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


The Bates Method really works!

Over the last century and a bit, countless people have benefited from the Bates Method of Natural Eyesight Improvement.  The Bates Method really works!  
And Yes, I speak from personal experience; you can read my own vision success story!  

In Dr. Bates' Better Eyesight magazines you'll find an abundance of examples and case histories of people who improved their vision naturally (not using glasses, contact lenses, drugs or surgery).
Aldous Huxley was nearly blind when he discovered the Bates method.  He regained his eyesight, and wrote a book about his experience, called The Art of Seeing.  
Meir Schneider
has an inspiring story to tell too, he also came back from blindness.  
Many if not all of the vision improvement books listed on this website were written after the author improved his/her eyesight through practicing good vision habits.  Here are more wonderful eyesight success stories from a Canadian natural vision improvement centre.

There truly is plenty of inspiration to be found if that's what you're looking for. However, nothing will convince you more than your own positive experience. So, please give natural vision improvement a chance, because all you stand to lose is your blurry eyesight!


"Esther Joy van der Werf is one of the most effective, caring,
and knowledgeable vision teachers I have met
in my 25 years of being an optometrist.
If you want to improve your vision, Take her class!!!"

Dr Marc Grossman, OD, LAc.
author of 'Greater Vision', 'Natural Eye Care' and 
'Beyond 3D: Magic Eye - Improve Your Vision'


Comments that I have received about my work are listed below.  These are from people of all ages, describing in their own words their positive results obtained with the Bates Method.

To make it easier to find what interests you, I've grouped the comments as follows:
1. - Improvements in Distance Vision
2. - Improvements in Near Vision
3. - Improvements in Children's Vision
4. - Various Visual Challenges
5. - About Eyesight Classes in General

On separate pages:
6. - E-mail course students share their vision improvement experience
7. - Video course students share their vision improvement experience

8. - Vision Educators share their testimonial about teacher training

Note: Please keep in mind that everyone's visual challenges are unique to them; with different causes, different circumstances, and different challenges along the way. No one person's path to clarity is going to be identical to another person's path, even if the visual challenge appears to be similar. Your progress may be faster or slower than what you read below, so I encourage you to avoid comparisons as much as possible and just keep track of your own vision improvements.

1. Improvements in Distance Vision

The Bates Method, give it a shot! What do you have to lose? Restore your vision naturally without glasses.
I started out like most people in life - great vision when I was young: 20/20. In my thirties I developed a slight astigmatism and saw 20/30, by the time I was 40 it became worse and I saw 20/40. The optometrist told me there was nothing I could do to fix this. So I broke down and got a pair of prescription glasses to “crispen things up.” Doctors words! I wore them for a while and my vision became dramatically worse in few short years: 20/70. 
At this point I was convinced my vision was worsened by the glasses, so I started searching for alternative remedies and that’s when I found Esther, a Bates Method Vision Teacher, and decided to seek her help to restore my vision naturally. She succeeded! Not only did she teach me what I needed to do to restore my vision, but she also taught me things about my eyes and how they worked that I never knew (and no optometrist ever told me) which made the process super simple.
I am now seeing 20/20 again, sometimes better. She is an amazing teacher and I’m truly grateful that I found her and sought her help. Having restored natural vision again is truly an amazing feeling. Thank You Esther!
If you’re on the fence about restoring your vision naturally, don’t hesitate, just do it! You won’t be disappointed. I’m so glad I did.

Stephen Moore, California, July 2021

Clear Vision! 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.♥♥♥

Kay, Amazon book review 2021 (for Optimal Eyesight)

After 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.

Sameer, Goodreads book review 2020 (for Optimal Eyesight)

From a student of the e-mail course:
At the start of the course my visual acuity was 20/30 for the right eye, 20/40 for the left and my goal was to improve my distance vision. I am happy to report that my acuity now after the course is 20/20 in both eyes and still improving!  Besides better vision, I experienced reduced headaches, less sensitive to bright light and much more confidence in the ability of my eyes/brain to see clearly.
S.L., Croatia, April 2019

rom a reader of Bates Method Nuggets:
Hey Esther, I thank you wholeheartedly for writing such an amazing and practical book (Bates Method Nuggets). It helped me A LOT. From 20/70 to 20/20.
Shivendra, India
, February 2018

After the video course:
I have been exploring natural vision improvement for quite some time but it has really begun to have a considerable effect in the past few months. Over that time my vision has improved immensely - on good days it's even better than 20/20. I have used a number of different resources including Esther's Visions of Joy website, which is a wonderful resource to have available and I also found her video classes helpful, particularly her approach to palming. Esther was very supportive to me by answering many questions and concerns I had on this journey to better vision - Esther gave her time freely and generously I have to say, and that made all the difference to me. One thing that is much better is that my eyes don't get tired now going the whole day without glasses- incidentally I haven't worn glasses at all since the beginning of February- not once :) Thanks very much Esther. You are are a real guiding light.
Sean MacLeod, Ireland, May 2017

Dear Esther,
How are you? I'm just writing you a quick mail to say that I have been getting a lot of benefit from the Video course I got from you. Two weeks or so ago I wrote to you to say that I had been to an optician who also does Bates work and reduced my lenses by 1 diopter and since then I have been having near complete clarity of vision using them. However since last week, Saturday actually I noticed sign posts and other signs etc coming into focus without wearing any glasses or lenses. since then I have been have extraordinary clear vision everything has improved by quite a significant amount and faces and signs all start becoming crystal clear as I walk along the streets some signs are well over 200 feet away which means my vision is back to 20/20 or even more.
I feel it was really helpful for me to find people to ask questions and to find encouragement, like you gave me.
Kind regards,
Sean MacLeod, Ireland, February 2017
[Sean started with -2.75 nearsightedness. Years ago he read several books about the Bates Method, attended some workshops locally but had not made much progress. Thankfully he kept his belief in the method, watched the video course, and is now enjoying great results. ~ EJvdW]

After the email course:

I have noticed a significant improvement in my distance vision in general. Improvement in my vision as measured by a vision chart has been slow but it is there! This is a great class with a lot of good content! A great compilation of Bates Methods activities and techniques combined with individualized attention from an experienced, warm, and thoughtful vision improvement instructor!
Anne Olson, Oregon, USA, September 2016
[Anne is in her late 60s, her eyes have been highly myopic (-8D) for most of her life and she had double vision. She also was dealing with cataract in one eye. Natural Vision lessons solved the double vision issue she had and during the 3 months she took for this email course her vision acuity significantly improved from right eye 5/100, left eye 5/200, to seeing 5/40 with each eye. ~ EJvdW]

During the video course:
"I already have some results from relaxing and trying not to stare etc. (start: 5 / 40 and two weeks later: 5 / 20 +3). Regards,"
Mariëlle C., The Netherlands, February 2016
[Mariëlle started the course with -2.00 diopters of myopia combined with -0.75 of astigmatism. The numbers she provides show that she more than doubled her vision acuity from 5 feet in just two weeks, a great result! ~ EJvdW]

"I passed the DMV test today!  I'm so happy that I can drive with an unrestricted license now.  I was a little nervous, but I did what you suggested and looked at the background first, which helped me to relax.  It was easy!"
Marie Samson, Ojai, California, December 2008   
(It took only two lessons followed by two months of relaxing into seeing without using her -2.00 glasses, for Marie to improve her vision enough to easily pass the DMV test! ~ EJvdW)
Below are copies of Marie's old and new driver licenses:

Marie Canadian Driver License with restriction before eyesight lessons

Back of Marie Canadian license showing glasses restriction

Marie Driver License without restriction after eyesight lessons

Above left: Marie's Canadian license with the restriction ("Condition A") that I underlined.

Above right: the back of her Canadian license, stating the restriction is a requirement for glasses or contact lenses.

Left:  Marie's unrestricted Californian license.

UPDATE on Marie as at 15 June 2016: When her son's vision was checked Marie also checked her own acuity by how far down she could read on the chart in the doctor's office. She was pleasantly surprised that she could read all the way to the bottom line. The doctor confirmed she now has 20/10 vision acuity!!!

After the email course:
Dear Esther,
Thank you so much for your wonderful course! I loved it, and you were a fabulous companion on my journey toward clarity! Thanks for putting this class together, for answering all my questions, for cheering me on, for your teaching, encouragement, inspiration, and for your great skype session! I loved working with you and am thankful for all that I have learned, for all the natural vision habits and tools, the progress I made – and I am hoping for more. I will give you an update.
I am happy about the more relaxed feeling of my eyes. It is much easier now to read small print - from the story of Sylvia you sent me, I can read all except the tiniest version).
My far point moved from 40 cm to 97 cm with both eyes (90 r, 75 l).
I learned how to do my work without glasses, and even though the vision is not always clear yet, I can relax into it.
The only times I am using reduced glasses is when driving the car. I check the vision chart before I leave and also take into account if I am going somewhere I know or into an unfamiliar area, needing to read street signs… or driving at night. For night and unfamiliar locations, I usually choose the -1.0 glasses. For daytime and familiar locations the -0.5 are enough.
In the mornings and at daylight I can usually read the 20/30 line. But it does not stay consistent yet. At night it is more like 20/50. In the morning I have clear flashes of 20/20, once even of 20/15, these flashes don’t last very long yet – but I am planning on getting there and will keep you posted
Thanks again so much for re-introducing me to the world of clarity!
Blessings to you and warm regards,

Dr. Angelika Schultz, Erie, Colorado (

[Angelika started the course with glasses of -2.25 and made fantastic progress; congratulations! - More of Angelika's feedback on the email course can be read here. ~ EJvdW]

During the email course: I have taken a lot of awareness on peripheral vision…I love it !!! and that helps relaxing (it connects me with trusting life movement), but as I mentioned in lesson 1 (strain habits) I have a very strong tendency to “try to see” and I would be more specific: try to read. The other day, I went to pick up a paper from the floor that was close to the Eye Chart, and when I stood up, my head passed near the Eye Chart and I suddenly had a clear eye flash!!! When I do not try to see, I see!
Regarding the astigmatism, the optometrist considered that my level of astigmatism was not clear/high enough to say “I have astigmatism”. She said that the machine measured 0,25 (both eyes). Thus, it seems to me that my astigmatism has decided to go on holidays!!!!
Esther, I feel very grateful for this course. You write with clarity, and describe exercises in depth and being very specific. Thank you !

Nora U., San Sebastian, Spain, April 2015

After the email course: I had a -4.75 and -5 with -20% astigmatism prescription for my eyes before starting the course. Now, I can see clearly with -4.00 and -4.50 [no astigmatism compensation any more] after just 4 weeks of the course. I feel a sense of relaxation, my neck tension has reduced and I have a more relaxed state of mind.
The organization of materials was very good. I liked the explanation of all the topics. An amazing course! The perfect approach to Natural and Improved Vision #Visions of Joy ! :-) Thank You Esther for your concern and support throughout the course.
Dev S., Sunnyvale, California
, April 2015

...after our session I immediately went online and ordered 2 pairs of glasses, one for -2.00 and one for -1.25. (My most current prescription at the end of February was -2.75). So, I got my new eye glasses yesterday, and the -2.00 pair is too strong! I can see everything perfectly (like a magnifying glass) and it gives me a headache after wearing them for only a couple of minutes. So, I have been wearing the -1.25 for things like driving and when seeing clients. I cannot see as clear, but I can definitely read signs and feel pretty comfortable with my visibility. ... in less than 2 weeks since our first session my vision has improved past -2.00. I am just so amazed (and a bit shocked) that my vision has seemed to improved so quickly!!!
Yay!!! I am so grateful, and my experience is inspiring others to restore their vision as well. I am sending them your way!

Andrea J., Peoria, AZ, April 2015

Here is a testimonial from another Ojai Valley resident who I recently met. When he heard that I teach the Bates Method, he was excited to tell me his own experience of using the Bates Method to improve his vision many years ago:

"When I was 17, I decided to go to an optometrist to get glasses to see better. Three years in a row, I ended up needed 'stronger' prescriptions until I was legally blind at 20/150 in my right eye and at 20/70 in my left eye. I thought this was crazy and began to investigate it, where soon enough, I came across the Bates Method. I asked myself, "What do I have to lose?" Or, rather, "What do I have to gain for my eyesight, if this will work," and indeed it did. I actually tossed my prescriptive glasses into the trash, never to see them again. That's how committed I was to this. This meant I could no longer drive legally (nor practically, since without the glasses, it was like trying to see through clear jello).
During the one year process of sunning, palming, neck stretching, eye warming, and vision re-imagining (among the various Bates tips), I suffered inclement morning Winter and Spring weather to bicycle myself to college three miles away and on over to work another three miles, and then cold nights bicycling back home from work. But, I was determined.
At the end of the year, I passed the CA DMV driving eye test at 20/40 each eye, and that solidified my belief in this Bates Method. Ever since then, I've made it a point to employ the various techniques to keep my eyes in good health. It really matters how we use our eyes, let alone learning how to see right in the first place. We need to spend as much time, or more time, outdoors as indoors, since being outdoors requires us to use our long distance seeing. Too many people tend to spend too much time indoors, staring at computers or doing other close up work, and this leads to poor eye muscle conditioning."
C. Anacker, Ojai, California, April 2015

I started wearing glasses when I was 14. Now, 55 years later, I have stopped wearing them.
At Esther's suggestion I took my glasses off and I read one of her books (Bates Method Nuggets) and then she gave me some extra advice about palming and using small print at various distances. In just a few weeks I was able to walk around without wearing my glasses, I kept them in my breast pocket though. Since I've walked around most of my life wearing them, it took me a while to trust this new improved vision.
The biggest change has been my night vision. While I could drive very cautiously during the day iwthout glasses if I had to, I could not drive without my glasses at night because everything was so blurred. I was driving home the other night and realized that I can now distinguish the outlines of the leaves in the trees bordering the road without wearing them.
Read one of Esther's books. After all, all you have to lose is your weak vision.
Al Earle, Ojai, California, December 2014
(Al stands at the Ojai Farmer's market every Sunday morning giving out free hugs, which is how me met. He never took any actual eyesight lessons, all he needed was the book and a few simple suggestions. The first few weeks his progress reports were "It's blurry" but he stuck with it anyway, and the following weeks he began to slowly see better, until this month he happily realized that even at night his vision is now completely clear and he no longer needs his glasses for anything. Congratulations Al! ~ EJvdW)

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 Pattavina, Zero Branco, Italy, December 2014
[Until 4 years ago Gio used -3.00 glasses for myopia, 2 years ago she was at -1.75. Then she took my email course and has now returned to seeing with natural clarity. ~ EJvdW]

Esther, I drove home seeing clearly, you are amazing! Best, Z.
Z.C., Author/Artist, Ojai, California, September 2014

Dear Esther,
I am ecstatic to tell you that I passed my eye exam at DMV today with flying colors!
Driver’s license renewal… restriction saying corrective lenses required … REMOVED!!! Been on there for at least 15 yrs.
The DMV woman couldn’t believe it… and I was thrilled, tho not surprised. Been wearing my glasses on my nose when driving for the past few years as I tried out Bates Method for improving my vision naturally. (just in case I got stopped or anything… nobody could say I wasn’t wearing them!) Now… I don’t need them on or even with me. Reading glasses also gone… which is wonderful cuz I kept losing them. Thank you for keeping Dr. Bates’ work *visible*! :D
Susan Fraser, Vegan Ambassador, San Antonio, TX, January 2014

Esther's gift is so rich. The knowledgeable truth and impact of her observations are amazingly most awesome! Think of her as a most precious resource!
Love, B -
B.M., Oscar winner, Studio City, California, April 2013
(B. came to see me at age 82 with vision problems that caused him to worry about losing his drivers license. With just two sessions his distance vision improved greatly and driving safely became possible for him again. ~ EJvdW)

After the email course: I have noticed that my vision is clearer than when I first started this course. I am more aware of surroundings and I am noticing details that I never noticed before. I have become so comfortable without my glasses so much that it is the state that I most prefer. I do whatever I can to avoid putting on my glasses. When I first started this course my vision acuity was as follows: both eyes-1/15, left eye-1/20, right eye-1/15. Now after completing the course and continuously applying the Bates relaxation methods my acuity is as follows: both eyes-1/10 mostly and 1/7 some days, left eye-1/15, right eye-1/7. When I first started I was wearing glasses of -4.75/-5.50 (with astigmatism compensation ~ EJvdW). Now I am wearing glasses of -4.0/-5.0 with a slight astigmatism compensation. I am now only wearing glasses about four to five hours a day. I can tell that my vision is improving because things that I was unable to read when I put these glasses on I am now able to read. When I am completely relaxed I have noticed that is when my vision is best and when I get my flashes of clarity.

I have become more aware of all my tension and how easily I stress out. As a result of this course I am able to make myself stay calm and relax. I try not to worry about things so much. I am able to breathe much deeper and feel better. I sleep on my back now and as a result my eyes no longer hurt so much in the mornings. I palm whenever my eyes hurt and it brings relief and allows some of my tension to leave. Thanks to sunning I am no longer afraid of sunlight. Instead I am eagerly seeking out the sun. My eyes love the feel of sunshine on them. I blink so much more and do my very best not stare off into space thinking about nothing. My eyes are constantly looking at new things.

This class helped me to understand how my eyes work and habitual mistakes that I am making everyday. I am so glad that I had someone who could help me with anything I had questions about instead of looking for answers in all the wrong places. You as an instructor were very patient and understanding which was very comforting. My eyesight has improved a bit and that was my goal for this course. I wanted to be able to improve my eyesight. Now I have started and have all the tools I need to finish.

I liked the fact that I had an experienced instructor at my fingertips who I could ask all my questions to. I loved the fact that you were understanding and very responsive to my questions. I liked how the course schedule was very flexible to my needs so that I had as much time as necessary for each lesson.

I am so grateful for all the help that you have given me. You don't know how nice it is to know that I can improve my eyesight when for so long I thought I was destined to wear glasses for the rest of my life. I just renewed my drivers license the other day and I was able to do it without using my "current prescription" glasses. I was very pleased. I want to thank you for all your help and I will be sure to keep in touch.
Christina Gosch, Purcell, Oklahoma, January 2013

I have tried another natural eye improvement program, only to learn, after taking my money, I was unable to contact them. Then I came across Visions of Joy! My DMV vision test was coming fast and I was so scared I would'nt pass. My eyes were 20/40 right and 20/30 left. I would email Esther often and she returned my emails EVERY time. And, yes, I passed my vision test, one month later!!!!! Anyone wanting to improve their vision naturally, should talk to Esther. She's a wonderful, caring person, who will be right there for you and you will see a difference in your eyesight before you know it, just do everything she teaches you to do!!!
Love to you, Esther, and thank you,
Susan R., Covina, California. August 2012
(Susan's distance vision was R20/60, L20/40 when she started, just outside the range for passing the driver's test. With just one lesson and some support by email she improved enough to pass and keep her unrestricted driver's license. Early October 2012 she reports further improvement for distance, with R20/30, L20/20. ~ EJvdW)

After lesson 2 of the email course: My last "test" was on 13 Feb and is as follows:
Both eyes: 10/30
Left eye: 10/50
Right eye: 10/30
It's funny because I thought I could see some improvement but because there is still a lot of blur I just shrugged it off a bit as I don't want to get my hopes up too much and put it down to the change in lights perhaps.
I just quickly checked again today and it is the same except for the left eye is 10/40.
I am getting really excited about this (even more than before!)
Thanks for lesson 3 - I am looking forward to it even more now!
love, Susie
P.S. I tried on my new glasses yesterday at 10 feet from the chart and could just about read the 10 line (bit blurry). That means it is almost 20/20 with the weaker glasses already!! How cool is that?!
After lesson 3: The left eye has improved again! It is almost at the same level as my right eye now - which is amazing to me! I was so happy about this - not just because of the improvement but that this shows me that I really am using my eyes more correctly now and gives me hope for more steady improvement :)
My original prescription - before starting the course was -1.75R and -2.25L
The new pair that I got last week is -1.00R and -1.25L and this was your recommendation originally. It took 3 weeks to arrive and the day they arrived and I put them on I could see 10/15 with them on and I have to get a new pair right away - nice problem to have!!! :)
After the email course: I would like to take the opportunity to thank you very much for all your help, guidance and patience throughout the course - I really enjoyed it and will continue to do it to further improve my eyesight.
General comments at the end of the email course:
During this course my eyesight improved, in fact my weaker eye started catching up with my stronger eye which "proved" to me that there was real change and not just my imagination!
Sometimes it overwhelmed me and I didn't like some of the many different things to do. This was mostly overcome by emailing Esther and asking specific questions and being guided by her as I went through it.
Esther is a very caring and supportive teacher and this really comes through in her warmhearted emails. She is very understanding and patient and always gives encouraging answers and guidance.
This course is the best way to improve your eyesight naturally short of going to a Bates practitioner or it is a good way to learn the basic theory and have a tailor-made course that you can do yourself at home with email support. I like the way it was really tailored to me and that it gave a lot of information to really explain why some certain things had to be done or how they worked.
Susie B., Hampshire, UK, April 2012


After lesson 1 of the email course: "What helped me most from lessen 1 are two things:
To pay attention when I start staring, wanting to see things clearly and straining. I practise this during drives, deliberately relaxing and just ‘seeing‘. The difference is marked! Together with the visualisation that the eyes are just the windows, letting in light, and the brain is actually creating the picture, my vision instantly improves. This visualisation is particularly strong for me, as it shifts my focus instantly away from my eyes. Thank you for these good remarks!
Altogether I am really looking forward to continue, as I get changes without having to ‘exercise’ my eyes. Finding the time to do that usually was the challenge – but these habit changes can be incorporated so easily into everyday life.

After the email course: 
"Thank you for your support and all the great insights, exercises and (very important to me) relaxation methods! Last week I realized that not only my left eye sees more clearly, but my right eye too is getting better and better. Clarity has improved in both eyes. This is a really good feeling. Also, I am aware of straining, squinting etc. and know how to remedy this.
I get less headaches, which is a great relief for me!
For the first time I have an explanation what cataract really is. This helps me a great deal to deal with it and have a positive outlook about it.
These lessons with personalized advice are a very helpful tool to work and improve at your own pace, at home. Also, there are so many good exercises and tips in these lessons that help me tremendously (i.e. 3-D vision).
I changed my glasses to -5.25 (left) and -0.75 (right). By telling the optometrist I needed them for computer work, this was not problem (the results oft he examination were -7.25/-2.75). These glasses feel much more comfortable than my old ones, and in addition to that my right eye is not constantly taking over."
Monika Wacker, Wiler, Switzerland, April 2012

2019 Update on Monika: In June of 2018 Monika contacted me again, her prescription had changed dramatically with the left eye now totally clear (plano), while the right had: -2.25, -1.00 x 158.  A lesson via Skype at that point cleared up some wrong thoughts about “weakness” in her right eye and having to "try hard."   She switched back to relaxation and receptive seeing.  In February 2019 she passed her driver’s test without glasses and was given an unrestricted driver’s license in her new home of Canada.  She now only uses glasses for driving at night or in rainy conditions to help the right eye participate better, the left eye has completely clear vision; no more cataract. ~ EJvdW


Esther guess what? The doctor confirmed my vision improvement of 1 diopter, and lowered me another .25! Love you!
Valerie Velazquez, Ojai, California, October 2011

Hi Esther, Just wanted to thank you for our meeting in September. I only worn my sunglasses a couple of times since we met. My vision while driving at night has improved. I used to be
very sensitive to oncoming headlights of cars, and now it doesn't bother me at all. (unless it's a huge SUV parked right behind me) Can't wait till level 2.
Anita Garatie, Newbury Park, California, October 2011

In the one year that I have used the techniques I have found profound healing and clarity. I can recommend this protocol as I have personally restored my vision. It can be done without surgeries or glasses, all while finding balance through natural healing.
Walter Kalwies, Santa Rosa, California, July 2011
(Walter stopped by my table at the 2011 Raw Health Expo and told me he had attended my lecture there the previous year. Since that talk he had not used his glasses at all, used my recommendations instead, and in the meantime he has returned to perfect eyesight. ~ EJvdW)

Dear Esther, Two days ago I visited optometrist and checked my eyesight with refractometer. It showed 1 D 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.
Alex Svirid, Ukraine, July 2011 (Alex started at -9.50 Diopters in November 2010 ~ EJvdW)

I have one skype consultation with Esther Van der Werf, and I continue to believe in Bates method, because Esther is so professional and very kind person. In those 1 hour, she explained me in details, all stuffs which concerned me related to my vision and contact lense wearing during my session. I have high dioptre (-5.00 ~ EJvdW), and I decide to invest my time and money in right thing, and that is for sure, this skype consultation!
People don't waste your time with do this method on your is hard sometimes...I did this exercise about 2 years on my own, and many times I got confused because, simply all Bates method has many secrets, which you will never find on some community, book etc... She is very patient person and so calm, she is good listener too. As well she makes Bates stuffs more easily then you could read in some book... Bates method is big deep ocean with many wrong ways, but nevertheless, we need someone hand to guide us to find our path to the clarity!

Since I had session with you, which are help me to better understand Bates method, I am even during the session improved my vision as well, when you teach me to open eyes briefly for a second to absorb some light. I notice this next morning, and this is great thing!!!

You're really great person and I didn't made mistake about choosing my Bates teacher.
With you, all of my concerns are gone now, and I feel relaxed and get more positive energy to continue my journey!!!

Bojan Brankovic, Serbia, June 2011

After lesson 4 of the email course: Esther, I got a perfect vision for both eyes, thank you again. Hope anyone who has the same problem like me could find you and get a lot of help from you. I'll be doing your lessons on and on, amazing resources. Thank you again and have a wonderful life. Best regards, Judy
After the email course: This course has given me 20/20 vision both at distance and near. I'm not staring anymore. Also my eyes are not tired out any more late afternoon. Also, I am comfortable with both brightness and darkness. At last, my eyes have more tears because they're shifting. The course was fabulous! My first confidence about this course became real. In my opinion, this course has to be the required course for people who see the eye doctor. Vision can be improved naturally by taking this course. Eyes are one of the most important organs in our body. But almost everyone gives up improving vision because they think it's already fixed and it is something that cannot be improved by our effort. This is the very risky myth about vision. People have to change mind and have to try this course. This course is not an 'extra' fun course that they may or may not take if time is available. This course is a life mandatory course really. If someone wants to take off glasses or contact lenses, some credential helping guides are necessary. I really want to encourage anyone, who has any interest of improving vision, to try this course. In my case, I got the fastest result. In three weeks my staring, bluriness and dryness were gone. But, anyone can be the candidate for the better vision. Try it and don't give up. It'll come. Thank you Esther.
Judy Cho, Berkeley, California, March 2011
(Judy had lasik surgery 3 months before starting the course and was struggling with very tired eyes and fuzzy vision. ~ EJvdW)

After the email course: Vision seems for me to be a good "barometer" of my general health. I already notice the improvement also when I read without contacts or glasses. I can keep the book farther from my face, and still see it good. This is the only encouragement I needed. Now I know it can and will get better, just a little work on my ways of living and a little attention to my general health. I thank you sincerely for your help. I'm spreading the word, so that other people can take advantage of this wonderful technique (my family for a start, since everybody wears contacts). Sincerely yours, Mirko
Mirko K, Bissone, Switzerland, February 2011

After lesson 1 of the email course:
I am enjoying reading your all makes sense....and I am having small improvements already. I love your warm writing is encouraging.
Barry K, Burnaby, Canada, January 2011

During the e-mail course:
  "I want to tell you that I practiced Palming with your recording, and I LOVE it!  You designed it in a very professional and loving way.  After such palming session I could even look at the eye chart without usual discomfort and tension, and the letters were truly blacker and clearer than before.  Sincerely, Oxana"
Oxana K, Brooklyn, New York, October 2010

After the email course: 
[This course] "makes your dream of new sight come true, to achieve the impossible - "MISSION IMPOSSIBLE MADE POSSIBLE".  I am really grateful."
Paresh Dave, Mombasa, Kenya, September 2010

After lesson 3 of the email course: 
"Dear Esther, I happily announce to you that my vision has started improving.  I am heading towards my second prescription.  Relaxing into seeing allows the rest of the natural vision habits to come automatically.  It will take some time to have clarity again, but I do not worry about it, since I know what I have to do.  Love, Christos"
Christos K, Athens, Greece, June 2010

"Esther is a great teacher! She is joyful and inspiring. Esther carefully guided me through each lesson. Because of her work, I was able to regain normal vision habits and get on the way of gradual vision improvement.  In a period of only one month, I went from -4.50 to about -3.00.  I strongly recommend Esther's work, and suggest that people take good care of their eyes with natural vision habits and ways to relax the eye muscles to ensure they keep their eyes in good health."
Vitalina K, Sacramento, California, May 2010

"Hi Esther! Hope all is well. I hope you remember me, my name is Marc Meisels.  I'm the college kid that you came and visited in beautiful Isla Vista to help me with my eyes.  I want to say thank you so much for starting me off right on my path to clarity, I am currently "sitting" in the seat of perfect vision (20/20 clear flashes) nearly 60% of my day.  Also, my astigmatism was cut down in HALF (this was checked a few months ago, so I imagine it is down even more now).  Words cannot express my gratitude.
Anyways, I was deeply suffering and now I truly feel when my eyes open up, it's as if I am opening up to LIFE. I am happier, more relaxed, I FEEL more, my personality is more sociable and relaxed... easygoing... I enjoy food and just the simple sensations of life... everything is so much more colorful, vibrant, ALIVE.
This brought compassion to my heart because I see so many fellow college students and other people suffering with glasses... they don't know what they are missing out on!!  
I want to help others reach their true full natural human potential for clear eyesight, so I have created a website. I understand my calling isn't going to be a Bates Teacher but I can use my extremely developed expertise of website design and writing skills to help thousands of people, this is my goal right now, and my current dream of contributing to humanity." 
Marc Meisels, Isla Vista, California, March 2010
(When I met Marc in December 2008, his myopia was -2.50 in both eyes with -1.75 astigmatism. ~ EJvdW)  

"My vision is stable - 20/20 indoors.   I haven't tested it outdoors recently, but I assume it will also still be 20/15.  I'm really happy with this Esther!  Through my work place, I attend training classes every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and there is a definite difference in how I see the board since coming back from our visit with you.  It is generally more clear, and if I see blur, the tool that works the best for me is to focus on the white of the board."

Deb B, Minnesota, August 2009

"I passed my drivers license without the restriction of corrective lenses!  I'm so pleased about this!  I never anticipated the great feeling of freedom - free from my glasses - it is wonderful!"
Deb B, Minnesota, May 2009

"Hello Esther,  Thanks again to come over to our meeting on May 14 in Tucson. It was quite a new way of approaching eye sight improvement for me. I've been doing mostly palming, sunning and swinging; not eye chart yet. And guess what, there is improvement already. My sight with contacts is significantly better, I guess I will need reduced ones soon.  I am also thinking on going with glasses only for a while so I can practice more often.  Best regards,"
Alfredo Hernandez, Tucson, Arizona, May 2009

After the e-mail course:  "Hallo Esther, I want to sincerely thank you for your course and your support.  I have definitely seen improvements.  Soon after beginning the course I started using glasses of -3.25/-3.50, only when I really needed it. The 20-line on the chart quickly became readable with these glasses, so last week I progressed to a pair of glasses with -2.50 for both eyes.  So besides seeing a difference, it is also measurable!  After I take the glasses off, the flashes of clear vision come back faster, so the eyes can apparently relax easier.    
My neck and shoulders are much more relaxed.  They were as stiff as a board when I first started massaging them.  If I wear glasses they tense up again immediately.  
My light sensitivity has decreased considerably since the course.
The course was very good!  I already knew the Bates principles from Quackenbush' big book, but the email course gave the ability to apply them practically.  Also the support via email was really nice to solve practical problems and questions.  It is quite simple really: seeing is (literally) believing." 
Jurjen Grijpstra, Nieuwegein, Netherlands, November 2008  
(Jurjen began the course with R -4.25 with -0.50 astigmatism, L -4.50 with -0.75 astigmatism. ~ EJvdW)

After the e-mail course:  "I wanted to let you know that I did take my drivers license eye test last month and I did pass.  It seemed like it was the worry about it that was part of the straining of my eyes.  It was a big relief after I took it.  Success!  Of course, the whole course was very helpful.  Thank you!!!!"
Barbara Fedors, Stillwater, Minnesota, November 2008

After the e-mail course:  "This course is an answer to the frustration of wearing glasses or contacts.  A potential savior from the problems associated with refractive surgery.  I like the practicality most.  I had the book Relearning to See before being introduced to the class, but thought the information was overwhelming.  The book now makes more sense to me, and is helping me to get deep into the things that I needed help with with the course."
Tracey Dixon, Lithonia, Georgia, September 2008   
(Before the course Tracey was wearing -2 glasses all day long.  She chose not to use her glasses at all during the 6-week course and her vision improved steadily from 5/80 to 5/30 to 5/10 in that time. ~  EJvdW)

After the email course: 
"The lessons you have taught me are with me every day.  I have been integrating them into new habits.  I have more frequent glimpses of improved acuity and definitely improved sun sensitivity.  I continue to address areas of great importance, such as breathing, relaxation and posture.  I really like the depth and breadth of material covered and the clear presentation of this material.  There is power in all the information you sent.  I keep referring back and learning more."  
Mark Seidelmann, Duluth, Minnesota, September 2008

"I have seen a big improvement this week in my vision!  I am really excited...thanks for all your help!"
Marty Meyer, Independence, California, July 2008

"When we came home from vacation I noticed how much better my eyes were.  The TV is much clearer, and in the morning as I lie in bed everything is clearer, things like that.  It is a little challenging, but luckily I am able to do my work without glasses.  It seem that each day it gets better.  Many colleagues said that I look so rested, and I think that is mainly because I relax the muscles around my eyes.  My husband also says that my face looks much more relaxed.   
Now that I have read lesson two I understand better what is meant by staring and that I do stare.  So that's a point of attention, especially now that I'm behind the computer again all day.  
Swinging was not easy at first, I used the thumb technique to let my eyes glide, but now I can do it without the thumb.  I love palming, that is truly a great relaxation. 
My acuity is now 10/30 both eyes, 10/40 right, 10/50 left, which is an improvement from last week (10/40 both, 10/40 right, 10/60 left).  I was quite pleased."
Yvonne Garst-Koffa, Bracknell, England, June 2008
(Yvonne is taking the e-mail course, she wrote this after completing lesson 2. ~ EJvdW)


"It is unbelievable, but my vision is now improving daily.  I have been going without my contact lenses for nearly three weeks now, with incredible results.  The odd thing is that I didn't do anything for it, other than looking around in a relaxed way.  Continue to spread this method in the world, many people can be helped by this!  Kind regards,"
Marc de Leeuw, Halsteren, Netherlands, April 2008


"I think my vision is really improving.  Every day, new details jump out at me from the view from my window - satellite dishes on rooftops, balconies on buildings a mile away, even garbage on the street (which is a delight to see).  I'm so excited!!"
Jean Noel B, Los Angeles, California, March 2008  
(Jean Noel also passed her driving test without glasses last month, so she no longer has a restricted license. ~ EJvdW)


"Dear Esther, I practise a lot of sunning, strobing and shifting.  These have helped improve my acuity from 20/100 to 20/40 (seeing the chart using both eyes).  I can see 20/200 and 20/100 clearly but there is a slight blur at 20/80.  Lines 20/50 and 20/40 are blurry but I can still see enough to figure out the letters.  I am proud to say that I am not sensitive to light any more.  Sun light does not hurt my eyes.  Thank you so very much :-)"
Shane G, Kalgoorlie, W. Australia, November 2007
(Shane reported seeing only as far as the 20/100 line with both eyes at the start of the email course, and he was very sensitive to sunlight.  Now, after only 3 of the 6 lessons, he is making wonderful progress.  ~ EJvdW)


"I think your [email] course is fantastic and so are your personal guidance and answers.  This is exactly what I was looking for.  You are a true follower of Bates, and you also integrate new science without watering down the Bates Method."
Frans Postma, Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands


After lesson 5 of the email course:  "Dear Esther, It is.............!!!EASY!!!!   I wish that this lesson was first.  I had the band contest today.  On the way up to the contest I had many flashes [of clear vision].  During today, I had more flashes than I ever had.  I AM making progress.  I also felt a divine touch, considering that God is answering my prayers on this.  I can obtain at least a small flash very easily now. I love the ant you had in the lesson. The advice on being curious of distance detail and imagination has went a long way today.  I believe that a permanent improvement is just around the corner.  When it comes, I WILL NOT put my current glasses on ever again.  I'm not putting them on anyway.  They hurt my eyes and give me a drastic headache.  Thank you for your wonderful help."
Greg J,  Plantersville, Mississippi, October 2007  
(Greg is rapidly overcoming nearsightedness of -4.00 by following the email course and by not wearing glasses at all. ~ EJvdW) 


After lesson 4 of the email course:
"I can now read well at 27 cm. I sometimes have flashes of good sight when looking at the eyechart.   Wednesday morning I could see 10/30 uncorrected in really good light, and on Thursday I could see 10/20 clearly for a long time with -2.00 contacts.  I now enjoy my sunning a lot and miss it when there's no sun. I even enjoy being outside more."
After finishing the email course:
"Dear Esther.  I must say that I am really glad I decided to take this course.  My eyesight has improved quite a bit since I started the course.  I still have a long way to go but I know I will succeed.  You've given me all the necessary tools.  Thanks a lot for guiding me along and answering my questions.  It has really helped me to be able to ask you all those questions that came up during the course.  I appreciate your time and dedication.  I'll let you know any major improvements."
Regina Lindemann, Katwijk, The Netherlands, September 2007
(Regina's prescription had been -6.00 in both eyes with astigmatism. She started the course using compensating lenses of -5.00 for the right eye and -5.25 for the left.  Within 6 weeks she was using -4.00, while on sunny days she uses -3.50. ~ EJvdW)


"Esther Joy Joy, My vision is improving!  I'm down to -6 in both eyes, without astigmatism.  I can see at night too!  I can feel my eyes are shifting into wholeness.  Thank you so much for being an important catalyst :)"
Esther Davis, San Diego, California, July  2007 
(In April 2007 Esther started her path to clarity, beginning at -7.00 with -1.75 astigmatism in her right eye, and -6.50 with -1.25 astigmatism in her left eye ~ EJvdW.)


"Hi Esther, it was very nice to meet you, I would like to thank you greatly for your lesson, it was very interesting and I could see results right away."
Roberto Urias, San Clemente, California, July 2007


"Dear Esther,  Yesterday for the first time ever I went to a movie and wore my 75 percent glasses.  In the past, I wore the stronger glasses because I didn't want to miss anything.  Instead, I asked my husband if we could sit a couple of rows closer.  We didn't sit extremely close, and there were plenty of people in front of us.  We just sat a little bit closer than we normally do back in the middle of the theatre.  I saw everything fine and did not feel any strain.  In fact, I was more relaxed than I have been in days.
I love the program.  Thank you so much for setting me free from glasses; I know I am not there totally yet, but I also know that I will be!  Also, I forgot to mention that I am using the Stressaway program and really enjoying it.
I will keep in touch and let you know how it is going.  Love, Madelyn"
Madelyn Flammia, Winter Park, Florida, July 2007


"My optometrist was very cooperative in reducing my prescription.  It's without correction for astigmatism and reduced diopters, -5.5 L, -6 R from -6.5 -1.25 L, -7 -1.75 R.  Extraordinary thing happened...I was walking on the beach in my reduced prescription, and as it was a bright day out, my vision became very clear!"
Esther Davis, San Diego, California, April 2007


"My eyesight is improving substantially, the blur has disappeared for a great deal.  I'm doing a lot of strobing.  I haven't used my glasses at all for the past 3 weeks, and it is a great relief to be independent from them."
Jurgen de Jong, Middelburg, The Netherlands, March 2007. 
(Jurgen wrote this 3 weeks after starting the email course with -6 diopters of nearsightedness combined with astigmatism. ~ EJvdW)


"This is the first day I can remember of NO eyestrain or eyeball soreness, despite many hours of reading & computer work. I'm doing something right!  Thanks for all your help & inspiration.  I'm finding as my sight clears & I let go of more tension, I am more & more friendly, relaxed, & outgoing, like a happy child."
Nancy Neff, Fishkill, New York, February  2007


"Hi -- this lesson was a great summary of the course & also a big help with driving, especially at night. I have learned so much! Be assured I will continue to study the lessons & will keep you informed of my progress. About last night driving after dark to CT & back, I have never done the trip in such a relaxed manner: I almost felt like my glasses were too strong! Thank you!"
Nancy Neff, Fishkill, New York, January  2007 

(Possibly Nancy's biggest challenge is driving at night, when she uses her strongest pair of glasses to feel safe. She sent this after the last lesson of the email course ~ EJvdW)


Woohoo! *blink*  It *blink* was *blink* a *blink* pleasure *blink* to *blink* meet *blink* you *blink* too!!! *blink* *blink* *blink*  hehehehe      I'm sure our paths will cross again :-)  You are awesome!  Thank you so much!"
Serafina Pechan, Long Beach, California, January 2007


"Please let me know when you will be back again because I would love my husband to take your workshop.  (If he is willing of course).  My eyes have been so much better ever since, and if I get a blur at times, I just relax and breathe and it starts to shift."
Heather Fenton, Los Angeles, California, January 2007 

(Heather took a day class on vision improvement in June 2006 ~ EJvdW)


"My eyesight is great.  I'm getting enough sleep these days and it helps."  
Mark Lowe, Torrance, California, January 2007  
(Mark's vision had just begun to get blurry both near and far when he took a day class on vision improvement in June of 2006 ~ EJvdW)


After lesson 5 of the email course:  "Hi -- Happy 2007! I'm working my way through Lesson 5 & thought you'd like to hear what I've noticed so far.
These lessons keep getting better & better! This might have been the most useful yet for me, & is probably also the one I need to practice the most. The affirmations in particular are challenging. I am pleased with my vision improvement progress!
- Letters on the eye chart aren't consistently clearer (yet!), but are almost always blacker, & I am getting many more sustained (several seconds) clear flashes.
- My neck is much looser. I think this is largely from your stretch of bending over & letting my head hang, then moving it back & forth, which I am doing a couple of times a day. My chiropractor said he can't believe the changes in my C2 vertebrae, which has really softened. So I guess my neck is indeed looser!
- My emotional state seems more stable. When something upsetting happens lately, I have been able to "shake it off" quickly & retain my positive attitude, instead of letting it drag me down & affect my mood & energy for hours as it would have done before.
- I seem to be sleeping more soundly, & not needing to stay in bed so long to feel rested.
- When I wash my face or put cream on it & brush my fingers over my eyes, the eyeballs feel much softer than they used to, which I am hoping is a relaxation response & means they're not straining to reach forward in the myopic elongated way so much.
- My depth awareness has increased: I am noticing much more what is in front of or behind what, which is nearer & which farther, etc. I practice this with tree branches whenever I'm outside. I know this is good, as I used to see everything flat.
- My floaters really seem to be clearing up. 
I've read a lot of Bates materials and vision improvement books, but this course has consolidated it all; you've put it together in one place. Thank you so much!
Take care & thanks for everything.
Love & enthusiasm & gratitude,"
Nancy Neff, Fishkill, New York, January  2007 
(Nancy followed the 6-week course by email ~ EJvdW)


After lesson 2 of the email course:  "I'm working my way through Lesson 2, which is excellent; I LOVE the facial massage! It's also a good reminder to me that I should be doing more palming. I'm noticing that the letters on the eye chart aren't much clearer, but they're definitely darker."
Nancy Neff, Fishkill, New York, December 2006

After the email course:  "My reading is so much better, I now don't need reading glasses at all.  I can see the tiny print font on the face of my watch (especially under sun) which is good.  My distant vision is slowly getting better, especially under sun, but it gets blurred at night and in stores.  I know I need to be patient and continue to have correct vision habits all along.  I'm looking forward to lesson 3, thanks!" 

Jamie Clark, Ellicott City, Maryland, October 2006
(Jamie broke his glasses in September and decided he didn't want to ever wear glasses again.  He was the first person to receive lessons by e-mail to regain his vision naturally. ~ EJvdW)


"It's been now 1 month since I took off my contacts, I've felt much better and my eyes are much more relaxed. I don't even have the temptation to put them back on. The clear flashes come all the time now, as opposed to once in a blue moon."
Jacqueline J, Rome, Italy, August 2006 
(Jacqueline started at -5.00, and decided to throw out her contacts from day one, choosing to see with her own eyes instead. She's doing very well ~ EJvdW)

"Thank you Esther.  It was a great pleasure meeting you. I am blinking a lot and relaxing my eyes and I see improvement already! It was a great day! Blessings to you!!"
Heather Fenton, Los Angeles, California, June 2006


"It's been really busy and I've still done some of my eye exercises, but not as diligently as I should. BUT, the cool news is that I could still tell my eyes were improved from what they were. Today I went to my eye doctor and found out for sure.  Between 2002 and 2004, my eyes got worse pretty fast. I don't know if it was because my late husband was so sick and just the stress of all that or if it was from wearing contacts for so many years and they hurt my vision or just what, but I stopped wearing them after my husband got real sick and then decided I didn't want to go back to them. Between 2004 and 2005, my eyes didn't change and I was all excited. The eye doc, however, is one of these moody, pessimistic kind of guys and his response was "Well, sometimes that happens but then they get worse again." That ticked me off and that is when I read the book Better Vision Without Glasses and also contacted you and started doing some of the exercises.
As a result, a year ago, one eye was -5.25 and the other was -5.0. Today, one eye was -4.5 and the other -4.25! I had planned to tell my eye doctor what I had done, but he was so pessimistic that I ended up deciding to just let him be baffled... 
I forgot to even ask him about my astigmatism, but I've noticed that with the astigmatism chart, it shows good improvement, too.  Anyway... I really need to get busy and do more again and get them even more improved by next year! I am so loving this!  I hope you are doing well. I'll try to keep you updated on how it all goes."
Cindi Mose-Castle, South Carolina, April 2006


"I did it! with your help.  I went for my NH Driver's license and for the first time since I got my license I am not restricted!  Yippee, Yahoo... you are the best."
Sharon Taylor, Concord, New Hampshire, March 2006


"My vision is improving daily. I am so glad Cathy and I took your instruction.  Most days I can see quite clearly in the morning and by end of day it is quite blurry, but I haven't put my glasses on for going on three weeks.  I have told several people about NVI and one friend's eye doctor told her to talk to me and do whatever I am doing for her eye."
Carol Amrein, Skowhegan, Maine, November 2005 
(NVI = Natural Vision Improvement. ~ EJvdW)


"I am blinking lots more and finding that I can use the computer now without glasses -- except when I'm really tired.  And that's probably a good indication of when I shouldn't be at the computer anyway. :)
I'm finding the blinking is showing me that I often gaze/stare without focusing.  Blinking helps my eyes to focus and perhaps my mind as well?  Seems like my mind is so often "out there" and blinking brings it back to the immediate.  A fascinating experiment of remaining in the present. :)
I can't thank you enough for your work on Sunday.  Karol and I have been in contact and are both finding value in the exercises.  I went to your website and will return.  Much to explore there!"
Mariah Williams, Liberty, Maine, November 2005
(Mariah and Karol attended a one-day vision workshop ~ EJvdW)

"Esther, Hi -- ... a quick hug & "thank you!" ... I drove up & back this time with the new -3.25's & had no problem -- this is HUGE.  I am convinced a lot of my improvement is coming from not wearing my glasses hardly at all: even when I drive, I take them off at stop lights, & to back into parking spaces.  I'll let you know how the color light therapy goes.  See you in a few weeks.  Take care, & thanks again.  You are really helping me!"

Nancy Neff, Fishkill, New York, March 2004 
(Nancy started vision therapy four years ago when her Rx was -12, and has been taking lessons with me since May 2003, when she was using -8 for driving at night, and -6 in daytime. Now at -3.25 she has made excellent and steady progress! ~ EJvdW)  


"I passed the DMV test today without glasses!  Thank you so much for your help and guidance!"
Bethany Reis, New Paltz, New York, June 2003  
(In less than 4 months Bethany went from -2.50 diopters nearsighted to throwing away her glasses ~ EJvdW)


"Anyway, thank you for your class.  It was very good.  A surprising benefit: I am driving without glasses and feeling like I am a safer and better driver.  Blinking and sketching instead of staring at the road makes the difference."
Barbara D, Asheville, North Carolina, March 2003

"I want to thank you again for the teaching you stared with us last Sunday. I was very encouraged after the meeting not to use my glasses again and I haven't! It's going well - I love the palming technique. I've read several books on vision improvement, but the most valuable information I got was from you. You were able to break it down into much simpler steps."
Sharon Smith, Phoenix, Arizona, May 2002

(back to top)

2. Improvements in Near Vision

Your Visions of Joy web site has been a great help to me. I have taken advantage of everything that is available for free and my eyes have slowly improved for about 2 years now. I recently purchased your book "Read Without Glasses at Any Age" and feel it gave me a lot of additional understanding of how to see, so well worth what I spent. I gave that book away and purchased a second copy to replace it. I expect to repeat this every time I find someone who seems interested in reading it. I found your web site and YouTube videos which provided me the tools and understanding to stop wearing glasses.
I am very grateful for all you've done to make Dr. Bates' teachings available. And thank you for being a part of this journey, or voyage of discovery, I've been on this last couple years.
Ernest Jones, Dallas, TX, September 2016

Hallo Esther,
I just returned from the eye doctor. She is very satisfied with the progress I made since last time. Agrees with me that I no longer need glasses. The measurements were "right 120%, left 90%. The cylinder is now negligible.
And she was very curious about my source, wants to buy the 'Natuurlijk Zien' book, saying: "this is something we eye doctors know very little about; we can't do much with it."
The migraine and vertigo still influence my vision, but so much less than before. I am better at estimating what I can and can't do, whether and how much I can read without getting dizzy or ill.
I'm not all the way there, there is more progress to make and relaxation to find. Yet, this is a huge leap forward. I am very happy today, it is confirmation of the progress I had felt myself. Thank you! So wonderful! :-)
Corinne Egas, Leiden, Netherlands, March 2015
(Corinne's original testimonial in Dutch can be found here)

After the email course:  "I stopped using my 2.0/2.5 power glasses and am currently down to 1.00 power for close work. I've noticed my eyes becoming less sensitive to light and my long range vision has also become sharper. I realize that a lot of times we try to "protect the eyes" we only make them weaker. I'm looking at sunlight and night driving in a "whole new light".
The email course is fabulous! Joy has taken the core of the Bates method and enhanced it through her own experience and made it a more powerful course. I like the thoroughness of it. It touches on a wide variety of areas that relate to vision and shows one how to enhance eyesight and perception through a variety of techniques. I highly recommend this course, it is a method for improving one's vision without using surgery, drugs or prescription aids of any kind.
Joy offers some marvelous links to free material and provides ways to obtain condensed versions of much of the Bates method teachings. I highly recommend her site!"
Joe K. Markesan, Wisconsin, March 2012

"I had a vision lesson from  Esther 2 years ago, and threw away my reading glasses immediately.  Since then I've also got rid of my sunglasses, and I now read menus for people younger than myself!  The key for me was relaxation."  
Jimmi Wiz, Alabama, September 2010

After the email course:
  "Dear Esther, I have read everything and practiced almost everything.  You have done a wonderful job!  I have improved a lot but I am going to continue until I can read everything without glasses.  I am able to use #1 glasses when working on the computer and I have not used my regular prescription glasses except twice since the first lesson.  I will let you know when I have reached my goal!!!!!!!!!!  God bless you!  Love, A."
A. J., Pembroke, North Carolina, June 2010.  
(A. is in her early 60s and was using a prescription of +3.25 for reading with -0.25 of astigmatism at the beginning of the course.)  

After lesson 2 of the email course:
"Seeing everything much more clearly with your guidance!"
After lesson 3:
"My vision continues to improve and I just threaded a needle without magnification! TADA!!
After lesson 3:  "I checked my progress today and there is measurable improvement! Yay! Nice to see the numbers change even though I have not worn my glasses and sense I'm seeing more clearly.
The medium chart was
both eyes 12" / 5  (was 7 a month ago)
left eye 12" / 5     (was 10 a month ago)
right eye 12" / 3   (was 7 a month ago)"
After the email course:  "I checked my progress today and there is  more measurable improvement!
Still room for improvement in reading fine print up close. It is pretty magical to read your text that decreases line by line. Overall I look at it and think this looks impossible but my eyes follow the words legibly to the end and voila I have been able to discern it all!  More practice reading the fine print for me!
I am eternally grateful to you and Agoya too because he steadfastly encouraged me to take the course and not judge it before completing it. Such a wealth of information and so beautifully interwoven to support the student. YAY!!!  I am now an avid ambassador for your vision course and hopefully many more will beat a path to your door."

Pamella O'Dea, San Francisco, California, November & December 2009 & January & February 2010

After the email course:  "Hello Esther,   I have completely enjoyed taking your 6-week e-mail course, "Visions of Joy".. The personalized generous body of course materials arrived weekly on schedule. I looked forward to every installment laced with "joy and humor" ready for my comprehension and application. The Bates method embellished by your presentation has and I know will continue to serve me relative to my continuing responsibility to the knowledge and learned skills.  My vision has improved, initially by eliminating the the 1.25 drug store specs. Then installing the Ott lighting is a vibrant boost to visual clarity. Then from the full gamut of "tools" my vision has improved slightly continuing in the 20/15 acuity by the eye chart.  In gratitude,"   
Agoya Killeen, Santa Cruz, California, October 2009

"I want to say to you Esther, that my eyesight has improved so much, since our session on the phone.  I read the paper tonight.  It was a little blurred, but I could see some of the small print sometimes, then I rested the eyes and had another go. bingo!  All I am doing is the palming with your voice once a day so far.  Thanks so much." 
Jan Crisp, Bournemouth, England, January 2009

"Hi Esther, I loved our session. I am in awe of how differently I am seeing already.
I even drove to Ventura last night to the .99 store and bought 3 pairs of glasses for $6.  These are the ugliest of glasses so it will be fun to not rely on them :-)
I am only using the 1.0 pair for my computer and for reading and I can see just fine.  Amazing. I put away all my other pairs of glasses and put the 1.5's in my purse in case I need them.  I won't be using the 2's at all.  I may get a few more 1.0's as I leave them around the house!
I am practicing moving my eyes and looking at the white spaces as I read and I am noticing the relaxing.  Did a palming session last night even.  I will keep you posted.
I am completely inspired.  And telling everyone!
Bless you and thank you for this experience and possibility for seeing without glasses.  Remarkable.
Martha Ringer, Ojai, California, January 2009   
(Until yesterday Martha was using +2.25/+2.50 glasses for reading and computer work, with a mild astigmatism.  She only needed one session to make this excellent improvement. ~ EJvdW)

"I am seeing better!  It seemed like you gave me very little information, yet at the same time it was an enormous amount of information.  It has brought a big shift in my perspective.  I previously did not understand the Bates Method, but now I think it is fabulous!  Wow, I'm really excited about this."
Dave Palmer, Ojai, California, December 2008


"I have not used my reading glasses since we met.  Something is working!!  Thank you so much for sharing your gift."
One month later, Josephine writes:
Since I adopted these basic principles, I no longer need reading glasses!  I don't understand how this happened and while I believed it possible, the results continue to amaze me."
Josephine Gross, Ph.D., Chatsworth, California, June & July 2008   
(Josephine asked me to help her overcome her need for reading glasses.  I gave her a page of standard size text to look at, which appeared blurry to her.  After practicing a relaxation technique for 5 minutes she looked at the same page again, at the same distance, and remarked: "Where is the page with blurry print??"  The text now looked perfectly clear to her. ~ EJvdW)


George Parker"My vision is perfect!George Parker, Andover, Connecticut, October 2007
In October 2007 I was happily surprised to meet one of my former students again while on a hike in Sedona, Arizona.  It had been about five years since George took one class with me in New York to improve his vision.  See and hear what he says about his eyesight now at age 52! 
(Click on the image to watch a 30 seconds wmv file.  Recorded in Sedona by Esther)


"Dear Esther,  I am honored to have been a part of your Natural Vision Improvement Weekend.  In response to your question of my progress, I want to share my success with you.  I have been diligent in doing the palming healing and the other suggestions.  I do the palming when I wake up during the night also.
By Tuesday, the 26th, only two days after the workshop ended, I had dropped from needing a magnification of 2.75 down to 1.25.  At times the 1.25 is a bit strong.  With using the tools you taught, I am able to relax my eyeballs and make beautiful progress.  Your very calm way of presenting helped me relax to a degree that I haven't experienced before.  This allowed me to relax my eyeballs rather than being keyed up.  One especially helpful part was reminding all of us to change our wording from "can't see" to "blurry".  I am passing this on to other people. :)   
Are you going to be holding another workshop in Florida anytime soon? Several people have expressed an interest in attending after I shared my success story.  Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us!"
Beverly M, Melbourne Beach, Florida, July 2007 

"The eyesight is getting better.  But even more important, the calming effect that relaxing the eyes has created is the true blessing." 
Ray Flores, Culver City, California, June 2007

"I'm seeing clearer and clearer!  At first the +1.00 glasses gave me blurry vision; now I see clearly with them.  This is very encouraging."
Simran Bhasin, Los Angeles, California, March 2007 
(Simran had been using +2.00 glasses for reading and computer work. ~ EJvdW)

"Thanks Esther.  The first 2 lessons changed my mind, vision and life!  I am reading easier and easier thanks to blinking and strobing. : )  Your course is golden.  Bless you!"
Dave Klein, Sebastopol, California, February 2007  
(Dave took the email course ~ EJvdW)

"I spent most of the journey home practicing the reading techniques and was astounded that when I was reading notices in the airport that they were so much better.  I have not gone back to the sunnies (which were prescription) nor the latest glasses which I was convinced were not good for me and made things worse.  So, I am wearing all glasses much less and can read pretty well lots of fine print in the open.  I find now I really prefer NOT to wear them all the time."  
Tricia Liggett, Bayford, Herts, England, October 2006

The eyesight class yesterday was a great success.  Esther's technique of teaching allows for us to see ourselves and our vision in a new light -- she helps make us aware that we can and will be able to improve our eyesight, as she gives us practical tools that teach and demonstrate how we see naturally, with relaxation, and not with strained vision.  It was a great experience for me personally.  I'm looking forward to seeing how I will do in the next few weeks. 'Clarity is my natural state.' -- my new affirmation."
T. Goodrich, Malibu, California, June 2006


"Hi Esther, such a good day with you yesterday, thanks for the help with my eyes, I'm really trying to take better care of them and your techniques were awesome!  I do see better today!  My best, hope to see you soon"
Regina Strongheart, Topsham, Maine, January 2006

"Hello Esther! ... I am very grateful for having been allowed the experience of your session with me.  It seems that each day I realize more.  Unbelievable yet real, I have not used the reading glasses but to just verify what I think I see and only 3x since the session.  I find the most significant changes after palming.  Hardly am I aware of a grainy/sandy feeling in my eyes or tightness during the day.  My vision overall is clearer, sharper & brighter! My head/neck & shoulders are more relaxed in posture and in movement.  Mille gracie!! :-)  Love & light,"
Phyllis Cheresh, Phoenix, Arizona, April 2005  
(Phyllis sent this note a week after her one hour phone consult ~ EJvdW)


"In my first session with Esther, after not having been able to read even the large print of a menu without glasses for 5 years, I had the experience of reading smaller than normal print without glasses.  I also had been unable to use my eyes together so I did not see 3-dimensionally.  It is now a month later and I only use glasses if I need to read really small print and I see 3-D!  Esther is a very caring, very generous human being who truly wants her clients to grow and heal.  If that is what you want, then check her out."
Rob Cohen, Stone Ridge, New York, October 2004

"This is to let you know that you did very well in your class yesterday.  It helped me to understand more clearly how to use my eyes better with more relaxation and more "fluid" movements.  Thank you very much :)  I wish I could go to more of your classes to get more empowered to get rid of my glasses.  Actually this month is extremely busy with so many projects on my plate.  However I am grateful that I am now learning the vision improvement at precisely the right time as it helps me to learn how to relax better not only for my eyes but also to cope with so many projects without feeling stressed out.  In other words, it is helping me to survive this month well :)  Again many thanks for your superb teachings!"
May Wille, Scottsdale, Arizona, February 2004


"Yes, indeed I have not only enjoyed our session together last nite, but also that I learned SO much from you. FURTHERMORE you have already 'pushed' me onto my new clarity journey.  I have already discarded my strong glasses and now I am using a weaker pair.  Much to my surprise I can already read better the tiny words on my pager!  WOW!  This morning I did deep breathing which helped tremendously.  I am so happy and very grateful to you!  MANY HEARTFELT thanks for everything :)  Namaste"

May Wille, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 2004


"Thank you so much for teaching my husband, it is such a relief not to have to listen to 'Where are my glasses?!?!!' several times per day.  He has not worn his glasses at all since your class."

Sue Kent, Schinveld, Netherlands, October 2002

(back to top)

3. Improvements by Children

Hello Esther,
I hope all is well with you. I wanted to send you an update on Fiona approximately one year after our session with you. As you might remember, we had one doctor recommend a strong prescription
(after pupil dilation +3.25 with slight astigmatism in both eyes), and then another doctor recommend a lesser prescription (+1.50 without pupil dilation). We decided against the glasses per your recommendation. We did the relaxation practices you recommended quite diligently last summer, but then fell out of our routine once school went back. We have kept the eye charts up around the house and practiced here and there. Fiona did great in school and had no complaints about her eyes (near or far) – and we asked her quite often to be sure. I ended up taking her to a more natural dentist in December to replace her metal crown with zirconium, and I do think that helped with her health – I have no idea if it helped with her eyes or not. Now to the exciting news… We went to Fiona’s eye doctor appointment last week and her eyesight had improved significantly, so the doctor told us that she would not recommend any prescription and was glad we did not get the glasses! Wow! What exciting news. Also, an unexpected benefit was that when I went to the eye doctor a month ago, my eyes had also improved. I’ve always had perfect eye sight, but the last couple of years, there was a slight decline, and rather than having me come every 2 years, they had me come every year. This time, my eyes were so good, I’m back to going every two years. I can’t believe the little I did the relaxation practices and just having the charts around helped my eyes, too! We will try to be more diligent about our practices going forward, but I just can’t thank you enough for your help. We’ll certainly be in touch with you if anything ever comes up with our eyesight again. Have a lovely summer!
Farrar M, mother of Fiona, age 7, Amarillo, TX, June 2018

(Last summer Fiona was keen to get glasses but her mother started reading up on other options. She booked a session for Fiona with me on Skype. By then Fiona had already changed her mind about wanting glasses and was glad to try something different. She was not blinking much, but found that blinking helped her see 20/20 with clarity instead of blur, and with additional skills she reached 20/15 visual acuity within that session. That was all she needed, along with continued practice Fiona and her mother have both benefited ever since! ~ EJvdW)

Hi Esther, Thank you for the session yesterday--S. and I enjoyed it! I'm so glad I found you....Trying to help S. and not being able to had been worrying me so much that my sleep has been so horrible. Last night I slept well with no awakenings for the first time in weeks because I felt like a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders. S. practiced the chart today and was not intimidated by it at all...And from 5 ft. she saw some of the letters on the 10 line, which she had not been able to do the day before. We were both very excited. Thank you, -- you are a God-send! I will set up another appointment soon.
Eden T., mother of S., age 10, New Jersey, May 2014
(Last year S. had a vision acuity of 20/50 and instead of wearing glasses she chose to try some eye exercises during summer. She found them to be boring and frustrating, and it did not help her sight. [This page explains why.] Last month her acuity had worsened to 20/70 and her eye doctor prescribed glasses for myopia (R -1.25, L -1.50). Her mother found my website and contacted me for help. Switching S. away from boring exercises into effective and simple relaxation techniques which she can use at any time is helping her eyes already. With just one session on Skype and a few days of practicing, her acuity has improved to near 20/40 and she is very happy to see real progress. ~ EJvdW)

June 2014 update:
S. is able to read 20/40 pretty easily now; and the last couple days she read 20/30 (!!) outside (in overcast skies). I'm really thrilled with how she's doing :) ---Eden

Dear Esther, As I mentioned to you today, attached are the past and current eye prescriptions for R. I also have attached the comparison that was written by Dr. Amin. Me and R are looking forward to see you during the first week of September this year. Take care. Love and Regards,
F.H., mother of R., Arizona, July 2012
(R is an eight year old girl who has been working with the Bates method for six months. In January 2012 I visited her and taught her how to relax her eyes to see better. With help of her mother she has been practicing daily and has not worn glasses at all during these six months. On 18 July 2012 they visited the eye doctor who congratulated them on a substantial improvement in R's vision. The paper shows both her old prescription from January 2012 and her new prescription as measured on 18 July 2012.
The 'PL' on the new prescription stands for 'plano' which means the sphere is zero diopters, and R now really only has to overcome the remainder of the astigmatism in both eyes, which also reduced already by about 25%. ~ EJvdW) 

Old and New prescription showing over 2 diopters of  improvement from eyesigth lessons

After one consultation by skype: Hi, just wanted to let you know that Michael went to the Eye specialist today (an appt we have had booked for a while). He couldn't believe it - Michael went from 200 to 80 in his eye, that was him just cupping and looking at the chart, he was amazed and asked how long we had been patching (which is what the optometrist had said we should try one more time as a last effort to improve his vision). My husband told him that we patched for about an hour a day and did relaxation exercises. The specialist was a bit confused by this and then put the lenses on Michael's eyes and said that he felt his eye had improved to only 100 and said for him to keep doing what he was doing, and he would be back in November again. He also said this was the best that eye had seen since he started seeing the specialist a couple years ago. So THANK YOU!!!!"
Pauline P, mother of Michael, age 9, Taylor, BC, Canada, September 2010
(Michael's right eye vision was at 20/500 when he had his first vision session 3 weeks ago - this doctor visit shows he has made an excellent 500% improvement. ~ EJvdW)

After the email course:
" You might describe Esther as one of Bates' apprentices.  Her email course is a way of reaching out to people like my son and I who live far from her but need help.  This course clarifies and renews the principles of Bates, 80 years after his death, so that we may benefit from the work that he wholeheartedly believed in.  I like all her examples and the way she wrote.  It was just superb. 
I think there is an overall better understanding of the Bates Method and it helped us figure out where there were holes in our methods.  The email course stresses many subtle points of the Bates Method and makes you understand why we need to incorporate them into our everyday lives.  We were doing lots of blinking and palming but not enough swinging and swaying and massaging and visualizations to help our vision. Each week we would then focus on new skills and it really made a difference.  I was struck by Esther's overall understanding of the method and her skill in helping us to understand it better.  Esther is a breath of fresh air. Philippe definitely saw better.  He didn't reach his goal but I think we've been trying too hard.  That defeats the purpose."
Amy W, mother of Philippe (age 13), Stroud, England
, March 2010

Three months later:
Here's our latest report:  Eye update:  
6 May: Philippe saw line 10 (small letters) from 4-5 feet away
16 June: Philippe saw line 20 from 12 feet away.
That is huge progress!  Philippe is so happy.  I think he's getting better than me.  I went to the chiropractor last week and I feel like it really helped my eyes so I am feeling better all the time about them.  I will keep working with them.  Love,  Amy
Amy W, mother of Philippe (age 13), Stroud, England, June 2010

After lesson 3 of the email course:
  "Hallo Esther,  I would like to share Jessica' s progress with you.  We are really impressed!!
Jessica doesn't use her contact lenses any more.  She brings her reduced prescription glasses to school and puts them on only when she needs them.  Her vision is really improving.  She told me that she can read some words written on the blackboard without glasses (and she sits at the back of the class!!!).  Last monday they were divided in groups and she sat closer to the blackboard, so she didn't need her glasses at all!!!  She was really enjoying it.
She trains and plays football without lenses and she is doing fine.
I checked her vision on the eye chart last sunday (6th of september) and she could read line 40 from 15 feet!!!  Three weeks ago she could only read line 80 from 15 feet distance.
She did 15/40 with both eyes
            15/50 with her right eye (and some letters of line 40)
     and 15/80 with her left eye. 
 And three weeks ago she could only see
             15/80 with both eyes
             15/80 with her right eye
      and 15/100 with her left eye
Thanks a lot."

After lesson 4:  "Jessica is very happy with this course and she sees improvements every day. She can read more and more things from the blackboard (without glasses) when she is at school. One month ago she couldn't read anything from the blackboard!! It's really amazing.   Last sunday (20/09) we checked her vision with the eye chart. Her vision is getting better and better. I'm so happy.
It's amazing to see how she plays football or goes outside to play with her friends without glasses or lenses.  I was really worried because her vision was getting worse every year after she was prescribed glasses, but now I see how her vision is improving and I'm looking forward to seeing the day when her vision is back to normal again!!! 
Thanks a lot. You are doing a really good job. I wish we had started the course 3 years ago when her vision problems began...!!     Kind regards,  Lucia"  
After lesson 6:  ... "And thanks a lot for the vision course. It feels so good to see your child improving her vision day by day. Yesterday she sat in the car and she could see the time in a small clock at the front of the car. Amazing!   Go ahead, never stop teaching Bates method. You are doing a great job, Esther!"
Lucia G, mother of Jessica (age 12), Hilversum, Netherlands, September & October 2009

"It was indeed a great pleasure meeting you too and for the opportunity to work with you.  A. and N. have greatly benefited over the weekend.  We can already see that A. has clearly understood the concept of natural vision improvement and he is very eager to get rid of his glasses and also is very enthusiastic about the relaxation activities.  You have made it very simple, easy and fun for him."  
E.N., New Jersey, May 2009   
(A. is a boy, aged 12, who visited with his parents for three days of learning the Bates Method. His prescription was R -5.50 and L -5.75, with -1.50 of astigmatism in each eye as well.  He rapidly got used to seeing without his glasses in that time and more than doubled the distance he can read the eye-chart from. ~ EJvdW)

After lesson 3 of the email course:  "Dear Esther,  I did part of lesson 3 this afternoon and when I did palming with the drifting swing story it really helped. When I sat about 5ft. away I could only see about the 20/50 line but after my dad read the story I could see the 20/30 line. Thank you," 
Shirley M. (age 10), Lexington, Massachusetts, November 2008

Blythe has been reluctant at times but in spite of this, she has improved. She was seeing 5/80 with both eyes at the beginning of the course and now she is 5/50, almost 5/40. She hasn't worn her glasses at all since the course began.   I (Janet) have seen a lot of improvement. I have been functioning well without my glasses except for driving since the beginning of July. There is a possibility I could now pass the driving test without my glasses because I can barely make out the 40 line without my glasses.  Both of my eyes have improved. The left eye started at 20/80 and now is barely 20/40.  I started wearing glasses for driving that are -3.5 in the right eye near the beginning of the course. At that time I could just barely make out the 20/40 line. At the end of the course, I could see the 20/40 line clearly and the 20/30 line just barely. Also, at the beginning of the course I could clearly read average sized print from only 7 1/2 inches from my eyes. At the end I could read clearly from 10 1/2 inches.   
Blythe used to get headaches but doesn't anymore. She has stopped wearing her glasses at all and feels more comfortable. I (Janet) feel that I am able to relax more.   
I think the course is excellent and I will recommend it whenever I can.  All the information is very good and the teacher is eager to help and very helpful
The course was very valuable to me because of the individual feedback and encouragement. You can't get that from simply reading books about natural vision improvement  Thank you very much!
Janet D, mother of Blythe (age 10), Leslie, Arkansas, August 2008   
(Janet and Blythe took the e-mail course together. ~ EJvdW)

"Dear Esther,
I wanted to give you an update on Calvin's progress:
*    He no longer wears the peak cap when he plays on the computer.  Instead, we put a tall lamp behind him and don't turn on the overhead lights, so the lighting is good with no glare. That was a necessary change - thank you for pointing it out to me.
*    He has found that palming is his best accelerator tool. I wish we could do more sunning as I have a hunch that will be beneficial for him too, but we are still experiencing unusually cloudy weather.
*    Here is a summary chart of his visual acuity over the last few weeks:

Date        Time         Both Eyes      Left Eye       Right Eye     Light Conditions
12/2       1:15 pm       20/50            20/80          20/100             Cloudy
12/15    12:30 pm       20/40            20/80          20/100             Sunny
12/22    10:20 am       20/40            20/80          20/100             Cloudy
12/26    10:25 am       20/40            20/80          20/80               Cloudy
1/12      11:25 am       20/30            20/50          20/50               Cloudy

Isn't the last entry fantastic?! We are so pleased to see a two line improvement (for both eyes) in six weeks! His left eye is seeing so much better and his right eye has made the most remarkable improvement! To think he would have been wearing glasses this whole time -- I shudder at the thought. Thanks to you Esther, we see the light at the end of the tunnel!  Pardon the pun! =)"
Six weeks later Calvin continues to make progress:
"Thanks again for your invaluable help Esther!  Calvin and I both benefited and I am so pleased that I found your website and signed up for the course.  His visual acuity has gone back to 20/30 in both eyes, with a record reading of 20/40 in both left and right eyes!  A great improvement on his starting  acuity, don't you think?  =)"
Deb B, mother of Calvin (age 10), Eagan, Minnesota, January & March 2008 
(In October 2007 an optometrist recommended that Calvin start wearing glasses for distance vision.  Calvin's parents believe in natural healing, so they went looking for an alternative.  In December they started following the email course to help Calvin with his vision.  Instead of becoming used to glasses, Calvin is now steadily progressing to seeing clearly again! ~ EJvdW)


"Jelle is still doing great.  I recently had him tested and he is still slightly farsighted, but even the optician did not consider it needed treatment.  And the double vision is as good as over.  Very occasionally he will still have it for a moment, but he is able to correct himself immediately.  His handwriting is readable for the first time in years!  I am immensely grateful to you for putting me on the right track."
Saskia Naber, Warffum, the Netherlands, October 2002
(In May 2002 when I met Saskia and her family, her 8 year old son Jelle was scheduled to undergo an eye operation to 'rectify' a cross eye problem.  Thanks to the Bates method, Jelle was able to greatly improve his eyesight within a few months and he no longer needs an operation.  Saskia has since then become a very enthusiastic Natural Vision Educator. ~ EJvdW)

(back to top)

4. Improvements with Various Visual Challenges

Esther, I wanted to write you and say thank you for all your help! Since we worked together in September, I have such a clearer understanding of the Bates Method. You are such a great teacher! You are able to clearly explain the real fundamentals of the Bates Method and I would have been lost without your help. Feel free to use this as a review on your website.
I wanted to give you a good example of this: last night I was regarding a picture that was across the room I was in. I couldn't even make out what it was. I realized I was straining, and I decided to focus on what I can see, rather than the blur. I also said to myself "my eyes are receptive and they don't have to do any work." I moved from detail to detail. Almost instantly the picture became a lot clearer. I could see that it was a photo of Mickey Mouse.
Thank you so much Esther and I look forward to working with you soon!
Alex B, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, January 2013
(Alex is a delightful young man who is working on recovering from keratoconus. His glasses prescription was R-3.25 L-2.50 with R-6.25 and L-5.25 cylinders due to the keratoconus. He started taking lessons with me nearly a year ago, mostly via skype, yet he also took the opportunity to have several sessions in person last September in Oregon. During those sessions he at times read several letters on the 20/20 line on the chart, a remarkable achievement. ~ EJvdW)

I have been LOVING the fact that I'm no longer sensitive to sunlight. Sunshine on my face is an instant happiness boost! love, Saskia
Saskia P, Retreat Organizer, Sebastopol, California, January 2012

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) to hear a live recording of Johan's delightful song. ~ EJvdW

"I see the sun" composed and sung by Johan Seige, Sweden, April 2011
(As of April 2012 the link to the song has unfortunately expired, sorry, but Johan will be including this song on his next album. Go to ~ EJvdW)

After the email course: On March 9th at the DMV I passed my vision test (hooray!!) It was really great to be able to pass the DMV vision test and I believe that it was because of the work I have done with you and the Bates method so far. I realize there is a lot more to do, however all I can do is remember to blink, palm and relax.
Just now glancing through lesson #6, I see that it will be very interesting. By the way, if you ever give a "live" class please let me know. I would like to attend wherever it is. Love, Betty
Betty Z, Half Moon Bay, California, March 2011
(Betty is in her 70s and has a strong farsightedness with astigmatism in one eye, and Macular Degeneration in the other. Her goal for taking the email course was to pass the DMV test within two months, as her vision even with glasses was no longer good enough to do so. Now, with glasses her vision is within the legal limit for driving again, and she succeeded! ~ EJvdW)

After lesson 5 of the email course: That lesson has been the eye-opener. Even if I already knew much of that material from Bates himself, It still was quite awareness-promoting. I realized that that is the kind of things I have to work on. I've never been too much a lover of exercises. I'd rather like to go to the source of the problem. And the sentence of Bates "every vision defect is related to a thought, and once that thought has gone, vision becomes normal" struck me in a particular way.
… So, the next day, I just "forced" myself to not worry, not care about how I saw and start the day with a different mindset. Just see, even if it wasn't perfect vision. Just relax whenever that disturbing thought would come to my mind. And that actually worked! I can much better control my astigmatism, just by letting it go whenever it surfaces, through conscious mental relaxation. A few blinking, close my eyes for a few seconds with a deep breath, and it's quickly gone! Already towards the end of that day, my astigmatism was gone. It still surfaces some time, but it has definitely improved, meaning that most of the day it's not there at all (or so little of it, that I won't notice it).
… Since having started with the described practices, I'm overall more relaxed and happy.
I feel like I have hit one of the foundation stones of my vision problem, and this is definitely encouraging!
M.K., Bissone, Switzerland, January 2011

"Hi Esther! Hope all is well. I hope you remember me, my name is Marc Meisels.  I'm the college kid that you came and visited in beautiful Isla Vista to help me with my eyes.  I want to say thank you so much for starting me off right on my path to clarity, I am currently "sitting" in the seat of perfect vision (20/20 clear flashes) nearly 60% of my day.  Also, my astigmatism was cut down in HALF (this was checked a few months ago, so I imagine it is down even more now).  Words cannot express my gratitude.
Anyways, I was deeply suffering and now I truly feel when my eyes open up, it's as if I am opening up to LIFE. I am happier, more relaxed, I FEEL more, my personality is more sociable and relaxed... easygoing... I enjoy food and just the simple sensations of life... everything is so much more colorful, vibrant, ALIVE.
This brought compassion to my heart because I see so many fellow college students and other people suffering with glasses... they don't know what they are missing out on!!  
I want to help others reach their true full natural human potential for clear eyesight, so I have created a website. I understand my calling isn't going to be a Bates Teacher but I can use my extremely developed expertise of website design and writing skills to help thousands of people, this is my goal right now, and my current dream of contributing to humanity." 
Marc Meisels, Isla Vista, California, March 2010
(When I met Marc in December 2008, his myopia was -2.50 in both eyes with -1.75 astigmatism. ~ EJvdW)  

"I'm doing just fine. Have been using my glasses much less, especially when I first get up and whenever I watch TV. I'm fairly religious about palming every day, though sometimes just for 5-10 minutes. I do try to get it in when I go to bed though often fall asleep in the process. I've also sunned several times and that feels great.  Sure wish I didn't have to spend so much time at the computer as I think it would go much faster; but I did load the Swing Windows and Stress Relief programs on my office computer, so both of those have helped.
My Mom has been doing really well and I think she suns or gets under a full spectrum light every day....she's very motivated. She says her eyes are much less red and scratchy-feeling and thinks it's helping her a lot. She's also been palming and doing the hot-cold compresses like you suggested, which I think she really likes. I burned CD's of the phone session and your teleconference for her and she's listened to those plus is reading the books I bought from you (those are very good, by the way).
Anyway, thank you so much for everything. It's making a difference for both of us. I'm certainly much more aware of blinking and knowing what to do when my eyes are tired. Maybe I'll sign up for a refresher down the line sometime.... I feel very fortunate to have you within driving distance." 
Vicki Winchell, San Dimas, California, September 2009

"I'm seeing things I haven't seen in 2 years!  Becoming aware of my tendency to squint was key.  Now I keep my eyes open.  I regularly do the sunning and am no longer so sensitive to bright light.  It's going really well.  I look forward to more lessons."
Al Boyd, Joshua Tree, California, March 2007 
(In 2004 Al experienced sudden blindness in his left eye, which slowly recovered, then the same thing happened in his right eye.  With good nutrition he made a partial recovery.  He has started lessons on natural vision improvement and is delighted that his vision is returning even more. ~ EJvdW)

"My eyesight is a thousand times better.  I am even driving at night again, I haven't been able to do that in over a year!  I don't know how I can ever repay you for what you've done for me.
Yesterday I penned a letter and it was written on the lines and it was even legible.  I haven't been able to do that in a year.  That was a big deal for me.  Thank you for all that you are doing for me."
Al Boyd, Joshua Tree, California, March 2007  
(Al checked his vision acuity without glasses when he first came for a lesson and measured it at 10/60 left eye, 10/400 right eye.  After only 2 lessons he has improved to 10/20 left eye and 10/80 right eye. This is excellent progress.  ~ EJvdW)

"You have provided me with much joy since I first met you, including enabling me to see without glasses, something no one else has ever done for me!"
Bill Fagan, Norridgewock, Maine, July 2006
(I taught Bill the basics of the Bates method in the summer of 2005.  Bill is 86 years young, and had cataract operations on his eyes but was still using glasses.  This shows that age really doesn't matter! ~ EJvdW)

"I'm already seeing results!  Last week, I couldn't read this e-mail with just my right eye.  Today I can.  There's still some distortion, so I read slower with my right eye.  A big improvement since last week before our phone conversation.  I've also been using eye drops of Plantain tea.  The big "blue" spot in the center of my right eye's field of vision is reduced from fist size to half dollar (US) size.  The distortion is confined to the area within this spot.  Smaller spot, less distortion.
I've been using my reading glasses less often.  I read before going to sleep every night, and the last few nights were without reading glasses.  I'm typing this e-mail without glasses."
Darrel Joy, Rochester, Minnesota, October 2005 
(In December '05 Darrel reports that the blue spot in his right eye is gone ~ EJvdW)

"Yep, I am noticing some left eye seems less lazy and tracks better when reading."
Ken Lyle, Boulder, Colorado, May 2003

"Also thanks for the information on the eyes.  I picked up a bottle of vitamin B complex.  I have been taking them and I am now over the problem."
Beth Carmona, Phoenix, Arizona, November 2002  
(Beth's problem was blood-shot teary eyes - EJvdW)

(back to top)

5. About Visions of Joy Classes in General

"Hey Esther,  Just want to reaffirm how inspired I am from hanging out with you and improving my ability to teach Natural Vision Training.  The great structure of the lesson plans, your humor and your relaxed style have taught me a lot.  I love your authenticity, your excellent vision, and the inspiration that affords."
Sheela Alex, Encinitas, California, November 2008

"I'm impressed.  The students loved your practical approach.  You are one of only a few vision educators who really understand the Bates Method."
Samuel A. Berne, OD, Santa Fe, New Mexico, March 2007


The next five entries are taken from the many positive comments that were received from participants in the
Natural Vision Improvement Day, held at Avena Institute in Rockport, Maine, on October 1, 2005:
"I enjoyed this class.  The presentation was marvelous!  Esther makes good eyesight for me seem possible.  Everything was done SO well."
Polly Steadman, Damariscotta, Maine


"Clear, practical information on improving eyesight.  I enjoyed Esther's enthusiasm, she was very well prepared, with personal stories interspersed."


"I absolutely enjoyed this class; specifically the involvement of the body, the relaxation techniques, the information.  
A great class I will use in my life.  Esther gave an excellent, down to earth presentation."
Rose-Marie Ballard-Boak, Bristol, Maine


"I enjoyed Esther's personality, commitment to the topic, her sense of humor, the content itself, and the handouts."


"I very much enjoyed this class!  Specifically I enjoyed: the information, the way it was presented and shared, and of course, Esther!  Excellent teacher!"


"Esther Joy van der Werf is one of the most effective, caring, and knowledgeable vision teachers I have met in my 25 years of being an optometrist.
If you want to improve your vision, Take her class!!!"
Dr Marc Grossman, OD, LAc., New Paltz, New York, September 2004

"Thanks for a wonderful class - you are a natural teacher (no pun intended)."
Bob McDonald, New York, May 2004

"Green Sun would like to extend the warmest THANK YOU!  We truly appreciated your presence at the festival. It was a gift to us all!  Many participants expressed their appreciation also".
Organizers, Living Now Festival, East Otto, New York, August 2003

"Wow, I've just spent about an hour (or more) visiting your website and related links.  I am so impressed with it! Thank you for all the work that you have obviously done in gathering, organizing, and presenting its contents!  I am certain that many will benefit from it."
Kathleen Iselen, New Hampshire, February 2003

"Wow! What a site you've put together!  You've done a great job.  I really enjoyed reading about your nomadic journey and the vision experiment with your friend -- very cool.  Super job with the links and reference pages, too -- very comprehensive.  Keep up the great work."
Alan Winn, Simply Vision, Utah, January 2003

"At first I was skeptical of your work, I did not expect to see any beneficial connection between our professions. However, after watching you work with various patients during 2 days, and having a brief session myself, I've done a 180 degree turn around and saw that your eyesight improvement classes had a major positive impact on everyone!!  One of the main aims with cancer patients at Atlantis HC is to get them to reduce stress.  Many of the patients are tired of all the 'must do this and that' advice from everyone and are not always open to new suggestions.  Your approach of relaxation, with the sole purpose of eyesight improvement as a 'guise' caught the patients with their guard down, you sort of 'sneaked in through the back door' and Voila, they relax, and they view their world with different eyes!  Major shifts in perception occurred, physically as well as mentally."
Bridget Freeman, MD, Atlantis Healing Center, Jacksonville, Florida, January 2003

(back to top)

Are you ready for better vision?
Do you want to know how to improve eyesight naturally?
Check out the classes offered here!

    This will take you to the Site Map
   to Site Map

visions of joy banner