The Miracle of Sight

E-BOOK

19

More than 50 stories from my office, in which I want to illustrate the most common mistakes that lead to impaired vision.

I'm convinced that after reading this book you will change the way you see and you will discover what an extraordinary miracle and gift our sight is to us.

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We have become used to the fact that if our vision is not perfect, we reach for glasses, contact lenses or laser surgery.
However, blurred vision does not just happen for no reason. It represents a kind of warning light which is supposed to tell us that something in our life is not right.
That our balance is disturbed.
When we put our glasses on, we immediately feel like everything is back to normal.
But it’s not. The cause remains. And the problem can get even worse. It is similar to taking a pill to reduce fever or alleviate pain. The pill does not cure the problem. It just suppresses the symptoms which also point to an imbalance. A prerequisite for successful treatment is finding the cause of the problem.
In the words of S. N. Lazarev: “Understanding heals better than medication.”
This understanding can come if we look at a problem from multiple angles. And that is exactly what I am going to attempt in the following chapters. Through analysing the stories of my students, we are going to look at the most common mistakes and bad habits which lead to impaired vision. The stories are supplemented with my own observations and short reflections, as well as with tips and advice on what you can do for your eyes to keep them in good condition for as long as possible. I have selected the techniques and activities which I consider the most effective and have also included a few tips on how to help tired eyes. At the end of the book, you can find a glossary of terms, which I have included to help you understand what I am writing about. There is also a distance vision test and a near vision test, as I mention these very often in my
stories. In the conclusion, I summarise everything important in a few points. If you feel that I repeat myself sometimes, trust me that it is my intention. In one of his books, Sergey Lazarev wrote: “In order for man to understand something, you need to show him the same truth from various angles and perspectives. As the famous piece of folk wisdom says: ‘Repetition is the mother of wisdom.’
I used to think that I should not repeat myself in my books, but now I understand that important information needs to be explained several times. Deep and serious thoughts must be explained from all angles and must be revisited over and over again.”

HOW IT STARTED
In my more than seven years of experience, I have had the opportunity to work with a large number of students. Some of the stories kept repeating as if they were carbon copies of each other. But there were also some that surprised me or that were exceptional in some way. Whatever they were, each one enriched me with a fragment of new knowledge.

Along with it came the idea that I should spread this knowledge further. And that’s how the first short stories from my office started to emerge. It is a well-known fact that we remember things we find interesting much better than those that we have to memorise or those that make us feel bored. Stories can entertain us, make us laugh, but also touch us. Unlike expert-level and often rather boring educational articles, they offer emotion. I can only hope that I have succeeded in conveying important information about vision and the possibility of improving it naturally, and that through the stories in this book, you have been able to discover what an extraordinary miracle and gift our sight is to us.

EVE
I’m thinking about how maliciously I sometimes treat my eyes. Recently, I’ve been doing it quite often. Although they’re desperately calling for help, constantly burning and passing the pain like a tennis ball from left to right, occasionally adding a backstroke, I pretend not to see, feel or hear any of it. I’m ignoring this miserable “tennis match” for life. Because who’s the boss here?

I keep staring at the computer screen in an attempt to tick yet another thing off my endless list of “urgent stuff”. And now, I really need to see and know the ending of the movie I’ve been watching, even though it’s been clear from minute one. The moving pictures hold a strange attraction for me through some inexplicable magnetism. I’m trying to take my eyes off the TV and look out of the window, at the books on my shelf and into the kitchen, but this magical force of unknown origin eventually brings them back to the screen. Who cares that the picture is blurred and the sharpness that used to be there is long gone? I can go on for now.

SOS! Save our souls! The screams in the dark of our poor, tired, exhausted eyes. Movie marathons that take hours, sometimes even all day or night. Mindless
staring at flashing pixels.

Flash-flash-flash-flash... flash-flash-flash... flash-flash-flash... flash.

Long stillness finally followed by a forced convulsive blink.

I’m staring at the screen, not moving an inch. I’m not breathing.

I’m not blinking.

Millions of tiny flashing squares hypnotise me like a magician and paralyse me in my comfortable armchair or sofa. They have full control over me. They manipulate me any way they want. And I let myself be manipulated. Willingly.

I’ve said yes to all the delights of the modern age and stopped thinking about how my body would deal with them. Our poor eyes. They had no idea what was coming for them in the 21st century. We’ve narrowed their field of view and squeezed it into the 3.5 by 3.5 metres of our tiny apartments. Instead of sunlight, we feed them artificial light. We’ve robbed them of the look at the green splendour of mountains, forests and fields. Relaxed gazing into the distance has been replaced by strenuous looking at
nearby objects. We want to know what’s happening in the world around us, both at home and abroad, so we follow newspapers, the Internet and TV news. We want to have fun, so we live the lives of book protagonists and characters from endless TV shows.

We want to be “in”, so we follow the newest trends in make-up, fashion, interior design, and other “irreplaceable” things in life, promoted by adverts in renowned magazines, on internet portals and on TV. We want to have a simple life, so we download apps for everything. Soon, we’ll have one for breathing. We want to be in constant social contact, so we’ve moved our lives into the online space, where our neighbour knows just as well as a person on the other side of the planet what we had for breakfast, who invited us for dinner tonight and what event we’re going to on Saturday. We’re looking at a two-dimensional world which we’ve built within a three-metre radius of our eyes.
How little we need for life. A cable and a full battery. Eyes fixed in an unchanging position. At one constant distance. Without movement. Just don’t blink!

Oh, how much they want to look further than the computer screen! Their natural, but for years suppressed, childlike curiosity makes them want to find out what’s happening out there beyond the window, in the street. To simply watch people rushing to do their business, mothers with prams, the elderly with their pets. To wander all the way to the hills in the distance and draw over their dark outlines against the light blue sky with an imaginary paintbrush attached to the nose. Millions of colours. An infinity of shapes. God’s vitamins for the eyes. But it’s not possible. Not right now. The deadline’s approaching and I’m in a hurry. My boss wants it done today. And so, with the determination of a professional fighter, I type and type, as if my life depended on it.

I’m not breathing.

I’m not blinking.

I cross my legs because even nature’s call has to wait.

I don’t drink, just in case.

I move my eyes across the bright screen and try to focus on the blurry letters. When I squint, they’re sharper. And so, I squint and squint more often than ever before. My eyes are drying out and getting a reddish tinge, reminiscent of a vampire’s gaze. I try getting rid of it with eye drops. At first, it kind of works. But now, I have to use the drops all the time. They make it better for a while. But then it starts again.

Dryness.

Burning.

Red.

I use drop after drop and there’s simply no end to it. Squinting has become second nature. How else could I read the bus number or tell which colleague’s walking towards me? How else could I read my boss? I need to know his mood so that I can tune in and be able to switch to my escape or attack mode at the right moment. But there are moments when squinting is not enough. My exhaustion causes the letters to become a hardly recognisable dark smudge floating on the bright screen. And I can only guess my boss’ mood from the intensity and tone of his voice. I rely on people waiting at the bus stop to tell me the number of the approaching bus.

IT’S TIME.

  1. Daniela Maťuchová has tried to get to the bottom of the problem with her book on methods of vision improvement, which is not only unique and much needed, but which will certainly prove beneficial for many. Written in an engaging way, it combines personal stories of people’s journeys to better vision with practical instructions for individual exercises, activities and principles which help improve eyesight.

    People’s stories are usually an interesting way for others to approach an issue; we all like to read them. We can identify with some of them and thus be motivated and encouraged to work on solving our own difficulties. Through these stories, Daniela demonstrates that our eyesight can change for the better if only we give it enough attention and care.

    It is good to see that more and more people are realising that the responsibility for their health is in their own hands. They can and are capable of doing a lot for themselves if they only look inside. You cannot solely rely on outside help from someone who solves others’ problems or ailments simply and quickly with medication, glasses or laser surgery. These solutions do not go into the depth of those problems and their cause remains unsolved.

    As I have mentioned, when I discovered the Bates method, I was also shown a path which I had been missing in my work as an eye doctor. In the course of my practice, I have come to the realisation that glasses do not treat visual defects. They simply act as crutches: in other words, they are an aid which ensures vision that is considered normal. For a long time now, I have been interested in psychosomatic and holistic approaches in medicine and I found what I had been looking for in the method of natural vision improvement.

    I am grateful to Daniela for bringing this system of vision support and eyesight hygiene, which is well-known and quite widespread abroad, to Slovakia. I think that such education is still woefully lacking in our country.

    Dr Annamária Pavelová
    Ophthalmologist
    Slovak Republic


  2. I was most excited about the stories about children. Parents should read this book to be able to make an informed decision about their child's vision treatment options. 

    I felt sorry that many children suffer because they are forced to put strain on their eyes due to a lack of information from the doctors. All this is happening in the name of "good eyesight" with the reminder that their diopters will increase over time.


    I also appreciated the expertise with which the author examines the vision problem from different angles. She is like a vision detective who is not satisfied with just ordinary testing, but looks for the connections behind the scenes.  


    It is optimistic and encouraging that even in a two-hour consultation, she can discover the possibilities of how to properly connect the client's eyes with his brain, how her students experience flashes of sharp vision, how to find out which exercise is right for them. It is promising that children can quickly react to the exercises and develop new possibilities.

    Michaela Ray de Witters
    NLP coach & author
    Belgium


  3. Eyesight is invaluable and as such needs to be ‘respected and handled with care’, here is the very interesting book that will help you to do just that.

    I’m guessing this will strike a chord with you, the reader, so here at last is a ‘down to earth’ practical handbook written by Daniela Matuchova, a compassionate, competent, experienced teacher in the growing worldwide field of ‘Natural Eyesight Improvement’. This book is for us all!

    Here you have a ‘story book’ like no other, I couldn’t put it down! 

    The writer brings us many real, well chosen accounts from her busy clinic, her central aim (I think) is to help us to really understand our eyesight, learn how it works and what our eyes need to keep them in ‘good working order’, to really ‘see’ your eyes, value and appreciate your eyesight, learn how to care and support your vision. To begin to appreciate that ‘seeing’ is about so much more than that which simply ‘meets the eye’, highlighting that what we usually call ‘our eyesight’ is in fact a vital part of our whole being.

    This is a book for everyone regardless of age and the nature or condition of your sight.

    The book opens with a powerful, challenging and very thought-provoking statement:

    “Understanding Heals Better Than Medication”

    In the words of the author:

    “This understanding can come if we look at a problem from multiple angles.

    And that is exactly what I am going to attempt in the following chapters. Through analysing the stories of my students, we are going to look at the most common mistakes and unhelpful habits which lead to impaired vision”.

    The above statements reflect the ‘how and what’ of the true nature and process of ‘eyesight re-education’.

    Yes, it is a story book for us all, even those of us that might say something like – “I’m so fortunate, I have perfect eyesight, yes, my eyes get tired, but that’s probably natural”. But is it? Read on to discover that ‘eye strain’ is neither natural or normal. 

    This book is full of students accounts of their eyesight challenges. Without doubt there will be stories we can all relate to, each one with the authors’ professional reflections and analysis.

    It is not a short read, more than 200 pages which introduce the reader to a wide range of the various usual and less common issues of eyesight and some of the natural approaches to understanding and treating them. It is organised in eight sections, each with a theme to guide the reader, supported by a glossary of terminology.

    For example, the writer says a lot about the ready prescribing of glasses and contact lenses, a very common option in the wider world of vision care, but, a controversial one in natural eyesight education. However, I am sure as you read on you will become familiar with this ongoing debate.

    You will find within every section there is always some overlap in the nature and content of the stories, eyesight difficulties are, by nature complex, very seldom simple or straight forward and as previously stated, contrary to popular belief, glasses and contact lenses are not usually the best answer. Optical correction may be part of the solution, but it is seldom the most advantageous first or only option! So do read on, don’t risk missing out on information that may be just what you’re looking for.

    First of all, you will read Eve’s story, it’s not an unusual one, and ‘so what’! At best she got ‘very attractive designer glasses’, but sadly that was not the end of her tale! Meet Eve again later.

    Within the content of these pages there are stories from people of all ages, from very young children, sometimes even babies to elderly, men and women still wanting ‘better eyesight’, explaining how they experience their many and various eyesight problems many of which are not so unusual but others very often coming with more complex, sometimes serious seeing difficulties.

    So, the author carefully works with each individual, attentively hearing their ‘story’ so as to understand each problem as the student experiences it. There will be similarities in their difficulties but in fact they are never quite the same as the next person, but to the teacher each student’s difficulty is of equal importance and this is probably one of the most significant elements of this work. The writer ‘looks’ at every eyesight problem in the context of the individuals’ experience of their difficulty, but at the same time, in Daniela’s words, “understanding comes as I regard the person’s experience from multiple angles”.

    Throughout her reflections and towards the end of the book you will find out more about some of the ‘why and how’ of many of the activities she uses in her ‘detective work‘ to better understand the students experience and how best to approach the problem, based on her analyses. You will notice that many of the same activities are utilised for many different conditions of eyesight. The common thread is always rest and relaxation, attending to what ‘you do see’ and not primarily what is hard to see. This attitude will quickly shed positive light on seeing and enhances relaxation.

    Daniela provides many helpful descriptions and instructions about activities you can use.

    However, as you read on you will notice that throughout, as Daniela gives us her analyses and reflections there is one outstanding theme, ‘Rest and relaxation’, a fundamental essential to seeing better in all of its dimensions, body, mind and spirit! ‘Glasses alone will never achieve this’.

    In eight relatively short sections with many and varied stories Daniela’s observations and analyses tell us much about the extensive and varied spectrum of seeing challenges she encounters in her clinic. We learn that every individual awareness and description of their sight is unique to that person regardless of any similarity in their prescriptions. Often discovering that glasses are not always the right or necessarily the best solution. 

    In natural vision education there is a fundamental protocol which applies in every case, so within the chapters you will notice the writer makes you familiar these essential activities.

    Natural Eyesight Methods emphasise the need for good light, sunlight, absolute darkness and colour as primary resources for all vision challenges, providing the reader with information and directions about how you can take advantage of these essential ‘good vision (habits) activities’ at home. 

    In this relatively short text the author knowledgeably and skilfully relates some amazing stories and how she thinks about each one of them. 

    When I reached the end of the book I was especially heartened by the concluding stories, ‘Me’ and ‘Eve’, as the ‘clear’ message that ‘given understanding, care and support, for most people vision will improve naturally regardless of the nature of the condition’.

    This is an invaluable ‘story book’, inspiring and heart-warming, a text full of well founded, tried and tested knowledge and practical applications. A sound and safe natural approach to recovering and preserving good sight. 

    A valid alternative to glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery, none of which come with assurance that eyesight will not continue to deteriorate over time.

    Aileen Whiteford
    MSc Ed. (Advanced Education)
    Humanistic Psychotherapist
    Natural Eyesight Educator
    Scotland


  4. "The Miracle of Sight: Stories from my Clinic" is Daniela Mat'uchová's second book in which she shares her experiences of the last 7 years practising as a Bates Method natural eyesight teacher in the Slovak Republic. The title is a conscious echo of her inspiration, Emily Lierman's "Stories from the Clinic". Emily Lierman worked with W.H. Bates in New York writing Better Eyesight magazine together from 1919 to 1930. This documented their work helping people's eyesight without using glasses or surgery. Lierman's articles were then collected together in one volume as "Stories from the Clinic". 

    What is clear from the very beginning of "The Miracle of Sight" is the care and attention that Daniela Mat'uchová shows to each person coming to her looking for help. This directly echoes for me the work of Emily Lierman in which there is a similar resonance of kindness and rapport that she has with the people who come to see her. What shines through in both Emily Lierman and Daniela Mat'uchová's writing is that each person they work with is unique and has their own story to tell.

    This individuality, as Mat'uchová shows again and again, will be reflected in a person's eyesight and she illustrates how people's vision will often differ from expectation. She shows us how this is especially true of children and shares her fascination in the differences between adults' and children's vision. This is a valuable reminder to me to make no assumptions about how someone sees but to listen and observe and take each person on their own individual terms.  

    Throughout "The Miracle of Sight" the stories are always told in the holistic context of life situations, illustrating the point that a person's life and the way they see are inextricably linked. I like the lightness of touch in the way she tells her stories. She doesn't shy away from the fact that life and vision problems are often complex and there are no quick fixes. She makes no false promises. There is, however, a dedication to the reality that in most cases that she comes across, applying the principles of the Bates Method works. Attending to rest and relaxation, to light and movement usually brings about clearer eyesight.

    "The Miracle of Sight" is, however, much more than a collection of stories. As well as being sensitive to the humanity of her clients Mat'uchová is a diligent eyesight teacher and meticulous in taking the chart measurements of people's sight. This means that her work includes well documented data of the changes that her clients experience in their eyesight through working with her. It is also brought up to date with a section on Laser Eye Surgery.

    The fundamental ideas of the Bates Method are woven through the book and there are practical explanations of things that anybody can do to start exploring the capacities of their own eyesight. Whilst firmly rooted in the fundamentals of eyesight improvement as practised by Bates and Lierman, Mat'uchová breathes fresh air and vitality into the work making it alive and deeply relevant for the present day.

    Reading this book I find myself inspired to be more sensitive, inventive and playful with my vision clients; to think up new games for them to bring the Bates Method alive in a way that suits each of them. There is always something new to learn and Mat'uchová teaches us to have an open mind and to embrace possibilities. There are many things that can be discovered with gentleness and patience. It is the Bates Method that Mat'uchová uses but she also brings her own experience, wisdom and special qualities to her work. "The Miracle of Eyesight" invites us in to share some time with her and that is well worth doing. 

     

    Anna Bambridge BA, MA (Cantab) MPhil
    Natural Vision Teacher
    Scotland


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