A Book Review by: Dennis Hoover, COVT
This book takes a more holistic approach to the treatment of visual problems than most. There is a section dealing with the structure of the eye and how input is sent to various sections of the brain. This is followed by a discussion of how infant vision develops and the changes that occur up until the child enters school. There is a fairly complete outlining of the personality traits of those who have various visual problems (myopes, hyperopes, amblyopes, etc.) There is rather extensive material on the traditional Chinese medicine approachand its five elements – wood, fire, earth, water, and metal and how an imbalance in these can lead to visual (andother) difficulties. (This goes a little far out for me, as I’m usually looking for proof. For example, do we have scientific studies that prove that “the liver determines how well the eyes function”? However, the author seems to be able to point out how these things affect his own patients and how he uses this approach in treating them, so I suppose its ok until proved wrong.)
The middle part of the book deals with the various types of visual problems and their treatments. It also lists numerous other types of therapies, among them being Biofeedback, Syntonics, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method, the role of nutrition, etc. Following this is a history of Vision Therapy beginning with the Bates method, then the work of Skeffington, and Javal. In Chap. 8, the author then discusses in fairly good detail just what he does in an eye exam to evaluate a patient’s vision and why he does it. (The Mirror test at the end of the section (p.153) was interesting to me, as it is outside what I would consider the “usual exam”. I wonder though, if I could answer a question of “is there a difference in how old your left eye FEELS as compared to the right”?)
The last part of the book (Section 2) contains various therapy activities, mostly familiar ones such as Hart Chart, Deep Breathing, Palming, Head Rotations, Pencil Push-Ups, Mystery Bag, etc., although there are others which go further afield than usual in exploring emotions, etc. There is also a list of therapy activities which can be used for specific visual problems. Near the end are listed various resources. Acknowledgments are made to various other doctors by the author in his forward.