Iridology

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Iridology (also known as iridodiagnosis[1]) is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents believe that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient's systemic health. Practitioners match their observations to iris charts, which divide the iris into zones that correspond to specific parts of the human body. Iridologists see the eyes as "windows" into the body's state of health.

Iridologists use the charts to distinguish between healthy systems and organs in the body and those that are overactive, inflamed, or distressed. Iridologists believe this information demonstrates a patient's susceptibility towards certain illnesses, reflects past medical problems, or predicts later health problems.

Iridology is not supported by quality research studies[2] and is considered pseudoscience and quackery by most medical practitioners and eye care professionals.[3]

Contents

Methods

Iridologists generally use equipment such as a flashlight and magnifying glass, cameras or slit-lamp microscopes to examine a patient's irises for tissue changes, as well as features such as specific pigment patterns and irregular stromal architecture. The markings and patterns are compared to an iris chart that correlates zones of the iris with parts of the body. Typical charts divide the iris into approximately 80-90 zones. For example, the zone corresponding to the kidney is in the lower part of the iris, just before 6 o'clock. There are minor variations between charts' associations between body parts and areas of the iris.

According to iridologists, details in the iris reflect changes in the tissues of the corresponding body organs. One well-known practitioner, Dr. Bernard Jensen, puts it this way: "Nerve fibers in the iris respond to changes in body tissues by manifesting a reflex physiology that corresponds to specific tissue changes and locations."[4] This means that a bodily condition translates to a noticeable change in the appearance of the iris. For example, acute inflammatory, chronic inflammatory and catarrhal signs may indicate involvement, maintenance, or healing of corresponding distant tissues, respectively. Other features that iridologists look for are contraction rings and Klumpenzellen, which may indicate various other health conditions, as interpreted in context.

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