A Lesson from the Greeks

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Lelouch, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    By W. H. Bates, M.D.

    The failure of the muscles of the eyes to function normally under the
    conditions of civilization is not an isolated phenomenon. As Diana
    Watts, in her remarkable book, 'The Renaissance of the Greek
    Ideal' (Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York), points out, the entire
    muscular system of modern civilized peoples works under such a
    condition of jar and strain that all muscular labor is accomplished
    with a maximum of effort. So far, indeed, have we drifted from our
    normal physical possibilities that the positions of the ancient
    statues seem impossible to us, and we have been forced to attribute
    many descriptions of the feats of heroes in the Iliad and Odyssey to
    poetic license. Mrs. Watts, by reproducing the positions of these
    statues, and doing other things that are beyond the power of even the
    strongest gymnast and dancers trained under present methods, has
    fairly established her claim to have discovered the secret of Greek
    physical supremacy.

    Greek athletics, according to Mrs. Watts, was very far from being a
    matter of mere muscle development. Its aim was to produce a condition
    in which all the muscles worked harmoniously together and responded
    instantly to the mind's desire, thus securing a maximum of activity
    with a minimum expenditure of energy.

    The secret she found to be very simple. It consists in such a perfect
    balancing of the body that whether it is at rest or in motion its
    centre of gravity is always kept exactly over its base. This perfect
    equilibrium involves in turn a condition of the muscles in which they
    are transformed from a dead weight to a living force. In this
    condition there is said to be a complete connection of all the muscles
    with the center of gravity; independent motions and independent
    reactions are eliminated, and a combined force is instantly brought to
    bear upon whatever work is required. The spine is perfectly straight,
    the waist muscles firm, and the weight, in the standing posture, is
    supported upon the balls of the feet. Extraordinary precision and
    beauty of movement results, and all sense of fatigue is said to be
    abolished.

    To attain this equilibrium in its perfection requires much study and
    practice, but it can be approximated simply by keeping the spine
    straight and the weight over the balls of the feet, or upon the
    thighs, if seated. By this means a large degree of relaxation is often
    obtained, and the effect upon the eyesight has, in several cases, been
    most marked.

    A patient suffering from retinitis pigmentosa found that when he
    straightened his spine, in walking or sitting, his field at once
    became normal, remaining so as long as the erect position was
    maintained. His field had already improved considerably by other
    methods, but was still very far from normal. In the evening the
    position had the further effect of relieving his night blindness.

    Another patient who had been under treatment for some time for a high
    degree of myopia without having become able to read the bottom line of
    the test card, read it for the first time when her body was in the
    position described. She was able, moreover, the maintain the position
    for a considerable length of time, whereas ordinarily she was
    extremely restless, and could not remain still for more than a moment.
    A third patient, who could not rest her eyes by closing them or by
    palming, was relieved at once by this means, as was shown, not only by
    her own feelings, but by the expression of her face.

    Sleeping with a straight spine has also been found to be a very
    effective method of improving the vision and relieving fatigue. The
    patient with retinitis pigmentosa whose case has just been referred
    to, suffered continual relapses in the morning. No matter how well he
    saw in the afternoon, or in the evening, he would wake up unable to
    distinguish the big C and with his memory so impaired that it would
    take him the whole morning to get it back. After sleeping on his back,
    with his lower limbs completely extended and his arms lying straight
    by his sides, he was able to see the fifty line at ten feet when he
    woke and his memory was much better than usual at that time. Further
    improvement resulted from further sleeping in this posture. The
    patient with myopia had been in the habit of waking up tired after ten
    or twelve hours' sleep. One night she shared her bed with a guest, and
    in order not to disturb the latter she tried to keep her body
    straight. Although she had staid up until a very late hour talking,
    she awoke feeling perfectly refreshed. Another myopic patient who had
    been at a standstill for six months, gained two lines after sleeping
    on his back for one night.

    ____

    Better Eyesight
    A monthly magazine devoted to the prevention and cure of imperfect
    sight without glasses
    Copyright, 1920, by the Central Fixation Publishing Company
    Editor—W. H. Bates, M.D.
    Publisher—Central Fixation Publishing Co.
    $2.00 per year, 20 cents per copy
    342 West 42nd Street, New York, N. Y.
    Vol. II - June, 1920 - No. 6
    ____
     
    Lelouch, Jul 29, 2009
    #1
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  2. Lelouch

    Lelouch Guest

    [...]

    By W. H. Bates, M.D.

    The failure of the muscles of the eyes to function normally under the
    conditions of civilization is not an isolated phenomenon. As Diana
    Watts, in her remarkable book, 'The Renaissance of the Greek
    Ideal' (Frederick A. Stokes Company, New York), points out, the entire
    muscular system of modern civilized peoples works under such a
    condition of jar and strain that all muscular labor is accomplished
    with a maximum of effort. So far, indeed, have we drifted from our
    normal physical possibilities that the positions of the ancient
    statues seem impossible to us, and we have been forced to attribute
    many descriptions of the feats of heroes in the Iliad and Odyssey to
    poetic license. Mrs. Watts, by reproducing the positions of these
    statues, and doing other things that are beyond the power of even the
    strongest gymnast and dancers trained under present methods, has
    fairly established her claim to have discovered the secret of Greek
    physical supremacy.

    Greek athletics, according to Mrs. Watts, was very far from being a
    matter of mere muscle development. Its aim was to produce a condition
    in which all the muscles worked harmoniously together and responded
    instantly to the mind's desire, thus securing a maximum of activity
    with a minimum expenditure of energy.

    The secret she found to be very simple. It consists in such a perfect
    balancing of the body that whether it is at rest or in motion its
    centre of gravity is always kept exactly over its base. This perfect
    equilibrium involves in turn a condition of the muscles in which they
    are transformed from a dead weight to a living force. In this
    condition there is said to be a complete connection of all the muscles
    with the center of gravity; independent motions and independent
    reactions are eliminated, and a combined force is instantly brought to
    bear upon whatever work is required. The spine is perfectly straight,
    the waist muscles firm, and the weight, in the standing posture, is
    supported upon the balls of the feet. Extraordinary precision and
    beauty of movement results, and all sense of fatigue is said to be
    abolished.

    To attain this equilibrium in its perfection requires much study and
    practice, but it can be approximated simply by keeping the spine
    straight and the weight over the balls of the feet, or upon the
    thighs, if seated. By this means a large degree of relaxation is often
    obtained, and the effect upon the eyesight has, in several cases, been
    most marked.

    A patient suffering from retinitis pigmentosa found that when he
    straightened his spine, in walking or sitting, his field at once
    became normal, remaining so as long as the erect position was
    maintained. His field had already improved considerably by other
    methods, but was still very far from normal. In the evening the
    position had the further effect of relieving his night blindness.

    Another patient who had been under treatment for some time for a high
    degree of myopia without having become able to read the bottom line of
    the test card, read it for the first time when her body was in the
    position described. She was able, moreover, the maintain the position
    for a considerable length of time, whereas ordinarily she was
    extremely restless, and could not remain still for more than a moment.
    A third patient, who could not rest her eyes by closing them or by
    palming, was relieved at once by this means, as was shown, not only by
    her own feelings, but by the expression of her face.

    Sleeping with a straight spine has also been found to be a very
    effective method of improving the vision and relieving fatigue. The
    patient with retinitis pigmentosa whose case has just been referred
    to, suffered continual relapses in the morning. No matter how well he
    saw in the afternoon, or in the evening, he would wake up unable to
    distinguish the big C and with his memory so impaired that it would
    take him the whole morning to get it back. After sleeping on his back,
    with his lower limbs completely extended and his arms lying straight
    by his sides, he was able to see the fifty line at ten feet when he
    woke and his memory was much better than usual at that time. Further
    improvement resulted from further sleeping in this posture. The
    patient with myopia had been in the habit of waking up tired after ten
    or twelve hours' sleep. One night she shared her bed with a guest, and
    in order not to disturb the latter she tried to keep her body
    straight. Although she had staid up until a very late hour talking,
    she awoke feeling perfectly refreshed. Another myopic patient who had
    been at a standstill for six months, gained two lines after sleeping
    on his back for one night.

    ____

    Better Eyesight
    A monthly magazine devoted to the prevention and cure of imperfect
    sight without glasses
    Copyright, 1920, by the Central Fixation Publishing Company
    Editor—W. H. Bates, M.D.
    Publisher—Central Fixation Publishing Co.
    $2.00 per year, 20 cents per copy
    342 West 42nd Street, New York, N. Y.
    Vol. II - June, 1920 - No. 6
    ____

    [...]
     
    Lelouch, Jul 29, 2009
    #2
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  3. Lelouch

    Neil Brooks Guest

    I believe Mr. Sheridan had a question for you....
     
    Neil Brooks, Jul 29, 2009
    #3
  4. Lelouch

    Neil Brooks Guest

    Crickets.

    More crickets.

    Same as it ever was....
     
    Neil Brooks, Jul 30, 2009
    #4
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