When I read the Wikipedia entry on the Bates Method, I was reminded of the opposition to eye yoga from many eye doctors. They probably see it as a threat to business, some may genuinely try to protect people against false hopes, and many reject it without know much about it.
So is eye yoga quackery?
It is quackery if it is promoted in an inaccurate way. If it is promoted as if results are guaranteed and as if it would work well for anyone at any time.
It is also quackery of sorts, since some of the methods may not have been thoroughly studied. It may well be that some exercises are very effective, and some are less effective, yet we don’t know until there are more thorough studies available.
And it is not quackery. As always, the proof is in the pudding.
We know from innumerable cases that eye yoga does seem to work. It is very simple to test: get your eyes checked, do eye yoga, and get your eyes checked again. I went from near sighted and needing glasses to perfect vision, and a similar improvement has happened for many people and verified by their eye doctors.
There are also studies out there that shows that it works. As most things, it seems to work very well for some, it works to some extent for many, and it does not seem to work much for some.
In addition to all this, eye yoga simply makes sense.
There are lots of muscles associated with the eye and with various eye problems, so exercising and learning to relax these just makes good sense. We do that with most other muscles in the body, so why not for those associated with the eyes. At the very least, it can hurt.
We also know the essential role of the brain in interpreting and processing the signals from the eyes. So also here there is lots of room for working with what is going on and training the brain in new patterns, which in turn may help our vision.