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Iridology as a Diagnostic Tool

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 25 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Iridology Iridologist Health Diagnosis

Some people believe that the eyes really are a reflection of not only the soul, but the entire physical body. By looking into the iris of one’s eyes, they say, a qualified “iridologist” can actually ascertain one’s entire physical health, and prescribe plans of action to improve it.

Iridology, a type of diagnostic “science”, is a complex belief predicated on the assumption that each part of the body is represented by an area of the eye which corresponds to it.

Unlike ophthalmologists, who look into their patient’s eyes to look for signs of eye disease, iridologists claim they can tell if their patients have cancer, heart disease or other serious illness by just a quick look.

The key, they say, is to investigate pigmentation in the eye, as the location, texture and colour of specific flecks can point out specific diseases and areas of concern in the body.

Some even say they eyeball can reflect past illnesses an individual has suffered, as well as pointing out the potential for future ones.

How Iridology Developed

The concept of iridology was started by Dr Ignatz von Peczely, who made the first iridology chart more than 150 years ago. That chart, showing which parts of the iris represents parts of the body and which nerves in the eye lead to other body parts, is still in use today.

As a small boy in Hungary way back in the 1800s, Ignatz accidentally harmed a small owl. The bird’s leg was broken, and young Ignatz noticed that when he brought it back to full health, the colour of its iris had changed.

When he grew up and became a doctor, the lifetime bird-lover investigated the reason behind the colour change, and concluded that the iris – even the iris of an owl - held many secrets, pointing out health problems all over the body.

That’s why iridologists believe that the iris can show potential health problems even before symptoms show up.

Iridologists claim they by looking at the iris they can:

  • Ascertain what are the hereditary weaknesses and strengths of the body
  • Find out levels of toxicity in the body, as well as inflammation levels that can point to specific problems
  • See how well the body is eliminating toxins, a build-up of which could also lead to health problems

Health Indicator or Hogwash?

Not surprisingly, many people in the medical profession have chosen to pour scorn on iridology. Good iridologists, however, say their practice is best when done in tandem with traditional medicine, and should not be used solely on its own.

They say that it iridology can be used as an adjunct to other types of medicine, and that it can help point a traditional doctor in the right direction, but caution against using it as a diagnostic tool by itself.

As the left iris corresponds to the left side of the body, it’s not surprising, they say, that sometimes you can see a heart-shaped figure in the left part of many people’s eyes.

A Word of Caution

If you are interested in iridology, find an iridologist who sees the practice as an addition to traditional medicine, not one that replaces it with simple eye-gazing.

A good starting point would be to only see someone who is a member of the Guild of Naturopathic Iridologists, who are obliged to follow a strict set of conduct, ethics and practice as they carry out their work.

A good iridologist will point out that iridology should not tell you about what diseases you have now, but about your hereditary tendency to develop them – pointing out potential problems and helping you take real steps to avoid them.

In an ideal world, he or she should help you to boost your immune system and stay healthy, helping you to maintain health by maximising your body’s ability to heal itself.

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