I was short-sighted for almost ten years. I had to wear glasses, and couldn’t wear contacts at all as my eyes were too dry.
I really hated wearing glasses – it just didn’t feel like me! So I didn’t wear them much, and as a result, I lived my life in a blur. I do think that I probably missed out on a lot of what was going on right in front of my eyes, because I couldn’t see it clearly.
At first, my vision wasn’t all that bad. I was 25, the year was 1992, and my vision had deteriorated only a little, to -0.50. But over the next few years it got progressively worse, until it reached -1.5 diopters, at which point, I really could no longer pretend that I could manage life successfully on a day to day basis without wearing glasses.
I went to see an optician for a vision test, and I mentioned that I thought that I might try the Bates Method. She told me that it would be a waste of time, as it doesn’t work. That was in 2001, at age 35.
I had tried the Bates Method a few years before, and had noticed that it worked, but as my vision really wasn’t too bad, I didn’t continue with lessons as I felt reassured that I could improve my vision if I wanted to… and besides, I was stressed, busy temping, and had no spare time or patience for lessons.
So in 2001, when my vision had deteriorated to a point where I could no longer manage without glasses, after almost ten years of short-sightedness, I decided to give the Bates Method a proper try. I got Dr Bates’ book and did all the exercises, remembering what I had learned in the Bates lessons I had had previously. I worked at it and worked at it, and after just a few intensive weeks, I had managed to improve my vision back to 20:20.
I first noticed this when I was walking down a London street and found that I could see people’s faces clearly again – amazing! And I noticed how the sunlight glinted and sparkled on the metal of the cars parked on the road- once again, a wonderful moment.
So in short, the Bates Method was a revelation for me. It gave me back my good vision, my freedom from glasses and my belief in my own ability to help and heal myself.
I went to the optician again, this time one closer to my home. He checked my vision and found that it was perfect. I then explained to him what I had done to improve my vision from -1.5. He looked surprised and pleased, and then, with a big smile, took my hand, shook it heartily and said to me: “I always thought it might work! Well done! Another wonderful moment I shall never forget.
So whenever I am asked “does it really work?” I have that image in my mind of the delighted optician- as I positively and firmly tell the enquirer: yes it does, and my good vision is proof of it. “The proof is in the pudding!” as they say. And although very little time or money has yet been spent on researching exactly how the method works, we vision teachers are all sure of one thing, as we look at our clients’ successes and our own vision journeys – the Bates Method of Natural Vision improvement works, and not only is it effective, it’s also non-invasive, gentle, fun, exciting, and…fascinating!!
I cannot emphasise enough how worthwhile the method is and how worthy it is of more credibility and acceptance worldwide.
So….back to my story! To be able to see clearly again was so exciting and such a wonderful revelation, that in 2003 I decided to train to become a teacher so that I could share this amazing method with others. In 2004, I graduated from the first two year Bates teacher training course led by Margaret Montgomery and Aileen Whiteford of the Bates College of Vision Education in London, as a qualified teacher of the Bates Method. After that, I gave lessons, under Margaret Montgomery, at the Low Cost Vision Clinic in London. Subsequently, I have taught private lessons and workshops at or near my home in Buckinghamshire.
I have also attended courses led by internationally renowned vision teachers including Leo Angart and Meir Schneider.
When far-sightedness (presbyopia) came along at the age of 45, I used the Bates Method to quickly and efficiently improve my vision again, this time at the near point. After this personal experience of developing long-sightedness and then actually fixing it, I enjoy teaching these wonderful techniques even more!
I now have many years’ experience of teaching all age groups, from young children to octogenarians, and I am able to help with a broad spectrum of visual challenges, ranging from short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (presbyopia/ hypermetropia), squints, astigmatism, eye strain, oversensitivity to light and dry eyes, to glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal pathologies and discomfort or complications following eye surgery.
Having also completed several courses run by or linked to the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, and, practising the technique regularly myself, I try to bring the essence of Mindfulness into my lessons. It’s interesting to note how much the Bates Method naturally incorporates a mindful approach – even though it was developed over a hundred years ago.
I also bring to the lessons my own unique visual healing background, rich life experience, sensitivity and insight – together with a lot of fun and creativity. So – come to my lessons ready to relax, enjoy yourself and – see better!
It truly is a joy to teach such a gentle, fun and effective method, and as one client puts it (my dentist!) – and as I hope you will also experience – “The Bates Method has been a revelation…the results are astonishing.”
Please contact me for more information, I would be delighted to help.
I am a member of The Bates Association of Great Britain, Bates Method International and the Association of Vision Educators. For full details please take a look at their websites: www.batesvisioneducation.org, www.seeing.org and www.visioneducators.org.