The following are some short testimonials/case studies/longer emails written for/to me by my clients:
(I will be adding to these whenever I find a spare moment to post them!)
I was given glasses as a child and over the years my myopia got progressively worse until it reached -7. I never got that prescription filled. Instead, having read about the Bates Method, I started reducing my prescription rather than increasing it. Working on my own only got me so far, however, at which point I started working with Charlotte.
Charlotte is a wonderful teacher. She is very patient and understands that sometimes it takes time for me to implement her suggestions and change my habits. She comes up with interesting ways to teach the Bates Method practices and I always enjoy my lessons. With her guidance, the world around me started looking brighter and more 3-dimensional. I began noticing more details and movement and started getting occasional clear flashes of vision.
I am now wearing -3 glasses most of the time, but go without them when possible. Last weekend I went hiking in the mountains without them, wearing a wide-brimmed hat instead of sunglasses. I hope to continue my progress and eventually get rid of my glasses altogether!
Laura, 45, myopic/short-sighted
I wanted to tell you about the positive changes that happened with my vision recently.
I went to run with my husband and took off my glasses. I didn’t even realise I didn’t have them on except when it was time to read prices in a shop something like 2 hours later. I did not use them in the shop. I just decided to bend down to see the price.
The sunning is really good. I should do more of it.
I am very happy with the improvements in my vision. Recently I have been thinking about the fact that when I first started vision lessons, many years ago, (before I came to see you), my prescription glasses were -6.75, but after starting this work, my vision became stable at -5.50, which is how it was when I first came to you. Nowadays, after working with you for about a year, on and off, I use – 3:00 for most things. It’s not totally clear (-3.50 is better) but it is enough for me to see around. My prescription for driving is -5:50 I think.
In the days when I had a high prescription, I always had strong flashes in my eyes sometimes a few months apart. I used to have to go to Moorfields Eyes Hospital to check if my retina was torn, as I had had vitreous detachments in the past, due to a lot of stress I was experiencing in my life at that time. They always checked then told me it was normal, just part of getting older.
I know now that the glasses were the reason I had these flashes so often. I’ve rarely had a flash since I started vision improvement lessons with you, even when I did not apply everything I learned all the time. As with anything natural, there is the need to be consistent, and practice regularly, but gradually it works. It can take years, (but less if you spend more time on it of course!) and it works.
Anyway thank you for your hard work, and also thanks again for the group classes I’m doing alongside the 1:1’s with you – they’re really interesting!
I am an 80 year old retiree, and I came to Charlotte for Skype lessons to improve my longsightedness (+8), and also to see if the Bates Method could help my left eye, which has Macular Degeneration.
When I started the lessons, I had a large hole of no vision at all, in the centre of my left eye. After just two lessons though, doing a selection of Bates techniques and making a few changes to my diet at Charlotte’s suggestion, the hole in my vision changed! I now have some vision in the hole. It’s fragmented, and it’s as if I’m seeing through a sponge, with lots of tiny holes, but it’s a big improvement, on how it was, when I saw nothing at all in this area of my visual field. I’ve been so pleased, that I keep checking my vision to make sure I’m not dreaming!
I’m really looking forward to seeing where the next lessons lead – hopefully to even better vision in that left eye…very excited!
“Marksmen and pilots do vision training to maintain clear, healthy vision, so why is the Bates Method not more mainstream?!
It’s funny, but when you’re doing vision work, you often don’t really notice your own improvement. Sometimes improvement is so gradual (as is vision deterioration), that you just don’t realise it’s happening” (Yes, that’s why we teachers encourage clients to keep “Vision Diaries” to record their progress- otherwise you may not realise how far you’ve come!
I’m busy with my business, and I’m a busy Dad too, with not much spare time, but I thought I’d give natural vision lessons a shot anyway….
My daughter is now 16, yet I don’t remember her ever growing up, because I see her every day. It’s only when I look back at photographs of when she was five, that I realize how much and how quickly she has grown…
At my second lesson, Charlotte asked me to read the chart and suddenly I could read much further down than just the top two lines which is all that I used to be able to see clearly just a month or so ago at my first lesson. This time, I could read right the way down to the last line! Fabulous! Of course, being a normal, stressed human being, once I realised that, I tensed up and the clarity was gone. Charlotte then explained what I needed to do to recapture that sensation of well-being and so regain my clear vision and see that well once again.
My story from the beginning…
I am 45 years old and have worn glasses now for 28 years, becoming more and more reliant on them over the years to the point where they were the first thing I would pick up in the morning. My eyesight was -2.5 in both eyes as I struggle to see things far away. I also used contact lenses for sport.
About two months ago I came across the Bates method of eyesight improvement on the internet and became interested in learning more. Like most people I was not sure if it was true or not as surely I would have heard about it if it worked.
My research led me to many websites, some trying to sell ideas and exercises and some just providing information or plugging books. I soon realized that it was not a scam and that all Bates writings can be found for free on the internet if you look around, however that said I have bought the odd book to read about people’s experiences and their own interpretation of the Bates method in my quest to learn more.
I was also keen to actually talk with someone who it had worked for and to check if my interpretation of what I was reading was right, so I began looking for a Bates teacher in my area -which led me to Charlotte.
Dr Bates’ theory seemed to stack up for me and make complete sense. My eyesight had got bad due to doing too much close work when computers first came in, so if what I looked at could change my eyesight, then it figures that if you do other things with your eyes you can change them back again.I have no medical condition that would stop this from happening so I just need to start using my eyes differently.
I wanted to give up my glasses but like most people, I thought: how do I do that in practice? I need them to drive and I work on a computer all day! When I first tried to work without them, I found that I could not concentrate, and I experienced headaches, and I nearly thought- this is too hard to do, and the Bates method may never work for me… However I started to leave my glasses off, and within a few days I could work on my computer without them, and now I do not use them at all at work.
So what has been my experience after two months? Well , when I started, I could not even make out the top letter on the Snellen chart at 20/400, however I can now read down to 20/80 and now only use my glasses for driving although I use an old pair of lower prescription ones, as my glasses now hurt my eyes to wear. I have not had a formal eye test yet but think I must be -1 or -1.5 now.
I wish I did more each day as I think I would progress faster, but I do try and do a little each day, palming, sunning, long swinging or using the Snellen card, but most days I just try and not stare, and actually look at what I can see, rather than focussing on what I still can’t.
The Bates method is really all about relaxation rather than exercises. I think everyone would just like to be told to do one exercise and that would cure them- (I know I would!) However the more you try, the more you fail. Eye exercises do have their place, and I do try a few each day, but my best moments come when I just relax and don’t try. I do get the odd clear flash, but these took about a month before they came, although they are becoming more common now. I am trying to relax more now, however this I find hard, as I always want to be on the go! But relaxation seems to be the key to it all, which is why my progress is a little slower than it should be.
One thing I now know is that you CAN improve your eyesight, and the methods DO work. I know I will never need to buy glasses again and no matter how long it takes I will continue to practice the methods until I am completely cured.”
“I have now seen a really big improvement.
I’m now getting many more clear moments and can sometimes make them happen myself at will, which is great!
…Funny thing this eyesight stuff, it’s starting to get really interesting!
I’m off to cancel my contact lenses now as I certainly will not be needing them any more anytime soon!”
Martin D. June 2015
I have been wearing pinhole glasses for reading for about 14 years, and have had a lot of Bates lessons in the past with other teachers overseas. I have Presbyopia. I had a wide vision test at the opticians in September 2017 and some pigment dispersion was found in my right eye. My older brother and sister both have high pressure (glaucoma related) in both eyes, and use drops daily.
As apparently this pigment dispersion in my right eye could potentially develop into glaucoma, I decided that I wanted to do something to help my eyes, so I started having Bates Method lessons with Charlotte Schuman in November 2017. From the start, I found them extremely helpful and totally fascinating.
I have recently been to the opticians again in late 2018, and the pigment dispersal is no longer there, and I no longer need to wear pinhole glasses whilst reading, even in dull light. The clarity of my vision can be amazing – so sharp and clear!
I began learning the Alexander Technique in 1995 and completed my three years training teacher in 2000. Since then I have worked as an Alexander Technique teacher, seeing many clients presenting with a wide range of problems. Through my training and my work, I have developed an acute awareness of my body and any changes which happen.
When I think about my vision doing the Bates Method techniques, I notice changes in my body, for example:
- When I think about peripheral vision, the muscles at the back of my neck free up, and there can be a slight (positive) adjustment in how my head balances on top of my spine.
- When I am walking in the countryside, I notice everything passing by me with my peripheral vision, and similar positive changes happen within my body.
- When I do swinging from side to side, a similar thing will happen and my back will lengthen.
- In my last lesson, the reading exercises we covered were amazing. Just by following the technique instructions, my body changed. My neck freed, my head went forward and up, my back lengthened and widened as did my shoulders, I felt more grounded and present, with a greater sense of well-being and peace.
- The other reading techniques we covered also cause these changes every time I do them. My reading is of course also much improved!
- All these changes are recognised positive postural shifts which are generally achieved with the Alexander Technique. They help co-ordinate the head, neck and back, which is called the “Primary Control” in the Technique.
So, in summary, I have noticed that when I start paying attention to my vision, the use of my body improves.
This also means that when I am working as an Alexander teacher, my vision is better, and my overall use of my whole body is better, and my teaching improves.
I certainly find the Bates Method very beneficial, and I will definitely continue to use it. It has changed everything for me.
Not wanting to go into glasses for reading and distance, I decided to look for a natural solution to improve my eyesight, to allow my eyes to heal, as I thought that might well be possible.
After a series of lessons with Charlotte, in which she set up a daily practice for me, I have now fortunately recovered better than 20/20 vision, my near vision has also improved and my appreciation of colours shapes and sizes is enhanced. I have to thank Charlotte for this, as it’s made a big difference.