A MONTHLY MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO THE PREVENTION AND CURE OF
IMPERFECT SIGHT WITHOUT GLASSES
teachers have told me that when they taught Arithmetic the one who learned the most was always the teacher. Some ministers
have made the remark that the one who profited mostly by the sermon was the man who delivered it.
For many years my patients
who have been benefited by treatment without glasses have to a greater or less extent enjoyed the pleasure of helping others.
When you think that you understand how to practice the swing with benefit try to teach somebody else how to do it. If you
find palming is beneficial find how many of your friends who are also benefited by palming. But when you meet someone who
is not benefited by what you tell them to do, you have at this time an opportunity of helping not only your friend but your
own eyes as well. It seems a simple matter for you to close your eyes, rest them for a half hour or so and find that your
sight is improved by the rest. However, there are some people who are not benefited appreciably by closing their eyes and
resting them. One cause of failure is the memory of imperfect sight. Many patients failed to improve because with their eyes
closed they think too much of their failure to see. Patients who have improved materially usually can demonstrate that the
memory of perfect sight is restful, while the memory of imperfect sight is a strain. If you have a near-sighted friend who
can read ordinary print without difficulty at the near point and without glasses, you can spend an hour or two of activity
in showing your friend how to demonstrate while regarding fine print that it is impossible to try to concentrate on a point
without sooner, or later making the sight worse, that it is impossible to remember, imagine or see stationary letters, that
it is impossible to maintain normal vision with the eyes kept continuously open without blinking.
The Story of Barbour
By W. H. BATES, M.D.
BARBOUR had the best imagination of anybody I ever knew in my life. I believe
this is some praise because every day for many years I am teaching patients how to imagine perfectly and while doing so testing
their imagination. There may be schools where the imagination is taught but I do not know where to find them and would be
pleased to have someone tell me of others who teach memory and imagination. Of course I have read many books which claim to
teach people how to remember better, and since memory is very important in obtaining perfect sight I have been very much interested
in these books and have read them very carefully to learn what they might contain. Unfortunately I have never been able to
learn anything from these books, which was better than my methods.
It might interest my readers to know that some of
my patients are teachers of mental science in various schools and colleges. I never found one who had a correct conception
of memory and imagination. Many of them had no mental pictures at all. In fact one very prominent professor of mental science,
a dean in his department in one of our well-known Universities could not imagine a mental picture of his own signature or
imagine a mental picture of a person's face, a mental picture of a flower or any other object. Before I could help his sight
I had to teach him how to remember and how to imagine and so when I say that Barbour had a wonderful imagination I feel that
it means something.
She was eleven years old and was suffering from alternating convergent squint. She had normal vision
and was wearing glasses for compound hypermetropic astigmatism which made her sight worse. When she regarded a small letter
on the ten line at twenty feet she said that she could see it when she knew what it was and this was true because when she
said that she saw a letter that she knew perfectly she was able to see other letters that she did not know. When there were
two letters close together, both unknown and neither distinct she could see both of them when she imagined she saw one after
knowing what it was.
She was treated in various ways with temporary benefit for some weeks. She readily demonstrated
that resting her eyes, palming and swinging was a benefit. When she regarded a small letter at a near point, about six inches,
she could see the white center of the letter O very white and imagine it whiter than it really was, whiter than the rest of
the card. She could imagine it moving from side to side not any more than its own width, but when she tried to imagine it
was stationary her vision became worse and the letter O was not distinct. When she closed her eyes she would remember the
letter O and imagine the white center as white as when she looked at the O with her eyes open. By practice she became able
to demonstrate that with her eyes closed she could remember a letter O with its short swing and its very white center perfectly
when she imagined one side of an unknown letter correctly. If the unknown letter was a B and she imagined the left hand side
to be straight, her memory of the O was perfect. If she imagined the left side was curved or open her memory of the letter
O was modified and sufficiently so for her to tell the difference. In the same way she was able to imagine the top was straight,
the bottom was straight and the right side was a curve. This description was also that of a letter D. When she imagined incorrectly
that the letter was a D her memory of the letter O at the same time was modified. When she imagined the truth that the letter
was a B her memory of the letter O still remained perfect. In other words when she imagined the truth of either side of an
unknown letter that she had previously regarded without seeing consciously, the letter O remained perfect in her memory. But
when she imagined an error, one or more sides of the letter incorrectly she did not remember the letter O so well.
day I held a page of diamond type, which she had never seen before, ten feet away from her eyes and directed her to look at
the top, the middle, the bottom for about a half a minute. She was unable to see consciously a single letter on the page.
With the retinoscope she was myopic when she tried to see the fine print but not myopic all the time. By simultaneous retinoscopy
her eyes were normal for fractions of a second or longer. I told her mother that the distance was too great for her to read
the fine print with her conscious mind but that she saw every letter on the card perfectly with her subconscious mind; and
because she saw each letter perfectly she was able, when she closed her eyes, to remember correctly where each letter was
located. I asked her to tell me with the help of her imagination the first letter of the fourth word on the tenth line. This
she did correctly in the same way as was just described. Then she imagined correctly the second letter of the fifth word on
the fourteenth line, a small letter C which was similar to a capital letter C. She was able to imagine many other letters
correctly after she was told where they were located. Some letters, an X for example, have all four sides open, and yet in
some way she became able to imagine these letters correctly better than incorrectly. The next step, made largely by her own
volition, was to imagine correctly the small letters as she already had imagined capital letters. Every day her mother or
I co-operated with her in imagining with her conscious mind letters which she only saw unconsciously with her subconscious
mind. Her improvement proceeded rapidly until she imagined she saw one letter of a word so perfectly with so perfect a mental
relaxation that she imagined she saw the whole word and many words following, one or more lines of letters as quickly as she
could at times read them when looking at them at a near point.
The alternating squint disappeared, at first temporarily
for a few hours, a few days or longer. She returned home and continued the daily practice of her imagination of letters seen
by her subconscious mind. In one of her letters she wrote that after daily practice for forty-four days there was no return
of the squint.
Her vision and squint were very much benefited by reading books printed in very fine type. The smaller
the print the greater the relaxation of her eyes, and the more was her squint benefited. She became very much interested in
reading fine print, and was very anxious to obtain print as small as possible. So I sent her a copy of the photographic reduction
of the Bible, in which the print is very small indeed.
(Reading Fine Print Cures Blur, Astigmatism,
Cataract and Strabismus.)
following letter was received:
Thank you very much for the little
Bible. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. My eyes have been straight forty-four days in succession, and I'm as proud
as a peacock.
We only have three Christmas presents wrapped up. I hope you have a merry, merry, merry, Christmas, and
a Happy, Happy, Happy New Year.
Stories from the Clinic
By EMILY C. LIERMAN
A CASE OF DIVERGENT SQUINT
ONE day a young colored woman came to us with her little boy age nine years. Every time she looked
at him it was plainly a look of disgust. The boy had the most wistful face I ever saw. He kept looking up into his mother's
face and his expression was that of a deaf and dumb person. One of his eyes seemed to be looking a way off to the opposite
side of the room while the other eye was looking straight at her. When his other eye turned to look at her the former would
turn out in the opposite direction away from her. He had alternate divergent squint. My heart went out to James as his mother
related to me the fact that her other three children had normal sight while James looked so horrible with his crooked eyes.
A chill went through me when I heard her say, "I wish he had never been born." Then with more disgust in the sound
of her voice she said, "I can't help it, but I hate him."
Can anyone imagine a mother disliking her own child
so much? All because his eyes were crooked. Complaints came to her from the school he attended. His teacher complained that
he was stupid. All this time the little fellow looked up at his mother without moving an eyelid apparently. Her question was,
"What can be done with him or for him? Can you give him glasses or operate to cure his eyes?" I told the mother
that glasses would never cure his squint and neither would an operation. I asked her to watch carefully and see what James
was about to do for me. First, I held him very close to me and patted his woolly head. He pressed a little closer for more.
He liked the beginning of his treatment. I asked him to say the alphabet for me, but he said he could not remember all of
the letters. He stood ten feet from the test card. I asked him to read, starting with the largest letter at the top. He read
a few letters correctly but I soon found out that he did not know many letters of the alphabet. His mother remarked then that
the teacher in school thought his mind was affected because of his eyes and that there was little hope of curing him. I had
my doubts about the teacher saying such a thing but I did not say so to the mother. What a pity it was to have the dear little
fellow hear all this. He looked so worried and restless. Perhaps he wanted to run away somewhere because his eyes caused others
so much trouble. I taught him to palm, telling him to remember a small Bible class pin I was wearing on my dress. In a few
minutes I tested his sight with the E card, which is used always in cases where children do not know their letters. At ten
feet he saw the fifty line. Again I told him to palm, and asked his mother not to speak to him while he was resting his eyes.
In the meantime I attended to other patients. After a few moments I glanced at him and saw two big tears rolling down each
cheek. He was weeping silently. His mother was just about ready to find fault with him, but I intervened and walked her gently
out of the room to a bench outside the door. I whispered to James that I loved him a whole lot and if he would learn to read
his letters at home and could read half of the test card correctly the next time he came, I would give him a nickel. I saw
him smile, and when I was able to treat him again I found that his sight had improved to the forty line of the E card. I have
been wondering ever since whether it was the Bible class pin on my dress which he was asked to remember or was it a clear
vision he had of that nickel I had promised him that improved his sight for the forty line of letters. Two days later James
appeared again with his mother and both were smiling. He could hardly wait to tell me that he knew his letters perfectly.
His big brother taught him at home, he said, and he hoped I would be pleased as his teacher was, when he read all his letters
on the blackboard for her that day.
It was amusing to see James looking toward my purse which was hanging on the wall
in the Clinic room. He was thinking of that nickel I promised him. I produced a strange test card which he had not seen. When
he began to read the card I placed him fifteen feet away, which was five feet further than the first day. He was so excited
that his squint became worse and he could not read. Dr. Bates said his trouble was mostly nervousness. I told him to palm
again and reminded him of the letter E with its straight line at the top and to the left, with an opening to the right. Then
he became able to see the letters after a few moments' rest. I called Dr. Bates' attention to the sudden improvement in his
eyes as he read one line after another until he reached the thirty line, when suddenly his eyes turned out again, but after
he had rested his eyes again they became straight. I gave him the promised nickel that day, which made him very happy.
James was able to keep his eyes straight most of the time after he had been coming to the Clinic for a month. The attitude
of his mother toward him was decidedly better and she promised to help him with the treatment of his eyes at home. I do not
know whether James was entirely cured or not because our work at the Harlem Hospital Clinic has since been discontinued.
Teachers Question Dr. Bates
By KATHLEEN E. HURTY
AS an interesting sequel to the January lecture given by Dr. Bates at Erasmus
Hall High School in Brooklyn, there followed a most profitable evening at 300 Madison Avenue, New York City. The January talk
was to many such a revelation that some of the teachers were eager for a chance to know more of this remarkable discovery.
On April 6th an opportunity was afforded to ply Dr. Bates with questions. About twenty-five teachers from the high schools
and a few other friends were present. Practically everyone there had read "The Cure of Imperfect Sight Without Glasses"
and no one needed to be convinced of the soundness of the principles involved. Therefore the discussions were largely details
of technique, centering mostly about methods with children and particularly in the class-room.
Specifically, Dr. Bates
recommended the following procedure:
1. That each teacher hang a Snellen Test Card on the class-room wall. Daily both
teacher and pupils should read the smallest letters that can be seen without straining, using each eye separately. He stated
that if this course be pursued faithfully over a period of time all eyes would be helped—sight improved and strain prevented.
2. That teachers do as much as possible to re-educate their pupils in the
proper use of their eyes. Incorrect habits must be replaced by new correct ones, namely, pupils should be taught that any
effort to see produces strain and injures the eyes. They must be taught never to look fixedly at the black-board, teacher's
face, or any object. Nor should they ever keep their eyes open for any length of time. The normal eye is always shifting and
blinking. Therefore to counteract strain in a child who stares fixedly, simple exercises, such as blinking continuously for
a few minutes and swinging should be taught.
3. That children
should be informed that if their eyes ache or their sight is blurred, palming is an easy means to get rest and relief.
The final impression left in the minds of those present was that teachers can do a really big work by improving sight and
preventing eyestrain so that their children need never have glasses prescribed.
After the conference many stayed to ask
further questions of Dr. Bates and to receive help with their own personal problems and difficulties. Some of the teachers
were able to testify that they had derived immense benefit from the method. Several stated that they had already abandoned
their glasses, with resulting improvement in their eyes.
As an outcome of the meeting ten new members joined the Better
SPEAKER FOR MAY MEETING
Readers of the BETTER
EYESIGHT MAGAZINE will be interested to learn that Mr. Husted, Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Bergen, New Jersey,
will address the League at the May Meeting.
As most of our readers know, Mr. Husted installed Doctor Bates' method in
his schools, and we feel sure that his report will be most interesting, and of especial importance to teachers and parents.
How My Eyestrain was Relieved
By CHARLOTTE ROBERTSON
I HAVE had such wonderful relief by following Dr. Bates' method of treating
imperfect sight and eye-strain that I should like to tell of my experience. It may be the means of giving courage to those
who suffered as I did, but who hesitate to leave off their glasses. I had worn glasses but my eyes were not benefited. In
fact they became worse. I went to Dr. Bates and am pleased to give some of the "exercises" advised by him which
I have found very beneficial.
1. The Snellen
test card I read upon arising in the morning, at noon and again in the evening, first with two eyes together and
later with each eye separately.
2. Palming six
times a day or more for a few minutes to half an hour, decreasing the length of time as my eyes improved.
3. I have practiced reading a little fine print daily, also
some pages from Dr. Bates' book, "Perfect Sight Without Glasses," which I have always found encouraging.
At night on retiring I have used the swing together with central fixation
on the small O, and by so doing have lost the wretched strain which I have been conscious of for months, always on awakening
in the morning. This exercise consists of swinging the O to the left and seeing the right side best, to the right and seeing
the left side best. Also swinging the black period with the O to the left, seeing the period on the right side of the O best,
and to the right, seeing the period on the left side of the O best. First by the practice of this exercise, also with a soothing
swinging motion as that of drifting in a boat in a comparatively quiet sea, I obtained relaxation when falling to sleep. My
morning eye strain had completely disappeared and in its place I awake feeling rested, refreshed and ready for the day's work.
Parents' and Teachers' Page
By EMILY C. A. MEDER
IT is becoming more and more gratifying to us to note the increased activity
among school officials, school teachers, and last but in no wise least, among parents, in the promotion of better eyesight
in children. The slogan adopted seems to be "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of glasses."
We are all
grasping every opportunity to first, prevent defective vision, and second, to remove glasses from children who already have
An incident worth citing occurred in the Central Fixation office recently. A. mother came to purchase a Snellen
Chart, and with her was a little girl about three. The youngster had a very bad case of squint and wore glasses that almost
obscured the little face. We naturally surmised that the card was for the child, but learned that the mother wished it for
herself. She told us she had myopia. She never dreamed that the child's eyes could be cured without operation, and was certainly
elated when Mrs. Lierman showed her how to treat the little one. Naturally the child was too young to read the chart, so Mrs.
Lierman showed her the game of seeing things swing, with the result that at times the child's eyes were perfectly straight.
We are anxiously awaiting the next report from the mother, who was eager to go home and try treating the little girl herself.
A teacher from East Orange has upset all school tradition by having her pupils shift and blink while she is talking to them.
She, like others, was under the impression that if her pupils stared at her and did not move, this was indicative of alertness
and intentness. However, upon learning of Dr. Bates' method, she has changed the old regime, and she has since informed us
that she is more at ease with her class when they are relaxed.
Coinciding with this report is that received from a lady
who taught her daughter, who is now ten, to look directly into the eyes of the one speaking to her. The child followed these
instructions implicitly, with the result that the little girl strained her eyes so out of focus that her glasses had to be
changed every few months. In desperation the mother brought her to Dr. Bates, who immediately changed the stare into a blink.
They returned home within a few weeks, minus her glasses and plus perfect vision. This was mostly due to correcting the stare.
If mothers are at a loss to know where to start, let them watch the children for a short period. They will be surprised
to note the prevalence among children of staring. If this is corrected, it is a good step forward.
THE LEAGUE'S NEW HOME!
Those who attended the April meeting of the Better Eyesight League were treated to a novel sensation
so far as the League is concerned. The meeting was almost entirely business, as the report by Mrs. Rusk indicates. New Officers
were elected and a new program mapped out.
Nothing definite as to the arrangement of the program for the following meetings
has been decided, but we know that the officers are going to make these meetings as interesting and instructive as is in their
power. One of the new features installed by the committee is to have an interesting speaker at each meeting. We feel sure
now, with the League in such capable hands, the work of Dr. Bates will be spread and the fact that eye troubles are curable
will be made known to thousands.
Dr. Bates is going to give a lecture or talk before some Osteopath students on Monday,
May 7th, at 312 West 72nd Street. As this is to be an open discussion, all are invited, and we hope our readers will take
advantage of this good opportunity to hear Dr. Bates speak.
The Better Eyesight League will hold its next meeting on
Tuesday, May 15th, and according to all indications it will be held in our new office, at 383 Madison Avenue, corner of 46th
The Better Eyesight League
F. B. RUSK, Recording Secretary
THE annual business
meeting of the Better Eyesight League was held on April 10th, with Miss Hurty in the chair. The chief business of the meeting
was hearing the report of the executive committee, the adoption of amendments to the Constitution, and the election of officers
for the ensuing year. Mrs. Mabel Potter Daggett, as Chairman of the Executive Committee, suggested the following ways of increasing
the funds of the League, enlarging its membership, and widening its influence:
1. Sending printed postal card notices
of meetings to all members.
2. Providing membership application
blanks for those who express their intention of becoming members of the League.
3. Providing a guest book for non-members who attend meetings of the League.
4. Providing a "Thank Offering Box" for contributions for those who have been cured without
private treatment by reading the literature and attending the meetings.
The following amendments to the Constitution were passed:
1. The dues for the League shall include subscription to the Magazine, "Better Eyesight," and shall
be three dollars for the fiscal year, except that if there are two or more members of the League in one family, the succeeding
members shall pay one dollar and not receive the Magazine.
The Annual Business Meeting of the League shall be held the second Tuesday in January.
3. There shall be two secretaries instead of one: Recording secretary, whose duty it shall be to
write an interesting account of the meeting and prepare a copy for the Magazine once a month, also to announce in the Magazine
a speaker for the next meeting; a corresponding; secretary, whose duty it shall be to send out notices of the meetings and
to attend to all the correspondence of the League.
The President shall appoint a promotion committee whose duty it shall be to solicit new members at every meeting and promote
the sale of literature.
5. The President shall appoint
a program committee whose duty it shall be to arrange a definite program, including a speaker for each meeting of the League,
and to arrange for meetings in schools, churches, offices and private homes.
The following officers were duly nominated and elected:
President—Mr. H. J. Douds.
Kathleen E. Hurty.
Recording Secretary—Mrs., F. B. Rusk.
Treasurer—Mrs. William H. Marsdon.
Secretary—Dr. L. M. Stanton.
The meeting was then
opened for discussion. One of Dr. Bates' patients reported a gradual but steady lessening of eyestrain by palming several
times a day and swinging the O. Another member told of the cure of a sty by palming, and Dr. Bates added other interesting
cases where serious infections had been reduced by palming.
Among the most important points brought out by Dr. Bates
in response to questions were the following:
Squint has never been permanently cured by operation. The only permanent
cure is through relaxation of the eyes. An ingenious way of treating a young child afflicted with squint is to let him practice
the fox-trot, calling his attention to the fact that the objects in the room seem to move in a direction opposite to that
in which he is dancing.
PAVES THE WAY FOR PERFECT SIGHT IN NEXT GENERATION
By M. E. MARVIN
mail we have evidences of the way Dr. Bates' work is being spread all over the world. We have not only "book patients"
and magazine subscribers in Europe, Asia, Africa, etc., but doctors treating imperfect sight according to Dr. Bates' method.
These doctors are not among those who have studied under Dr. Bates but who have analyzed the book and with the aid of the
many reprints which have appeared in the various medical journals are enabled to carry on the good work. Apropos of the above
we have a very interesting piece of news for our readers.
About a week ago a reporter from the Universal Service Staff
called at our office to learn about Dr. Bates' work. She said that Norman Hapgood, Editor of Hearst International, who is
in Europe now for the purpose of getting inside information on the political and economic situations, had cabled the Universal
Service of an interesting discovery which he made incidentally. This was, that while visiting the schools and soup kitchens
in Germany he saw altogether only one child wearing glasses. Upon asking the reason of this he was told that the authorities
are taking glasses off children all through Germany and that they were acting in this under pressure of the oculists. Mr.
Hapgood was also told that this method originated in America. The reporter for the Universal News traced the origin to Dr.
Bates, hence her request for further details.
Do you realize what this means? Germany, the very source from which the
old theories governing our ophthalmologists originated, has at last accepted the only method of curing imperfect sight. Norman
Hapgood says, "While fully accepted in Germany it is spreading slowly in America where in time it is bound to be recognized
and to be universally practiced."
Why isn't the discoverer so honored by his own country?
The Question Mark
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Q—Am forty-nine years of age and have had to wear glasses for five
years, due to gradual weakening of the eyes. Is this curable? S. J.
A—Old age sight is curable, and you can discard
your glasses by following the methods as outlined in the book, "Perfect Sight Without Glasses."
Q—My father, eighty-three years old, has cataracts on both eyes. Can you help him? E. C. V.
personal supervision, cataracts are very hard to cure. Would advise his coming to New York. I can cure him. In the meantime,
read the chapters on Cataract in my book and he will get a great deal of relief.
New York City.
books for small children printed in large type? P. E. S.
A—Because Boards of Education have not yet learned that
it is a strain for anyone to look at big print and a relaxation to read fine print.
San Francisco, Cal.
cannot gaze into the sun without discomfort. Do I do it incorrectly? K. Johnson.
A—Read Chapter XVII in the book.
Do not gaze into the sun but at each side of it alternately. In this way you not only swing it, but allow the rays to shine
on the eyes. This is a great benefit.
Movement, shifting of the eyes, moving the head side to side
prevents overexposure, concentration of sunlight on one area, and gets the sunlight moving upon and activating all areas of
the eyes, cornea, lens, retina.
If the sunlight is too strong, practice under a tree and let the sun shine through the
New York City.
Q—Am practicing the methods in your book to cure myopia and astigmatism.
Sometimes, for short periods, I see perfectly, then things fade away. Can you explain this? M. E. S.
what we call getting flashes of perfect sight. With continued practice these flashes will come more frequently and eventually
will become permanent. Then you are cured.