The Eyes Have It! It is often said that you can tell much about what someone is thinking just by looking into their eyes. But can you also gauge their state of health? This is what iridology claims to do.
Because there are many nerve endings in the eye, all linked to the body's organs, iridologists assert that examination of the eye, especially the iris, its colour (or discolouration) and any markings, can indicate problems in other parts of the body and reveal inherited weaknesses and strengths in your general health, such as a tendency towards a particular disease.
It is not a restorative therapy, it doesn't cure and it doesn't pinpoint particular ailments, it merely identifies any weaknesses or over activity in the body so that future problems can be avoided. For example, if the pancreas is seen to be under active, it could indicate a condition like diabetes. Iridology also claims to recognise where toxins and inflammation could be, as well as certain chemical deficiencies. As such, it also claims that it can determine your general state of health and constitution.
For example, the area immediately around the pupil is said to relate to the stomach and the area around that represents the intestines. Today, iridologists say that the pattern of the iris is like a genetic map of the body, showing their inherited traits and this is how they can pinpoint weaknesses. In the same way, any changes in this pattern can reflect changes in the body.
When was it developed?
A Hungarian doctor called Ignatz von Peczely developed the theory of modern iridology in the 19th-century. The story is that when he was a child, he was attempting to release a trapped owl when the bird broke its leg. At the time, he observed that a dark mark appeared in the owl's iris, which gradually turned white as the leg healed. On becoming a doctor, his whole career was concerned with mapping his patients' illnesses via markings in the iris and his chart was established in 1880.
In 1950, an American doctor, Bernard Jensen drew a very detailed chart of the iris which linked all the organs of the body to it. Since then, other charts have been drawn based on research from around the world.
Why the eyes?
The optic nerve is made up of many thousands of nerve fibres and about 2,800 of these end in the eyes. Therefore, as eyes receive information directly from the brain, iridologists claim that the eyes are an ideal place to look for details of what is going on in the body. In this way, it is a bit like reflexology,
a discipline where it is said that the food is a good indication of the state of the body because of the nerves that end there. It is thought that the studying of reflex areas is a very important tool when trying to find the underlying cause of disease.
What happens at a consultation?
An iridologist will usually examine your eyes with a magnifying glass and make detailed sketches of the irises. Nowadays, they may also use a special camera to produce a transparency or even an image on a computer screen. They will look at the colour of the iris and any markings and then usually ask you further questions about your medical history and lifestyle, based on what they see because it is important to gain an all-round picture to discover the cause behind the problem. A mark in the iris may indicate a particular problem area but within each individual, there may be many possible chemical, reflex, nerve, spiritual and mental reasons for that particular problem.
It is important to note that they will not diagnose a particular disease, but identify areas that might be causing a problem, or weak areas where certain symptoms to develop if they are not dealt with. However, if the iridologist is trained in other areas, such as homeopathy, acupuncture or reflexology, they may suggest treatments to address your weaknesses.
For a register of qualified iridologists, send an sae to:
Guild of Naturopathic Iridologists
94 Grosvenor Road
Tel: 020 7834 3579