Doug's "Restoring Your Eyesight: A Taoist Approach" (RYE) contributes to the relatively sparse and much needed library of NVI books in his "motivation to reach out to others." I am surprised and pleased to discover Doug's book is on par (yes; a pun on his love of golf) with books written by professional NVI teachers.
His theme of Taoism is appropriate since both NVI and Taoism teach a way of living in balance and harmony with nature--something many of us have not yet obtained, not by conscious choice, but because of the severe imbalances modern cultures presents to us. Taoist philosophy includes "rhythm, softness, return, balance, and wholeness." There has hardly been a better description of the attributes associated with good eyesight. In my work I use the right-brain/left brain theme, which ultimately steers us toward the same goal of good eyesight. Both philosophies emphasize relaxation, movement and centralization (which Doug has coined "concentric focus.") These principles are presented and described very well herein.
The damage caused by modern industrialization and technology is explored in Part 1 "Excess." Why is the majority of people living in "civilized" societies unable to function normally without crutches on their noses, in their eyes, or vaporized corneas? Doug present good answers.
The ancient wisdoms of Taoism as related to NVI fundamentals are primarily offered in Part 2 "The Way." It is important for students that NVI really is "a way." NVI is not a series of eye exercises for 20 minutes per day, as is greatly misunderstood by most students of NVI. NVI is a process of relearning how to see the correct way--the way most of us learn naturally, automatically and subconsciously in the first year of our lives. Dr. Bates stated that these are "habits" and are meant to be used "all day long." And as I like to remind my students, anyone can relearn something they used to do perfectly.
I should add that a specific spiritual teaching is not needed to improve one's eyesight; however the philosophical concepts common to both are needed.
Have you ever seen your vision fluctuate? Perhaps when you were on vacation you may have noticed you see better sometimes. Or, conversely, when you were under excessive stress your vision was not as clear, or even crossed-eyed. Have you ever noticed that after wearing glasses for a few hours and then taking them off, your vision is more blurred than before you put them on? Then in a few more hours of not wearing them your vision gets better again? If so, then you have experienced NVI, and you have contradicted the theories of virtually all eye doctors who proclaim dogmatically that it is impossible for eyesight to improve naturally. The theory (a guess) that eyesight cannot improve is so ingrained in the orthodox professionals that, sometimes, when improvement is measured and verified, they will say their previous examinations were in error! That may not be a reassuring thought to many people.
An optician once told one of my students that she (the optician) only needed her stronger glasses when she was under high stress. Since vision fluctuates for everyone, and most people know this, it is curious that eye professionals adhere so strong to theories which contradict their own experiences. As a holistic dentist once stated, "They can't teach you what they don't know; and they can't lead you were they won't go." Go to authorities who have been taught your eyesight cannot get better naturally and have no experience with people's eyesight improving naturally, and you will most likely not improve. Go to authorities who have been taught eyesight can improve naturally and have lots of experience with people's eyesight improving, and your chances are a lot better. Flaws and confusion within the optometric and ophthalmologic professions are covered in Part 3 "Harmony."
Doug's writings include his own struggle with glasses and contact lenses, wondering how to rid himself of these torturous crutches--an all too common plight of people all over the world. The theories of myopia being hereditary and presbyopia being due to old age are shattered by simple facts. What are they due to? Dr. Bates showed they are due to stress--not just any stress, but specific strained, mental, emotional and physical vision habits. Doug wonderfully helps us understand terms like "force, stress, strain, pressure and tension", and concentration--terms often misunderstood. By relearning natural vision habits and principles more each day Doug has been rewarded with excellent improvement "accumulated dramatically over the long run" as have I. Thomas Chavez, a homeopath and one of my NVI students, in his book Body Electronics, defines health as freedom, which resonates with Doug's own NVI process as being "a liberating journey."
Doug describes many supportive holistic therapies including massage, Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, cranio-sacral therapy, myofacial release. Any therapy that truly supports relaxation, movement (circulation), and centralization (relaxed visual concentration) will accelerate your improvement of eyesight.
Since there is a strong correlation between certain "functional" vision problems (like nearsightedness, farsightedness and presbyopia) and eye diseases, many people are also seeking NVI for preventative reasons. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to eyesight.
Bottom line? Lower the power of your prescription glasses and/or contact lenses (safely and legally if for driving), use your own eyes more and more, and "Restore Your Eyesight" by relearning natural vision habits and principles. I have watched thousands of my students improve their vision since 1983, and many thousands more have improved with other NVI teachers. Educate yourself and reap the rewards.
I believe Doug's book will be a valuable aid for those seeking the truth about eyesight and how to take care of it in a natural way for your entire lifetime. In fact, I will now be using Doug's excellent information in my NVI classes. Motivations, patience, perseverance, and commitment are necessary, but the rewards are most likely far beyond what you might currently expect.
As one reader of my book stated, this process "could actually be called Relearning to Live." Sounds Taoist to me.
Thomas R. Quackenbush
Author of "Relearning to See"
Nijmegen, The Netherlands