Pathway to better vision without contacts or glasses

It’s been too much talk and not enough action. I am officially and finally beginning my path to better eyesight without glasses or contacts. It will take determination and daily dedication, but I am ready.eyechart

Growing up, I was always frustrated going to the eye doctor, because with each visit, I left with a higher prescription. When asked if there was anything I could do, the answer was always no.

Of course my mom urged me to exercise my eyes, to alternate looking far, and looking close…. but like with many other things, I did not believe or listen to her. Now working, living, and breathing Chinese Medicine daily, I wish I had listened to her, and wished I had taken better care of my eyes.

I have been researching tirelessly about current therapies for myopia, including acupuncture and Chinese medicine, qigong, the Bates Method, eye exercises, ortho-keratology, and Lasik. Through books, research studies, and anecdotal blogs, I’ve devised at least a working start for my plan.

  1. Ask the eye doctor for a slightly lower prescription for my contacts, and a very low prescription glasses to make up the difference when needed (like when driving, or in a lecture).
  2. Create a morning and evening routine, and emphasize importance of quality vs. duration of time (or quantity).
    1. Palming to teach my eyes how to RELAX. As a yoga practitioner, I have refined my ability to relax much of my body, but definitely not my eyes. Since increasing my awareness of this, I’ve realized I am constantly straining my eyes. I find myself staring, and not blinking as often as I should. Even during sleep, Bates mentions, people don’t necessarily relax their eyes. In fact, they may be straining even more. I find this true in myself. It is similar in jaw pain, where people tend to grind their teeth in their sleep, rather than relax.
    2. Eye stretching. Six major muscles surround our eyes. Just like any other muscle around the eyes, to be in optimal condition, requires them to practice both strengthening /contracting exercises, as well as stretching/lengthening.
    3. Look far. I try to incorporate more outside time, to give my eyes the ability to see into the horizon. During times when I need to work inside, or on a computer, I try to find a window with a decent view, to give my eyes the ability to take frequent breaks and look far.

It’s been about a week since I started. I have an eye chart in my room, and from that I’ve learned vision is constantly changing. There are times when I can see a line clearly, and other times that I cannot. I see this as a sign that I can indeed affect my vision. My goal is to reduce it by 2.0 diopters by the end of the year. From the anecdotes I’ve read, this is not impossible. Many dedicated practitioners are able to decrease that much in matter of a month or two.

One last thing for now: Probably the most important thing I’ve read, is that the difference between succeeding in this and not, is ATTITUDE and BELIEF that one can make a difference and improve vision.


Some online resources:

Bates Method:

Bates Method 101 videos:

2 Responses

  1. Heather

    Looking forward to trying this myself!!! Do you have a Dr. Recommendation or proper wording for when I speak to my eye Dr. About wanting to reduce my prescription?

    • Debbie

      Yes, part of the challenge is finding an OD who is open and supporting of you in trying this method. Maybe you can agree on re-evaluating your eyes with a follow-up eye exam in X # of months.

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