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Iridology

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Iridology is a diagnostic technique based on the theory that the health of the body's organs is reflected in specific parts of the iris (the colored ring around the dark pupil in the eye).  A practitioner examines the iris for specific colors, patterns and other characteristics to assess the patient's spiritual, mental and physical health.  Specific charts have been developed which separate the iris into specific regions (usually between 80 and 90), which correspond to parts of the body.  A practitioner uses these charts, coupled with their observations of the iris to interpret their findings.  With this technique, both current health concerns and past problems can be assessed.  As stated above, iridology is strictly diagnostic, not a treatment method.  For this reason, practitioners of iridology use other means of treatment for their patients.

Iridology was first developed by a Hungarian physician by the name of Ignatz von Peczely, who published a book called The Discovery in Natural History and Medical Science, a Guide to the Study and Diagnosis from the Eye, in 1881.  He attributed the discovery of this link between organ systems and the eye to a childhood experience where the leg of an owl broke and suddenly a black stripe appeared in the owl's iris.  Further development of the field occurred in Germany, by Pastor Felke who established The Felke Institute in Gerlingen, Germany.  In the 1950s Bernard Jensen, DC, PhD popularized iridology in the United States, through teaching his own method of this technique.

Iridology is not well accepted among most of the conventional medical community and is not included in allopathic medical curriculum.  This is mainly due to the lack of scientific research to confirm the validity of iridology.  This may be due in part to the difficulty researchers have encountered in acquiring funding for such research.  The research that has been conducted has not shown significant success in diagnosing with iridology.  The main concerns from critics of this technique are that incorrect diagnosis may be made with iridology resulting in incorrect treatment and delay of diagnosis of actual problems.  Supporters point out that it is a non-invasive tool and that a variety of conditions can be diagnosed prior to detection with other current diagnostic methods.

Currently, there are no regulations or licensures for iridology in the United States.  There are a wide range of institutions that offer training in iridology and certification courses in irridology.

Author: Bronwyn Bacon, ND '09

Sources:

Reiki.nu
www.reiki.nu/treatment/healing/dictionary2/dicitonary2.html

The Institute of Natural Medicine
www.institutenaturaltherapies.com/cmg.html


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