What is it?
About 200 years ago, Dr. Ignatz von Peczely and Nils Liljequist discovered a relationship between a person's health and various markings and discolorations in the iris of the eye. These two men and others that followed developed a practice now known as iridology.
Iridology is thought to show inflammation in the body, where it is located, and if it is in an acute or chronic state. Iris diagnosis is also thought to reveal a person's constitution, their weaknesses, their level of health, and previous health changes they have made in their lifestyle.
Many alternative doctors use this form of analysis with other diagnostic techniques to help understand the state of their patient. Iridology is not an exact science but it is helpful in determining an individuals strengths and weaknesses and can help in monitoring a person's health over a long period. Iridologists often document the results of their treatments with patients by periodically photographing the iris and seeing the improvements in the structures in the eye.
Iridology cannot diagnose illness in the body. It is thought to identify tendencies in certain areas that would allow specific diseases to develop.
During the first visit to an iridologist, the doctor will ask many questions about your health and eating habits. A physical exam may also be done. You may also have other tests, such as blood work. The iridologist will look into the eyes or photograph the eyes with a special camera that shows the small details of the iris.
The practitioner will evaluate the photograph and look for any abnormalities that indicate stress, weakness, irritation, or nutritional deficiency. Further study of the depth and position of the markings on the eye will help determine the area of the body affected and the severity and stage of the problem.
The iris diagnosis is performed by placing a transparent iris chart over the photograph of the patient's eye. Any abnormality, lesion, or discoloration is now correlated with the organ by observing its position on the eye.
For example, a weakness in the liver (which is on the right side of the body) is thought to be indicated by a lesion located at about eight o'clock on the right iris. Kidney problems would be detected by a lesion located at either 5:30 on the right or 6:30 on the left iris (depending on which kidney was affected).
The doctor would use this information, along with any clues gained through the intake and other tests, to put together a treatment plan to correct the problems. Most iridology treatments are natural remedies, such as dietary suggestions, herbs, homeopathy, natural supplements, exercise, massage, and detoxification. Changes in a person's iris markings would be monitored periodically on return visits. Adjustments to the treatment would be based on the remaining symptoms and the remaining abnormalities on the iris.
Iridology is not taught in any medical, naturopathic, or chiropractic college. Most people using iridology study after they received their degree in post graduate workshops and seminars. Other practitioners using iridology may include nutritionists, herbalists, and other natural health consultants.
1. Cassileth BR: The Alternative Medicine Handbook, 1st ed. WW Norton & Company, NY, NY; 1998.
2. Inglis B & West R: The Alternative Health Guide. Alfred A. Knopf, NY, NY; 1983.
3. Jensen B: Iridology Simplified. Iridologists International, Escondido, CA; 1980.
4. Kastner MA: Alternative Healing: The Complete A to Z Guide to Over 160 Different Alternative Therapies. Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, CA; 1993.
5. Woodham A & Peters D: Encyclopedia of Healing Therapies, 1st ed. Dorling Kindersley, NY, NY; 1997.
Last Updated: 1/27/2017