New local business offers holistic approach to eye care

Press release

From Integral Eyesight Improvement:

Did you know that you can improve your own eyesight without glasses, contacts or surgery? A new local business called Integral Eyesight Improvement offers a holistic approach to eyecare that helps people of all ages prevent and even reverse many types of vision problems.

“It all comes down to relaxation” says Nathan Oxenfeld, the founder of Integral Eyesight Improvement, who wore glasses and contacts for over a decade before normalizing his own vision by working with a Bates Method teacher. “The essence of the Bates Method is that any type of strain decreases vision and any type of relaxation improves vision. Vision is not a static, fixed phenomenon. It changes with every breath, every thought and every emotion. It is intricately connected to and affected by the mind.”

The Bates Method was developed almost one-hundred years ago by the ophthalmologist Dr. William H. Bates. After years of building a lucrative practice in New York City prescribing glasses and performing eye surgeries, a prudent question surfaced in his mind. If glasses are a good treatment, why must they continually be strengthened and why does the state of vision continue to decline? Rather than covering up the symptoms of imperfect vision with “visual crutches”, Dr. Bates set out to pinpoint the underlying cause behind the imperfect vision. What he found at the root of almost all visual imperfections was the very same cause: strain. Whether the strain is mental stress or a physical strain to see, this bad vision habit is learned early in life by many children and leads the eyes down a blurry path. By encouraging the opposite of strain, or relaxation, Dr. Bates assisted his patients in returning to 20/20 vision or better no matter how long they had worn artificial lenses.

And now pioneering research in the field of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and grow in response to repetitive stimuli, is finally backing up the scientific discoveries that Dr. Bates made a century ago. It used to be thought that after a certain age the brain is “set in stone” and cannot change. This has recently been disproven through studies of people recovering from brain injuries, combating learning disabilities, and learning new skills and habits. These studies have shown that new neurons can form, new neural pathways can be carved, and new habits can be learned at any age. In other words, the brain can grow and change shape and since the eyes are extensions of the brain and made of brain tissue, the eyes can grow, adapt and relearn to work without artificial lenses.

Despite its success and its long history, the Bates Method has been kept out of the mainstream and suppressed by the multi-billion dollar optical industry. However, its credibility is unattested in thousands of case histories and success stories from people all over the world with nearsightedness, farsightedness, crossed eyes, lazy eyes, itchy or dry eyes, astigmatism, glaucoma, cataract and more benefitting from applying the practices of the Bates Method to their lives. Dr. Bates trained a small handful of students to carry on the method, and Bates Method teachers like Nathan are passing it on to present and future generations.

Mark Your Calendars:

Sunday, April 6th
Improve Your Own 
Eyesight Workshop
at Crystal Visions
Hendersonville, NC
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Saturday, April 12th
Insight & Eyesight 
Expansion Workshop
at Nourishing Life Center 
of Health, North Asheville
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 13th
Insight & Eyesight 
Expansion Workshop
at co-luminate
Downtown Asheville
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 27th
Free Outdoor Vision Walk
UNCA Botanical Gardens
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

April 30th – June 18th
The Secret to Seeing 
Clearly Again
8 Week Class Series
at Nourishing Life Center of Health, North Asheville 
Wednesdays 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Meditation for the Eyes
 Wednesdays 5:30 – 6:15 pm
at Integral Eyesight Office 
Downtown Asheville

Yoga for the Eyes 
Fridays 11:00 – 12:00 pm
at Nourish & Flourish 
River Arts District

“If children were taught how to use their eyes properly in school, we’d see a lot less adults struggling with vision problems. Too many people simply accept poor vision as a natural byproduct of aging, but it doesn’t have to be. We are entering a new paradigm of healthcare where people are starting to take more responsibility for their own well-being. We do not need to rely on artificial lenses to see when there are natural methods to improve sight. When it comes to health and healing, people don’t really talk about their eyes. I’m simply trying to start that conversation.”
Getting people thinking and talking about eyesight is exactly what Nathan is doing, and in many different ways. Every Wednesday he teaches Meditation for the Eyes and every Friday he teaches Yoga for the Eyes. Once a month he leads an outdoor vision walk, where participants are invited to go on a one hour guided hike glasses-free. He hosts regular one day workshops and eight week “Sight Semesters” for groups of students at various locations in Western North Carolina. His favorite mode of teaching though is working with students one-on-one at his office on Wall Street in downtown Asheville because regular private vision training lessons have shown to yield the most rapid and permanent results.

“I practiced the Bates Method on my own for over a year without much progress. It wasn’t until I began working with a professional vision trainer that I was able to give up my glasses for good.”
For more information you can visit or like Integral Eyesight Improvement on Facebook or Twitter.

About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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