A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE PREVENTION AND CURE OF
IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES
The vision of the human eye is modified
in many ways when the conditions are unfavorable to good sight. Unfavorable conditions may prevail when the light is not agreeable
to the patient. Some patients require a very bright light and others get along much better in a poor light. Many cases are
hypersensitive to the light and suffer from an intolerance for light which has been called photophobia.
of light may be manifest in most cases from some diseases of the eyes, there are many cases in which the eye is apparently
healthy and in which the photophobia may be extreme. (The cure for this condition is to have the patient sit in the sun with
his eyes closed, allowing the sun to shine on his closed eyelids as he moves his head from side to side.)
There are patients
with good sight whose vision is materially improved when used in a bright light, as well as those with good sight whose vision
improves when the eyes are used in a dim light. The patient should practice with the test card in a bright as well
as a dim light to accustom his eyes to all conditions.
Reading in sunlight and in dim light improves
the clarity of vision when relaxation is applied and effort, strain, squinting are avoided. A boy improved his vision by reading
comic books at night by flashlight under the covers in his bed.
The fact that he enjoyed the comics, and that the print
and pictures kept his eyes moving, shifting and improved use of his memory, imagination, all which induced relaxation resulted
in clear vision.
The white Glow
The ability to perceive
halos, or an increased whiteness, around letters is a favorable condition. By using a screen or a fenestrated card, it is
possible for many patients to see an increased whiteness around a letter, which improves their vision for the letter. When
a screen is not used, one may be able to imagine a white halo around the inner or outer edge of the black part of the “O.”
When a screen covers the black part of the letter “O,” for instance, the white center becomes of the same whiteness
as the rest of the white page, which proves that it is the contrast between the black and the white which enables one to imagine
the white halos. The presence of the black improves the white; the presence of the white improves the black.
By W. H. Bates, M.D.
Many doctors do not think well of treatment which has become continuously
the same. I believe, however, that when routine treatment benefits a large number of patients, one is justified in practicing
it in most cases. In the beginning, the writer very soon became impressed with the fact that there was something about routine
treatment which had advantages over other forms of treatment. The particular advantage was speed; that is to say that by routine
treatment it was often possible to cure many cases at the first visit. However, to obtain the best results, I have found it
necessary to modify the routine from time to time, or to make certain changes whenever improved methods of treatment were
discovered. If a patient does not respond readily to a regular routine, it is evidence that this treatment is not for him
and that he requires a different form of relaxation treatment.
When a person presents himself for treatment, a record
is made of his name, address, date of birth, et cetera. (If the patient is over fifty years of age, one should be prepared
to treat presbyopia; all persons over fifty years of age are usually unable to read fine print at six inches without glasses.)
(Bates discovered that many people over 50 years old can see fine print clear. Presbyopia is curable,
can be prevented.)
The next procedure is to have the patient remove his glasses, if he is wearing them, and test
the vision of each eye with the aid of the Snellen test card at fifteen or twenty feet. If none of the letters can be seen
at this distance, the card is placed at eight feet, five feet or nearer and the vision tested at that distance. The eyes are
then examined with the ophthalmoscope or retinoscope.
(The ophthalmoscope is valuable in diagnosing cataract, opacities
of the cornea and diseases of the interior of the eyeball. The retinoscope is used in diagnosing near-sightedness, far-sightedness
REST: The patient is
then directed to either close his eyes or palm for half an hour, whichever is more comfortable for him. In palming, the patient
closes both eyes and covers them with the palms of both hands, in such a way as to exclude all light. To palm successfully,
he should make no effort to remember, imagine or see black. If black cannot be seen perfectly, the patient is told to let
the mind drift from one pleasant thought to another.
SWAY: After the patient has rested his eyes or palmed for half an hour, he is directed to stand before the Snellen
test card, with his feet about one foot apart and then to open both eyes. He is then told to sway his body gently from side
to side, while his vision is again tested with the card. While swaying from side to side, he is told how to imagine the Snellen
test card to be moving. His attention is called to the fact that when his body, head and eyes move to the right, the Snellen
test card moves to the left, and when he moves to the left, the Snellen test card appears to move to the right. (Oppositional
The patient then is called upon to demonstrate that when his eyes move from side to side, that not only
does the Snellen test card move from side to side, but that all the letters or figures on the Snellen test card move with
the card. It is well to have the patient demonstrate also that when an effort is made to stop the movement of the letters,
the letters become blurred or cannot be seen. The sway is beneficial in many ways because it lessens or prevents the stare,
tension and strain.
BLINKING: It can
always be demonstrated that when a patient with imperfect sight looks intently at one point, keeping the eyes open constantly,
or trying to do so, a strain of the eyes and all the nerves of the body is usually felt, and the vision becomes imperfect.
It is impossible to keep the eyes open continuously without blinking. Each time the eyes blink, a certain amount of rest is
obtained and the vision is benefited. For this reason, the patient is instructed to blink frequently while swaying before
the card, and at all other times.
CENTRAL FIXATION: Central fixation is seeing best where one
is looking and worst at all other points. When the patient is swaying before the card, he is told to see one part of a letter
which he is regarding at a time and to see that part better than any other part, then to quickly shift his glance to another
part, seeing that part best and other parts of the letter worse. The letter is seen much more readily in this way. The patient
is reminded that the normal eye uses central fixation at all times.
Another method is to improve the vision by a perfect imagination. If the patient is unable to see the letters on a certain
line, he is told what the first letter is and is directed to close his eyes and imagine that letter as perfectly as he can,
and then alternate by imagining it as perfectly as he can with his eyes open. When the letter is imagined perfectly enough,
other letters on that line when regarded are seen and not imagined.
It is very evident that one cannot imagine unknown
letters. Therefore, if the vision improves by the use of the imagination, unknown letters when regarded are seen and not imagined.
It has been repeatedly demonstrated that an opacity of the cornea which may be so dense that the pupil or iris are not seen,
will clear up in some cases after the alternate imagination of a known letter or a known object is practiced with the eyes
open and closed. When opacity of the lens is examined with the aid of the ophthalmoscope, the opacity becomes increased when
the patient remembers imperfect sight. The memory of imperfect sight causes a contraction of the muscles on the outside of
the eyeball, which in turn produces imperfect sight, cataract, cornea scar…
MEMORY: The pupil is told to remember a small letter “o”
with a white center which is whiter than other letters on the Snellen test card. A small letter may be imagined much better
than large letters of the Snellen test card. When the facts are analyzed, it is discovered that the reason small letters are
imagined better than large ones is because a small letter has not so much of an area to be seen. It is easier for the eye
to remember or imagine a small object than a large one. A perfect letter “O” can only be remembered when no effort
is made; an imperfect letter “O,” on the contrary, is difficult to remember. When a letter “O” is
remembered very black with a very white center, the vision is benefited because no effort is made.
A great many near-sighted
patients believe that they can remember or imagine an imperfect letter “O” much easier than a perfect letter “O.”
These people are encouraged to remember or imagine an imperfect letter “O,” which helps them to understand and
realize as thoroughly as possible that the memory or the imagination of imperfect sight is very difficult and requires a good
deal of hard work, whereas the memory of perfect sight can only be accomplished easily without effort.
THE PERIOD: With the help of the imagination, alternating
with the eyes open and closed, it is possible for many patients to remember or imagine they see a small black period. It may
not necessarily be a black period but may have any color of the spectrum and be of any shape—round, square, triangular
or irregular. It is impossible to remember or imagine a period that is stationary. It must always be remembered by central
fixation and be moving. Some patients can imagine a period as small as it is printed in the newspaper. Unfortunately, it is
difficult or impossible to teach all patients how to remember a period perfectly. The great value of the period is that when
it is remembered perfectly, many serious diseases, such as opacities of the cornea, opacities of the lens, diseases of the
retina and choroid, diseases of the optic nerve and blindness can all be relieved promptly.
SUN TREATMENT (with Memory, Imagination and Palming)
: An important part of the routine treatment is the use of the direct sunlight. The patient is told to sit in the
sun with his eyes closed, moving his head a short distance from side to side, and allowing the sun to shine directly on his
closed eyelids. He is instructed to forget about his eyes, to think of something pleasant and let his mind drift from one
pheasant thought to another. Before opening his eyes, he palms for a few minutes. When the sun is not shining, a strong electric
light (I000 watts) is substituted. The patient sits about six inches from the light, or as near as he can without discomfort
from the heat, allowing it to shine on his closed eyelids as in the sun treatment.
FINE PRINT: If the patient has presbyopia, he is directed to practice with the fine
print in the Fundamental card in the following way: The card is held at first at the distance from his eyes at which he sees
best. He is told not to look directly at the letters, but just at the white spaces between the lines and imagine that they
are perfectly white - whiter than the margin. He is asked if he can imagine that there is a thin, white line beneath each
line of letters, and that it is whiter than the rest of the white spaces between the lines.
When this line is imagined
perfectly white, the eyes then shift to, look directly at the letters and the letters are read
without effort or strain. If the patient cannot imagine the white line easily, he is told to close his eyes and think of a
series of white objects; he may recall a white-washed fence, a snow drift, several pieces of white starch, or a pot of white
paint. He is then directed to open his eyes again and look at the white spaces, imagining them to be as white as the white
objects he remembered. He is told to close his eyes again and imagine that he has a pot of white paint and a fine pen and
that he is drawing a thin, white line beneath a line of print, then to open his eyes and imagine that he is drawing a thin
white line beneath each line of letters on the Fundamental card, as he moves his head from side to side. He is told to blink
as he shifts from one end of the line to the other, to occasionally look away and to close his eyes frequently for half a
minute or so to rest them. Imagining the white spaces and white line perfectly white causes the mind,
eyes to remove the ‘grey blur’ and other incorrect images from the white page in and around the black letters,
words. The brain imagines the page the way it truly appears; clear and white. This causes the letters to be seen dark black,
distinct, and clear.
By practicing in this way, letters which could not be seen before appear black and distinct.
As one’s ability to read is improved, the card is brought closer and the patient is instructed to practice in this way,
until the entire card can be read at six inches from his eyes. If it is impossible for him to do this during his treatment
at the office, he is directed to practice in this way every day at home. The patient is told that fine print cannot be read
when an effort is made see it and that it can only be read when the eyes are relaxed. For this reason, the reading of fine
print is helpful in producing relaxation.
Take a break anytime and look at the white spaces, thin
white line to relax the eyes, mind. Shift on them. Avoid staring, eye immobility.
Use the soft end of a white imaginary
feather (nosefeather) to imagine painting the white spaces and thin white line with bright, glowing, pure white paint.
FOR HOME TREATMENT
The most important fact is
to impress upon the patient the necessity of discarding his glasses. He is told that when glasses are used temporarily a relapse
always follows and the patient loses for a short time, at least, everything that has been gained. If it is impossible or unnecessary
for the patient to return at regular intervals for further treatment and supervision, he is given instructions for home practice
to suit his individual case, and is asked to report his progress or difficulties at frequent intervals.
of practicing certain parts of the routine treatment at all times, such as blinking, central fixation,
(shifting, relaxation) and imagining stationary objects to be moving opposite to the movement of his head and eyes,
is stressed. The normal eye does these things unconsciously, and the imperfect eye must at first practice them consciously
until it becomes an unconscious habit. An automatic, correct vision habit.
By Emily C. Lierman
note – Mrs. Lierman regrets that she has no Christmas story this year, but she has written a fairy story instead, which
she hopes the children will enjoy.]
Once upon a time in
a town near the Pacific Coast there lived a boy named George who suffered intensely from poor eyesight. One day he met a girl
named Christine. The little boy had heard that Christine knew the great secret of good eyesight and begged her to tell him
what he could do to cure his eyes. It did not take Christine long to teach George how to use his eyes right and keep from
straining them. Christine soon found that George was not lonely like she was, for one day he brought Amy with him, the girl
who made many children happy with her stories. She was beautiful to look at and had many friends. George and Amy were constant
pals, and helped to make Christine happy. Amy’s eyes also became wonderfully bright through Christine’s guidance
and help, and everyone in Pansy Land wanted to know how this came about.
One day these three friends of Better Eyesight
took a trip to the land of pansies. Before they were allowed to enter the gate, they had to seek admission from the door keeper.
They waited until he went to see whether or not the pansies had gone to bed, as it was near closing time. He soon came back
to them and told them to enter, that the pansies still had their eyes open and would welcome them. They walked a great distance
and found that with the exception of narrow paths, everything was covered with miles and miles of pansies. There were yellow
pansies with eyes as blue as the skies, brown and tan pansies with rose-colored eyes, and others dressed in all the colors
of the rainbow. All of them were swaying with the gentle breeze and they were most beautiful to see.
Suddenly, a jolly
gnome appeared before them. They noticed that his eyes were shining brightly and that he had the kindliest face of anybody
they had ever seen. George knew him right away. He said, “This is Horatio the Great. It is he who first discovered how
to cure people without glasses and help those who had pain and other troubles with their eyes.” George also remarked
that he had the biggest heart that anybody ever had, and was the best friend of poor children all over the world. Horatio
the Great stood by, listening to these kind remarks but was too modest to make any reply. He just listened.
got through talking, the kindly gnome invited them to sit in his parlor, which was made of the loveliest pink mushrooms imaginable.
He told them to place their palms over their eyes and not to think of anything bad or wrong and then to make a wish. They
wished that they could be two very little girls and a very little boy again.
All of a sudden, there was a rumbling sound
like thunder, and George, Amy, and Christine became very much frightened. The good gnome knew what had happened. He said,
“Take down your hands and let me see how badly you have been frightened, when there was nothing at all to be frightened
about.” He looked into their eyes and said, “Because you were frightened, you began to strain and your eyesight
is now bad. You must be calm like I am, no matter how much trouble or worry you might have or how frightened you become. Don’t
you know that fear always affects good eyes and makes them bad?”
He then told them to again cover their eyes with
the palms of their hands and he would tell them what caused their fright. He said, “You know I have many helpers in
Pansy Land; some of them are my good gnomes. It was the good gnomes that you heard when they returned to their places on the
roof of my palace. Don’t be alarmed.”
After this remark, there was no more fear and no more eyestrain. He
then told them to remove their hands from their eyes. When they opened their eyes again he held in his hand a shining light,
which was really a star on the end of a wand. With this he touched their eyelids and they were little children again.
he touched the lonely little girl he said, “Now your name is Crystal, because you will use the crystal glass with the
help of the warm sunshine. You will cure children and grown ups all over the world in time to come. You are ordered to finish
your work here on the West Coast of this great big world where many people want you. You must be strong in your mind and heart
and know that when your enemies want to hurt you, the good gnome, Horatio the Great, will always be standing by you and will
keep you from harm. You must never be afraid.”
Amy and George stood by listening with their eyes wide open, but
blinking all the time to be sure that they would not strain and displease Horatio the Great.
The good gnome then touched
little Amy with the shining star and said, “you will do greater things than you have ever done, now that you have better
eyesight and no longer need glasses. You will go to many boys and girls and give them the sunlight with your sun glass. You
will take away all pain and sorrow from those who suffer with eye trouble. Sometimes you will go alone, but most of the time
little George will take you in his chariot so that you will not be weary in well doing.” This pleased little George
because he did not ever want to be separated from Amy, who had always made happiness and joy for him. Little Crystal knew
in her heart how much they loved each other and this made her very happy.
The kindly gnome, Horatio the Great, then placed
his wand with the shining star on the head of little George and said, “My book which tells you how to take care of people’s
eyes will help you to understand the work that you have to do. What you must enjoy is helping people with bad tummies and
relieving eyestrain. I give you my special blessing because of the good work you have already done. You will take Crystal
and Amy to your beautiful home in Marston Hills.”
This made George very happy. His beautiful home has a frog pond
in a lovely garden. In the pond lives one large frog. He has many friends who live near him all the time. Their names are
Climbing Rose, American Beauty, Geranium, Calla Lily, Honey Suckle, and many others that would take much time to name.
This kindly frog is never thirsty and is ever ready to share with you the sparkling water that flows from his mouth. Even
the frog has his work to do. In the pond directly under the throne on which the frog sits during the day, there lives a family
by the name of Goldfish. Not so long ago the family increased in great numbers. They are lively and hungry all the time and
Amy and George always feed them. All of the goldfish have perfect eyesight. The frog will tell you that at no time is eyestrain
allowed in his kingdom. He has for his kindly assistant, Mary, who looks after things not only in the garden, but in the house
that George built.
Horatio the Great led the procession to a little woodland which belonged to the pansies. Little Crystal
noticed that a beautiful palm had been crushed on one side and many leaves were scattered on the grassy carpet. The two little
girls and the little boy closed their eyes while the gnome told them the story of the crushed palm, and what had happened
on that day. He told how the Queen of the fairies had been honored by all the fairies of Pansy Land. No disorder is ever allowed,
because it causes much work and strain to those who are the caretakers, but on this special occasion when the Queen of the
fairies that live all over the world had been given a reception, he made excuses for the fairies because of the disorder of
From there he led them away to the center of the pansy bed that had the most colors. He told them to palm
again and remember the color of any pansy they saw. While their eyes were closed and covered, the good gnome passed his wand
with the shining star over the heads of the pansies. When Crystal, Amy and Georgie opened their eyes, low and behold, there
was a beautiful fairy on the top of every pansy, right before their eyes. What a beautiful sight it was and how happy these
children were. The sun never shone more brightly; never in their lives did they smell more wonderful perfume. Immediately,
there was a beautiful fairy dance and the more the children blinked, the more wonderful the fairies danced.
things must come to an end, for a little time at least, and soon the kindly gnome remarked that it was bed time for the fairies
and the pansies. Horatio the Great, with his kindly manner, led the way to the gate and gently bowed before the two little
girls and the little boy, who honored him with their smiles and good wishes and said good bye for awhile.
what he had promised the gnome, and placing little Amy and Crystal in his chariot, drove on to his home in the hills to the
frog pond and the flowers.
Because of their happiness, the good gnome did not wish to change them into grown ups again,
so they will always be children and live happily ever after.
Questions And Answers
- Why is it a rest to read fine print? I should think it would be more of a strain.
A - Fine print is a relaxation, large
print a menace. The December, 1919, issue of this magazine explains this in detail.
is also seen clear by reading with relaxation, shifting, central fixation.
Q - Must the body be a rest before
the eyes can be cured?
A - When the eyes are relaxed, the whole body is relaxed.
Q - Which is more beneficial, the short or the long swing?
A - The short swing, if you can imagine
it. – Shift on small letters and see Oppositional Movement – The Short Swing: The letter
moves in the opposite direction the eyes shift to.
- Are “movies” harmful?
A - No. Quite the contrary. Send for the magazine on this subject.
Q - Trying to make things move gives me a headache. Palming gives me more
A - Making an effort to do a thing will not help you. When you are walking along the street, the street
should appear to go in the opposite direction without effort on your part. Some people get more relief from palming, while
swinging helps others more.
Q - Why do “movies”
hurt my eyes when they should benefit them?
A - Unconscious strain. Do not stare at the pictures, but allow the eyes
to roam over the whole picture, seeing one part best at a time and shift part to part, on objects and
from object to object. Also keep things swinging.
- Why do some people see better by partly closing the eyes? (Squinting)
A - People with
poor sight can see better by partly closing their eyes, but this increases vision impairment and
when they have perfect sight, squinting makes it worse. This is a good test for the vision of ordinary objects.
(Squinting is a main cause of eye muscle tension, eyestrain and unclear vision.)
Q - Is a hemorrhage on the outside of the eyeball fatal?
A - Rarely.
Q - Is central choroiditis curable and does it require much treatment?
A - Yes, choroiditis is curable but requires a great deal of treatment in some cases.
Q - My trouble is cataract. Shall I cover up the good eye while practicing?
A – Practice
with both eyes together until your vision is normal. Then, cover the good eye and improve the vision of the poor one.
Q - Is it necessary to practice with the Snellen test card if you follow
the method otherwise?
A - Yes, it is advisable to keep up your daily practice with the test card for at least a few
moments. This will improve your memory and the memory must be improved to have the vision improve.
with both eyes and one eye at a time with the card also keeps perfect, equally clear, balanced vision in the left and right
eyes. The Snellen card is also a familiar object. Looking at a familiar object relaxes the mind, eyes and keeps vision clear.
For the benefit of school teachers and school children, the Numeral
and F cards, regularly listing at 50 cents will be sold at 25 cents during the months of December and January; fundamental
cards regularly listing at 10 cents will be sold at 5 cents. We also wish to call our readers’ attention that the following
back numbers of “Better Eyesight” will still be sold at 10 cents per copy during the months of December and January.
Here are Dr. Bates lists back issues.
The issues are included in this book.