Aging: Slowing Down the Clock
New Way of Seeing
Gordon was nineteen years old and training as an orthoptist in London,
when she was told in no uncertain terms, "Nothing can be done for nearsightedness
except glasses or contact lenses." Years later, she found reason to
challenge that assumption, and has since become a practitioner of the
Bates Method for Vision Improvement. She speaks
here about her personal journey.
"An orthoptist is
someone who does diagnostics and treatment for people whose eyes don't
work together very well. So it might be for an eye turning in or out,
or an eye rotating up or down. For example, if they've gotten a bang
on the head and their vision has gone awry. And usually you work very
closely with an ophthalmologist.
I had moved to Santa
Fe and started a private practice in orthoptics, and I was also teaching
hatha yoga at night. In the daytime, I was challenging people, 'Okay,
come on, try harder, you can cross your eyes, come on, keep going.'
But at night I was teaching people to relax their bodies and to let
gravity show their bodies what to do. And I realized, 'These are in
complete opposition to each other. I wonder which is right?' I became
fascinated that the Bates method was really similar to yoga and the
principles were almost identica l-- through relaxation the body heals
After working with
a Bates practitioner, Gordon, who had worn glasses since
she was fourteen, was able to read the 20/20 line of an eye chart. That
experience led her to make vision therapy through relaxation, her life's
"I also studied
some psychotherapy because I realized emotions were playing a big part
in vision loss. I would teach someone to palm, [a Bates technique where
palms cover the eyes] and they would start crying, or there was a little
girl who I taught how to palm, and she was scared stiff -- she was really
scared of the dark. And I realized that I really needed to help people
in this other way, so I decided to bring that into it too."
In 1981, Rosemary
received a Masters Degree in Vision Therapy from Lesley College, Massachusetts.
She treats adults and children in her private practice, and teaches
workshops all over the world.
"I would just like
to see people given more choices, and one of the wonderful things about
this work is that you learn more about yourself and you learn more about
how you interact with your visual world. I want people to have happy
Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.
A New Way of Seeing
The Ageless Woman
Tell Me More
home | program
list | tell me more | links | reading list
| who we are | how
it began | talk to us | companion book | program videos