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August 1928

                                                School Number - Suggestions – School Children – Stories From The Clinic; 102. School Children by Emily C. Lierman – Case report


SCHOOL NUMBER
BETTER EYESIGHT

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE PREVENTION AND CURE OF IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES

AUGUST, 1928

Suggestions


It is recommended by the editor of this magazine that every family should obtain a Snellen test card and place it on the wall of some room where it can be seen and read every day by all the members of the family. Not only does the daily reading of the card help the sight of children, but it is a benefit to the eyes of adults as well.
Presbyopia Cure
It is a well known fact that when most people arrive at the age of forty or fifty years, they find that their vision for reading or sewing is lowered. These people believe that they must put on glasses to prevent eyestrain, cataract, glaucoma, et cetera. Daily practice with the Snellen test card, together with the reading of fine print close to the eyes will overcome their difficulty. Reading fine print close to the eyes, contrary to the belief of many ophthalmologists, is a benefit to the eyes of both children and adults.
It had been repeatedly demonstrated, however, that fine print cannot be read clearly or easily when an effort is made.
The following paragraph refers to a person with blurred vision making a effort, strain to see black letters;
When the eyes look directly at the letters, an (unnecessary) effort is required (made), while looking at the white spaces between the lines is a rest, (because there is nothing there to see, so the person avoids effort, strain.) and by practice in this way, one can become able to see the letters clearly, without looking directly at them. When a patient looks at the white spaces between the lines of ordinary book type, (occasionally to rest the eyes) he can (then, look at the black print) read for hours and no fatigue, pain or discomfort is felt.
When discomfort and pain in the eyes is felt while reading, it is because the patient is looking directly at the letters: (with an effort, without central fixation, without movement/shifting, blinking, relaxation).

The above paragraph is an old technique containing some steps that are no longer used. The blue print is added by Clark Night to clarify this.
Looking at the white spaces does relax the eyes, produces clear vision, but, trying to see the black print while looking at the white spaces causes the mind/eyes to attempt to think about/see two different things, the central and peripheral fields at the same time. This is diffusion, eccentric fixation, prevents central fixation, leads to strain, tension, blur.
It is ok to look at the white spaces to relax the eyes, mind, to remember, imagine the white spaces pure, bright white to improve the memory, imagination, clarity of the space, but; when reading, look directly at the print, shift/move the eyes along the sentence.
Read through the ‘center of the words’ or, just let the eyes shift about the letters, words as the eyes move on/along the sentence. Looking directly at the letters will not cause strain, effort if relaxation, central fixation, movement/shifting are applied.
The eyes can look directly at the letters, relax and see them clear.
Looking at the white spaces also relaxes the eyes, and when the person then moves/shifts from the white spaces to the black print, relaxation continues and the print is seen/read clear.
Always read the print by looking at the print, not the white spaces.
When looking at the white spaces – avoid staring: shift on the spaces to prevent staring and to produce relaxation, clear vision.


School Children

By W. H. Bates, M.D.

About fifteen years ago, before the medical society of Greater New York, I read a paper on the prevention and cure of imperfect sight in school children, illustrated with stereoptican pictures. Physicians who attended were very much interested in what I had to say. In the course of my reading I mentioned that most books on ophthalmology have published the statement that near-sightedness was made worse by an effort or strain to read at less than six inches or to read in a dim light. I went on to say that a careful study of the facts demonstrated that much reading in a dim light at the near point will not produce near-sightedness in school children, but will produce the opposite condition far-sightedness. (far-sightedness occurs only if strain, effort is allowed when reading the print) A great many members rose up immediately to disprove this statement. They were unable favorably to impress those present because not one of them had investigated the subject. They admitted that they condemned such statements because most German physicians and many French, Italian and others had, like them, condemned the methods employed from hearsay and not from actual investigation or experience.
It was a rule of the society that every paper should not require more than twenty inches for its reading. After more than half an hour had passed I asked the president of the society how much more time I could have for finishing my paper. He answered that as much time would be allowed for finishing the paper as was necessary. The answer was so encouraging that nearly two hours elapsed before I was finished. The meeting was then thrown open for discussion and many of the ophthalmologists present publicly stated that near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, cataract, glaucoma and many other eye diseases could not be cured by operation or by the use of drops or other local eye treatment.

Those present asked many questions and the answers satisfied some and annoyed others. One question was asked which would have required some hours before it could be answered intelligently. It was as follows: “What percentage of cases of myopia in school children can be cured or prevented without treatment?” I answered that statistics were misleading. Someone has said that one can prove anything by statistics, but I disagree with him.

About midnight, the janitor appeared on the scene and whispered in the ear of the president a message which must have been annoying from the way the president acted when he received it. The president then said that the paper was so valuable that its discussion must not be curtailed, and if the janitor expected the society to adjourn, the members would go downstairs to one of the large rooms which was not occupied. It seemed to me as though all the members passed on to the new room.

A few weeks later another paper on myopia was read by invitation before the medical society of the County of New York. Among other things, I said that if it could be demonstrated that one child of the Public Schools of the City of New York did not produce or acquire myopia by an effort to see at the distance that I was wrong about the whole matter. The Board of Education heard of this statement and became interested. They sent for me to appear before them. I visited the Board of Education and told them about my investigations and offered to introduce the method in the schools for the prevention of myopia in school children. Some of the members of the Board themselves demonstrated that when they made an effort to see at the distance that the sight became less from the production of myopia, and that rest lessened the myopia. Much to my surprise it was voted that my methods should be given a trial in the public schools of the City of New York.
Soon afterwards I called on the principal of one of the schools and asked for an opportunity to prove that I was right. The principal listened to my story and when I had finished said to me: “Come with me and we will try to prove whether you are right or wrong.”
She invited me to one of the school rooms where a number of the children were suffering from eyestrain or were wearing glasses. When their glassed were removed their vision was imperfect. While their glasses were removed they were asked to sit with their eyes closed. At the end of fifteen minutes the sight was tested and all were found to have improved sight. Some had even obtained normal vision. The principal then said to me: “Remain here, doctor, until I return.”
She then went to one of the other classrooms. In a little while she returned smiling. She said: “Doctor, you are right; rest of the eyes does improve the imperfect sight of myopia. I am pleased to inform you that I was able to cure about a dozen children just by having them close their eyes and resting them for some minutes. I would like to have you meet some of my teachers and explain your method to them for their benefit.” I found out later that she treated these children privately herself so that she could be sure that magic was not used.

Memory, Imagination, Relaxation and Vision Function Together

In the beginning it was demonstrated that the memory played an important part on the cause, prevention and cure of imperfect sight in school children. It was also observed that improving the imagination enabled the children to improve their sight. They soon learned that they could only see what they imagined and that they could imagine what they remembered, and remember only what they saw.

A number of children were found wearing glasses who were backward in their studies and complained of attacks of headache and pain in their eyes; they were restless and took very little interest in their studies. After eye education was practiced, not only did the vision improve, but the mentality as well.

Teachers in other cities also used my method of eye education in their classrooms. A teacher in the West devoted considerable time to teaching children how to remember, how to imagine, and how to see by using their eyes without effort or strain. She taught them how to palm until their eyes were rested. She had the whole class stand up and sway from side to side and imagine stationary objects to be moving.

Her efforts to improve the imagination of the children were most interesting. One method was to have the child close the eyes and draw some fantastic and unusual figures of people, animals and other objects while the eyes were closed. Some of these drawings were so valuable and interesting that they were used by older patients to improve their imagination. Many weary hours of work were relieved by having the children practice relaxation methods. In time the children enjoyed these relaxation methods and practiced them at recess. One child who was able to improve his sight very promptly enjoyed teaching other children how to improve their sight.

Children are Often the Best, Perfectly Natural Vision Improvement Teachers

The Superintendent of the Public Schools in North Bergen, N. J., published in this magazine in August 1925, a report of the result of the adoption of my methods in his schools. In many of the schools were children 16 years of age in the same class as other children much younger. One very important result of the practice of relaxation methods in his schools was that children suffering from retardation were materially benefited or cured so that their teachers were able to place them in the classes in which they belonged according to their years.
After my methods were practiced in the Public Schools of New York for several years with great benefit, some physicians interested in eye work believed that the eyes of the children were not benefited by eye education and through their recommendation the practice of my method was stopped. I cannot understand why the Board of Education was willing to abandon methods which were practiced by teachers who were much pleased with the results obtained, in favor of methods which had failed to bring about any material benefit. (Optical industry hiding Bates Method from the public.)


School Children

By Emily C. Lierman

Squint and Blur

During the spring of last year I had a class of boys under treatment. There were twelve in this group and each one had to be treated individually in order to improve his vision permanently. Two of them were brothers. The younger of the two, age nine, had normal vision in the right eye or 10/10 and he read all the various test cards I had without effort or strain. The vision in his left eye was also 10/10 but while reading the cards, while his right eye was covered, he held his head to one side and strained to see each letter. When he read the letters with both eyes together his left eye turned in considerably. His mother, who had been treated by me, was much concerned about the possibility of this condition becoming worse.
While he kept his right eye covered, I placed him fifteen feet from the cards and at this distance, with some effort, he read 15/30 and he complained that the letters were blurred. Palming seemed to help and I noticed that while his eyes were closed he sat quietly in his chair. At other times he was nervous and never still for a moment.
While he was palming, I talked about animals and their habits, how they moved about without any effort on their part—especially how the deer, cow, and even the bulky elephant could move about without any effort. Blinking their eyes was something they knew nothing about, yet they blinked all the time which helped them to keep relaxed always. The deer only strained and showed signs of fear when danger was near. The cow not only blinks but chews a cud and this keeps her busy and at the same time relaxed.
The elephant sways his body when he is quiet and relaxed. Even when he walks his head and body move up and down. (The sway, the Long Swing) Elephants live many years longer as a rule than any human being and I sometimes wonder if they would live so long if they suffered eyestrain like human beings.
My boy patient listened as I explained all this to him and it certainly helped. I only saw him four times and during his last treatment his left eye remained straight just like the right and his vision with each eye improved to 20/10. He practiced faithfully every day for more than two hours, alternately swinging, palming, and consciously blinking his eyes as he looked from the first letter to the last letter of a line on his test card. At other times while swaying his body from left to right he would look at a picture on the wall to the right and then to another on the left wall, always blinking, keeping time with the swaying of his body.


Eyes Sensitive to Sunlight and Sunlight Treatment
His elder brother had no trouble in reading his books or seeing letters or figures on the blackboard at school, but when he joined his schoolmates at baseball, basketball or any other game, including golf, his eyes pained him so much that he had to squint his eyes continuously while he was in the sun and he sometimes became blinded by the sun for a half hour or longer. This of course, alarmed his parents.
This boy needed sun treatment and as I was teaching this class of boys in the evening, I used electric light for the treatment instead. A 350-watt electric light was adjusted to a floor lamp which was arranged without a shade so that with the sun glass I could focus the light directly on his closed eyelids. Previous to placing the bulb in position I had directed the boy to keep his eyes closed so that he would not know what I was going to do next. If he had watched me adjusting the light he would have strained as he faced it. I explained to him that if he would keep his eyes closed I would give him some light treatment, which would be of benefit not only to his eyes but in other ways. (Artificial light is partial spectrum, not as healthy as full spectrum sunlight but is better than no light.)
Before I gave him the light treatment he told me how difficult it was for him to read in the sunlight or with an ordinary electric light without squinting and wrinkling his forehead and distorting his face. I placed a book near him, which was given to him after the light treatment, and we had good results instantaneously. There were others in the room besides my class of boys who were interested in this particular case. They watched closely as the boy held the book eight inches from his eyes and read distinctly without any signs of effort or strain.
The boy’s mother made an appointment with me for the next day and an hour’s treatment was given him in the bright sunlight. Two treatments were all that were necessary to give him permanent relief and he had no more discomfort or signs of strain or tension while he played basketball or baseball with the rest of the boys.

Another one of this group had irritated eyelids, the appearance of which was worse than the discomfort or pain that the boy experienced. He blinked more rapidly than the normal eye does unconsciously. Sun treatment was given to him also. When the mother saw that he had obtained a noticeable amount of relief from the first treatment, she purchased a sunglass and under my supervision she learned how to use the glass on his closed eyelids and in this way all he needed was the one treatment.

The rest of the boys in my class were soon relieved of their eyestrain, which was due to straining while reading at the near point and trying hard to see objects at the distance. By shifting from the white space between two lines of microscope type and looking at a test card placed ten feet from where they were sitting and then at a test card placed twenty feet away, they were relieved during the one treatment. It was not easy to make them understand that it was not a game that I was playing, but I became as one of them because it is the only way that I can be successful in my work. It is always good while treating boys of their age to be interested in their work or in those things which interest them especially.
As I explained in previous articles it does not take long for a boy who is interested in baseball to obtain normal vision if it is only near-sightedness or far-sightedness which troubles him. While they are palming they can always imagine the size of a baseball and the color of it. They can always imagine that they are pitching the ball and that they are running to first, second and third base. In this way their minds become relaxed during the palming period or while their eyes are closed without being covered with the palms of their hands. This method always improves their vision for the test card and for big type.
With girls who are of school age, I find out, while they have their eyes closed and covered, what special study they like best. If it is arithmetic, for example, I have them give me an example and purposely I make a mistake in answering, which they correct. In their minds they are doing the example correctly and their minds become relaxed because there is no cause for strain. I have tried having a child do an example when arithmetic is not a favorite study with her, and I have not at any time found such a child who could get the answer correctly within a reasonable length of time because I produced mind strain, which in turn produced eyestrain and imperfect vision. This demonstrates that Dr. Bates is again right in saying that when the mind is under a strain, the eyes cannot have normal vision.

+Mind strain = imperfect memory, imagination, eye muscles tense – abnormal eye shape – incorrect focus of light rays in the eye – brain not function correct with light, eyes, retina, eye muscles, nerves = unclear vision.
+Mind relaxed = memory and imagination perfect, eye muscles relaxed, function correct – normal eye shape – correct focus of light rays on retina, brain functions correct with incoming light, eyes, retina, eye muscles, nerves = clear vision.


Case Report

Military Story

Man Experiences Blindness - How He Returned to Clear Vision

By Joseph Ouimet

So many are the testimonial letters from satisfied clients that are published by manufacturers of specifics in newspapers and magazines, who pay so much per line for their insertion, that this means for expressing one’s appreciation has been abused and discredited to such an extent that when a client desires to show his gratitude for a certain and specific cure, he is in danger of being disbelieved.
Nevertheless, at such a risk, I shall relate my own experience during a period of utter darkness, during which time the light did not penetrate into my eyes. In my soul reposed uncertainty, due to the assurance of a doctor that I would never recover my eyesight. Those were times of sorrow very difficult to forget, and now that light once again penetrates into my eyes, showing me the greatness of a world full of colors and infinite harmony, it is my desire to express in these few lines my appreciation to the man who brought me out of the world of darkness. I also wish that my experience may serve as a guide to all those who are endeavoring in vain, through erroneous means, to regain their eyesight or who have resigned themselves to live in a world of total darkness, after tiring of trying out experiments without results.
To begin my story, it is necessary that we go back to the year 1917. At this time, from all cities of the United States, men in the prime of life were leaving for Europe, some never to return but to remain on the battlefields of France as a testimony of the heroism and sacrifice of a nation who willingly sent millions of soldiers to fight for a principle.
I was one of the many who, from the shadows of night to daylight, was converted from a peaceful citizen to a war soldier and who received the baptism of fire on French soil. There I slept in muddy trenches, suffered hunger and cold, fought in defense of my life. One afternoon while repelling a counter-attack, I was enveloped in a cloud of poison gases. Tears came to my eyes, which were inflamed to such an extent that I was unable to distinguish the objects which were located two feet in front of me. In despair I rubbed my eyes with my hands and almost crazy with pain I started to run without knowing where, until I stumbled and fell, a blow mercifully relieving me of all pain and making me lose consciousness.
Upon regaining my senses, I found myself in a hospital bed, where started many tedious and ineffective treatments designed to bring me out of the world of darkness to which the poison gases had doomed me. Days like a long endless night passed in the hospital, during which my eyes endeavored to form images and visions of things that in former times were so pleasing to my eyes. Only within my soul and as memories, such images took shape as though it were a new irony of life looking with delight at my loneliness and showing me the treasures that I had lost.
One day the doctor under whose care I was, being tired of making trials and seeing that his efforts were in vain, gave me up as incurable. When I was so informed, when the doctor’s words shattered the only rays of hope that I still had, it seemed as though the world was sinking from under my feet. It seemed as though the world had come to an end as far as I was concerned. I had no further hopes or ambitions, but resigned myself to my fate and to wait for death to visit me as soon as possible so that I might take my trip to the infinite.
I thus returned to my native land, discouraged at heart, without being able to see anything, not even the ocean that was murmuring under me, nor the sun that shone upon my body, nor the faces of my comrades who happily commented about the proximity to their happy homes. When the boat sirens, the jubilant screams of my comrades; when the distant voices of the multitude who were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the steamer, made me aware of our arrival at the port of debarkation, I experienced the most bitter moments of my life, especially when, at the dock, with eyes filled with tears I embraced my dear beloved ones, holding them strongly in my arms, so as to behold with my sense of feeling those whom my eyes could not see.
Then, little by little, by resigning to my fate I was able to drive out bitterness from my soul, until one day I was told about the Clinic of Dr. W. H. Bates, which I visited for the purpose of simply trying out one more cure but without having hopes of any kind. A few days after visiting the clinic and without receiving any other treatment but sun baths and relaxation treatment under the electric light, I observed a rare change. It seemed to me as though the darkness were becoming less dense and at times it seemed to me that I could see small objects which would appear from time to time, to disappear again rapidly, until one day a miracle took place.
A ray of light penetrated my eyes; it was like a shadow which I could distinguish vaguely in the shape of a bundle, without being able to determine exactly what it was. Although I could see so very little, my soul was filled with joy. From then on I dismissed from my mind all lack of confidence, and practicing faithfully the methods recommended, the bundles that my eyes vaguely could make out, gradually took a shape of reality until I was able to distinguish objects in their true form. Once again a return to life after having been for several years in the worst of all human jails and now that my sufferings have come to an end almost entirely, I am in a very good position to appreciate this treasure that God has given us so that we may behold the infinite wonders of his creation.
I wish that my knowledge were more extensive so as to describe in detail the methods that Doctor Bates employs in his clinic so as to bring about similar miracles, details which although very simple, inasmuch as the methods are not tedious nor difficult, involve certain technicalities which only through the lips of a man of science can be made sufficiently clear for the layman to understand in all its details. It is not the technician who is writing these few lines but a grateful person who desires to pay with the only available means for a good service.
The results in my case I do not hesitate to call miraculous, in view of the fact that I had been considered as incurable by other doctors who, by using antiquated methods, made me lose time and money, and endure years of suffering. In view of these circumstances, any praise that I may give Dr. Bates, will not be enough and if I have refrained from using more appealing terms in my narrative, it is because I would not want my sincerity and good faith to be doubted in any way. Should it be necessary, I have not only one witness but several, as well as friends, acquaintances and persons of reliability who have known me for a long time and who would not hesitate to corroborate every word of my statement.
Today my satisfaction is complete on account of being almost entirely cured, and I think that in this world there must be many unfortunate ones who, not being as fortunate as I, have been unable to obtain relief from such a terrible malady. How much would I like to have this message reach their hands! Were I one of the sons of fortune who from birth has been showered with wealth, I would be glad to devote part of my money so that everyone who may have any eye affliction may receive these good tidings, but inasmuch as my limited resources do not permit me this pleasure, I hope that these few lines will serve as a sincere testimony of one who is very thankful for the services obtained in the Clinic of Doctor Bates.

There is a movie telling the true story of a man blind since childhood from cataract and retinitis pigmentosa. When he was a adult he had a cataract operation and regained his sight. After about one year he became blind again. None of the doctors treated him with the Bates method which could have cured the cataract and retinitis pigmentosa without operation. They did not teach him how to use the memory and imagination to learn to identify objects and get his eyes working with the brain. His eyes, brain had not seen anything for years, he had very few mental pictures so all objects when first seen were unfamiliar. This was very frightening, confusing for him. Imagine never seeing a car, street, house…
If the Bates Method would have been applied the man may have obtained clear vision naturally and maintained the vision.