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by Dr. R. A. Richardson
To the man, woman or child who is now suffering with poor vision, or ill health, I would bring improved vision and freedom from all illness. To those who are well and enjoy good vision, I would give protection against the dangers of illness and loss of sight. To all people, I would teach the natural methods of normalizing the body in order that it may function normally. With normal, natural function of the mental, physical, and spiritual phases of our existence, health, happiness, and prosperity is assured. This is my dedication.
Dr. R. A. Richardson.
There is a large chart and a small chart enclosed with this book. By testing your eyes before you start taking the exercises, you will have a record of your vision for comparison.
After exercising one week, you should notice sufficient improvement to give you encouragement for continuing the work.
First, test your distance vision by pinning the large chart on the wall and taking a seat ten feet away. While you are at a distance of ten feet from the large chart, cover your left eye with your left hand and see if you can read the bottom line with your right eye without glasses. If you cannot read the bottom line, find out which line you can read clearly (not faintly).
Second, cover the right eye and test the left eye in the same manner, and do not forget to write on a piece of paper exactly what you can read when you start. Then if somebody asks you later what improvement you have made, you will have an exact record. You will find this not only interesting but very important.
Third, take the small chart and test the vision of each eye separately at a distance of thirteen inches. Make a record of this also. Remember, all tests are to be made without glasses.
If you will follow the above instructions and do exactly as you are told, you will be astonished at the results. Do not start taking any eye exercises until you have made the above tests, and read the entire book at least once. Remember, most people fail in life because they do everything in a haphazard, half-hearted manner.
If you start with too many exercises, you no doubt will notice a soreness and stiffness of your eye muscles which can be avoided by using a little judgment, and by not overdoing the exercises at the beginning. Increase the exercises a little each day.
Make the tests before you read another page in this book. It is very important.
There is need of a book that can be read and used by people who are not familiar with Ophthalmology. It is my desire to write this information in such a manner that the layman who has not had a college education may be able to improve his eyesight and his health without consulting a physician. This book is not intended to take the place of the physician, but to help the thousands of people who are willing and ready to help themselves. After more than twenty years of practice, I am thoroughly convinced that a large percentage of human ailments can be treated more scientifically at home by natural methods of right living than by unnatural methods of drugging, operating and general tampering with the human body.
Of course, where foreign bodies get into the eye a physician's attention is needed. The physician is also needed for accidents, broken bones, lacerations, and surgery occasionally. However, it is my opinion that in the majority of cases, many of our ailments are due largely to our own mistakes and carelessness, and most of us could do much to improve our conditions by using a little good judgment in the care of our own physical and mental body.
As a young man, 1 started out to help improve defective vision. My first experience was fitting glasses. After my college training, I decided to take the advice of one of my very good professors, who told me that college training was not sufficient, and that I should work with a physician who had practiced many years and learn the practical, as well as the theoretical, method of treating the eyes and body ailments.
I went to work as an assistant to a doctor, whom I considered one of the best eye specialists in America. Prom this doctor I learned many things about the eye that were not taught in college. He had thousands of patients, and I saw many conditions that were not even mentioned in college. It is wonderful to read what people write, but practical experience is the most wonderful training that anyone can have.
After working with this good doctor for several months, I noticed that people who came to him with headaches invariably got relief through properly fitted glasses. Nervous patients were helped very much by his skillful refraction. People with eye strain were able to read with comfort and ease. All of these facts convinced me for a time that glasses were a god-send to humanity. However, after I began to observe his patients more closely, I found that many of them were coming back in a year or so to have their glasses changed.
After re-examining their eyes, I found that their glasses were not strong enough, and that it was necessary to give them stronger lenses. I asked the good doctor why it was necessary to give these people stronger glasses since glasses were supposed to benefit the eyes. He stated that the glasses were doing the work of the weakened eye muscles, and that since the eye muscles and eye tissues were not functioning normally, they naturally would get weaker, and glasses would have to be made stronger from time to time.
Little children wearing glasses soon became helpless without them. This was a thriving business; in fact, an endless chain. Not only did we get new patients, but the old ones never failed to return many times for new glasses. Some people had to have their glasses changed in six months; others in one year; a few would go two or three years, or maybe longer. There was sufficient evidence to convince me that eyeglasses were a detriment in the majority of cases.
I told the doctor that this did not look right to me, and that there must be some way of exercising the eyes or improving the strength of the eye tissues, the same as the muscles of the arm and other tissues of the body can be strengthened. He informed me that he had spent seventeen years of his life fitting glasses, and that he did not believe that I could suggest any way of improving his work. He called my attention to the fact that he had a larger practice than any other eye specialist in the state, and that his reputation had been made as a result of his unquestionable skill and ability. This was true. He certainly was able to give relief to many people who had not been helped by other specialists. I admit that he taught me many things that were very practical.
As time went on, I observed many elderly people who had reached the age of 80 or 90 without the aid of glasses. When I questioned these people, I found that they had never worn glasses, and that their eyes functioned almost perfectly. They did not have the trouble that people had who wore glasses.
At college we were taught that the eyes became pres-byopic between the ages of 40 and 50; in other words, old-age sight was supposed to begin about the age of 40. But we have many people between the ages of 80 and 90 who have failed to develop old-age sight in proportion to their age.
Many of his patients were receiving their second sight about the age of 70, 75 or 80. With all of this confusing, contradictory evidence I asked so many questions that I made myself very unpopular.
There was another group of patients who had worn glasses from childhood. Some of them had had their glasses changed as many as fifty times, and yet they went blind with cataract or glaucoma. It seemed to me that if glasses were doing so much good, these people would not be having so much trouble, especially when they were consulting one of the best specialists in America.
After examining thousands of cases, I can truthfully say that I have never found a single case where eyeglasses have not made the eyes weaker. In more than twenty years of practice, I surely would have found some cases where glasses had not made the eyes weaker had there been any.
I discarded my own glasses many years ago, and, by following the instructions which I am going to give you I have been able to improve my vision.
While I am past fifty years of age, I am able to read the finest print in the telephone book or newspaper, without glasses, and I can read longer with more comfort than I ever did with glasses. I recently read for 31 hours and 12 minutes without glasses, and without stopping. I mention this not to brag about my eyesight, but merely to encourage those who are willing to make a little effort to improve their eyesight.
When we stop to reason, we realize that the eye muscles are just as large in proportion to the function they perform as other muscles of the body. How long do you think we would have strength in the muscles of our arms if we carried them in slings, or how much strength in the muscles of our legs if we used crutches ? Common sense should tell us that the eye muscles do lose their strength and tone when their work is interfered with by eye crutches. All of these facts will be explained later.
When I began the study of anatomy and physiology of the body, I learned that many defective eye conditions are brought about by violation of Nature's laws, and that constipation is a direct cause of much eye trouble. The waste material that remains in the large bowel produces a toxic substance that is carried by the blood stream to the eyes. This toxemia causes the eye muscles to contract and pull the eyes out of focus.
Sometimes these people are financially unable to secure the best advice, and they may go to a department store, a drug store, a jewelry store, or any other place where eyeglass salesmen sell eyeglasses. On account of their financial condition they are looking for bargains, and there are plenty of so-called eyeglass and eyesight specialists who like to have the profit that is made from such sales.
If these people could reason from cause to effect, they would know that no real eye specialist, after spending ten or fifteen years of his time to learn his business, would find it necessary to work in a department store, a drug store, or a jewelry store. There are many splendid gentlemen who work in such places, and they have a license and a right to make a living selling eyeglasses, but usually they are not men who have been trained in the scientific care of the human body, which is necessary before a correct diagnosis can be made of the eyes, because most eye troubles are associated with other conditions.
There are many men in the medical profession who have a license which entitles them to hang out the sign, "Eye-Specialist," and they also have a right to make a profit selling eyeglasses, but their knowledge of the human eye, in many instances, is very limited. They have studied medicine and not eyes. I do not claim to be anything more, than a student, and I take this opportunity to assure my readers that I realize I still have much to learn.
In this book I am endeavoring to give you information that I have gathered both as a student and as a practicing Osteopathic Physician. I do not claim to be original in all that I have to say within these pages. I am very much indebted to some of the best physicians, as well as other people, who have helped me to gather this information that I may pass it on to you to help you improve your eyesight and your health, or to retain the good health that you may now be enjoying.
At last we have found a better way of treating many eye conditions rather than by prescribing glasses. We have found a better way of improving the health than by prescribing habit-forming drugs. Natural methods are far superior to man-made crutches and drugs of which we know little. One of our best medical authorities, Dr. Osier, is responsible for the statement that we take drugs of which we know little, and put them into bodies of which we know less, to cure disease of which we know nothing at all.
If you have eyeballs that are really deformed, it may be necessary for you to wear eyeglasses, the same as it is necessary for a man with a broken leg or a deformed leg to use crutches. But if your eyes really are deformed, and you do have to wear eyeglasses, you need the instructions in this book more than the person who has the average case of eye strain; because if your eyes are in such a weakened condition that glasses are necessary, your eyes certainly will get weaker as time goes on unless you do something to improve the tone of the tissues, the circulation and the elasticity of the entire structure.
If you happen to be a shallow breather, it may surprise you to know that correct breathing exercises will improve your vision because your eyes will receive blood that has been purified by proper oxidation.
If you are a person who eats whatever your appetite calls for, your eyes may be greatly improved by eating what your body needs, rather than what your appetite calls for. A drunkard has an appetite for alcohol, but it certainly is not what his body needs. The nicotine fiend many times has an appetite for sufficient quantities of nicotine to affect the optic nerve. The protein fiend, meaning the person who eats practically all protein foods, may develop glaucoma, cataract or some other eye disease which causes him to go blind between the age of 50 and 70.
You can see that it is impossible for me to tell you how to improve your eyesight without instructing you in regard to air, food, water, exercise and mental attitude.
It is not possible to accomplish any purpose in life without confidence in self and the absolute desire for greater achievement. With good health, anything is possible. Without health nothing is worth while. The rules for maintaining health are so simple that it would seem absolutely unnecessary to specify given rules for such an accomplishment. But we have been taught so many things that are not true ; and by following such wrong teaching, we have accumulated a variety of diseases, numbering more than 2,400 (according to medical science)., In reality, there is only one disease, congestion in varying degrees. The 2,400 names merely differentiate this disease in relation to its location and intensity.
Congestion is the primary cause of irregular and abnormal function of the body, which means that with normal structure there is bound to be normal and healthful function. Congestion is the result of destructive habits, wrong eating, wrong posture, negative thinking, over-indulgence in stimulants, and general negligence in the care of the body, which results in imperfect metabolism, lowered resistance, and devitalized organs.
When more food is taken into the body than is required, congestion results. The decaying waste material is distributed throughout the body and finds lodgment in the weakest part. If the eyes are the weakest organs of the body, they are the first to become congested, and the disease is named accordingly. If it is in the conjunctiva, it is called conjunctivitis. If the retina of the eye happens to be weak and is clogged with the waste material carried by the blood and lymph, the disease is then known as retinitis. Regardless of the name, it is still the one disease—congestion.
If the appendix, the tonsils, the heart, the liver, or the sinuses, receive more of the waste material than it is possible for them to eliminate, then the disease is called appendicitis, tonsillitis, liver atrophy, or in accordance with the organ affected.
Medical science has made many improvements since I wrote my first book. Good specialists are now prescribing more minerals and more vitamins, and they are giving more attention to the diet; but there may be still a few unscrupulous doctors who are advising unnecessary operations and treatments. If you keep the poisonous waste materials out of your body, take a reasonable amount of outdoor exercise, and eat correctly, your chances of maintaining good health are greatly improved.
One of our professors at medical college, who not only was a great teacher but also a splendid physician and surgeon, told us that when we were graduated he would give us his great ''Three-in-One Prescription" which had helped him to relieve more suffering, cure more diseases, and make more people healthy and happy than any other prescription he had ever used. Reduced to its simplest form, the prescription consisted of: COOL THE HEAD, WARM THE FEET, AND MOVE THE BOWELS.
In short, quiet the patient through relieving his mental worries, and see that the blood is circulating from head to Coot, all of which would not be possible unless the bowels were discharging their waste. Any physician of any school, regardless of how little or how much he knows, learns early in the practice of the healing art that it is impossible for him to treat any disease without elimination through the bowels, kidneys, and the sweat glands. Unless the bowels are kept active and. regular, all the other organs are sure to become overloaded through absorption of uneliminated waste material.
No man or machine can continue to function correctly unless properly supplied with fuel. We would not attempt to run our automobile with a poor grade of gasoline, and expect the best results. The human machine will not function when it is supplied with fuel that has been demineralized, devitalized, and denatured through heating, seasoning, canning, and other unnatural methods of preparation. When vegetables have been cooked to a point of destruction of their essential elements, which are so important in supplying building material and energy-producing properties, the power and strength of the body is greatly diminished.
Adequate repair material is positively essential for the maintenance of the body tissues. The body tissues consist of bones, nerves, blood, glands, muscles and skin. The most important materials in body building are: Nitrogen, protein, calcium and phosphorus. They are necessary for bones and teeth, and are also needed by all other tissues. Organic iron, found in green, leafy vegetables, is essential to pure blood and necessary for health.
The magnetic and electric power, generated into the green vegetables by sunlight, is of utmost importance to human and animal life. They cannot live without it. Man and animals are directly or indirectly the product of vegetable life. If the vegetables have been too long in storage, too long in cans, or heated too much, they are of poor quality. Man or animal, living on such devitalized vegetables, will naturally lose his resistance and fall many years short of his normal life span, and his vision may become very dim.
Unless the nutriment is in accordance with Nature and not denatured, the cells of the body lack the ability to throw off their waste substance, and take on new life-building substance. Any diet that does not contain all of the proper food elements deteriorates the body, and the more delicate tissues are the first ones to be affected.
A good-natured, sweet-tempered disposition is not possible without special effort on the part of anyone whose physical and mental body is deprived of proper nutrition. The under-nourished person sooner or later becomes despondent, easily discouraged, lacking in will power, and without enthusiasm.
The purpose of food is to furnish fuel to keep the body warm, and give it energy for proper activity. A small amount of food is required in maintaining the structure of the body after it once reaches maturity. After the age of 40, the body requirements for protein and heavy foods are greatly lessened. The growing child, when active in outdoor exercise and play, uses and requires a greater quantity of these heavy foods than the adult, unless the adult is engaged in very hard work where unusual strain is put upon the muscles of the body and a great deal of energy is used.
If foods are taken in wrong combinations, they may not be properly assimilated. Since we have learned how to combine spices, oils, extracts, vinegar, fruit juices, and vegetables, our tastes and appetites have become perverted. Only a small percentage of people realize the bad effect of grapefruit with sugar. It is only during the last few years that students of organic chemistry have found the true answer to many of our food problems.
If more acid-forming food is taken into the body than is required, the arteries and veins begin to dry up, the mucous lining of the stomach and intestines is over-stimulated by the acid condition, the eyes also lose their tone, and the body withers. This is commonly called old-age, but in reality is nothing more than a diseased condition of the tissues resulting from too much acid-forming food.
If the alkalinity of the blood is maintained through eating the alkaline-forming foods, the body balance is more perfect and better health is the result. The lower forms of animal life live to many times their maturity because they have not been taught how to destroy their foods with too much cooking and spices; consequently, they get the full food value in the proper proportions and do not contract the great variety of diseases commonly found among the human family.
Animals that are kept in pens, zoos, or homes for pets, many times contract the same diseases as their masters., because they have had their appetites perverted, their tastes changed, and their body tissues congested. Their eyes become weak, their vision dim, and their bodies show the bad effects of the unnatural life they are compelled to live while penned up and fed demineralized foods.
In this book I have endeavored to give an explanation of how these different conditions are brought about, and how to correct them. I have eliminated the use of medical terms and phrases as far as possible, so that the book may be of value to the laity, as well as to physicians.
At last, I have found a better way of improving many conditions of the eyes rather than by prescribing glasses. In order to avoid a misunderstanding regarding the exercises which follow, please let me warn you that after more than 20 years of practice I have decided there are three distinct classes of people with whom the physician has to deal:
One class comes to the physician with their minds fully made up to do exactly as they are told and follow instructions until they have regained their health.
We get another class of patients who come with their minds made up, "Here I am, Doctor, go ahead and cure me. I am paying my money for your service and I expect you to cure me." This type of patient will promise to follow instructions, but never does.
Then there is the third class made up of all sorts of humankind who are mentally defective, physically defective, and absolutely incapable of seeing the advantage of doing anything as it should be done. They either do not remember what you tell them; or, they are so weak physically that they fail to make the effort; or, they are actually insane or partly so.
It is surprising the number of people who go to physicians who are actually crazy. This may shock you, but much of a physician's practice consists of handling mental defectives.
I have had patients tell me that they read my book many times and practiced the exercises, but when questioning these people and asking them to give me a demonstration of how they took the exercises, I always find they are plain liars. They do not know how to take even the simplest form of eye exercises. They probably had read two or three pages in the book and stretched their imaginations to believing that they had not only mastered the book but actually put it into practice. Further examination of these people proves conclusively that they are mentally unbalanced; not enough to be locked up or put in a padded cell, but enough to be noticeable to a person who understands the normal functioning of the human mind.
The intelligent person who goes to a physician only has to go a very few times to get the instructions he needs.
Then he gets busy and does something. He doesn't go back day after day expecting the doctor to do everything for him.
Just to give you a few examples, I had a Mrs. F who came to me complaining that she had constant pain in her eyes. An examination revealed the fact that her eyes were as near perfect as it was possible to find a pair of eyes. After further investigation and studying her case, I found that I was the 17th doctor who had been consulted. Each physician had studied her case for a week or ten days, and had told her that there was nothing wrong with her eyes. She had made up her mind that there was something wrong with her eyes, and that she would find a doctor who could cure it, so she complained to her husband that the doctor didn't know what he was doing, then, they called a new doctor. This patient was a plain nut, not much crazier than thousands of others; but her one form of insanity was the preconceived idea that she had weak eyes.
I made several tests until I was thoroughly convinced that it was her mind, and not her eyes. After sending her through the clinic, and having a thorough check-up, I found that she had normal blood pressure; her kidneys, heart, liver and lungs were all functioning normally; her digestion as near perfect as it is possible for a person to have, and her body was as perfectly formed as any I have seen. One of my rectal specialists discovered a very small internal hemorrhoid, but not as large as the average person of her age sometimes has.
This young woman had been petted at home, humored and waited upon until she had a great desire for a lot of unnecessary attention. Whenever the family wanted to do something that she didn 't want to do, or go some place that she didn't want to go, she would use her eye trouble as the big excuse. Invariably on such days her eyes were much worse, according to her, and she was clever enough to convince all members of her family, including her husband, that she really had some serious eye trouble, regardless of the statement of sixteen physicians that they could find nothing wrong with her eyes.
I made up my mind that I was not going to be just the 17th physician who had been discarded with the statement that I didn't know what I was doing, so I planned a little arrangement whereby I could take her mind off her eyes and put it on her rectum. In other words, I made up my mind that I was going to transfer her eye trouble to her rectum. A person cannot have pain in two parts of the body at the same time without noticing that one is a little worse than the other. We gave such treatment as to really produce sufficient pain in the rectum to keep her mind centered on her rectum for a while; in fact, she was not comfortable sitting down, and not always comfortable standing. It was perfectly legitimate to give her the rectal treatment that we gave. She really needed it, and by giving her some eye treatment that she did not need it was very easy to prove to her that there was no pain in her eyes, but there was ìh the rectum. Even her imaginary eye pains became less noticeable to her because her attention was focused on her rectum.
In six weeks this patient discontinued talking about her eyes, and since it was not polite and refined to be constantly talking about her rectum, she discontinued complaining about her eyes and found a new way of getting sympathy. She would become very nervous, very much disturbed, and always had the excuse that she was too nervous to do this, that or the other thing.
To help one of these patients is physically impossible. As long as her family has any money left, she will continue to spend a good share of it with physicians. There is not much chance of anyone ever helping such an individual. I have used many methods to transfer so-called pain from one part of the body to another, but these patients who have imaginary aches and pains don't want to be helped, but when I turn one of them loose I have usually convinced the family that there is one loose nut that they are helping to make worse.
Another patient who had been taken from one hospital to another was brought to me to relieve a supposed pressure in her head. The patient complained that there was a heavy pressure feeling that never left. She felt like the top of her head was being pushed off. She claimed that hot towels, massaging her back, and holding the hands pressed against her forehead relieved her pain.
The family spent several thousand dollars having X-ray pictures made and all kinds of examinations. Every kind of physician who had any reputation at all was consulted. Chiropractors, dietitians, osteopaths, naturopaths, masseurs, hot springs, everything imaginable had been suggested, but nothing had relieved this head pressure. They had employed so many doctors that they didn't know the number.
I transferred her imaginary pain from her head to her stomach. It took me about five months to make the transfer, but after it was done all I had to show for my trouble was the fact that it was a mental condition, and not a physical condition at all. This patient threatened to jump out of the window or commit suicide in some other way if she did not get the attention she wanted. My office was on the 13th floor. She even threatened to jump out of my office window, went to the window and looked down on the street. I left the room and told her to go ahead, that her family and everybody else would be better off if she did. Of course, she did not do it. She merely told her family that I was a heartless brute who had no sympathy, and that she must have another doctor.
Even little children will many times convince their parents that their eyes are defective and that they need glasses, simply because they see another child wearing glasses and they want a pair. There are many children who use the excuse that they cannot get their lessons, because their eyes are weak. It's true that some children do have deformed eyes and really need the attention of an eye specialist, and they need to take eye exercises, but many of them do not need eyeglasses.
If the eyes are sufficiently deformed to really need glasses, then they also need eye exercises more than anybody else, because glasses are like crutches. They do not cure anything. They relieve a condition, and while crutches help a person to walk around, they also permit the unused limbs to wither and become less useful. The glasses many times improve the vision, but cause the eyes to become more withered, less active, and weaker in general.
Among my patients I have had presidents and vice-presidents of large companies, great and near-great lawyers, newspaper editors, financiers, college professors, etc., but my practice, like all other physicians, includes many mental defectives, and it is these mental defectives who give the physician the most trouble. There is a great army of them, constantly telling the world about the many physicians who failed to give them relief. This is one of the reasons why so many people have lost confidence in doctors.
Another reason is that doctors who really know their business also know that a very small percentage of people ever do what they should do in order to get well. In 20 years of practice, I can truthfully say that it has meant more to me to learn how to discern the patient who really wants to get well from the one who has no intention of getting well than anything else. It is true that many of the mental defectives who go to doctors really do have some form of disease, but they'll always have it no matter how many doctors they go to, because they haven't the intellect to make the necessary effort to get well.
For instance, a patient who has low vitality, due to certain dietary habits which lowers the blood pressure to a point where there is very poor circulation to the eyes, will never get results from taking eye exercises alone, because his eye trouble is due to lack of proper nourishment; and, since he has made up his mind that he cannot eat certain foods regardless of the fact that they are necessary, it is impossible to help such a patient, just the same as it is impossible to heat water without heat.
Why do I tell you all of this ? To make you understand that the instructions which follow have to be carried out in their entirety, not partly. For instance, the chapter on elimination is just as important in the treatment of diseases of the eye as the chapter on eye exercises. The chapter on physical exercise is equally important. The chapter on mental attitude is just as important, because your mental attitude interferes with the flow of your digestive juices, your circulation, your sleep, and the entire function of all your vital organs.
If you read this book with the idea that you only need certain things, and that you already know about all there is to know about health, then you are just like the patient who comes to the physician and says, "Now, Doctor, 1 know exactly what my trouble is, and I know what treatment I need. If you'll just give me so-and-so I'll be all right."
I always say to such a patient, "If you know exactly what your trouble is and what you need, then you'd better take your own treatment. Since you've diagnosed your own case and prescribed your own treatment you have made my services unnecessary."
Remember to test your eyes as instructed on page 7. In the preceding chapter we have discussed the different types of people and the reasons for their success or failure in their effort to regain or retain their health. In this chapter we will tell you the best method of procedure to improve your vision.
Many students misunderstand and over-exercise their eyes the first few days. Others take the exercises occasionally and violently enough to produce some soreness of the eye muscles and eye tissues, but never systematically enough to create a natural, harmonious function of the eyeball.
You should not take any stretching or pulling eye exercises the first few days. By this I mean you should not look to the right, left, up or down, rolling your eyes all the way around and stretching the muscles. Avoid all of this until you have helped relieve the venous congestion by blinking, shifting and relaxing for three or four days. The three important things to remember are: BLINKING, SHIFTING AND RELAXING.
By blinking, we mean opening and closing the eyes gently. If you will blink your eyes 25 times very rapidly and repeat this every two hours, you will be astonished at the free, easy movement of your eyeballs.