Visions of Joy - Natural Eyesight Improvement - Vision Education
The Joy of Seeing with Natural Clarity!
Improve your vision and overcome the need for glasses or contacts while avoiding laser surgery

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14 April 2016

Visions of Joy News!

- Welcome!
- Esther’s Updates
- The new EYEPORT is available now!
- Special news for vision teachers
- To fail to see requires an effort – W.H. Bates, M.D.

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! We have about 200 new subscribers so far this year, so I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

THE NEW EYEPORT IS AVAILABLE
Since the original Eyeport went out of production in 2014 I’ve had many requests for them that I could not fulfil. Thankfully the Bernell company has started to make an improved version, called the Eyeport II, with a tripod stand and USB power connector. For those not familiar with the Eyeport, it is a vision training machine that uses red/blue lights to stimulate relaxed focus and shifting in both eyes which helps with a variety of functional vision challenges, especially promoting binocular vision. So if you wanted to buy an Eyeport but missed out before, here is your chance to get one now!
The first units have just arrived here in Ojai and can be mailed to you this week! They cost $269.95 plus postage. You’ll find more information about the Eyeport here.

ESTHER’S UPDATES
I was excited to see that my book Read Without Glasses At Any Age (along with its Italian sister Leggere Senza Occhiali) recently passed the 1000 copies sold mark. I’m currently working a lot on the new Optimal Eyesight book for those with myopia and astigmatism, and will keep you up to date when I get closer to its publication date.
Coming up are a few vision improvement workshops - one at Centrum Bubishi in Brunssum, the Netherlands (25 June), and one at Montegrotto Terme near Venice, Italy (2-3 July). Inquire for more information.

SPECIAL NEWS FOR VISION TEACHERS
Today I also sent a newsletter just for vision teachers. It has information on the continuing education seminar that I will give in Italy (11-15 July, at Montegrotto Terme near Venice); plus an invitation to the 3rd Professional AVE Conference in Boulder Colorado (15-18 September) and a link to the 84th International Conference on Light and Vision (syntonics) in Indianapolis, 7-11 June 2016. If you receive this email but not the vision teacher edition, and you are a teacher who would like to receive these special updates, please email me.

TO FAIL TO SEE REQUIRES AN EFFORT
To fail to see requires an effort. When the patient regards the letters which are so blurred and indistinct that he cannot tell what they are, he is always straining, trying to see, either consciously or unconsciously. People are cured of their imperfect sight when they cease to strain, stare, or make an effort to see. When I explained this to one of my patients, she said that I was wrong, that the only way she could see was by means of an effort. I had her test the facts. When she looked at the Snellen test card at ten feet, she could not read it with normal vision. At five feet her vision was better, but when she made an effort, her vision became much worse. The same was true when she regarded letters at a nearer point, three feet, two feet, or even one foot. An effort to see always made her sight worse. She had to demonstrate the facts repeatedly before she was finally convinced that her vision was good only when her eyes were at rest and no effort was made.

W.H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight magazine, September 1926

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News, please share it with your friends!
Enjoy your path to clarity.

Love,
Esther

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23 December 2015

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- The Optimist - Magazine Article and Online Video Course
- Esther’s Updates
- Congratulations!
- Pinhole Glasses offer
- Celebrating Dr. Bates’ birthday today

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

This is the first time that the Newsletter is sent out via Mailchimp. This automation allows you to easily subscribe and unsubscribe, change your email address if you want, and it saves me time, so I hope it works well!

It has been five months since the last newsletter, and that makes this one rather filled full with new items! I have been so busy that it’s been a challenge to keep up with emails, but I hope to catch up during this Christmas break, so if you are awaiting a reply, it will come soon!

THE OPTIMIST - MAGAZINE ARTICLE AND ONLINE VIDEO COURSE
The Optimist magazine recently published an article on the Bates Method and they invited me to offer an online video course for their subscribers and my students. I have not done this before and am excited to create it! The course will be in four segments; four Fridays in a row, starting 29 January 2016. I will cover many vision improvement techniques to help a wide range of functional vision issues, and each session will end with a chance for participants to ask questions. If you are interested in taking part, you will get a 10% discount if you sign up through Visions of Joy!

ESTHER’S UPDATES
2015 has been an incredibly busy year with a few remarkable ‘firsts’! - My book ‘Read Without Glasses at Any Age’ saw its first translation (into Italian); I organized my first vision educators (AVE) conference; and I traveled to Spain for the first time to speak at the International Holistic Vision Conference last month.
Coming up in 2016 are the above mentioned online video course (another first!); a few vision improvement workshops - one at Centrum Bubishi in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and one in Camposampiero, Italy (in June / July); a teacher training week (11-15 July) in Italy; the 3rd Professional AVE Conference in Boulder Colorado (16-18 September); and a new look to the Visions of Joy website which will become mobile-friendly! More things are in the pipeline, they will be announced later on. Yes, I’m keeping busy
...

CONGRATULATIONS!
People so often tell me of their wonderful vision progress that it is normal for me to hear about eyesight improving, but for many people it is not. So I will share a few recent stories from my students. There are more from the past 5 months but I will l limit it to just five to keep this section ‘short’.

* Congratulations to Kimberly Wulfert in Ojai who I met at an event in Santa Barbara. We got talking, she bought my book Read Without Glasses at Any Age, and she started to lower the power of her reading glasses by herself. She sent an email recently just to say: I’m doing pretty well at 2.00 lens now, started at 3.25. I’m so happy about this!

* Congratulations to Jane B. in England whose vision steadily improved while taking the email course. She wrote this after completing the 5th lesson:
Dear Esther, This whole process is so exciting! My vision seems to be so much better when I am outside walking, it seems almost that everything in the distance is clearer than it was when I was wearing contacts. I don't know how that can be! But it is such a joyful feeling. I have walked a lot this week along the coast, and love looking at the rocks, pebbles and the waves with such clarity and depth.
Love, Jane


* Congratulations to Nalini R. (52) in Tomales, CA who took the email course and wrote:
Hi Esther,
Vision is continuing to clear. I've been working on the computer without glasses and my vision improves daily. One day at the computer I tried putting on the -3/-2.5 pairs of glasses and my eyes nearly rebelled! I could feel the headache and eye strain coming back. It feels like my eyes are willing to clear if I just don't put glasses on them...
I can feel my eyes starting to move naturally on their own now too. I understand what your student from Spain meant by that.
[Nora U, see July 2015 Newsletter.] I go for long walks in the morning past sheep farms and this morning I was amazed at how my eyes just realized how to move and see clearly.
Thanks for everything, you have my eternal gratitude...
Nalini

Congratulations to J.K in Idaho who I wrote about in the March 1 newsletter. He sent this update in August:
Esther,
I hope you remember me as its been a long time since I last contacted you; its me J, the kid from Idaho. I have some good news to share with you, as I have been enjoying the fruits of relaxed and effortless vision.
I am proud to announce that I can read the 20/15 line from 20-22 feet away ( I measured). One day my right eye could even pick out a few letters on the 20/10 line! It is truly amazing how well you see when you don't try to see!! Thankfully the habit of trying not to see is already very strong within me, and only very rarely do I find myself trying to see ( which I quickly correct).
I have also had a few more bonuses using this relaxed vision. I have several floaters in both eyes, which, as you can imagine in very annoying. This new relaxed vision, gets rid of them virtually instantly, using blinking, shifting, and trying not to see. Now only very rarely do I see my floaters!! Let me tell you its very nice to look up into that sapphire blue sky and see nothing but endless blue, minus those floaters!! I am also not as sensitive to sunlight as I used to be, sunning really helps.
I would like to thank you immensely for all your help and all the information on your website!!!
J.

Congratulations to Ulla Y. in Finland who proves that vision improvement does not always come quickly but it is worth the wait and persistence pays! On 19 August 2015 she wrote to me:
Dear Esther! I have to tell you these great news!
I started with you in December 2013. My vision then was
Both eyes: 3 / 40
Left eye: 3 / 50
Right eye: 3 / 80
This morning it was for the first time
Both eyes: 3 / 5 (!!!!!!!!!!!)
Left eye: 3 / 10
Right eye: 3 / 10
I'm so happy with these results!! I think my vision might be about -2 & -2,25 right now.
(Ulla started at -4.50 and this improvement equates to going from 8% of normal vision to 60% with both eyes in less than 2 years; a huge improvement. ~ EJvdW)
The process with my vision seems to be veeeeeeeery slow (there have been times I'm wondering if anything is really happening?!), but this 3 / 5 gives me new confirm that yes, it's all the time going on. I've been very conscious and enthusiastic about this process all the time. My eyes are every day in my mind. Things are clearer and I've been meditating regularly :)
All the best for you, Huge Thanks again,
I'll tell you more great news again!! (even though, it can take time ;)
Love, Ulla (Finland)


That's why I love my work! These are just a few recent examples and, as you may know from previous newsletters, they are not the only success stories. Congratulations go to all my students, even if only for having an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Not everyone sees fast improvements, yet many benefits become evident over time, and every step is so worth-while. Keep enjoying your path to clarity!

PINHOLE GLASSES OFFER
One more time I offer the new style pinhole glasses at a discount, only while supplies last, or until 31 January 2016, whichever comes first!
Go look at these new style of pinhole glasses, with smaller pinholes than I have seen before, which increases your focal range. This makes them more usable for both near and far vision. Also, the greater number of holes creates a better field of vision with considerably less interruption from the black plastic. Go see!

In honor of Dr. Bates’ birthday today (23 December), I just want to point out some research that was published in an ophthalmology journal in August of this year confirming what Dr. Bates said more than a century ago, namely, that if you put glasses (or lenses) on a myopic eye, it will only get worse over time!…
This medical paper clearly states that continuous correction of myopia results in a linear progression that increases myopia at a rate of 0.2 to 1.0 diopter per year. No exceptions. That is what the use of these crutches do to your eyes!
As soon as I get the complete research paper I will post it on my website, for now the abstract will have to do, you can read that here.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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22 July 2015

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- AVE 2nd Professional Conference Report
- Congratulations!
- Esther’s Updates
- Quick Cures – by Dr. W.H. Bates

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

AVE 2nd PROFESSIONAL CONFERENCE REPORT
The Association of Vision Educators 2nd Professional Conference was a great success! I am glad I decided to organize this long overdue gathering with the aim to deepen our knowledge of the Bates method so we would all go home as even better and more effective teachers. With 24 colleagues, 8 lectures, 2 workshops, two Q&A sessions, morning yoga sessions, a business meeting and some social time too, we achieved what we aimed for. To be among colleagues from five different countries was a real treat for everyone, especially for those who got to experience a professional conference for the very first time. For me, seeing many familiar faces again and getting to know those new colleagues was a joy and an inspiration, and we all got so excited that the next conference is already being planned for September 2016 in Boulder, Colorado! A few photos and even a short video impression of this year’s conference are on this website and at the Facebook event page.

CONGRATULATIONS!
People so often tell me of their wonderful vision progress that it is normal for me to hear about eyesight improving, but for many people it is not. Nor do many people pay attention to elders among us who have perfect eyesight – but I notice and ask questions!

* Congratulations to Terre H. (74) in Santa Barbara who I recently met. This spritely lady has never in her life needed glasses, and still sees well at all distances. I asked for ‘her secret for good vision’, and she replied: “just using it.” She will purposely read any letters at any distance just for good practice; she uses good light so her eyes don’t have to work too hard, and her diet is healthy: no junk foods. She thinks she has been lucky, yet I think she has managed to keep her eyes nicely relaxed and healthy with her good habits, and it just goes to prove that losing your vision after age 40 or 50 absolutely does not have to happen!

* Congratulations to Nora U. (41) in Spain who completed the e-mail course in May. Nora was using -2.00 glasses before the course but considered increasing the power to -3.00 to be closer to her full prescription of -5.00. Instead she ended up using her glasses less and less and stopped using contact lenses completely. Half-way through the course she wrote:
“Suddenly, doing sunning and while moving right and left, my eyes understood that they were free to move. That there were no contact lenses to take care of… and I have been able to feel the freedom by moving them right and left without the fear of feeling pain. Esther, it has been marvelous !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, my eyes know that they are free to move!! And, I also felt how this is related to the neck and head movement! I am very happy and while I am writing you, I cannot stop SMILING !!!!!!!!”
At the end of the course Nora sent the following feedback:
“One of the results of this course is that I have been convinced on the importance of living without glasses because my goal is to improve my vision in a natural way. When I started the course, I was resistant to use the eyechart. I did not like it. I could not see it as a vision feedback tool. In my opinion, the way you introduce the eyechart; its use as a feedback tool, is great!!!! I wanted to improve peripheral vision and with this course, I achieved it! In relation to periphery, I found very helpful the lesson where you talk about computers. Thanks to you, I have adapted my computer (put it higher so that I do not need to change too much my body posture; free neck/head and breathing). And now, my eyes do not feel tired as they tended to feel before doing this course. Sharing your experience and writing as if you were with me helps a lot. You write as you were talking to me. Thus, when reading, is like listening to Esther talking to you. You are very clear and direct. And this is very helpful!”

* Congratulations to John A. in Ojai CA and Paula R. in Redmond WA who each called me on the same day earlier this month to tell me they passed their vision test at the DMV. John did so without glasses despite his vision acuity being worse than required just one week before his test when he came to see me for a lesson. Paula passed with a reduced prescription which at first worried her, yet with a little encouragement she too came through the test successfully and both were quite relieved to get their driver’s license renewed.


That's why I love my work! These are just a few recent examples and, as you may know from previous newsletters, they are not the only success stories. Congratulations go to all my students, even if only for having an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Not everyone sees fast improvements, yet many benefits become evident over time, and every step is so worth-while. Keep enjoying your path to clarity!

ESTHER’S UPDATES
It has been a bit of a crazy busy year so far, but summer is here and things are calmer and writing work on my new book is going well.

While my first book Bates Method Nuggets celebrates its 5th birthday this month, the 2013 book Read Without Glasses at Any Age has its first translation ‘sibling’ and is now available in Italian as Leggere Senza Occhiali A Qualsiasi Eta’. You will find it on Amazon.com and Amazon.it. Incredible translation work was done by Dr. Giovannella Pattavina who has benefited from the Bates Method so much for her own eyesight that she became an enthusiastic promoter of the Bates Method in Italy! Thank you, dear Gio!

As far as my travel plans go, I will be in Europe in October-November 2015. I will teach in Treviso/Camposampiero area in Italy from 16 to 28 October, and in Madrid, Spain at the International Holistic Vision Conference held 30 October to 2 November. Exact dates for Brunssum, the Netherlands (in early October) will come once I have booked my flights, and details about that will be sent in a Dutch newsletter soon.

QUICK CURES
To promise any patient a cure is unwise from a scientific standpoint. In my work I take particular pains to make the patient understand that I do not expect or guarantee a cure in any case. The most I say to them is "Yes, I have cured people much worse than you, but that is no guarantee that I can give you the slightest benefit."
This seems to eliminate a certain amount of subconscious antagonism on the part of the patient, who may consciously say that he desires to be cured, but deep down in his heart feels unconsciously, "I don't believe you can do it with my help, and I am quite sure you can't do it if I oppose you."
Quick cures have their disadvantages. A patient feels that since his benefit came easily, now, with his good sight, he can go off at any time he likes and have a spree, in which he stares and strains and uses his eyes to his heart's content without any danger of a relapse. He forgets that all persons with normal vision can acquire imperfect sight at any time.
Personally I am very much upset every time a patient surprises me with a quick cure, because of the favorable criticism which may follow and which is seldom desired by the attending physician. If we could only practice quick cures in favorable cases and not have to struggle with the obstinate ones, things would get along perhaps better.
It is well to bear in mind that most quick cures happen when least expected and we do not always know what particular thing accomplished it.

W.H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, April 1925.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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 1 March 2015

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Remembering Robert Lichtman
- Congratulations!
- Esther’s Updates
- Time for Practice – by Dr. W.H. Bates

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

REMEMBERING ROBERT LICHTMAN
My dear friend and colleague Robert (Bobby) Lichtman passed away this month, joining the legion of bright stars in the sky looking out over us all. He will be much missed by his wife, his son, his parents, brothers and extended family, as well as by many of his students whom he helped with their vision, and by friends like me who admired his brilliant mind and kind gentle spirit. I want to thank those of you who prayed for him and his family in the past few months. In 2005 Bobby wrote an excellent article on myopia, which is now available on my website. Please go read it and enjoy Bobby’s insights.

CONGRATULATIONS!
People so often tell me of their wonderful vision progress that it is normal for me to hear about eyesight improving, but for many people it is not. So I will share a few recent stories from my students.

* Congratulations to J.K. (15) in Idaho, from whom I received a letter in January to thank me for advice he found on my website. He wrote (slightly edited for brevity):
In October 2014, due to headaches, my mother took me to the eye doctor, and they said I needed glasses for myopia. I was given a small correction for astigmatism. That night I did a search on how to improve eyesight in natural ways. I came across a site that advocated eye exercises and palming to improve eyesight. I tried it, and barely achieved any success with the exercises, but the palming stopped the headaches by the time my glasses were finally made (3 weeks). I only wore them for about half an hour; they gave me a blasting headache and made my eyes feel very sluggish, and I have not worn my glasses since. I finally dropped the eye exercises in January 2015 after I came across your website that said they only put more strain on your eyes. Since I started your method, I can now read things that I used to think were ‘too far away’, objects are getting clearer in the distance and my eyes feel more energetic and less tired when I go to bed. When I used to do the eye exercises my eyes felt tired and watery towards the end of the day, and the shorter palming I used to do did very little to rest my eyes since I didn’t do it right. Since I have been palming your way my eyes feel much better and more relaxed. I would like to thank you for putting the true Bates method out on the internet so that people can improve their eyesight without wearing glasses or contact lenses or undergoing dangerous surgery. If the medical world taught the Bates method instead of prescribing glasses our eye problems would be virtually non-existent. J.”

I wrote back to J. to answer a few questions he had about astigmatism, and received the following message from him in February: (unedited)
Dear Esther,
It's me (J) again. Several days ago I copied one of the free eye charts of off your website, and taped it to the wall, paced out 20 feet. To my intense and great surprise I found I could read the 20/20 line!!! I intend to keep going until I reach 20/10, as you recommend on your website.
I would like to thank you very much for all the invaluable suggestions and help you've given me so I could see clearly again. I really appreciate it!!! Also my eyes are almost never tired at night anymore, and even if they are only a little tired I palm for 5-10 minutes, and that takes care of it.
Again, thank you very much for your kind support! It gives one a very great peace of mind knowing that their vision is normal again!!!!
Thank you very much for your time!!
J.K.


* Congratulations to Dionne A. (29) in Trinidad and Tobago who recently began the email course on natural vision improvement. She writes:
Dear Esther,
Thank you for the lessons thus far. I have realized since the injury to my eyes that I have practiced all of the strained vision habits and I am now releasing them and relaxing into seeing. The gentle encouragement and support that you gave in lesson one helped to soothe my troubled mind and allowed me to give myself permission to stop pressuring my eyes to see. I have had instant relief to the muscles in my eyes that I physically felt, and now they are much happier and we have an improved relationship.
I had an early appointment with the ophthalmologist because my vision was temporarily affected by a major headache I had and the acuity in the left was 20/15; 20/40 right, and this is after applying your methods in lesson one! What really struck me was that I simply breezed through the acuity exam, I didn't think about it as I normally do and pressure my eyes to see correctly, I simply relaxed and told myself it is okay if I don't see some of the letters and I got the best results thus far! I have not practiced strobing and sunning as yet as most days are pretty rainy here in Trinidad. I do not have much questions as yet, based on lesson one, the information is presented In a clear and logical fashion.
Thank you for your continued support.
Kind regards
Dionne A.


* Congratulations to Dev S. (26) in Sunnyvale, California
Last December Dev started the e-mail course with a prescription of -5 with -1.25 astigmatism cylinder in his right eye and -4.75 in his left eye. After just four lessons of the course he can see clearly with (R) -4.50 without astigmatism and (L) -4.00. This is a significant improvement which proved to him that his vision can get better and it has set him on the path to further clarity. Besides reporting this improvement in his acuity he also wrote: “I feel a sense of relaxation, my neck tension has reduced and I have a more relaxed state of mind. [It was a] great class! Thanks Esther for you concern and support throughout the course.”


That's why I love my work! These are just a few recent examples and, as you may know from previous newsletters, they are not the only success stories. Congratulations go to all my students, even if only for having an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Not everyone sees fast improvements, yet many benefits become evident over time, and every step is so worth-while. Keep enjoying your path to clarity!

ESTHER’S UPDATES
I have made a few adjustments to my 2015 travel schedule.
First of all, I will be away for the next two weeks (1 to 16 March), and will not be checking emails or phonecalls in this time. Instead I hope to make good progress on my new book!
Secondly, I will go to Europe in October-November, not in May, which will make my travel year less hectic and opens up more time for teaching in Ojai.
The AVE 2nd Professional Conference is shaping up nicely and I look forward to seeing many of my vision education colleagues at the beginning of May here in Southern California!

TIME FOR PRACTICE
So many people with imperfect sight say that they have not the time to practice relaxation methods, as their time is taken up at business or in the performance of other duties. I always tell such people, however, that they have just as much time to use their eyes correctly as incorrectly.
They can imagine stationary objects to be moving opposite whenever they move their head and eyes. When the head and eyes move to the left, stationary objects should appear to move to the right, and vice versa.
They can remember to blink their eyes in the same way that the normal eye blinks unconsciously, which is frequently, rapidly, continuously, without any effort or strain, until by conscious practice, it will eventually become an unconscious habit, and one that will be of benefit to the patient.
They can remember to shift or look from one point to another continuously. When practicing shifting, it is well to let the head follow in the same direction as the eyes move. If the eyes move to the right, the head should follow to the right. If the eyes move to the left, the head should follow to the left. By practicing in this way, relaxation is often obtained very quickly.

W.H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, January 1929.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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23 December 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Excellent Vision at Age 65 – by Dr. W.H. Bates
- Computer Break Software
- Esther’s Updates
- Congratulations!
- Prayer Request for Robert Lichtman
- Pinhole Glasses - Special offer continues

SEASON'S GREETINGS to everyone and WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

In honor of Dr. Bates’ birthday today (23 December), an extra long quote of his:
EXCELLENT VISION AT AGE 65

A man of sixty-five, examined in a moderate light indoors, was found to have a vision of 20/10. In other words he could see twice as far as the normal eye is expected to see. He also read diamond type at less than six inches, and at other distances, to more than eighteen inches. In reply to a query as to how he came to possess visual powers so unusual at his age, or, indeed, at any age, he said that when he was about forty he began to experience difficulty, at times, in reading. He consulted an optician who advised glasses. He could not believe, however, that the glasses were necessary, because at times he could read perfectly without them. The matter interested him so much that he began to observe facts, a thing that people seldom do. He noted, first, that when he tried hard to see either at the near-point or at the distance, his vision invariably became worse, and the harder he tried the worse it became. Evidently something was wrong with this method of using the eyes. Then he tried looking at things without effort, without trying to see them. He also tried resting his eyes by closing them for five minutes or longer, or by looking away from the page that he wished to read, or the distant object he wished to see. These practices always improved his sight, and by keeping them up he not only regained normal vision but retained it for twenty-five years.

"Doctor," he said, in concluding his story, "when my eyes are at rest and comfortable, my vision is always good and I forget all about them. When they do not feel comfortable I never see so well, and then I always proceed to rest them until they feel all right again."
...
Persons whose sight is beginning to fail at the near-point, or who are approaching the presbyopic age, should imitate the example of this remarkable old gentleman. Get a specimen of diamond type, and read it every day in an artificial light, bringing it closer and closer to the eye till it can be read at six inches or less. Or get a specimen of type reduced by photography until it is much smaller than diamond type, and do the same. You will thus escape, not only the necessity of wearing glasses for reading and near work, but all of those eye troubles which now so often darken the later years of life.

W.H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, May 1930.

COMPUTER BREAK SOFTWARE
If you use a computer more than 2 hours per day I suggest you download software that reminds you to take breaks from your computer. I currently use EyeLeo, a free program that allows me to set my preferred length of time before taking either short or long breaks from my screen. Their eyesight reminders are not always completely in line with Bates, but you can replace any of their suggestions with your own more relaxed alternatives.

For Mac users there is a free download called ‘Time Out’ that dims the screen every 10 minutes for 10 seconds and/or every hour for 10 minutes.

This page lists a few similar break-reminder free downloads and you will find more options if you google ‘computer break reminder software.

Another useful program is called Swing Windows, which creates a swinging motion of the active window on your screen, making it impossible to stare at the computer. This program can be downloaded for free from central-fixation.com. (Swing Windows only works on a PC at present, not on a Mac.) Although this software has not been updated for some time, I sometimes still use it on my Windows 7 computer and it works fine.

ESTHER’S UPDATES
My visit to Europe a few months ago was amazing, with my first two weekend workshops in Italy being especially well received, and plans for more workshops in the Venice area already being made for 2015. The Italian translation of my book Read Without Glasses at Any Age will likely be published at the end of January, which is exciting! A Spanish translation is just starting, with hopes of having that ready in time for the International Holistic Vision Conference in Madrid in November 2015.
My schedule for 2015 is now up on my website. It will be a busy year, especially as I am organizing the 2nd Professional Conference for the Association of Vision Educators, which will be held in Pacific Palisades the first weekend of May.
To make sure I am fit and ready for all that, I begin with taking some time off. The Visions of Joy office will be closed from now until January 11. I will recharge my batteries, ready for this new year of eyesight miracles!

CONGRATULATIONS!
People so often tell me of their wonderful vision progress that it is normal for me to hear about eyesight improving, but for many people it is not. So I will share a few recent stories from my students.

* Congratulations to Gio P. (35+) in Italy who has just passed her driver’s license renewal test without glasses! Until 4 years ago she used -3.00 glasses for myopia, 2 years ago she was at -1.75. Then she took my email course and returned to seeing with natural clarity. Today Gio writes:
Dearest Esther,
It was only last year we met for the first time and I started doing my Bates' practice with you, and now I can tell happily that in November 2014 I got my driving license without glasses!
That's great! My eyesight has improved every day ever better, and now I have long flashes of perfect sight even when the sun is not shining. The key to me is relaxation.
Every time I have perfect sight I forget my eyes and I can feel them moving happily, and I enjoy the Light, and the joy that I can receive through perfect vision. I'm grateful for meeting you and for doctor Bates, he was a generous genius and pioneer. Thank you doctor Bates and happy birthday!!!
I love you,
Gio

* Congratulations to Zdenko S. in Italy who has not worn glasses since taking my weekend workshop in Borgoricco two months ago.

He wrote (in Excellent English for someone from Croatia!):
Hy dear Ester,
I am very happy and grateful to you for all informations that you have give to me. I decided to not wear any more some kind of glasses and to see

I aprischied [appreciated] your cours the Visions Of Joy that you have no idea. I told to doctor Migliorini how much You are professional and with how much Love you do what you do. I wish to you all the best that you wish
A nice rigard whit lot of love, Zdenko

* Congratulations to Al Earle, (65+) in Ojai, California. Al is the dear free-hugs-provider at my local farmers' market, who hesitantly took off his glasses 4 months ago after some gentle prodding from me, and he now has completely clear vision, even when driving at night. Watch for my new book about this: “Hug your way to better eyesight!
You can read Al’s testimonial here.
* Congratulations to
Mike White, my Optimal Breathing Coach in North Carolina:
Hi Esther,
I am 73, have never had surgery or contacts and do not need glasses. But sometimes after staring at the computer all day my eyes get tired and a bit blurry. I use the pinholes a few times a week. I prefer them outside where the sun is strong. They really help. I show them to all of my clients and they are amazed how well they make vision so clear so quickly. I also palm occasionally.
Michael Grant White
, breathing.com

That's why I love my work! These are just a few recent examples and they are not the only success stories. Congratulations go to all my students, even if only for having an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Not everyone sees fast improvements, yet many benefits become evident over time, and every step is so worth-while. Keep enjoying your path to clarity!

PRAYER REQUEST FOR ROBERT LICHTMAN
For those of you who know my dear colleague Robert Lichtman (he hosted the effortlessvision.com website and forum), please send some prayers up for him; he is in great need of healing. I will be visiting him and his wife today and anyone interested in updates, let me know via email.

 

PINHOLE GLASSES – SPECIAL OFFER - CONTINUES
pinhole glasses new style From January 12th I will continue the recent Christmas offer on pinhole glasses! Go look at the new style of pinhole glasses, with smaller pinholes than I have seen before, which increases your focal range. This makes them more useable for both near and far vision. Also, the larger number of holes create a better field of vision with considerably less interruption from the black plastic. Go see!
Offer valid until January 31st.

FOLLOW THE BATES METHOD ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Have a look at the Facebook page dedicated to Dr.Bates. I add vision quotes and information on natural vision improvement there on a fairly regular basis. You can also follow VisionsOfJoy on Facebook.
Of course, the Read without Glasses book has its own Facebook page...
And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter or YouTube.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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30 July 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Packing up - Moving a quarter mile...
- Esther’s Europe travels
- Congratulations!
- Practice all the time – by Dr. W.H. Bates
- Pinhole Glasses - Special offer continues

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

PACKING UP - MOVING A QUARTER MILE
After six beautiful years at Full Circle Farm in Ojai, I have found a wonderful new place to live, right across the road! This week I am packing my many eyesight books and my few other belongings and will take them across the road on August 5th, ready for a new chapter of my life. My new home has a great teaching room which I very much look forward to using!

ESTHER’S EUROPE TRAVELS
I will be in Europe September-October 2014, with the Netherlands as first destination. See the Dutch newsletter for information on classes in NL.

Italy is also on my schedule, with a teacher training weekend (4-5 October) and a weekend group class for beginners in the Bates method (11-12 October). Both will be held in Camposampiero, near Venice. I will teach in English, translation into Italian will be provided. Teachers from other countries are also welcome to the teacher training workshop. (Contact me for information).

CONGRATULATIONS!
I have been meaning to add this section to the newsletter for some time, because people so often tell me of their wonderful progress that it is normal for me to hear about eyesight improving, but for many people it is not. So I will share a few recent stories from my students.

* Congratulations to Nick D. (60+) in Los Angeles who had one lesson some years ago, but was too busy to implement what he had learned. Unfortunately he was laid off from work recently, but has used this free time to finally relax, including his eyes, and he now reads small print without glasses! He called yesterday just to say “thank you!”, and I really appreciated that.
* Congratulations to S.T. (age 10) in New Jersey who had first tried “boring and frustrating eye exercises” which did not help her vision at all and she was prescribed glasses. In May she started learning the Bates method with a few lessons on Skype which brought some exciting improvements in her sight and her glasses have not been needed.

* Congratulations to Gio P. (30+) in Italy who no longer has bags under her eyes and is experiencing clear vision on a regular basis now!

* Congratulations to Laurie S. (50+) from Santa Barbara who did not expect she had made much improvement in her first week of using the Bates method, yet at the start of her second lesson she easily read a line extra on the chart for both near and far vision, and by the end she had improved her near vision from reading 15 point font at 28 inches (arm’s length) to reading 12 point font at 15 inches and 10 point font at 20 inches. She surprised herself!

* Congratulations to Alan T. (60+) in Ojai who after one vision session got rid of his glasses as well as years of major neck tension. A happy side-effect of the Bates method!

* Congratulations to Z.M. (10) in the Netherlands whose eye doctor has now confirmed that she no longer needs an operation to straighten her eye, because it is straight all by itself these days! I helped her undo some eye muscle tension last October, which she quickly adjusted to. It has helped her keep her eye straight since that one hour we worked together!

Now you know why I love my work! These are examples from just the last few months, and they are not the only success stories. Congratulations go to all my students, even if only for having an open mind and a willingness to try something different. Not everyone sees fast improvements, yet many benefits become evident over time, and every step is so worth-while. Keep enjoying your path to clarity!

PRACTICE ALL THE TIME
A great many people have asked, "How much time should one devote to practicing the methods of central fixation in order to be cured of imperfect sight without glasses?"

The answer is—ALL THE TIME.

One should secure relaxation or rest until one is perfectly comfortable and continue feeling comfortable as long as one is awake.

The feeling of relaxation or comfort can be obtained with the memory of perfect sight. Even if one cannot remember perfect sight one can imagine it. All black objects should be imagined perfectly black. All white objects observed should be imagined perfectly white. All letters observed should be imagined perfectly and everything that is seen should be imagined perfectly.

To imagine anything imperfectly requires a strain, an effort, which is difficult. Choose the easy way. Imagine.

W.H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, October 1922.


PINHOLE GLASSES – SPECIAL OFFER
- CONTINUES
pinhole glasses new style Until the end of August 2014 I continue to offer the second pair of pinhole glasses for only two dollars! Go look at the new style of pinhole glasses, with smaller pinholes than I have seen before, which increases your focal range. This makes them more usable for both near and far vision. Also, the larger number of holes create a better field of vision with considerably less interruption from the black plastic.
Get them now!

Offer valid until August 31st or until sold out, whichever comes first…

 

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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10 June 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Dr. Bates’ Medical Articles
- Treatment of Myopia Without Glasses – by Dr. W.H. Bates
- Pinhole Glasses - Special Offer
- Esther’s Travel Schedule
- Follow the Bates Method on Social Media

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

DR. BATES’ MEDICAL ARTICLES
NY Medical JournalMuch of Dr. Bates vision research was published in the major medical journals of his time, such as the New York Medical Journal. I have found 33 of these medical articles so far, and I expect this collection to be complete.

These articles span much of Dr. Bates’ 45-year career, from his early years when he still followed the medical model and performed eye surgeries, to his later years when he had left that medical model behind and was purely teaching his patients how to cure their own eyesight without glasses.

It has taken about a decade to gather these articles and complete the collection. I hope that making them available again now, in searchable text format, nearly a century since the last publication, will contribute to a deeper understanding of the Bates Method by both teachers and students.
Here is more information on this collection of Dr. Bates’ Medical Articles.


TREATMENT OF MYOPIA WITHOUT GLASSES
The following is a quote from one of the earlier medical articles written by Dr. Bates. It shows he is already changing to a much more holistic model of eye care.

A number of other cases of myopia (with good vision) have been observed where the vision was not materially improved by glasses. The fact which has suggested treatment of the vision of axial myopia without glasses is: "Cases of myopia occur in which the vision is good and in which glasses do not materially improve the vision." As a general rule, it may be stated that treatment of the vision of myopia without glasses will improve the vision to what it was previously with glasses. […] If they gave their eyes as much attention as some people do their teeth, many cases of acute myopia would obtain permanent relief from the use of glasses.

W.H. Bates, M.D., The Medical Record, 27 January 1894.


PINHOLE GLASSES – SPECIAL OFFER

pinhole glasses new style For the month of June 2014 I offer the second pair of pinhole glasses for only two dollars! Go look at the new style of pinhole glasses, with smaller pinholes than I have seen before, which increases your focal range. This makes them more usable for both near and far vision. Also, the larger number of holes create a better field of vision with considerably less interruption from the black plastic.
Get them now!

Offer valid until June 30th or until sold out, whichever comes first…

 

ESTHER’S TRAVEL SCHEDULE
My current travel plans will take me to Europe around the middle of September 2014, with the Netherlands as my first destination. There may be a group class in either Rijswijk or Harderwijk which is in the planning stages. Anyone interested in taking lessons from me (either private lessons in Brunssum, or a one day group class in Rijswijk or Harderwijk) please contact me.

Italy is also on my schedule, with a teacher training weekend in Milan (4-5 October) and a weekend group class for beginners in the Bates method in Padua (11-12 October).
There is a good chance that my recent book ‘Read Without Glasses at Any Age’ will be available in Italian by then!! An announcement about this will follow in due course
.


FOLLOW THE BATES METHOD ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Have a look at the Facebook page dedicated to Dr.Bates. I add vision quotes and information on natural vision improvement there on a fairly regular basis. You can also follow VisionsOfJoy on Facebook.
Of course, the Read without Glasses book has its own Facebook page...
And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter or YouTube.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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16 April 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- How to help your child see better and avoid glasses
- The Bates Method is not a set of eye exercises
- The last few Eyeports
- Vision Aids that support your path to clarity
- Follow the Bates Method on Facebook

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


NEW CHILDREN’S PAGE ON VISIONS OF JOY
It is impossible for me to help every child in the world see better, yet I wish I could! Children can keep or regain good vision with more ease than adults do. With a short list of “Do and Don’t Do’s” parents can have a positive impact on their child’s visual health. So I have added a Children’s Vision page which gives parents basic advice that they can implement easily for the benefit of their child’s eyesight. I have included links to a few research papers, such as one that recommends you avoid using night lights in the child’s room during the first two years of life, because darkness helps the developing eyes avoid myopia. I trust it will be useful and I welcome questions and comments from parents!


THE BATES METHOD IS NOT A SET OF EYE EXERCISES
One important point I have made for a long time is that the Bates Method is far from being a simple set of eye exercises or forced eye movements. This misunderstanding is so common that I felt it was time to dedicate a page just to explain Dr. Bates’ point of view on the topic of eye exercises. Hopefully people new to the Bates Method, curious about what to do to improve their eyesight, can save themselves lots of time and effort, can avoid the mistakes that I and others made, and can start relaxing into clear vision sooner!


EYEPORTS

Thanks to the people who responded to my recent call for Eyeports! Rather than being completely sold out I now have five new Eyeports left in stock and also have one used unit available for rent. Two vision challenges that I think especially benefit from Eyeport use are suppression issues (one eye highly dominant) and astigmatism. The Eyeport provides a playful and easy way to regain balance in your eyes so these issues disappear. They will soon be sold out forever, so if you feel you would benefit from it, contact me soon.


VISION AIDS THAT SUPPORT YOUR PATH TO CLARITY
Besides the Eyeport I have a variety of other vision aids available, such as palming supports, the Mindfold, pinhole glasses, boomerang bounce balls, bookmarks, and miniature bibles with teeny-tiny print! You will make more progress on your path to clarity with these useful and fun tools.


FOLLOW THE BATES METHOD ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Have a look at the Facebook page dedicated to Dr.Bates. I add vision quotes there on a fairly regular basis. You can also follow VisionsOfJoy on Facebook. Of course, the Read without Glasses book has its own Facebook page...
And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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6 February 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- New Palming Supports available
- Eat leafy greens to see clearly
- Eyesight lessons in Arizona this month
- Eyeports are out of production - Do you have one?
- Bookmarks back in stock
- Video clips added to Visions of Joy’s Youtube channel

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


how to use a palming supportNEW PALMING SUPPORTS AVAILABLE
Have you discovered the amazing benefits of palming for your eyes? Most every one sees better after covering their eyes to rest them for a few minutes. For longer sessions and even better results, it is nice to support your elbows at the perfect level for you. Palming supports are adjustable in height and help you keep good posture and relaxed shoulders while palming. This allows for longer sessions because your arms rest comfortably on the cushioned support. Visions of Joy's new palming supports are available now!
More information on palming supports
Handmade in the USA by a vision student who loves to palm and who loves to tinker too; thanks Steve!



EAT LEAFY GREENS TO SEE CLEARLY

Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids found in leafy greens like kale, travel to the central area of the retina (called the macula), and are the only known carotenoids located in the human visual system. Previous research has shown that these pigments are protective against age-related macular degeneration. Scientists now have evidence that these macular pigments also play important roles in visual performance.
Read the full article.


EYESIGHT LESSONS IN ARIZONA THIS MONTH

I will be teaching in Chandler and the Phoenix area of Arizona from Saturday 22 February until Sunday 2 March. Anyone interested in eyesight lessons in that period, please let me know soon!


EYEPORTS ARE OUT OF PRODUCTION – DO YOU HAVE ONE?
Dr. Jacob Liberman’s wonderful Eyeport machine helped me tremendously with my depth perception, and I often recommend it to others who want to improve binocularity in a fun and easy way. So I was sad to hear that these ingenious machines are now out of production!
Luckily I managed to buy the last few units from Dr. Liberman, but even so I currently have less than ten units left in stock.
Because of this I am interested to hear from anyone who bought an Eyeport and no longer needs it for their vision. If your unit is in working order, or even if it is not but you have working parts, please contact me!

youtube video clip
NEW VIDEO CLIPS ADDED TO VISIONS OF JOY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
On Visions of Joy's own Youtube channel now has seven clips from the recent "Here's to your Health" TV show as well as the complete interview. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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13 January 2014

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- TV Interview this Tuesday!
- Bates Method Nuggets now also on Amazon
- Eyesight lessons in Arizona in February
- Myopia complete recovery - by W.H. Bates
- NEW: Visions of Joy’s own Youtube Channel
- Follow the Bates Method on Facebook

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


TV INTERVIEW THIS TUESDAY – 14 January 2014
Josh Lane, host of “Here’s to your Health”, saw my recent TV interview and promptly invited me on his show. We will talk about my work with the Bates Method from 1:30pm to 2:00pm Pacific time.
(That's 4:30-5pm Eastern, 9:30-10pm in UK, 10:30-11pm in Central Europe.)
If you want to watch the show live, tune in to LA Talk Live.
[Edit: You can now also watch it on Visions of Joy's Youtube channel!]

Bates Method Nuggets book
BATES METHOD NUGGETS NOW ALSO ON AMAZON

Published in 2010, and slightly revised in 2013, my first book Bates Method Nuggets is now also available on amazon.com.

Read without Glasses at any Age book READ WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK

If you use reading glasses (or are about to need them) you will want to get all the tips from my new book: Read Without Glasses at Any Age. It is easy to buy, either from myself, from amazon, or from your local bookstore. You will find all the relevant information at readwithoutglasses.com.
Reviews for either book are also very welcome; I would love to hear your experience!



EYESIGHT LESSONS IN ARIZONA IN FEBRUARY

I will be teaching in Arizona again at the end of February 2014. My current likely dates for visiting Chandler and Phoenix are 22 February until 2 March. Anyone interested in eyesight lessons in that period, please let me know soon!

 

MYOPIA COMPLETE RECOVERY
"Glasses are often prescribed in the first stage of acquired myopia, when treatment of the spasm of accommodation by appropriate hygienic, local, or constitutional measures would have cured the nearsightedness without glasses.

It is the rule that acute diseases of the lungs, stomach, and other parts of the body tend to complete recovery, and the same fact is true of the eye. Acute myopia is usually a functional disease, and glasses should never be prescribed until treatment to relieve spasm of the accommodation has failed."

William H. Bates, M.D., Treatment of Myopia without Glasses,
The Medical Record, January 27, 1894, p104

youtube video of Esther on TV
VISIONS OF JOY’S OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL
On Visions of Joy's own Youtube channel you will find my vision videos! Ten short clips from The Book Beat TV show have already been uploaded, more will follow over time. I hope you find it educational!

FOLLOW THE BATES METHOD ON FACEBOOK
Have a look at the Facebook page dedicated to Dr. Bates. I add vision quotes there on a fairly regular basis. Become a fan to encourage me to do so!
You can also follow me on VisionsOfJoy on Facebook.
Now over 200 likes - Join us!
And, of course, Read without Glasses has its own Facebook page now...


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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25 November 2013

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- TV Interview today!
- Read without Glasses book
- Esther’s Travel Schedule
- Esther’s Stories from the Clinic
- “Topsy” by Emily Lierman

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


TV INTERVIEW TODAY!
LA Talk Live (latalklive.com) has a show called ‘The Book Beat’ every Monday night, and today, 25 November 2013, I will be interviewed on this show for half an hour about my new book “Read without Glasses at Any Age”. The host is Jean-Noel Bassior, who is very familiar with my work, so I expect it will be a great interview! The show starts at 6:30pm Pacific time. If you want to see it live, tune in at www.latalklive.com/new/thebookbeat.
If you are busy at 6:30pm or you are in Europe and do not want to get up in the middle of the night - no problem! The show will also be in their archives, so you can watch it at your convenience.

 

read without glasses at any age book READ WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK

If you have already bought and read my new book, thank you!!! I would love to hear your experience with it. Reviews are also welcome on amazon.

If you use reading glasses (or are about to need them) and you have not yet read this book, please gift it to yourself! It is easy to buy; either from myself or from amazon. You will find all the relevant information at readwithoutglasses.com.

 

ESTHER'S TRAVEL SCHEDULE
I have recently returned from two and a half amazing months in Europe, which ended with ten fabulous days in Italy. The International Holistic Vision Conference near Milan was inspirational, I loved connecting with many colleagues and I have made several new dear friends! I already look forward to teaching in Italy again in October 2014. Stay tuned…

In the nearer future you will find me teaching in Arizona again at the end of February 2014. My dates for visiting Chandler and Phoenix are from 22 February until 2 March. Anyone interested in eyesight lessons in that period, please let me know soon!

ESTHER’S “STORIES FROM THE CLINIC”
In 1926, Emily Lierman, Dr. Bates’ assistant, published a book called ‘Stories from the Clinic’ in which she related her experiences in helping people, and especially children, regain good eyesight. Emily’s stories touch my heart, and she has been an inspiration to me ever since I started teaching. It may be time to compile my own ‘stories from the clinic’, as I am honored and grateful to witness wonderful changes in people’s vision. Here is one example.

One of my teaching highlights during this recent European trip happened in the Netherlands where a ten year old girl came to see me because she had begun to experience blurry and double vision a few months earlier. Her left eye was turning out. Her eye doctor had suggested that surgery to straighten the eye might be in her future but recommended waiting for the condition to stabilize, while also suggesting that she needed relaxation. The girl’s mother googled ‘eyesight and relaxation’, found the Dutch book ‘Natuurlijk Zien en de Bates Methode’ which my colleague Saskia Naber and I wrote a few years ago, and she helped her daughter use its recommendations. Palming had already solved the blurry vision but not yet the double vision, so they made an appointment with me as I happened to be in the Netherlands that week.

We began with varying the distance between the two double images she saw, to help her notice that she had some control over her left eye. She also practiced looking at her nose to encourage the left eye to come in. The tension in her left extra-ocular muscle prevented her left eye from coming all the way back to center, so I had her palm her eyes for a while and then taught her how to see without tension. Within one hour of working together she achieved relaxation of that left extra-ocular muscle which was pulling her eye outwards, so her left eye straightened and her binocular vision returned and stayed. It was a true delight to watch her achieve this so quickly!
(update on 27 November 2013: I just heard from the mother of this girl that she is still enjoying single vision. It is now one month since I saw her. She has rare occassions of double vision but those don't last long and both mother and daughter are very happy with this.)

TOPSY
“The patients who come to our clinic do wonderful things, especially the school children. We can give each one of them, as a rule, only about five minutes of our time, and yet they are able to carry out their instructions at home, and to get results. This is a great tribute to their patience and intelligence.

Most of the children and adults arc helped by palming, and remarkable cures have been obtained by this means alone. A little lad had been so injured in an automobile accident that he had only light perception in his left eye. It was some time before I could get him to palm regularly, but as soon as he became willing to do so many times a day, his sight began to improve rapidly, and he is now completely cured.

There are some patients, however, who cannot or will not palm. One of these was a little girl with corkscrew curls, looking for all the world like Topsy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." She had been sent to the clinic because she could not see the writing on the blackboard, and the school nurse told me later that she was unruly, and a great trial to her teacher. She was something of a trial to me, too, at first, for I could not get her to palm for a moment, and did not know what to do with her. Then I discovered that she had an excellent memory when she chose to use it, and I resolved to treat her with its aid. I was able to improve her sight considerably.”

Emily Lierman, Stories from the Clinic, 1926

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement  

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15 August 2013

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Read Without Glasses book - Offical Publication TODAY!
- Esther's 10-week trip to Europe
- "Reading" by Dr. Bates

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


READ WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK - OFFICIAL PUBLICATION TODAY!
I am delighted to announce that the official publication of Read Without Glasses at Any Age is today!

read without glasses at any age book Imagine easily reading menus by candlelight and impressing your friends by doing so with your own healthy eyes, free from crutches. Or imagine no longer peering over glasses to see people across the room. Won’t that be nice?!

If these thoughts appeal to you, this book is for you! Whether your age is 46-ish or 86+, and even if you are only six and just learning to read, this book can be a valuable tool for helping you get past your reading challenges. The methods outlined in this book are simple, easy to learn and just as easy to apply. It does take some time and persistence, but the rewards are huge – a return to natural clear vision, healthier eyes, and easy, glasses-free reading.

Read Without Glasses at Any Age will be available as of today, Thursday, August 15th. You can choose to buy a paperback or an e-book.
The paperback price is $21.95 in the USA, while the e-book is US$19.00.
Read Without Glasses at Any Age
will also be for sale on CreateSpace.com (in the USA for $21.95, in the UK for £14.99, in Europe for €16.99). An Amazon kindle version will likely be available soon too.
UPDATE: Amazon now has the book on their website too!!!

Read more information about the new book.

The Amazon/CreateSpace version of the book has black and white illustrations throughout, while in the book sold via Visions of Joy, eight of the images are in color. Other than that they are identical inside. As I will be traveling in Europe from 21 August until mid-November I recommend that you purchase the paperback book from Amazon/CreateSpace unless you order it from me before August 19 or after November 7.

ESTHER'S TRAVEL TO EUROPE
I am about to go on a 11-week trip to Europe. Visits to the Netherlands, England, Turkey and Italy are on the agenda, all between 21 August and 7 November.
A couple of group classes are being planned in the Netherlands for October, and I will present a workshop at the International Holistic Vision Conference in Italy in November. There is time for private lessons too, mainly while I am in the Netherlands in September and October. Contact me for more information or wait for the Dutch newsletter which will be sent to Dutch subscribers soon.

READING

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
As by the one, health is preserved, strengthened
and invigorated; by the other, sight, imagination
and mental efficiency are enormously improved.


William H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, May 1926

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement &
Optimal Breathing Development 

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10 May 2013

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Read Without Glasses book close to publication!
- LED lights better or worse for your eyes?
- Upcoming Events
- Dr. Bates - The First Visit

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


READ WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK CLOSE TO PUBLICATION
The good news is that, after more than a year of delays, the illustrations for the Read Without Glasses book are now complete! I am making a few last changes to the book to incorporate some medical research on the subject, but it will soon be going to the printer, and the next newsletter will have publication information, I promise! You can see a preview of the cover here.

LED LIGHTS: BETTER OR WORSE FOR YOUR EYES?
ANSES highlights risks from LED lighting
ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, has published a report entitled (in English): " Lighting systems using light-emitting diodes: health issues to be considered," which focuses squarely on potential problems caused by LED lighting.

The full report is available in French only, but the report summary (in English) says that risks have been identified concerning the use of certain LED lamps, raising potential health concerns for the general population and professionals.
"The issues of most concern identified by the Agency concern the eye due to the toxic effect of blue light and the risk of glare," says the report, adding that the blue light necessary to obtain white LEDs causes "toxic stress" to the retina.
This is from an article by LEDs magazine, you can read more here.

ESTHER'S SCHEDULE

Arizona Visit In May
: I will be in Chandler for a week at the end of May. Private lessons in the Phoenix area are available May 20th through 27th and can be booked now.

Elements Gathering Fest: at the end of July in Santa Barbara, California.

Europe: A LONG visit to Europe this year - from the end of August until early November - with family gatherings in the Netherlands and the International Holistic Vision Conference in Italy, but also with plenty of time for teaching.

If you are interested in having eyesight lessons in the Netherlands or in Italy, please contact me.

Those are the current plans for this year. You can always check for updates on my travel plans and
upcoming events.

THE FIRST VISIT
"In every way possible the fact is impressed upon the patient that he can be cured only by rest; that he must learn to let his eyes alone; that whatever he does to improve his sight must be wrong."

Dr. William H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, November 1921

I can’t agree more. In essence, vision is simply a process of receiving light.
The more you can be open to all that light, without straining against it or straining to change it, the better you see. Keep that in mind all day long, and your path to clarity will be one of ease and joy.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement &
Optimal Breathing Development 

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5 December 2012

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Europe Visits
- Arizona Visit in February
- Eyestrain during Sleep
- Happy Holidays

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


EUROPE VISITS
With the British Natural Eyesight Conference, a quick side-trip to Paris, private eyesight lessons in the Netherlands and two group classes in Harderwijk, my recent visit to Europe was very busy!

Next year’s visit may be two months instead of one, which will end with the International Holistic Vision Conference in Italy. I will send more details about this in the summer of 2013.

 

ARIZONA VISIT IN FEBRUARY 2013
I will be in Chandler for a week at the beginning of February. Private lessons in the Phoenix area are available February 4th through 10th and can be booked now.
Contact Esther for an appointment.

EYESTRAIN DURING SLEEP
“Many people complain that when they first wake up in the morning, they are tired, that they have headaches, and that their sight is very imperfect. Later on in the day their eyes feel better, and the vision may become normal.

I have examined with the ophthalmoscope the eyes of many people during sleep and found much to my surprise, that most people strain much more in their sleep than they ever do when they are awake. Of course, people when unconscious of their acts during sleep, are not aware of this eye-strain.

The prevention of eye-strain during sleep is usually a very difficult matter. Some cases are benefited just before retiring by palming for one-half hour or longer, or until they go to sleep while palming. Others by practicing the long swing for fifteen minutes, have found that the eye-strain becomes less. In some serious cases with imperfect sight, when the eye-strain is not prevented by palming or the swing, they are often materially benefited by shortening their hours of sleep with the help of an alarm clock. One patient had the alarm set for 3 am. He would then get out of bed and practice the long swing, alternating with palming for an hour or longer with the result that he slept the rest of the night very comfortably, and awoke the next morning with little or no evidence of eye-strain during sleep.

Dr. William H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight, November 1924

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Visions of Joy will be closed from December 21st until January 2nd.
I wish everyone a happy holiday season and I hope you get some relaxing sleep!

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement &
Optimal Breathing Development 

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16 August 2012

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Testimonial of an 8 year old girl
- Travel plans: Arizona to Oregon road trip, and Europe
- Dr. Bates on Breathing
- Two new 'Bates Method View' e-books
- Become a fan of the Facebook Bates Method page

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

TESTIMONIAL
In July I received a delightful phonecall from the mother of an 8 year old girl in Arizona. She was very excited to report substantial improvement in her daughter's vision since learning the Bates method six months earlier. Read her testimonial here.
Many people benefit from learning the Bates method, but when it comes to children it touches me even deeper. I'm so grateful!

TRAVEL PLANS
- ARIZONA TO OREGON ROAD TRIP
I will be in the Phoenix area for a few days at the beginning of September. Private lessons are available September 3rd through 6th and can be booked now: Contact me.
My itinerary takes me through Utah and Idaho 7-9 September.

Approximately 10 to 17 September you’ll find me in Oregon, in the Portland and Salem areas. Inquire now if you are interested in a private lesson while I’m there.
Northern California private lessons are possible on my drive home in the week of 18 September.

- EUROPE
The British Natural Eyesight Conference brings me back to Europe at the end of October 2012. On Saturday 27 October I present a talk on how the Bates method helps overcome eye diseases and on Sunday 28 October I give a workshop on reading without glasses at any age.

As usual my Europe trip will include a visit with my family in the Netherlands. This time my colleague Rijn de Jonge and I will teach two group classes in Ermelo on the Bates method. I’ve had many inquiries for a group class in the Netherlands, so here is your chance! You have a choice of 10 or 11 November and each day is intended for people interested in learning how to naturally improve or maintain vision. Maximum of 8 people per day. Register here. More info follows in the Dutch newsletter coming soon.

DR. BATES ON BREATHING
Dr. Bates learned the importance of relaxed breathing through his own experience. He wanted to be a long distance runner but found that after one lap of the track he was gasping for air. The physical director watched him and told him that he had held his breath the entire distance. Bates realized it was strain that kept him from breathing. He tested this theory and ran 8 miles, making every effort he could, until his vision failed, he fainted and he literally ran himself into the ground. In his next race he started walking as soon as his sight began to fail and waited for it to clear up before running again. Bates subsequently learned to stay relaxed while running, so his breathing remained normal and his sight did not fail. He even ran the New York marathon at age 57.

Bates knew that many people with imperfect sight are benefited by relaxed breathing and that palming often provides an immediate improvement in breathing. A lady with asthma found that half an hour of palming did as much good for her breathing as it did for her eyes. Her vision improved from 20/30 to 15/10.and she was able to resume work which asthma had prevented her from doing for four years.

Relaxation is the key to improving both vision and breathing!
More information on relaxed optimal breathing.

TWO NEW 'BATES METHOD VIEW' E-BOOKS
I recently added two new titles to the ‘Bates Method View of” series of
e-books. The topics are Nystagmus, and Retinitis Pigmentosa.
With 22 and 26 pages respectively these are easy to read books which give an overview of everything Dr. Bates did for people with these conditions.
Go here to order one or more books in this series.

BECOME A FAN OF THE FACEBOOK BATES METHOD PAGE
Have a look at the new Facebook page dedicated to Dr. Bates. I add vision quotes there on a fairly regular basis. Become a fan to encourage me to do so!
You can also follow Visions of Joy on facebook.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement &
Optimal Breathing Development 

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7 February 2012

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Visions of Joy's Tenth Anniversary
- Arizona Success Stories
- 'Sunlight for your Eyes' by Dr. Bates 
- Become a fan of the Facebook Bates Method page
-
Reading without Glasses book

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.


VISIONS OF JOY’S TENTH ANNIVERSARY

Time truly flies when I am having fun; I celebrated Visions Of Joy’s 10th anniversary recently!
On 30 January 2002 I was in Arizona, and had just spent a few days camping in the desert to seek guidance on what I was supposed to do next in my life… I was given a name for my school.
The message was clear enough, and from then on I became more serious about teaching. To be back in Arizona exactly 10 years later, busier than ever with my work, and still very happy about the direction my life took, is something I am very grateful for. Thanks to all of you who have crossed my path in these ten years - you have helped to make it so worth-while!

ARIZONA SUCCESS STORIES
The last two weeks of January I was kept very busy by a group of about 16 kids in Arizona, (mostly ages 7 to 12) whose parents wanted to save them from the hassle of wearing glasses for the rest of their lives. I worked with each child individually and loved watching the progress they made in a very short time. Here are two examples:

Téa (age 8) told me up front that she hates'tupid eye exercises' because they did not work (and I agree!). Her right eye is excellent, 8/7 (better than 20/20), but her left eye was beginning to lag behind, to the level of 8/30 (20/75). Glasses had already been recommended, but her mother, who hates her own glasses, was hoping to save her daughter from the same fate. Téa, however, was reluctant to try anything remotely like those stupid eye exercises, until I explained that there was a better way to improve her vision. To Téa's delight she saw her left eye's acuity jump to 8/15 (20/40) after ten minutes of palming. Adding a memory technique helped her recognize several letters on the 8/10 (20/25) line. I imagine she still happily runs around with her eye-patch even after she no longer needs it.

Sudhaker (age 11) has had vision challenges since birth and had become ‘one with his glasses’. His prescription was mainly for astigmatism, but he also had a highly dominant right eye to the level of excluding his left eye from taking part in seeing. He loved the bounce-ball I gave him and quickly learned to catch it even with one eye patched. He also got his eyes working together for the first time. We obscured half the chart for his right eye, and encouraged his left eye to see the whole chart. At first half the chart ‘disappeared’ from his view with both eyes open, but when his mother helpfully waved her hand over the side of the chart that was only visible to his left eye, Sudhaker got a taste of binocular vision for the first time. He did extremely well and has great potential to get back to clarity, with both eyes eventually taking an equal part in vision.

I will likely return to Arizona next year in January/February, to continue working with these children as well as help others who I was unable to include in this trip.

SUNLIGHT FOR YOUR EYES
On my recent visit to Arizona I noticed how many people like to keep their window shades down to keep the hot sun out. I understand about their heat problem, yet the eyes would love to have more light! Even in sun-drenched Arizona many people are ‘sunlight deficient’ and a little more outdoors sun exposure will help bring balance. Here is Dr. Bates' advice on sunlight:

"An important part of the routine activities is the use of the direct sunlight. The patient is told to sit in the sun with his eyes closed, moving his head a short distance from side to side, and allowing the sun to shine directly on his closed eyelids. He is instructed to forget about his eyes, to think of something pleasant and let his mind drift from one pleasant thought to another. Before opening his eyes, he palms for a few minutes."

W. H. BATES, M.D., Better Eyesight magazine, December 1927

“I have been LOVING the fact that I'm no longer sensitive to sunlight.
Sunshine on my face is an instant happiness boost!”
Saskia P., Sebastopol, California

Read more about sun sensitivity

BECOME A FAN OF THE FACEBOOK BATES METHOD PAGE
Have a look at the new Facebook page dedicated to Dr. Bates. I add vision quotes there on a fairly regular basis. Become a fan to encourage me to do so!

READING WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK
I’m excited that my new book “Reading Without Glasses At Any Age” is so close to being published! More details about that soon. Thanks to everyone who has already expressed an interest in this book and thanks for waiting

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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19 December 2011

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- A new Facebook page
- Reading without Glasses book
- Recent Holistic Vision Conference in Italy
- An amazed eye doctor
- 'Relaxation from fine print' by Dr. Bates 
- 2012 Schedule has been posted

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE
Have a look at the brand new Facebook page dedicated to Dr. Bates. I will be adding many of his quotes there on a fairly regular basis. Become a fan to encourage me to do so!

 

READING WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK

My new book “Reading Without Glasses At Any Age” is waiting for the final illustrations but the text is ready so I hope to have publication information very soon! For those eagerly awaiting this book, see the tip below from Dr. Bates to get you started.

 

RECENT HOLISTIC VISION CONFERENCE IN ITALY
I immensely enjoyed seeing so many colleagues again at the recent International Holistic Vision Conference in Italy. Plenty of new friends were made too. My thanks to all who attended! I found out that many vision books are available in Italian, and my Bates Method Nuggets book may get translated into Italian as well as Spanish! More info on that in due course.


AN AMAZED EYE DOCTOR
Cindy recently asked for my help with her nearsighted vision. Her prescription in both eyes was -2.25. Two days after we started working together she visited her optometrist to ask for a lower prescription. As she felt a little unsure about driving at night in the coming dark and wet New York winter months, she decided that dropping half a diopter would be plenty to start with.


Her optometrist was uncomfortable with the idea of giving Cindy contacts below her prescription, but offered to check her acuity. To Cindy’s delight, and to the doctor’s utter amazement, her prescription had already dropped half a diopter to -1.75! So the doctor became willing to give those lenses to her, but Cindy no longer wanted -1.75 and asked for an extra step down. She drove home happily in -1.50s and saw just fine. Congratulations to Cindy for taking that excellent first step to clarity.


RELAXATION FROM FINE PRINT
A business card with fine print on one side is held in front of the eyes as near as possible, the upper part in contact with the eye-brows, the lower part resting lightly on the nose.

The patient looks directly at the fine print without trying to see. Being so close to the eyes most people realize that it is impossible to read the fine print and do not try, in this way they obtain a measure of relaxation which is sufficient to benefit the sight very much.

The patient moves the card from side to side a short distance slowly and sees the card moving provided the movement is not too short or too slow. The shorter the movement and the slower it is, the better.

Some patients, although the card is held very close, note that the white spaces between the lines become whiter and the black letters become blacker and clearer. In some cases one or more words of the fine print will be seen in flashes or even continuously as long as no effort is made to see or to read the fine print.


W. H. BATES, M.D., Better Eyesight magazine, May 1922


P.S. For best results Dr.Bates recommended doing this as long as possible, even for many hours every day. Vary the hand which holds the card to avoid fatigue. The amount of light is not important.

2012 SCHEDULE HAS BEEN POSTED
My schedule for the new year is now up on the website and will be updated as and when necessary. There is a distinct possibility that I will be teaching in Phoenix, Arizona, in January. Those who live in that area and would like to have private lessons, please get in touch with me soon.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and my best wishes for
a happy and healthy new year filled with clarity!!!

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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27 September 2011

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Vision Conference in Italy in October
- Reading without Glasses book
- Student becomes teacher
- 'Be Comfortable' by Dr. Bates 

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

INTERNATIONAL HOLISTIC VISION CONFERENCE IN ITALY

For European fans of the Bates method, the International Holistic Vision Conference will be held near Milano, Northern Italy, 28-30 October 2011. I will talk about Bates' work with children and I will give a workshop on reading without glasses. Registration is still possible!


READING WITHOUT GLASSES BOOK

My new book “Reading Without Glasses At Any Age” is now very close to completion and it just needs a few finishing touches before it is ready to send to the printer. The plan was to have it ready for the conference in Italy, but it will be published soon after that. As preparations for my trip to Europe are now in full swing, the book will be finished after my return home, so watch for a publication announcement in the next newsletter!

 

STUDENT BECOMES TEACHER

There is an old saying: When you really want to learn something, teach it!
This summer I received a letter from Alex Svirid, a student of the Bates method in Ukraine. Alex took my email course earlier this year. Since then, not only has he improved his own vision, but he is helping other people improve too, including his optometrist! Well done Alex! He wrote:

“Dear Esther, Two days ago I visited optometrist and checked my eyesight with refractometer. It showed 1 Diopter improvement in two months. I have flashes to about -5D now (I can see clearly at 20cm).
I asked optometrist to try the Method and he agreed. He has hypermetropia and he wears bifocal glasses: +5,5 for close work (lower part of lens) and +2,75 for distance (upper part of lens). His vision was 20/200 without glasses. In one hour he made 5 lines! Sway and swing helped him.”


BE COMFORTABLE

It can be stated without fear of successful contradiction that persons with perfect sight are always comfortable, not only as to their eyes, but as to the rest of the body. As soon as they cease to be so, it can be demonstrated, by examination with the retinoscope, that their sight has ceased to be perfect. They become nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic.

Persons with imperfect sight often say and think that they are perfectly comfortable; but invariably such persons experience a feeling of relief when they close their eyes, demonstrating that they were not perfectly comfortable before, but had merely formed a habit of ignoring that discomfort.

The art of learning to use the eyes properly, is, in short, the art of learning to be comfortable. Even the memory of comfort improves the sight, while the memory of discomfort lowers it.


W. H. BATES, M.D., Better Eyesight magazine, January 1922

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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26 April 2011

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome!
- Abundant Opportunites for Vision Lessons
- A Different Testimonial
- Valuable Books available
- Teacher Training in Maine, USA
- Reminder from Dr. Bates 

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

ABUNDANT OPPORTUNITIES FOR VISION LESSONS

The new teaching room is ready! It took a little longer than expected (what doesn’t?), but the new room here in Ojai, California is ready and beautiful! I look forward to welcoming new and old students alike in this new abode.

My attendance at the International Conference on Light and Vision in San Diego, California this week (28-30 April) means there are a few opportunities for private lessons in that area. Contact me now for an appointment.

More Northern Californians will have the opportunity to hear me speak at the Raw Health Expo in Sebastopol, 23-24 July.

A ‘side-trip’ to Sequim, Washington and Salem, Oregon will see me on the road for most of July. If you would like help with your vision and you are more or less near I-5 between Sacramento and Seattle, let me know.

For European fans of the Bates method, the International Holistic Vision Conference will be held near Milano, Northern Italy, 28-30 October 2011. Esther will present a lecture as well as a workshop there. This also means I will visit Brunssum, the Netherlands, and private lessons can be arranged for mid October.

 

A DIFFERENT TESTIMONIAL

A friend from Sweden whose eyesight was lost due to Retinitis Pigmentosa came to visit me in California for a couple of weeks. We worked a lot on his vision in that time. He is a musician and was inspired to write a song about this experience. I will let Johan's song tell you his story.
You can listen here on Sverige Radio
Click on the 17.00-17.30 timeslot (2nd link on that page) and slide the timer (at the bottom of the page) over to 10mins 40seconds for the start of a live recording of Johan's delightful song "I see the sun."
(Many more testimonials can be found here.)

 

VALUABLE BOOKS AVAILABLE

Owning an original of Dr. Bates’ 1920 first edition book is now possible, and, even more amazing, I have one very rare copy of Emily Lierman’s 1926 book available: Stories from the Clinic. [Oops, Emily’s book SOLD already.] Information on these books is here
On the same page you will also find my compilation of the best of Dr. Bates’ writings – the Bates Method Nuggets – a great overview of his methods.
Coming soon (Yes, I’m EXCITED) my second book will be published, for people who struggle with reading glasses. Watch your mail box this summer for more news on this!


TEACHER TRAINING IN MAINE

The next Vision Educator Training Institute course starts in Maine in September 2011!
*Learn how to teach others to see more clearly and comfortably by giving them tools to care for their own vision.
*Add another skill set to your existing holistic practice and improve your own vision at the same time.
*Encourage others to soften, relax, expand and connect more fully with themselves and the world around them.
This is your invitation to join Rosemary and Elizabeth for an exciting year-long training of six 4-day weekends in beautiful southern Maine. Go here for more information.

The cure of imperfect sight can only be accomplished without effort.
Too many patients believe that the cure of imperfect sight is very
complicated, and that they have to make a great effort. It is only
when they become convinced that the one way they can obtain
perfect sight is by rest, that a permanent improvement is obtained.

William H. Bates, M.D., Better Eyesight magazine, March 1926.


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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1 January 2011

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome & Happy New Year!
- Natural Eyesight Conferences
- Well Being Journal
- Interview with Esther on YouTube
- Replace a Wrong Thought 

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year, filled with the delight of clear natural vision!

NATURAL EYESIGHT CONFERENCES

Many thanks to Bates teachers Margaret Montgomery and Aileen Whiteford for organizing the 2nd British Natural Eyesight Conference held recently in London. The conference topic was children's vision, and how effective the Bates method is for children especially. Various presenters, including myself, gave examples of children's steady progress to clear eyesight, and talked about how that was achieved.

The next Vision Conference will be held in Northern Italy, 28-30 October 2011.

 
 

Well Being Journal with eyesight article

 

WELL BEING JOURNAL

The January/February 2011 issue of Well Being Journal features an article by Esther on Natural Eyesight Improvement, which is prominently placed right in front!

This magazine
is currently for sale in many stores in the USA, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Whole Foods and many health food stores.
In the UK it is carried by NutriCentre stores in London.


 

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH ESTHER ON YOUTUBE!

In case you missed it last time (I received the video just after I had sent out the September newsletter), go have a look at this interview done by Russ of HealthForwardOnline.com. He asks Esther some really good questions at the Raw Health Expo in Sebastopol.  It is 5:15 minutes; enjoy.

 


REPLACE A WRONG THOUGHT

"The cause of any error of refraction, of a squint, or of any other functional
disturbance of the eye, is simply a thought - a wrong thought -
and the cure is as quick as the thought that relaxes."

- Dr. William H. Bates (Chapter 10, Perfect Sight Without Glasses)

Common 'wrong thoughts' that I frequently come across are the thoughts that say "It takes effort to improve vision", and "If I try harder I will see better."
If you replace these thoughts with their opposite; substitute them with the thoughts "My vision can improve easily" and "I see better when I relax," then you are taking a major step forward on your path to regaining natural clarity!

 

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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6 September 2010

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Celebrating the 130th anniversary of Emily's birthday today!
- Esther's visit to Europe next month
- Bates Method Nuggets launched successfully 
- Another interview with Esther on YouTube!

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

CELEBRATING THE 130TH ANNIVERSARY OF EMILY'S BIRTHDAY

Emily Ackerman Bates would have been 130 today if she could possibly have lived that long!  She was born on 6 September 1880, and first came to Dr. Bates as a patient when she was about 30.  Her mild myopia (she had worn glasses for 16 years) was cured in just 6 weeks.  She could probably have done even better if she had not practiced the method wrong for the first couple of weeks!  She was a quick learner, however, and soon became a highly dedicated assistant to Dr. Bates.  At first she helped him with his research, and in the process learned all she could about his method of natural eyesight improvement.  She became extremely talented at helping people of all ages overcome various vision challenges, and happily wrote about her experiences of teaching in the clinic and beyond.  Dr. Bates and Emily married in 1928.

To celebrate her 130th birthday, I will provide Emily's personal suggestions for you.  If you take her suggestions to heart, she will help you reach your goal of perfect vision!

 

EMILY'S SUGGESTIONS

1.  If the vision of the patient is improved under the care of the doctor, and the patient neglects to practice, when he leaves the office, what he is told to do at home, the treatment has been of no benefit whatever.  The improved vision was only temporary.  Faithful practice permanently improves the sight to normal.

2.  If the patient conscientiously practices the methods, as advised by the doctor, his vision always improves.  This applies to patients with errors of refraction, as well as organic diseases.

3.  For cases of squint we find that the long swing is beneficial to adults and to children.

4.  When a patient suffers with cataract, palming is usually the best method of treatment, and should be practiced many times every day.

5.  All patients with imperfect sight unconsciously stare, and should be reminded by those who are near to them to blink often.  To stare is to strain.  Strain is the cause of imperfect sight.

The following rules will be found helpful if faithfully observed: --

6.  While sitting, do not look up without raising your chin.  Always turn your head in the direction in which you look.  Blink often.

7.  Do not make an effort to see things more clearly.  If you let your eyes alone, things will clear up by themselves.

8.  Do not look at anything longer than a fraction of a second without shifting.

9.  While reading, do not think about your eyes, but let your mind and imagination rule.

10.  When you are conscious of your eyes while looking at objects at any time, it causes discomfort and lessens your vision.

11.  It is very important that you learn how to imagine stationary objects to be moving, without moving your head or your body.

12.  Palming is a help, and I suggest that you palm for a few minutes many times during the day, at least ten times.  At night just before retiring, it is well to palm for half an hour or longer.

From Stories from the Clinic by Emily Lierman, published in 1926.

 

ESTHER'S VISIT TO EUROPE NEXT MONTH

October is rapidly approaching, which means I fly to Europe for another visit to the Netherlands and England.  I am very excited about speaking at the British Natural Eyesight Conference and hope to see some of you there!  

 

My office in Ojai will be temporarily closed until early November because of my travels, and also currently due to extensive renovations - it will have a sky-light when all the work is done!  

 

BATES METHOD NUGGETS LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY!

The first print run of the Bates Method Nuggets book is now sold out!  But don't worry, more are on the way from the printer and will be available within a week.  The book was a great success at the recent Raw Health Expo where lots of people took the opportunity to get it autographed (see photo).  Thanks to everyone who bought a copy!  I look forward to hearing from you when you have read it - let me know how it helped your vision.
Update: The new books have arrived

 

 

ANOTHER INTERVIEW WITH ESTHER ON YOUTUBE!

This just came in; go have a look!  Russ from HealthForwardOnline.com interviews Esther at the recent Raw Health Expo and asks some really good questions.  It's just 5 minutes but has great information.  Enjoy.

 

 

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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21 July 2010

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
-
Bates Method Nuggets soon available in Paperback!
- Raw Health Expo in Sebastopol
- 2nd British Natural Eyesight Conference
- Dr. Bates on Eyestrain

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

BATES METHOD NUGGETS IN PAPERBACK

At the end of July I will receive the first box of books from the printer, so the Bates Method Nuggets book is now available for pre-order!  If you order it by July 27th, it will be sent to you free of shipping cost.  
For only $15 you can be one of the very first to own this brand new book!

The book has 128 pages, and 22 chapters.  Each chapter covers a part of the Bates Method, and contains articles that Dr. Bates himself wrote between 1919 and 1930.  Dr. Bates considered these specific articles to be the most important ones to keep for reference.  I believe that reading this book will be a great help in understanding the Bates method, and that it makes a great companion volume to Dr. Bates' 1920 book 'Perfect Sight Without Glasses'. 

To order the Bates Method Nuggets book, either make a donation for $15 (using debit/credit/paypal), or send a US check to the address shown here.  Please specify that you are ordering the paperback version, unless you would rather have the e-book, which will remain available also.

RAW HEALTH EXPO

The 2nd Raw Health Expo will take place at the end of this month in Sebastopol, California, and both days I will be giving a talk about natural vision improvement.  There will be many other speakers giving talks on various health topics, including Michael Klaper, MD, the author of 'Vegan Nutrition, Pure and Simple.'  This expo was a great event last year and I look forward to seeing some of you there!  You will find more information at www.rawhealthexpo.com.

2nd BRITISH NATURAL EYESIGHT CONFERENCE

Just a reminder to keep your calendar free for the very best conference on the Bates Method!  29-31 October 2010 in Felden Lodge, Hemel Hempstead, England.  I will talk about Dr. Bates work with children on Saturday morning, and give a workshop on astigmatism on Sunday evening.  You'll find more info here

Dr. BATES ON EYESTRAIN
All eye trouble is caused by strain. If the normal eye strains to read at a near point, it becomes far-sighted. If the eye strains to read at a distance, it becomes near-sighted - always.  But this condition is only temporary. Remove the strain and the eyes become normal.
-
The Bridgeport Telegram, 9 March 1922

 

When one's mind is under a strain one unconsciously tightens the muscles which encircle the eyeball, and consequently squeeze it out of shape and out of focus.  But when the mind is at rest these muscles are relaxed and the eyeball is allowed to assume its proper shape and focus. 
- Better Eyesight magazine, May 1923

 

The ways in which people strain to see are infinite, and the methods used to relieve the strain must be almost equally varied.  Whatever the method that brings most relief, however, the end is always the same, namely relaxation. 
- Perfect Sight Without Glasses, page 10

 

It has been demonstrated in thousands of cases that all abnormal action of the external muscles of the eyeball is accompanied by a strain or effort to see, and that with the relief of this strain the action of the muscles becomes normal and all errors of refraction disappear.  
- Perfect Sight Without Glasses, page 89

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Esther Joy van der Werf
www.VisionsOfJoy.org
Natural Eyesight Improvement &
Optimal Breathing Development 

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1 May 2010

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
-
New e-book:  Bates Method Nuggets
- 2nd British Natural Eyesight Conference
- Article in Science News supports the Bates method
- Optimism - by Dr. Bates

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

BATES METHOD NUGGETS

The Bates Method Nuggets are the golden nuggets of the Bates Method of natural eyesight improvement.  These are true gems, in their original form, the way Dr. William H. Bates published them in his monthly Better Eyesight magazines in the 1920s. 

Rather than reading the huge volume of information of all the magazines, Bates Method Nuggets contains the essence in a compact form.  The various parts of the method are sorted by subject, and step by step they provide you with a clear picture of the Bates Method in an easy and logical flow.  

This book can be used as a reference guide to the Bates Method, and is very useful to newcomers to the method as well as to long-time Bates fans.  22 Chapters, 124 pages, US$15.00. 
It is already available on this website, and may actually appear in print soon too!

2nd BRITISH NATURAL EYESIGHT CONFERENCE

As promised in the March newsletter, here is more information on this year's British Natural Eyesight Conference, which will be held at Felden Lodge, near Hemel Hempstead, from 29 to 31 October.  On Saturday morning I will focus on children's eyes and talk about Dr. Bates and Emily's legacy of vision work with the young ones.  On Sunday evening you can attend a 3 hour workshop with me on astigmatism.  Come learn how to regain muscle balance in the eyes!

Meir Schneider from San Francisco and Aileen Whiteford from Scotland are among the other speakers at this eyesight conference.  I hope to see you there!

ARTICLE IN SCIENCE NEWS SUPPORTS THE BATES METHOD

Vision gets better with the right mind-set

Imagine seeing better by thinking differently.  That's a vision with a future, according to Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer...You can read the article here.


Yes, it is once again proven that Dr. Bates was right all along.  They just like to think they are making a brand new discovery, and if that makes them happy, so be it.  You and I know this is old news, but it is nice to read about it in a current magazine.  See below for an example by Dr. Bates of how thinking differently helped a lady with cataracts and glaucoma regain her clear vision.

OPTIMISM
by Dr. W.H. BATES
Optimism is a great help in obtaining a cure of imperfect sight.  About ten years ago a patient was treated for cataract, complicated with glaucoma.  After two weeks of daily treatment the vision improved very much and the patient became able to travel about the streets without a companion to guide her.  Her vision at this time had improved from perception of light to 10/200.  After palming, swinging, and the memory of perfect sight, her vision was still further improved.  She was very much encouraged and returned home full of enthusiasm to carry out the treatment to the very best of her ability.  Soon afterwards things did not go well at home.  The patient became very much depressed and stopped her daily practice.  Her daughter was very enthusiastic, and realized that her mother had been very materially improved and that further treatment would bring about a complete cure.  She talked to her mother for half an hour or more and encouraged her to continue with her practice.  The patient responded favorably, got busy, and was able to bring back much of the sight which had been lost.  She made further improvement every day.

At times the mother was very pessimistic.  She was continually complaining that she knew very well that she would never get her sight back.  Then the daughter would start in with her optimism.

One bright, sunshiny morning the mother got up, took a card with diamond type printed on one side, and was greatly surprised to read it without any trouble.  In three months her distant vision was normal.

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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9 March 2010

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Radio interview on 10 March
- 2nd British Natural Eyesight Conference
- New pages on the Visions of Joy Website
- Visions of Joy now on Facebook and Twitter
- Distance of the Eye-Chart, by Dr. Bates

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time!
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

RADIO INTERVIEW

'Solutions to Aging' host Stuart Spangenberg will be interviewing Esther on Highway to Health Radio tomorrow (Wednesday 10 March 2010).  Listen in at 3pm Pacific Time, 6pm Eastern Time.

To call in to the show, dial (321) 354-6946, and use 578782 as the ID.  The archive of the show will be available to listen to online sometime within the next week or so, and will be posted here.

2nd BRITISH NATURAL EYESIGHT CONFERENCE

Just an advance notice so you can make plans to attend this vision event if you like.  The dates for the 2nd British Natural Eyesight Conference are 29 - 31 October 2010.  The main focus will be 'Bates and Children', yet it will be an interesting and valuable conference for children of all ages!  Esther will be speaking at this conference, as well as giving a workshop, and more information will follow in the next newsletter.  

NEW PAGES ADDED TO VISIONS OF JOY

Useful 'vision aids' to help you on your path to clarity have been added to the website recently, as well as a page that peruses the interesting history about Dr. Bates' book Perfect Sight Without Glasses.  Enjoy, and feel free to send feedback!

ARE YOU A FACEBOOK OR TWITTER FAN?

If so, this is an invitation to 'befriend' or 'follow' Visions of Joy!  

facebook visions of joy page

twitter visions of joy page

DISTANCE OF THE EYE-CHART
by William H. Bates MD

The distance of the eye-chart from the patient is a matter of considerable importance.  Some patients improve more rapidly when the chart is placed fifteen or twenty feet away while others fail to get any benefit with the chart at this distance.

In some cases the best results are obtained when the chart is as close as one foot.  I recall a patient with very poor sight who made no progress whatever, when the chart was placed at ten feet or further, but became able to improve the vision very materially with the chart at about six inches.  After the vision was improved at six inches the patient became able to improve the chart at a greater distance until normal sight was obtained at twenty feet.  Some cases with poor vision may not improve when the chart is placed at ten feet or further, or at one foot or less but do much better when the chart is placed at a middle distance, at about eight or ten feet.  Other individuals may not improve their vision at all at ten feet, but are able to improve their sight at twenty feet or at one foot.  I recall one patient with 20 diopters of myopia whose vision at ten feet was peculiar.  The letters at twenty feet and at one foot were apparently all the same normal size, but at ten feet they appeared to be one-fifth of the normal size.  Practicing with the chart at twenty feet or at one foot helped him greatly, more than practicing with the chart at about ten feet.  While some patients are benefited by practicing with the chart daily always at the same distance, there are others who seem to be benefited when the distance of the chart is changed daily.

(Better Eyesight magazine, April 1924)

If only we could give up, let go, let the thing be done for us,
of how much strain would we rid ourselves! 
What a difference between trying to do a thing and doing it;
between trying to see and seeing!

L.M. Stanton, MD
(Better Eyesight magazine, January 1927)

 

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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27 November 2009

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Hindsight is 20/20 ~ Why is that?
- 22nd International Holistic Vision Conference
- Vision Improvement Books for Sale

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! 
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

 

 

HINDSIGHT IS 20/20 ~ WHY IS THAT?

It is such a common expression, at times I even say it myself:  "Yes, with hindsight, I easily see how I could have done this differently."  And then I will likely sigh, and someone will joke about my 20/20 hindsight.  Does that ever happen to you too?  It usually doesn't occur to us that perhaps we can cultivate this hindsight and enjoy it as our permanent way of seeing.  Why do we not see things with the same clarity before the event?  

 

It becomes easy to understand the concept of clear hindsight when we consider what we learn from the Bates Method.  As Dr. Bates pointed out, our vision is largely mental, and any fears, worries, dislikes, or negative expectations cause mental strain.  In turn, this mental strain then distorts our vision.  

As anyone preparing for some important test will tell you, negative emotions are likely to surface to some extent, especially right as the deadline draws close.  The way we deal with those emotions influences how well our preparations for this test will go.  

Picture yourself in such a situation - remember something that has recently been stressful for you.  Feel the anxiety you had right before this 'test', and notice how it affected you.  

Now jump ahead in time and see yourself breathing that proverbial 'sigh of relief' after the test is over and done with.  

 

Do you notice that, when everything is over and done, your anxiety has gone too?  

Those negative emotions are no longer in your way, and therefore your mental strain has dropped considerably and you are able to relax.  This relaxation allows you to have a much clearer picture, literally as well as figuratively, of what you just went through.  You can easily see where you made any mistakes, and you know how you could have done it differently.  The overall picture is that clear.  If only we could turn the clock back by an hour, a day, or however much is needed, and we could do it all over, and this time, with that magic 20/20 hindsight, we would do it better. . .  

 

Well, we can do that!  Perhaps not for past events, but we can help ourselves do better in future.  All it takes is a bit of imagination, which happens to be one of Dr. Bates' favorite tools for vision improvement.  As you approach your next deadline, or test, and you notice the worries, or fears, or negative expectations creeping in, recognize them as just temporary emotions, and then imagine what this test would be like if it was EASY.  Simply let this new scenario run through your mind.  See yourself being happily surprised by how easy the test is.  Imagine how comfortable you are when doing it.  Notice how your whole body is relaxed, breathing smoothly, with an easy focus on the task at hand.  You are working very effectively and calmly.  

You are using your happy, relaxed, 20/20 hindsight to work through the present moment.  This enhances your actual vision, relaxes your breathing, focuses your mind, and allows you to perform at your personal best level, regardless of external conditions.  

 

So, if your vision needs a little improvement, simply start using your 20/20 hindsight!

 

 

report from the 22nd international holistic vision conference
4 Weeks ago about 80 people came together in the beautiful location of Spa, Belgium for the 22nd International Holistic Vision Conference.  Meir Schneider gave the opening lecture on Friday afternoon, and he happily took everyone outside onto the lawn where the bright sunshine helped stimulate peripheral vision during tennis ball juggling with central vision occluded.  Sylvia Lakeland from Portugal and Mikolaj Markiewicz from Poland joined forces to talk about the epidemic of myopia in schools, pointing out that an increased awareness by children of how their eyes feel, helping them to relax any tension they notice, and providing playful visual training can make a huge difference for the better during the school years.  Their talk resulted in a gathering of about 20 vision teachers that evening, all keen to join them in initiating a real change in school systems.

 

Saturday's topics by a variety of teachers included Acupuncture and Eye Diseases, Variations of Relationship, Yoga Nidra, Ayurveda, EFT, EMDR, and AcuLight Vision therapy.  This interesting day was followed by a Gala dinner and dance, where a magician played his cards faster than anyone's eyes were moving! ☺  
Sunday morning had me somewhat nervous, as I was to give the closing lecture of the conference, after the German trio of Sabine, Stefanie and Marianne enlightened everyone with their vision expertise. 

Thankfully I was able to imagine that it would all be easy (using my 'hindsight'!), so I simply got up on stage and talked about my passion for Dr. Bates' work.  My talk was very well received, and although it was not recorded you can read my own notes of this lecture here

 

 

VISION IMPROVEMENT BOOKS FOR SALE

A new addition to my website is that the vision improvement books that I currently have for sale are now listed on the books page.  If you wish to expand your library a little by adding books that can help improve your vision, then come take a look!  Whether your interest is in the older books from Bates himself, or one of the more recent publications, the Visions of Joy bookpage may just have what you are looking for. . .

 

 

Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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11 August 2009

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Report from the Raw Health Expo in Santa Rosa, CA
- Original 1920 Bates books for sale (and more)
-
"Stop staring" by W. H. Bates, M.D.

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! 
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

 

REPORT FROM THE RAW HEALTH EXPO IN SANTA ROSA, CA

Two weeks ago I attended the first 'Raw Health Expo', organized by John Kohler in Santa Rosa, CA.  John did an excellent job at bringing great speakers together at this event to provide top notch health information for everyone there.  I was scheduled to speak on both days, and was delighted with the huge interest that people showed in natural eyesight improvement.  In the first talk I explained the steps required to overcome the need for glasses and contact lenses.  The room was so full that latecomers were standing in the doorway!  For the next day's talk I was allocated a larger room, so the same large crowd was now able to sit comfortably.  This talk was about the physical and mental strains that we can let go of to improve our vision.  Both talks were very well received, and I am so grateful for the many compliments received afterwards. 
It has been 10 years since I went to a similar health expo in San Francisco where I first met Thomas Quackenbush and bought his book Relearning to See.  From my total ignorance about vision back then to being a well known vision educator myself now has been a huge learning curve.  I totally love the positive changes this 'visionary' career has brought into my life and I love passing on my passion for natural eyesight improvement.  My thanks to all who care to listen and who come to see better for themselves!

ORIGINAL 1920 BATES BOOKS FOR SALE (and more)

I have been lucky to find some of Dr. Bates' original first edition books from 1920.  These hardcover issues of Perfect Sight Without Glasses are becoming rare and I notice them being sold on internet for $200 or more!. . .  

I currently have 5 copies for sale.  Two of them are in near mint condition, two are a little tattered but very readable, and one is 'in-between'; in good condition.  Prices range from $40 to $150, depending on the state of the book.  This may be a good time to secure a copy for yourself!

Another excellent book that is hard to find and tends to be extremely expensive is Margaret Corbett's last book of the three books she wrote: Quick Guide to Better Vision.  In this excellent book Margaret summarizes her many years of experience as a successful Bates teacher.  Two copies are available at the moment, for $65 and $85.  Feel free to search the internet and compare prices; these are great value!  

Lastly, Janet Goodrich's book Natural Vision Improvement.  Also 2 copies available, for $35 and $39. 

 

Stop Staring
By W.
H. Bates, M.D.
It can be demonstrated by tests with the retinoscope that all persons with imperfect sight stare, strain, or try to see.  To demonstrate this fact: Look intently at one part of a large or small letter at the distance or nearpoint.  In a few seconds, usually, fatigue and discomfort will be produced, and the letter will blur or disappear.  If the effort is continued long enough, pain may be produced.

To break the habit of staring:

(1)  Shift consciously from one part to another of all objects regarded, and imagine that these objects move in a direction contrary to the movement of the eye.  Do this with letters on the test card, with letters of fine print, if they can be seen, and with other objects.

(2)  Close the eyes frequently for a moment or longer.  When the strain is considerable, keep the eyes closed for several minutes and open them for a fraction of a second--flashing.  When the stare is sufficient to keep the vision down to 2/200 or less, palm for a longer or shorter time; then look at the card for a moment.  Later mere closing of the eyes may afford sufficient rest.

(3)  Imagine that the white openings and margins of letters are whiter than the rest of the background.  Do this with eyes closed and open alternately.  It is an interesting fact that this practice prevents staring and improves the vision rapidly.

BETTER EYESIGHT MAGAZINE COLLECTION ON SALE

The above text from Dr. Bates comes from the June 1930 issue of Better Eyesight magazine.  The entire collection of unedited Better Eyesight magazines is currently for sale for only $59.00!!  Take advantage of this summer discount and have all this inspiring eyesight improvement information at your fingertips, easily searchable on your own computer!  See the e-books page for details.

REMINDER:

The 22nd International Conference for Holistic Vision takes place in Spa, Belgium, and you can attend a workshop there with me in which we will explore the physical and mental tension you can release to improve vision.  30, 31 October and 1 November 2009 are the dates to keep free!


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News; please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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29 May 2009

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Esther
's current schedule
- Dr. Bates writes about glasses

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! 
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

 

ESTHER'S CURRENT SCHEDULE

After much travel in the first 5 months of this year it is nice to be at home for the next few months, yet there are still a few trips to let you know about.

 

- The Raw Spirit Fest is coming to Santa Barbara, June 5-7, and I will be attending this weekend festival.  

 

- Esther will be speaking at The Raw Health Expo in Santa Rosa, 25-26 July. 
I will also visit relatives in Benicia around that weekend.  Anyone in the Santa Rosa or San Francisco areas who would like to reserve some time for vision or breathing lessons is welcome to contact me to set up an appointment.  

 

- As a reminder, the International Holistic Vision Conference will be held in Spa, Belgium this year, October 31 to November 1.  I will be giving a 3 hour workshop as well as presenting a talk at this conference.  

 

Thanks to all those in Chandler and the Phoenix area of Arizona who have started improving their eyesight this month!  I have received some very positive feedback already, thank you.  

It was a great experience to teach more than 20 people in the two weeks I spent in Arizona, and I look forward to hearing from more of you regarding your progress.

Special congratulations goes to Prateek (age 8) who rapidly became his baseball team's best pitcher after getting rid of his glasses a few months ago.  Excellent work Prateek; keep palming!

 

 

 DR. BATES WRITES ABOUT GLASSES

"GLASSES CANNOT REMOVE STRAIN"
"The wearing of glasses cannot remove the strain. If it did, the eye would become cured and glasses would no longer be necessary. As a matter of fact, once a person starts wearing glasses, the strength of the lenses may have to be increased steadily.  Yet when people break their glasses and go without them for a week or two, they frequently observe that their sight has improved.
The human eye resents glasses. Every oculist knows that patients have to "get used" to them -- sometimes they never succeed in doing so."  (from an article by Dr. Bates in The Bridgeport Telegram, 9 March 1922)

"GLASSES KEEP UP THE EYE STRAIN"  "It is a mistake to believe that even though the glasses do no good they cannot do harm.  Glasses keep up the strain.  A person wearing glasses for myopia has to strain all the time in order to make the eyeball elongated sufficiently to fit the glasses."  (Better Eyesight magazine, September 1922)

"WHAT GLASSES DO TO US" 
"After people once begin to wear glasses their strength, in most cases, has to be steadily increased in order to maintain the degree of visual acuity secured by the aid of the first pair."
"As refractive abnormalities are continually changing, not only from day to day and from hour to hour, but from minute to minute, even under the influence of atropine, the accurate fitting of glasses is, of course, impossible.  In some cases these fluctuations are so extreme, or the patient so unresponsive to mental suggestion, that no relief whatever is obtained from correcting lenses, which necessarily become, under such circumstances, an added discomfort.  At their best it cannot be maintained that glasses are anything more than a very unsatisfactory substitute for normal vision."  (Better Eyesight magazine, July 1920)

"QUESTION.  I cannot yet read or write easily without my glasses.  Can I harm my eyes by trying to do so?"
"ANSWER.  You cannot harm your eyes by reading and writing without glasses if you stop often to rest them by closing or palming.  Even if the use of the eyes without glasses produces pain and fatigue the injury is less than from the wearing of the glasses."  (Better Eyesight magazine, November 1921)

"As a general rule it is best for the patient to discard glasses. In some cases of extreme myopia, where going without glasses entails too great a hardship, good results have been obtained by gradually reducing the strength of the glasses worn as the vision improves, but the treatment is then prolonged."  (From an article by Dr. Bates in the New York Medical Journal, 8 May 1915)


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News, and please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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31 March 2009

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Life... is a school ~ A personal update
- Esther's current schedule: Ojai, Esalen, and Arizona
- Rest ~ by W.H. Bates, M.D.

WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! 
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

 

LIFE... IS A SCHOOL ~ A PERSONAL UPDATE

Last year I made a choice to teach fewer group classes and spend more time on my writing projects.  This personal choice was later reinforced by the serious illness of my young niece, who was diagnosed with leukemia last August.  As her illness progressed and the daily updates from my family became more intense, I found it more and more difficult to reach out to help others, and so I slowly slipped into even less teaching.  During this period I found that a way to help me stay relaxed was to study Dr. Bates' writings in more depth than I had done before.

As the Bates Method in essence is all about rest and relaxation, absorbing this message over and over proved quite helpful to me.  In the past two emotional months, I have re-read the entire collection of Better Eyesight, the magazine that Dr. Bates published monthly for eleven years.  

 

My niece unfortunately passed away earlier this month and has likely found her rest and release from pain.  I am now beginning to come out of my little 'cave' and am resurfacing in the world of teaching natural vision improvement with new motivation, as well as inspiration to take this work as far as I can possibly take it.  With the inspiring contents of Dr. Bates' magazines fresh in my mind, I am noticing that it has become easier to help people who have come for help with their vision recently.

I am glad to continue on this path and to look forward to helping many more people regain their visual clarity in the most effortless way.

ESTHER'S CURRENT SCHEDULE

April 2: A free talk on Natural Eyesight Improvement at 'The Oaks' in Ojai, CA.  7:30pm.

April 12-17: Free Your Breath, Free Your Life, taught with Dennis Lewis at Esalen Institute, CA.

May 2-17: Private classes in Chandler, Arizona.  Preference will be given to those who are rescheduling appointments made for the beginning of March, yet others who are interested in lessons are invited to inquire also.

 

October 30-November 1: International Holistic Vision Conference, in Spa, Belgium.

The most up to date schedule is always available on my website.

REST
by W.H. Bates, M.D.

All methods of curing errors of refraction are simply different ways of obtaining rest.

Different persons do this in different ways.  Some patients are able to rest their eyes simply by closing them, and complete cures have been obtained by this means, the closing of the eyes for a longer or shorter period being alternated with looking at the test card for a moment.  In other cases patients have strained more when their eyes were shut than when they were open.  Some can rest their eyes when all light is excluded from them by covering with the palms of the hands; others cannot, and have to be helped by other means before they can palm.  Some become able at once to remember or imagine that the letters they wish to see are perfectly black, and with the accompanying relaxation their vision immediately becomes normal.  Others become able to do this only after a considerable time.  Shifting is a very simple method of relieving strain, and most patients soon become able to shift from one letter to another, or from one side of a letter to another in such a way that these forms seem to move in a direction opposite to the movement of the eye.  A few are unable to do this, but can do it with a mental picture of a letter, after which they become able to do it visually.

Patients who do not succeed with any particular method of obtaining rest for their eyes should abandon it and try something else.  The cause of the failure is strain, and it does no good to go on straining.

(from Better Eyesight magazine, April 1920)


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News, and please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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11 January 2009

Visions of Joy News!

Contents of this issue:
- Welcome
- Playing outside can prevent children becoming nearsighted
- 22nd International Holistic Vision Conference
- Esther's current schedule
- Dr. Bates' advice to overcome nearsightedness


WELCOME to those who receive Visions of Joy News for the first time! 
I hope you enjoy this somewhat irregular newsletter about natural eyesight improvement and that you will find it helpful on your personal path to clarity.

 

PLAYING OUTSIDE CAN PREVENT CHILDREN BECOMING NEARSIGHTED

This week an article was published in the Daily Mail about research done in Australia that links the amount of time children spend outdoors in sunshine with a much lower risk of them developing myopia (nearsightedness).  "Spending two or three hours outside each day halves the chance of developing the condition." 

Professor Ian Morgan, of the Australian Research Council's Vision Centre, said:

"We're seeing large increases in myopia among children in urban societies all around the world - and the outstanding common factor may be less and less time spent outdoors.  'The idea that reading makes you short-sighted has been popular for a couple of hundred years. But recent data shows that the time spent indoors is a more important factor."  You can read the full article here.
Esther's comment:
I totally agree that more time spent outside is healthy and good for our vision, and this goes for ALL of us, not just children.  Part of the article unfortunately is incorrect and it just repeats a long-standing myth that myopia is caused by an eyeball that has 'grown excessively'.  Myopia is not caused by eyes 'growing excessively'; it is simply due to eye-strain, and releasing that strain will bring the eye-ball back to its normal shape and clear vision.

 

 

22ND INTERNATIONAL HOLISTIC VISION CONFERENCE

The details for the Holistic Vision Conference in Spa, Belgium have now been posted on their website.  
I will be presenting the following workshop and lecture during this conference:

 

October 30 - Half day pre-conference workshop:
"The Physical and Mental Tensions We Can Release to Improve Vision"

November 1 - One hour lecture: 

"Relax into Seeing, Relax into Life"

 

Along with many other workshops and lectures this promises to be a great conference! 

Join me and many other vision educators in the beautiful town of Spa, Belgium and be inspired to improve your vision!   To register please visit the conference website.

 

 

ESTHER'S CURRENT SCHEDULE

Besides the obvious trip to Europe for the above mentioned vision conference in October, I will also be in Europe for most of February.  Anyone who is interested in taking a class in London, England between February 2 and 20, please contact me in the next few weeks to set up an appointment.

The month of January is now  pretty much booked full, so for those of you in Southern California, I am already taking appointments for March.

The weekend of February 28-March 1, Lizzie May and Kevin Wooding, two wonderful vision educators from England, will be coming to Ojai to teach a workshop on natural eyesight improvement!  Join us!  Details will be on my website soon.

April 12-17 will see me back at Esalen Institute for another week of teaching 'Free your Breath, Free your Life' with Dennis Lewis, who is the author of several books on Authentic Breathing.  If you could do with some 'serious' rest and relaxation, along with gentle breathing work, than this is an excellent opportunity to do so in one of the most beautiful locations on the Big Sur Coast!  

Check my current schedule at any time for the latest information.

 

 

DR. BATES' ADVICE TO OVERCOME NEARSIGHTEDNESS.
Question:  I can read with no trouble but cannot distinguish things at a distance, especially the features of people.  What would you suggest?

Answer:  You are nearsighted.  The imagination cure is the quickest and most satisfactory cure of myopia.  Use two Snellen test cards (= eye charts), one held at one foot or nearer, or at a distance where you can see it best; the other placed at five feet or further.  Look at the first letter of one of the lines of the near card and with the eyes closed remember it for half a minute or longer.  Then look at the same letter on the distant card at five feet or further and imagine that letter for not longer than a second.  Then look at the near letter again for part of a minute, close your eyes and remember it, and then glance at the same letter on the distant card for not longer than a second, and imagine it as well as you can.  Alternate.  When you become able to see the bottom line on the distant card, place it a few inches further off and repeat.

(From Better Eyesight magazine, January 1926)

 


Thank you for reading Visions of Joy News, and please share it with your friends! 
Enjoy your path to clarity. 

Love, 
Esther 

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