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The School of Optimal Eyesight
Improve your vision and overcome the need for glasses or contacts while avoiding laser surgery

Optimal Eyesight

Esther's new book!Optimal Eyesight book cover

From the back cover:

Optimal Eyesight offers a simple method that eliminates eyestrain and positively affects your overall well-being, as well as your sight.  Read this book if you’re fed up with glasses, tired of contact lenses, feel your eyes are “weak,” are “practically blind” without lenses, or if laser surgery scares you or cannot do anything for you.  In short, you want a better solution. 

This book helps you discover and remove the root cause of blurry vision so you can enjoy maximum clarity, vivid color perception, increase depth perception, and look younger and more relaxed.  There are no negative side-effects, you don’t need expensive equipment or risky surgery, and the method can be used at any age.  You’ll be happily surprised by how soon you see results and how easily you can regain your optimal eyesight!


With the advice Esther provides in Optimal Eyesight, I was able to throw away my glasses.  I improved from -3 diopters of myopia to clear vision and no longer need glasses for anything!  I love the easy techniques that made it possible.   
Giovannella Pattavina, M.D.

Optimal Eyesight is inspired and practical – kind, caring, creative and generous.  And it’s thorough – a treasure of information and support.  Esther is a leading resource for organizing and expressing Dr. Bates’ insights and practices.  
Ray Gottlieb, O.D., Ph.D.

This is a must-read if you want to improve your vision naturally.  Esther is a dedicated and gifted teacher of the Bates Method.  This book will become a true classic in the field of vision improvement.  I highly recommend it.  
– Marc Grossman O.D., L.Ac., author of Natural Eye Care, Magic Eye Beyond 3D and Greater Vision


CLICK HERE for a list of all the LINKS mentioned in the book

Testimonials received by email from readers of OPTIMAL EYESIGHT:

I have been striving to understand the Bates Method for a long time and read many books that either were difficult to understand or did not quite get to the point.  Optimal Eyesight is by far the most understandable and complete presentation of the Bates Method. Of modern sources, it is also the most pure.  The Bates Method is so often misunderstood and misrepresented but Esther has studied so extensively and went back to the original source to sort it all out. Esther clarifies subtle concepts and explains in a way that makes sense. I appreciate how practical the advice is.  There is a very helpful If -Then chart. The nutrition advice is also just good advice – not a fad theory, but common sense.  I read this book four and a half months ago and have been continually making progress in improving my vision.  It takes time and patience and a willingness to change, but is so worth it!  At this point my clear flashes are so frequent that I can just blink and shift and then see clearly.  I can see 20/20 for a few seconds at a time and that is something I’ve not been able to do for the past 24 years!
Leanna Curley, Schenectady, NY

I bought your book & was impressed by how reasonable and easy-to-absorb it all was. I started on my path with the Janet Goodrich books, and your book finally made me realize that her approach to sketching induced a new kind of strain. Tom Quackenbush's book was the best until I read yours, and it's head and shoulders above--far more practical, clear, actionable.
I wanted to let you know that I’ve already gotten a ton of benefit from your book. In particular, I finally understand and can successfully practice swinging and blinking in ways that decrease the strain, and which improve acuity measurably, for a while at least.
C.J., Chicago, IL

I wanted to let you know that I started reading your book yesterday.  Wow!  It's the best book I've ever read on natural vision!  I've read lots of Bates stuff & at least 10+ books by various authors. I'll post a review on Amazon when I finish it.   I absolutely love your conversational style as well as your simple approach.  I've already started incorporating your ideas & know that I'll be seeing improvements soon.
I read more last night & I'm even more excited!  This book is truly a treasure & will be my "go to" from now on, not only for me but for my family members as well.
I've read Thomas Quackenbush's book at least 3-4 times so I can only imagine how many times I will read yours as I find it MUCH MORE practical.  So practical that I probably won't need a Skype session with you.   Of all the books I've read on Bates, this one has really "clicked" for me as you've managed to confirm many of my thoughts on the topic as well as answered all of the questions I was going to ask you on Skype!  All the other books I've read have left me with more questions than answers. Thank you so much for the time & energy you put into this project.  It's certainly a beautiful legacy in many ways!
Brenda Peter, Preston, CT

I want to express my huge gratitude for your work. Your book made clear for me some missing points I had in the theory; I already see a huge progress in vision being 1/4 way through it. After reading the entire original 1920 book several times, I still lacked proper understanding of some crucial aspects, like blinking for instance. I finally begin to use my eyes in a relaxed way, thank you.  Optimal Eyesight is so practical; it's a live encounter with the method. It's really a book W.H. Bates would have written, had he had enough time. Thank you thousand times, it seems this is the breakthrough I was waiting for.
Today I had a long train journey and I just marvelled at my vision. The way you put it all in your book gives me such a kick and a fresh look on looking. :)
Kacper Mroczkowski, Poland

Hello Esther,
I just received ‘Optimal Eyesight’. This book is a blessing! Thank you for writing it.
I've been practicing the Bates methods for the past two years but I wasted so much time, energy and hope forcing my eyes to shift, locking on details while I was forgetting the peripheral vision or even doing the nose drawing practice taught by other teachers!
It led to so much strain and pain that I gave up improving my sight while it was a life important and very symbolic goal for me. Thanks to you, I’m back on this path and I’m getting some impressive results. I’m sure now that I’ll get my optimal vision back at the age of 33, just like you did. ;-)
With all my gratitude,
Alexis Trouillas, Paris, France

GLOWING REVIEWS are coming in on AMAZON too!
"Momto6" writes:
5 starsBest book on improving your natural eyesight!
If I could give this book 10 stars, I would! Of all the many books I've read on restoring natural eyesight, this one is the best by far. The author did an outstanding job conveying her years of knowledge in a very conversational, warm, simple as well as practical manner. I walked away from the book with alot of peace and confidence knowing that if I pick 1 or 2 techniques that help relax my eyes then that is enough for now. I can always go back when I need some new "tricks" as this book has everything I'll need to guide me to the "finish line". Initially I was put off by the price of the book but the breathing exercises alone are worth every penny. Buy it. You won't be disappointed!!

Elena writes on Amazon:
5 starsGreat book!
This book is my favorite on vision improvement and I’ve done a lot of research on the topic. Love it! Esther Joy van der Werf sticks strictly to the Bates method and also adds a lot of up-to date information on light, screens, and nutrition. The book is very practical: it contains an abundance of different techniques you can choose and try. It is also easy to read. I’ve been wearing glasses for 30 years and had severe myopia. Blur started 6in from my face. Now for most activities like reading, working on the computer, cooking, hiking, yoga, ping-pong, and badminton I do not need glasses anymore. My vision acuity improved by about 3 diopters and I keep working on it. Depth and color perception, night vision, 3D, contrast, overall eye health are also improved noticeably. It feels so nice not to be dependent on glasses! Highly recommend this book.

Another Amazon reviewer writes:

5 starsBest Resource on Natural Vision Improvement.
My wife bought me this book for my birthday. I started trying to improve my vision a year ago through the Bates method and my vision has improved from needing -2.00 glasses for myopia to needing only -1.00. My favorite part of the book is the stories Esther gives of students who improved their eyesight and how they did it. It has given me greater insight and good examples and helped me realize how I am holding strain in my eyes on a daily basis. Following what I've learned from this book, I've been releasing this strain and trying to relax completely and see without effort. I've noticed sharper vision as I look without effort and strain.

Also on Amazon:  
5 starsMost comprehensive book on the subject!
As others have already said, this is probably the best book on improving eyesight ever written. I know because through the years I bought most of the other books. In the first place, Esther, who is likely the world's foremost authority on William Bates, MD, the father of alternative eyesight restoration techniques, has set the record straight about what Bates really taught. But in addition she approaches the subject from many novel angles that I've never seen mentioned before. She writes about posture, sleep, and massage, as well as the importance of breathing freely. Also, thank heavens, she exonerates sunlight, as Bates did, and talks of its importance rather than posing a danger. Also—and I found this fascinating—Esther suggests learning to accept a bit of blur if your eyes are not perfect. What I found, is that skipping the glasses all together, when not absolutely necessary, allows the eyes to retrain and even improve. I've stopped wearing glasses, except for night driving, and I have indeed seen improvement. I just don't need the glasses as I used to and when I put them on, that's when I feel strain!
As a writer myself, I want to say in closing that this book is very well written with a very professional blend of seriousness and jocularity. It's a joy to read! If you only had one book on eyesight improvement, this would be it!

Kay added this wonderful testimonial on Amazon:
5 starsClear Vision!
This book is amazing! I am seeing daily vision improvements and went from -4.00 diopter glasses to now going all day with just my naked eyes.♥ Esther teaches you how to overcome your self-limiting beliefs and how to relax to clear vision.♥♥♥

A reader in the UK writes:
5 stars If you are fed up with wearing glasses, read this book
I have worn glasses for distant vision since my teenage years. More recently, I found that as I get older, I have started having to take off my glasses to read small print. This constant on/off of my glasses finally led me to see if there was any way of improving your vision without wearing glasses. I have now done a series of classes and have a definite improvement in my eyesight.
If you are interested in possible ways to improve your vision, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It explains the reason for vision problems, the reason we tend to end up getting stronger and stronger glasses over the years and looks at many aspects of improving vision. The emphasis is on finding the best path for each individual, so many different 'exercises' are described but the reader is encouraged to choose what is best for your individual case.
The book includes eye charts, specific information about screen use, chapters on night vision and driving and a section about helping children to improve their vision. It is a treasury of information.

Also from the UK, by P.J. Greene:
5 starsComprehensive book on eyesight, eyes and how to take care of your sight.
Since I became aware of my failing sight I have amassed a small library of sight related books. This book is by far the most comprehensive and I would have saved a considerable amount of money if I had sourced this book at the start. If you have sight problems or wish to know more about your eyes then get this book. It's absolutely the best.

Marian Baay wrote:
5 stars It works!
Really helpful book in explaining the Bates method and how to bring it into practice. Easy to understand. Esther is a good teacher.

On, Carol writes:
5 starsThis is the BEST book on the Bates method of vision improvement ever written. (As a former Bates teacher myself, I've seen many of them). This book is outstanding for content, for clarity of instructions, for technical information and practical techniques, and it is the most motivating book I've ever encountered. Esther sticks true to the original principles set out by Dr. Bates, but her book is contemporary and fresh.

Also on Goodreads, from Sameer:
5 starsAfter practising the bates methodology for nearly 15 years with little or no success, I stumbled across this book while searching the net for more help. Surprisingly there were many apps offering the bates methodology, however this book is a pure jem for any person suffering from myopia.
I was encouraged to buy this book as the author Ms Esther Joy itself is a ex myopic. Indeed the book is intuitively relatable. As the name of the book suggest the content is Optimal with every practise explained in a proper chronological manner as to why are we doing it and what are we trying to achieve with it. Moreover it gives you option on how each practice can be dealt with.
Besides the book the author Ms Esther is readily available to clear any doubts and has a very approachable pleasant personality, that really differentiates from other books whereby you cannot reach out to the author in most cases.
It's been nearly a month since I am using the practises and have gained 4 ft to my clarity. With this review I strongly urge fellow myopes to stop your search right here and not waste any valuable time to your path to clarity.

From a Kindle reader in India:
5 stars Outstanding book!
One of the best bates method books. Contains normal common sense and strongly clarifies why bates method is not eye excercise.

How to Get Your Copy of Optimal Eyesight:
You can choose between hardcover, paperback, audiobook, or e-book (in PDF, Kindle, or ePub format) and you can buy it from Visions of Joy, Amazon, or your local bookstore. Your current options are as follows:

1. - You can buy Optimal Eyesight as an e-book in PDF format.
(ISBN 978-1-935894-22-3. Twenty-eight of its 85 illustrations are in color.)
This is a 10MB PDF file of the book which costs US$19. To purchase it make a payment of US$19.00 here and send me a quick email to let me know that your payment is for the Optimal Eyesight e-book PDF. I will then email the e-book to you. You will need Adobe Reader software to open the PDF file, which can be downloaded for free from
No postage costs, quick service, or at most only a minor delay while I travel!

2. - You can buy the Optimal Eyesight paperback directly from Visions of Joy.
(ISBN 978-1-935894-21-6. Twenty-eight of its pages have color illustrations.)
This paperback book costs $29.50 plus $6.00 shipping in the USA (a total of US$35.50). To purchase it, make a $35.50 payment here and send me a quick email (please include your mailing address!) to let me know that your payment is for the Optimal Eyesight paperback book.
Shipping this book abroad is expensive (i.e. to Canada is US$23 in postage, while to Europe or Australia it costs US$30), so you may prefer to get the book from Amazon instead (see below). But yes, I will ship it anywhere you want, if you pay the extra postage...

EXTRA: Current special offer - valid only while supplies of the color-illustrated books last - Order Optimal Eyesight now (either paperback or hardcover) and receive a free download of the Visions of Joy palming meditation! It is a fifteen-minute meditation that helps you release your eyestrain, easily and effectively. This special offer is only valid for books bought directly from Visions of Joy.

3. - Optimal Eyeisght has a hardcover version (also color-illustrated)!
(ISBN 978-1-935894-24-7. Twenty-eight of its pages have color illustrations.)
This hardcover book costs $39.50 plus $7.00 shipping via Media Mail in the USA (a total of US$46.50). Make a $46.50 payment here and send me a quick email (please include your mailing address) to let me know that your payment is for the Optimal Eyesight hardcover book.

Shipping this hardcover book abroad is expensive (i.e. to Canada is US$32 in postage, while to Europe or Australia it costs US$45), so you may prefer to get the paperback (see above) or get the book from Amazon instead (see below). But yes, I will ship it anywhere you want, if you pay the extra postage...

4. - You can buy the paperback from online stores such as
(ISBN 978-1-935894-17-9. NOTE: All illustrations are in grayscale.)
You can 'look inside' the book on Amazon; a nice feature.

- In many other countries you will be able to get the (English language) paperback from your local Amazon service, often with free shipping, while in the Netherlands you can purchase it from or get a better price at

- Other online stores that carry Optimal Eyesight:, Barnes and Noble, AbeBooks, Alibris, Better World Books, BooksAMillion, IndieBound, and more.

EXTRA: Current special offer - Order Optimal Eyesight from any online store, AND leave a positive review for the book on that store's website, then send me an e-mail with the link to your review, and I will send you a free download of the Visions of Joy palming meditation! (Just remind me!) It is a fifteen-minute meditation that helps you release your eyestrain, easily and effectively.

5. - For fans of Kindle, Optimal Eyesight is now available as a Kindle e-book via (Some issues with it were fixed in November 2023.)

6. - You can order the book from your local bookstore. They may ask you for the title (Optimal Eyesight), author (Esther Joy van der Werf) ISBN number (978-1-935894-21-6 paperback color version / 978-1-935894-17-9 paperback grayscale version), and Library of Congress Control Number: 2019909092.
They can buy wholesale through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

7. - An Audiobook version of Optimal Eyesight is available too! Thirteen hours of listening pleasure, delightfully narrated by Sarah Kisko from Canada. It comes with a PDF supplement that contains the images, tables and charts from the book. You can buy the audiobook through Audible.
If you are new to audible, go here for a special offer!
Here is a five-minute sample of the audio book.

8. - You can lend it from your local library! Some libraries carry Optimal Eyesight already. If yours doesn't yet, they probably can order it!

9. - The Spanish edition (Visión Óptima) is available as of 21 August 2023, while you can expect an Italian and a Dutch translation to be ready some time in 2024.

Links from the Optimal Eyesight Book:

Who this Book is For and How to Use It
1.    A list of vision educators world-wide

2.    Collection of Dr. Bates’ 30 medical articles (1886-1923)

2.   The Old View Turns a Blind Eye
5.    Information on laser surgery

5.   What’s Good About Blur?
2.    List of behavioral optometrists
3.    Affordable glasses online
4.    EyeQue Corporation
5.    Pinhole glasses

6.   You May Close Your Eyes
3.    Palming support and meditation
NOTE: Readers of Optimal Eyesight get 25% off the palming meditation! Instead of $10 you pay just $7.50. Make the lower payment and in your email mention that you bought the book and are purchasing the palming meditation.
4.    Body Slant mattress
5.    David Kiesling's iblindness website
6.    Mindfold

11. Think Right for Your Sight
5.    Lichtman, Robert. M. (2010).  Myopia as an Adaptation

15. Sunlight: Friend or Foe?
26. Sunning lamps
27. Traditional Bates Method teachers; look for TBM annotation next to their name.

17. A Bold View of Letter Charts and Small Print
5.    Boomerang ball
6.    Letter charts

19. Computer Screens: Look Beyond the 20/20/20 Rule
2.    Screen projectors
3.    EyeLeo software
4.    Time Out software 
NEW: Okulox, An app that helps you incorporate the Bates Method each day.
Another option for PC/Linux: Workrave break reminder software
5.    f.lux software
6.    Iris software
7.    Redshift software
8.    Sunset Screen software
9.    Dark Reader
10.   Laptop stand

22. Help a Child to Better Sight
11.  Fairy Tales for Better Eyesight

23. Two Points of View for 3-D
6.    Eye patches

24. Dr. Bates’ Perspective on Eye Diseases
6.    The Bates Method View series of e-books
7.    A list of books on how to treat eye diseases naturally

Appendix E
1.    List of websites that sell affordable glasses
2.    Information on high-index glasses
3.    Guide to buying glasses online

1.    Practice charts

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