Jose Ricardo G. Bondoc
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (4/23)- At a small studio on 48th Avenue, located in the Sunset District, located near Ocean Beach, Meir Schneider runs a studio called “The School for Self- Healing”. According to their website,”The School for Self-Healing is a non-profit school that teaches and provides movement work, massage, and vision therapy in San Francisco as well as around the globe for a wide variety of disorders, diseases and injuries. We provide private Sessions, free and low-cost public Workshops, as well as Training in the Self-Healing Method. According to their mission statement,”The Meir Schneider Method of Self-Healing through Bodywork and Movement is a holistic health discipline that integrates movement, self-massage and therapeutic massage, breathing, visualization and imagery, and eye exercises, for the rehabilitation and preventative care of the body and eyes. Self-Healing is body-mind work. The School’s mission is to train individuals to Self-Heal. Our mission is to share the knowledge and benefits of Self-Healing with the public, globally….”
According to his biography,”Meir Schneider was born with cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, and nystagmus. After five unsuccessful surgeries on the lenses of his eyes, which left them shattered and filled with scar tissue, doctors pronounced his condition hopeless and he was certified legally blind. Schneider performed his reading and schoolwork in Braille. At age 17, Meir learned the Bates Method of eye exercises. He practiced them diligently, up to 13 hours a day, undeterred by the skepticism of family and friends. To this he added his own regimen of self-massage and movement. Within six months, he could recognize visual objects for the first time; within 18 months, he could read print without glasses. His vision continued to improve, and today is 20/80. He holds a current unrestricted California driver’s license….” Furthermore,”During Schneider’s recovery process, while still a teenager, Meir began to help others with a wide range of degenerative conditions, such as polio, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. He found that the same principles which enabled him to gain functional eyesight could be applied to the entire body. His discoveries led to the creation of the Meir Schneider Method of Self-Healing through Bodywork and Movement, helping tens of thousands of people with serious physical and visual conditions worldwide….”
SFNewsfeed.us had a few minutes to speak with the founder and creator of the school to discuss the school, the future, and what many are calling the self-healing movement.
SFN: How did you come to form the School for Self-Healing?
MS: (Showing pictures of his eyes) I was born blind with cataracts. One of the mistakes that was made, which was not understood at the time, was that the surgeries were done too late. The doctors can’t be blamed since they didn’t know this at the time, and was not done for most people in that generation.Here is is my eye after 4-7 cataract surgeries, wherein I was able to only use c. 1% of my visual capability. This is my current eye, with the eye now able to use c. 70% of its visual capability. Strangely enough I was also born to two deaf parents. My two kids were born with cataracts, and yet through the visual exercises that I have developed.
(Pointing to a patient in the next room) The current case is worse than I was. This kid could only detect the presence of light, but now we have been able to open up his light capacity, and he is now able to detect light and shadows. Thanks to the treatments, my children have better than 20/20 vision. Using all of the knowledge using all of the data we have gathered, we have found that there is a critical time when the brain develops….
SFN: What can you tell us what a regular day in your life is like?
MS: It definitely varies from day to day. I have one patient from Hong Kong who is going to have 20 double sessions in an effort to prevent the need for invasive surgery. Usually I work 25 sessions her week in single hour sessions, which comes out to roughly 5 sessions per day. It varies from day to day. It’s 25 some weeks , on some days it can be as high as 10 sessions per day. Often it is just 4-5 sessions per day, although I practice all over the world..
SFN: You have been cited as “One of the Most Important Israelis” on Israeli television, but you are primarily based in San Francisco. The question would be why?
MS: The answer I had in 1976, would certainly be better than now in 2014. I was already in San Francisco when I originally built the school here. There was a time when this city was open to alternative health, and now the whole world is following the alternative health movement. I like to run on the ocean. With the holistic health movement, it has become a worldwide movement since its inception in 1976. As proof of this from March 8th (3/8) until April 7th (4/7), I have been teaching in Taiwan and Singapore. Later on, I will be meeting with my son, who is working in a community there, and I will be teaching in Israel, and from there going to Germany and Great Britain. I would say that I have become a worldly person in the meantime,…
SFN: So how many people are usually part of your classes?
MS: We started in the United States with 23 people. In Singapore, we have over 150 people. At our height we have had 161 people and the University of San Francisco (USF). Overall though we would certainly like more exposure in the San Francisco Bay Area…
SFN: Have you been trying to get your “Meir Schneider Method” approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? If so, how has that process been coming along?
MS: With regard to the issue of “vision healing”, there has been research finally published in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but it hasn’t been translated from Portuguese into English. At this point it would be premature to discuss the full details of our work, but the work has been approved by the American Association of Massage Therapists, the Board of Nursing, and other governing bodies regarding the matter, but the work has been hard, and slow in coming. (Presenting several pages) Here are the first two pages that have been translated so far….
SFN: What can you tell us about your book “The Movement for Self-Healing”?
MS: The first book that I published was “Self Healing: My Life & Vision”. Since my experience was so different from others, I knew I had such a special experience that I knew I had to share it with others. I worked with other people over time, developing the method, and worked with people who overcame polio and multiple sclerosis. My credentials were often hard to elaborate upon, but not my convictions. The book became a way to serve as a description of people as people rather than cold statistics. This alone served as a very nice human interest angle. Penguin Books was able to publish and sell 40,000 of the books and New World Library was able to publish an additional 9,000. This is just the English-language editions. The books have subsequently been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian and Portuguese….”
SFN: What can you tell us about what you have planned for the future?
MS: One of the things that I am trying to do is to increase training numbers across the world. One of the steps will be a revision of “Vision for Life”. But my wish is that for the self-healing movement to work, a critical mass must be achieved. It is one thing that we could help a person like yourself achieve 20/20 vision, but consider the power of change that would be accomplished if hundreds or thousands of people were taught these methods. The idea is to create a new consciousness with the possibility of reaching people, teaching people about the body’s potential for self healing, whether it is in regards to back problems, joint problems, breathing problems…. The human body has over 600 muscles to it, and yet most people only use 100 of those muscles….”
– Jose Ricardo G. Bondoc