stare continuously, and note that the longer you stare, the more difficult it is to keep the eyes focused on that one point or part of the letter. Not only does the stare become more difficult, but the eyes become tired; and by making a greater effort, the eyes pain, or a headache is produced. The stare can cause fatigue of the whole body when the effort is sufficiently strong and prolonged.

Myopia or Near-Sightedness

By W. H. Bates, M.D.

Myopia, or nearsightedness as it is commonly called, is caused by a strain to see at the distance.
In myopia, the eyes are habitually focused for a point about twelve inches or less. In high degrees of myopia, the eyes may be focused at less than twelve inches, ten inches, six inches, three inches or nearer to the eyes. Some patients can read the test card perfectly when they regard it close enough to the eyes. They may be able to read the diamond type when held two to three inches from the eyes. In low degrees of myopia, the vision may be almost as good as in the normal eye.
When the normal eye is at rest, there is no myopia. When the normal eye reads at twelve inches, with an effort or a strain, it becomes temporarily myopic. In order to produce myopia in the normal eye, it is necessary to strain or make an effort to see. In all cases, myopia is caused or is accompanied by an effort or a strain to see at the distance.
Many children, at ten years of age, may have normal eyes, which remain normal until they begin to strain and make an effort to see at the distance. Such patients are cured of their myopia when they can regard the Snellen test card or other objects without any effort or strain.
It can be demonstrated, with the aid of the retinoscope, that myopic patients do not have myopia all the time. When regarding a blank surface, where there is nothing to be seen, or when the patient makes no effort to see, the retinoscope always demonstrates the absence of myopia. When, by treatment the myopic eye does not strain nor make an effort to see at the distance, the myopia becomes less or may disappear altogether.
The quickest cures of myopia are accomplished with the help of the memory, the imagination and central fixation.

Memory and Imagination

A perfect memory and perfect imagination cures myopia under favorable conditions. Patients who have a good memory of mental pictures have no myopia when the mental pictures are remembered or imagined perfectly. There are near-sighted people who, after a course of eye education, can look at a Snellen test card at ten feet or further and remember or imagine the white part of the card perfectly white and the black letters perfectly black. When this is accomplished, the myopia improves.
When school children regard the blackboard, they often half-close their eyelids, or stare and strain to see and thus produce myopia. When they can remember a mental picture of some small letter, and remember it as well with the eyes open as with the eyes closed, normal vision and a temporary cure of their myopia is obtained.
In myopia and other phases of imperfect sight, the white centers of all letters are imagined less white than the rest of the card. When the patient becomes able to imagine the white centers with a white background to be whiter than the rest of the card, the vision is improved and there is no myopia.

Central Fixation

When the vision of myopic patients is imperfect, it can always be demonstrated that the point regarded is not seen best, and other parts of a letter may be seen equally well or better. When the patient becomes able to remember or imagine one part of a letter or an object best, the myopia is lessened and the vision improves. When the strain is prevented, by shifting from one side of the letter to another, the letter appears to move from side to side. The vision may then become normal and the myopia disappears.

Universal Swing

The universal swing is of great value in the treatment of myopia and may be practiced as follows: Regard the Snellen test card at ten feet. Hold the forefinger of one hand about six inches to the front and to the side of one eye. The finger may be held at a nearer distance and good results obtained. Then move the head a short distance from side to side, without looking at the finger, and without trying to read the letters on the distant Snellen test card. Do not look directly at the finger, or the apparent movement becomes modified or stops. Now close the eyes and remember the finger as moving from side to side. If the hand and finger are placed in the lap, one may still be able to remember the moving finger. With the help of the imagination, one may realize that when the finger moves, the hand which is fastened to the finger also moves at the same speed and to the same extent. The same is true of the arm, the elbow, the shoulder, all moving with the finger.
The universal swing is characterized by the fact that one becomes able to imagine the eyes are moving with the finger when the eyes are closed, but when the eyes are opened, they usually move opposite to the movement of the finger.

The above sentence can be interpreted a couple ways:
+If the head is moved left and right when the eyes are closed, the minds eyes can imagine seeing the finger move opposite-the imaginary finger will move opposite the movement of the head/closed eyes.
+If the head is not moved side to side but the finger is imagined to move left and right, the minds eyes (and physical closed eyes) will move with, in the same direction as the imagined moving finger.

When the eyes are open, one can note that by moving the head from side to side, near objects move opposite to the direction of the head and eyes, while distant objects may appear to move in the same direction as the head and eyes.
When one is regarding the Snellen test card, the letters of the card move with the head and eyes, and when the letters move, one can, of course, imagine the whole card to be moving with the head and eyes. Under these conditions, the eyes become more thoroughly relaxed with a consequent improvement in the vision and lessening of the myopia. When the universal swing is practiced correctly, the movement of the letters and the card is slow, short (about one-quarter of an inch), and easy.
One should practice the universal swing for a sufficient length of time to become able to imagine the letters of the Snellen test card moving in the same direction as do the head and eyes. It is impossible to imagine the Snellen test card moving with the head and eyes unless some nearer object moves opposite to the movement of the head and eyes.

Oppositional movement. Close objects appear to move opposite the direction the eyes, head, body move.
Distant objects appear to move in the same direction.

A Test of the Imagination

(with Oppositional Movement)

There are a number of phenomena which always occur when the universal swing is practiced. With the back of one Snellen test card toward the patient and placed ten feet away from him, and with the face of the second towards him and placed at twelve feet, both cards can be so arranged that the patient can observe an open space between the two of about four or five inches in width.
+When the patient moves the head and eyes to the left, the space between the two cards becomes less and one can imagine the near card moving to the right, while the more distant card with its letters appears to move to the left.
+When the head and eyes move to the right, the near card appears to move to the left, the space becomes larger between the two cards, and the patient can imagine the face of the more distant card moving to the right.
+When the vision is normal and the head and eyes move from side to side, the near card moves opposite, while the more distant card moves in the same direction as the head and eyes.
When the vision is imperfect and the head and eyes are moved from side to side, the near card moves opposite, while the more distant card may also move opposite to the movement of the head and eyes, or it may stop or move in an irregular, jerky manner. When one letter of the distant card is seen imperfectly or when one side or part of a letter is imagined imperfectly, consciously or unconsciously, the movement of the more distant card is modified and very irregular.
When the imagination of a small part of an unknown letter is correct, the swing of the more distant card becomes normal, the card moves from side to side in the same direction as the head and eyes and moves slowly, easily, and continuously. By repetition, one may become able to imagine a part of an unknown letter with the eyes open nearly as well as with the eyes closed, and the imagination of an unknown letter may improve until the imagination becomes as good or better than the sight. The distant card always moves in the same direction as the movement of the head and eyes, when a part of an unknown letter is imagined perfectly. The reverse is also true, that when the distant card does not move with the head and eyes, the imagination of an unknown letter is imperfect.
The patient should learn to practice the universal swing not only indoors, with the help of the Snellen test card, but it should also be practiced while walking or driving. Some people can demonstrate that all objects become clearer or more distinct by imagining them to move with the head and eyes. This result, however, cannot be obtained unless nearer objects appear to move opposite to the movement of the head and eyes.
When the universal swing is practiced, it is possible for patients with myopia to improve the vision to normal, and the myopia is no longer apparent. Many patients with myopia complain that the benefit obtained from palming, swinging, central fixation and other methods is only temporary. If by continued practice of these methods, however, the flashes of improved vision do not become more frequent and last longer, the universal swing is usually beneficial.
Some patients have difficulty in practicing the universal swing successfully. They are benefited in many cases by imagining the universal swing with the eyes closed for a longer time than with them open.

A Familiar Card

(Memory and Imagination)

When patients practice reading a familiar test card a number of times daily, it is not very long before the letters become memorized. The criticism is made that patients do not see the letters, they only remember or imagine them. It is true that when the sight is perfect, the imagination as well as the memory is perfect. Practicing with the Snellen test card with the help of the memory and the imagination is a benefit. Myopia is always relieved or corrected with the aid of a perfect memory or a perfect imagination. Practicing with a familiar card is one of the quickest methods of curing myopia temporarily or permanently. The more perfectly the letters of the Snellen test card are remembered or imagined, the more completely is the myopia relieved.

Case History

A boy, eight years old, practiced with a familiar Snellen test card twice daily for six months. His mother was discouraged because she said that her son had learned the letters by heart and one could not tell whether he saw the letters correctly or just imagined them. A number of Snellen test cards which the boy had never seen before were used in testing his sight. Much to the surprise of his mother, he read the strange cards just as readily, if not more readily than he did the familiar card. This, of course, convinced his mother that his vision was normal for the strange test cards. She was very curious to know why.
With the aid of the retinoscope, she was able to see the red reflex in the pupil and to imagine a cloud moving from side to side in the same direction as the retinoscope was moved. This always occurred when the patient had normal vision with the familiar or unfamiliar card. When he imagined the letters imperfectly, his mother demonstrated that the shadow moved in the opposite direction to the movement of the retinoscope. It was not difficult to convince her then that, when his vision for the familiar card was perfect, he had no myopia.
Many patients with myopia have been tested and in all cases when the memory was perfect, the sight was perfect. As a rule, school children who had good memories were more readily cured than other children. In most schools young children under twelve years of age, who had myopia, were temporarily or permanently cured by the use of the familiar Snellen test card.

The Snellen Test Card

The Snellen test card, while it is of value as a test for the ability of the children to see, is of far greater usefulness as a means for improving the sight.
Acute myopia is usually cured by very simple treatment. Children under twelve years of age who have never worn glasses are usually temporarily cured by alternately reading the Snellen Test Card and resting their eyes by palming.
I have found that in schools where the Snellen Test Card is visible continuously, the vision of the pupils is always improved and that the children in the higher grades acquire more perfect sight than they had when they first entered school. Most children demonstrate that while the Snellen test card improves the vision that it is also a benefit to the nervous system. It prevents and cures headaches, lessens fatigue, encourages the children to study, and increases the mental efficiency.


Cases of Myopia

By Emily C. Lierman

A woman, forty-six years of age, who has had myopia as long as she can remember, placed herself under my care, but doubted that I could give her a permanent cure for near-sightedness.
About forty years ago, noticing that she stumbled over objects which were easily seen by others with good vision, her parents had her fitted with glasses. After having had her glasses changed about five times, she came to me for help. At the oculist’s advice, she tried faithfully to wear the last pair of glasses continuously, for at least a week, and then returned to him. The glasses were much stronger than those she had previously worn and magnified everything to such an extent that it was impossible to go without them. (or impossible to wear them). Although the patient was skeptical about the Bates Method, she was desperate and willing to believe anything in order that she might be able to do without glasses. I feared that with that attitude she would not continue with the treatment, but I found that I was mistaken. She was very faithful in practicing what I directed her to do.
Now, after four months of treatment and advice, which was carried out religiously by the patient, she drives her car and reads signs, sometimes half a city block away, without glasses. This patient is not entirely cured, although for days at a time she reads 10/10 with the test card and holds her book for reading at normal distance.
In the beginning, it was hard to convince her that it was strain which produced her myopic condition. In treating myopic cases, Dr. Bates and I have proved that all cases of myopia cannot be treated in the same way. This patient’s vision with the test card in December, 1926, was the same in both eyes; namely, 10/70. The 70-line letters, however, were very much blurred. Palming helped temporarily, and her vision improved to 10/40 with the aid of blinking, swinging the body a short distance from left to right and flashing one letter of the test card with each sway of the body. I realized that this was not helping her enough and that she should progress more rapidly, so I experimented with other methods of treatment.
One day she came to me and told me that I was improving her mental condition.

Swinging and Oppositional Movement
Knowing what good results Dr. Bates had had with the universal swing, I used that with my patient. I had her stand before a window and told her to swing from left to right, as I was doing. A decided swing of the body from left to right made distant buildings, flag-staffs and other distant objects appear to move with her body, head and eyes. I encouraged her to keep looking off at the distance while she explained to me how the things at the near point appeared to move. With great surprise in her voice she said: “The window, curtains, shade cord, and other things nearby appear to move in the opposite direction.” (Oppositional Movement) I continued swinging with the patient, encouraging her to keep it up for five or ten minutes. I watched her eyes closely to be sure that she was blinking. She noticed that I was watching her and made an unusual remark, which I did not expect from her, because myopic patients usually stare without knowing it. She turned to me and said. “You are watching to see whether I blink or not. Don’t worry about that, it feels more comfortable to blink while I am swinging.” She also said that she noticed that her eyes felt less heavy while she kept up the swing and that the sun seemed to shine brighter than she had ordinarily noticed it at any time. All the while she was talking she kept up the swing.
When I made a test of her vision again before her first treatment was over her vision improved to 15/15. The patient was much excited and asked if this improved condition of her eyes would continue. I answered, “Yes, if you will remember every day to practice the universal swing frequently.”
To vary the treatment for home practice, I gave her two small Fundamental cards with the test letters on the opposite side. She was directed to place one card on her desk as she sat or stood about five feet from the card. The same kind of a card with the same letters was to be held in her hand. She was to begin with the largest letter, which is seen by the normal eye at fifty feet. Looking at the “C” to the right of it where the small opening is, closing her eyes and remembering the small opening and imagining the opening and center of the “C” whiter than the margin of the card, then looking at the card placed on her desk and shifting from the card in her hand, to the other card, helped to improve her vision when practicing in another way failed. This practice helped her for awhile, but that which helped her most to bring about temporary normal vision was the practice of the universal swing.
The patient still reports her progress. After a short period of palming, which is practiced several times each day, she always does the universal swing and emphasizes the fact that it helps her more than anything else.
She told me that at first her husband had been afraid to ride with her after she had removed her glasses and had warned her not to attempt driving without putting them on. He was not opposed to the Bates treatment, but he feared an accident. Now he no longer doubts her ability to see better without the use of glasses, and helps to give her the sun treatment every day with the sun glass, which I suggested might be of benefit during the treatment.
Recently I had an unfavorable report of the condition of her eyes. There had been no sun for a few days and she was depressed. I assured her that her depression would disappear when the sun shone again. Practicing the universal swing often, whenever she had the opportunity, relieved her of tension and strain and her vision became normal again.
Encouragement helped, and I believe that she will not need much further advice or instruction from me, because she drives her car with perfect ease. She sees the center of the road coming toward her from the distance and as it comes close, she enjoys seeing it pass under the car. Instead of suffering her usual headache after driving an automobile as she did when she wore her glasses, she feels better after driving. She said that when she learned to see things moving to avoid the stare, her focus for the distance was changed and she could not wear her glasses again even if she wanted to, because they no longer suited her.

Another case, a woman age forty-eight, had worn glasses for more than fourteen years for myopia and headaches. She feared the strong light of the sun because it caused great pain in her eyes. I could not encourage her to practice the Universal Swing until I had first placed her in the sun with her eyes closed, and focused the sun’s rays on her closed eyelids with the sun glass. This gave her instant relief. She complained that at all times while she kept her eyes open, they felt tightened up. This was true with her glasses on as well as off. After the use of the sun glass for more than ten minutes I placed her before a window and instructed her to look at the distant houses and other objects. She said that everything appeared blurred to her and that it made her eyes ache all the more while swinging. I knew that she was not practicing it correctly, so I had her sit in a chair and directed her to keep her eyes closed for awhile. While conversing with her, I discovered that palming caused more tension and strain, so I did not encourage it.
There are many patients who are not benefited by palming, so we change the course of treatment for such patients and they are cured by other means.
The vision of this patient was 5/200 with the right eye and 5/50 with the left. When the patient covered her left eye, she stared fully a minute with her right eye, in order to see the largest letter of the test card at five feet. Directing her to count two with her eyes closed, then opening her right eye just long enough to count one as she looked at the test card, then closing her eyes and counting two, the vision of her right eye improved to 5/50, the same as that of her left eye.
I then placed her in the sun again and used the sun-glass on her closed eyelids for about ten minutes. The expression of her face was entirely changed. Her forehead, which was all lines from tension, became smooth and the corners of her mouth were drawn upward instead of downward.
After the sun treatment, we started the universal swing again while standing by an open window. Off in the distance, an American flag was waving gently with the breeze. She noticed that the flagstaff moved or appeared to move with the movement of her body, head and eyes. The window, shade-cord, curtains, and a chair placed directly in front of her, all seemed to move opposite. This swinging was kept up for fifteen minutes, and immediately afterward in a bright light she read the white letters on the black test card ten feet away. Her vision improved to 10/10 reading with both eyes.
I treated her every day for a week and when she left me on the last day, she said that she had found blinking a help and felt that she must blink to keep the eyes relaxed, but she believed as I did, that the universal swing was what really cured her.
She assured me that her friends would have to swing with her, if she noticed at any time that they caused her to strain.


(Original Natural Eyesight Improvement Teacher Training Courses, Movies)

Because of the increased demand for the Bates Method in California, Emily C. Lierman, assistant to Dr. W. H. Bates for fourteen years and also manager of the Central Fixation Publishing Company of New York City, has opened an office at 609 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, where she is treating patients. Mrs. Lierman is also giving courses of instruction to those who desire to cure imperfect sight by the Bates method. At the completion of the course, the student receives a certificate authorizing him or her to improve defective vision by treatment without glasses.
Mrs. Lierman is delivering lectures throughout California and is showing moving pictures which illustrate the Bates Method of curing imperfect sight.

Hypermetropic Astigmatism

By Dr. H. M. Peppard

Last fall a young man presented himself to me for examination complaining of headache, nervousness, insomnia and eyestrain. He had previously had a nervous breakdown and said he felt as if he were going to have another.
This statement was apparently correct if general appearances can be considered as an indication. The eyes were bulging with a dry, glassy appearance and the upper lid markedly retracted.
The eye examination revealed a very hard eyeball with 1.25 diopters of hyperopia with 2.50 diopters of astigmatism with the axis 180°. Glasses had been worn but gave little relief. The visual acuity was 20/50 for both eyes and the same in each eye.
Treatment by the Bates Method was started on August fourth. Palming, swinging, blinking, flashing and reading of diamond type was used. The flashing was especially beneficial.
On August 27th, the eyes were again tested. Visual acuity was 20/15 for both eyes, 20/15 in the right, and 20/20 in the left. The hyperopia or farsightedness was not present and the astigmatism was decreased to 1.00 diopter. A few more treatments relieved the remainder of the astigmatism and the vision improved to 20/15 in each eye.
With the improvement in vision, the general symptoms cleared up. He became able to sleep, was free from headaches and was not so nervous.
The eyes felt comfortable and his entire facial expression was changed from the relaxation around the eyes. The eyes no longer were starey, but bright and moist and the blinking frequent and easy. Six months later the eyes were in perfect condition and the patient no longer feared a nervous breakdown.

Dr. Harold M. Peppard wrote the book; ‘Sight Without Glasses’
Read Aldous Huxley’s book: ‘The Art of Seeing’ along with Peppard’s book. Books have a few old methods that need updating, changing but 95% of the information in the books consist effective Natural Vision Improvement treatments.

An Experiment With Simultaneous Retinoscopy

By W. H. Bates, M.D.

By simultaneous retinoscopy is meant the use of the retinoscope while the patient is using his eyes for distant or near vision.
In order to obtain accurate results by simultaneous retinoscopy, a patient was seated in a chair which was placed about ten feet from the Snellen test card. To the right, to the left, and above the Snellen test card was a blank, dark gray surface. An examination was made with the retinoscope which was held about six feet from the eyes of the patient. While the patient was looking at a blank surface without trying to see, and the retinoscope was used at the same time, it was demonstrated that there was no myopic refraction manifest. The eyes were normal and the patient was able to see with perfect sight.
When the patient moved his eyes quickly from side to side and no effort was made to see, it was demonstrated by simultaneous retinoscopy that no myopic refraction was produced. After shifting from one point to another, closing and opening the eyes and seeing the letters in flashes, the patient’s vision improved. By repetition the flashes of improved vision became more frequent and lasted longer, until finally the patient became conscious of a permanent improvement.
Shifting has proved a very valuable method of improving the sight, not only in myopia, but also in all other eye troubles. When the eyes shift to the left, they are stationary for an appreciable length of time, before they can look to the right. When they are stationary, they may stare or strain sufficiently to lower the vision. In order to become myopic while shifting, it is necessary to strain sufficiently to change the shape of the eyeball.

Circular and Elliptical Shifting Swing

Circular or elliptical shifting may be all that is necessary to prevent the eye from staring or making an effort.
When the eyes shift to the left and move in the orbit of a circle or an ellipse, the movement is continuous, and the eyes do not have time to stop before they look to the right. Two areas may be regarded alternately. One part of the background above and to the right of the test card may be regarded with normal sight. Use this area as a point of departure which may be seen for part of a minute or longer. Then shift to the lower left hand corner of the test card and quickly back again to the point of departure. This should be done in one second or less.
When regarding the plain background, the eyes are relaxed or at rest and have normal sight. Shift rapidly downwards to the lower left hand corner of the card and back again to the upper area of the background. In this way shifting may be practiced with benefit. When one can regard the point of departure with normal vision, the eyes become normal temporarily in flashes.
A benefit to the sight comes in flashes at first, although simultaneous retinoscopy indicates that the eye may be, at the same time, continuously normal. The flashes become more and more frequent and continue for a longer time.
(When looking at a blank page, wall… the eyes are relaxed, vision clear because there is not any effort to see, no strain, not trying to see anything.


Dr. H.M. Peppard, of 71 Park Avenue, is a representative of Dr. Bates and is qualified to improve or cure imperfect sight by the Bates method.
Office hours – 9:30 to 6:00 Telephone Caledonia 4694