Winter 1995 (3.4)
A Boy, an Owl and a Broken Wing
Iridology: Medical Diagnosis Via the Eye
by Chelsea Summers
These days governments all over the world are fiercely debating how to lower health care costs while maintaining or even improving the quality of medical care. Preventive medicine is clearly part of the formula and one kind of diagnosis that lends itself to preventive treatment is Iridology, the study of the irides (plural of iris) of the eyes.
Iridology offers a non-invasive way of studying the body from the outside to determine conditions and weaknesses that are occurring internally. It is based upon the principle that the iris provides a map to the entire internal system of the body.
Analysis is made by closely examining the iris for unique spots, circles, color changes, and lucidity (clearness). The goal of iridology is identify weaknesses in tissue early enough and rebuild it through nutritional and herbal therapy before chronic diseases have a chance to develop.
Though even the earliest physicians have noted the significance of studying the eye to determine a patient's general condition of health, the field of Iridology got its first major boost quite accidentally from an 11 year old Hungarian boy. Ignatz von Peczely (1826-1911) accidentally broke the leg of an owl one day.
Very soon afterwards, he noticed that a black stripe mysteriously appeared in the lower part of the bird's eye. As time passed and the leg healed, the black stripe was replaced by white crooked lines. The phenomenon made a strong impression on the curious lad who grew up to become a doctor and study the reflex relationships between the various markings on the iris and the rest of the body. Von Peczely became convinced that the iris mirrored tissue changes of various organs. The eye charts he drew locating these correlations of the body in the eye laid the foundation for the field called Iridology.
Azerbaijan and Iridology
In Azerbaijan, the concepts of Iridology, (known as "Irido-diagnostics" in Russian) were introduced by Dr. Zarifa Aliyeva, the late wife of Azerbaijan's President, Heydar Aliyev. An ophthalmologist by profession, she co-authored the first book in the Soviet Union about Irido-Diagnostics along with Y.S. Velkhover, N.B. Shulpina, and I.N. Romashov.
The book was published in Baku in 1982, three years before she passed away. Since Iridology requires a very broad clinical and anatomical knowledge, Dr. Aliyeva drew upon her own expertise along with the other writers who had trained in neuropathology and surgery.
The book is the result of their investigation as well as research from around the world including that of one of the world's leading Iridologists, Bernard Jensen, 86, who is still fairly active in Escondido, California.
Dr. Aliyeva's legacy to the field of Iridology is still being developed in Azerbaijan. A laboratory has been organized in Azerbaijan's Center of Oncology which deals with the Irido-diagnosis of cancer. According to Dr. Jamil Aliyev, its Director, and brother to Aliyeva, one student has already defended a doctoral dissertation addressing the early Irido-diagnosis of breast cancer, demonstrating that the early signs of breast cancer result in a pre-tumorous illness which can be identified and determined by definite changes in the iris.
What Iridology Can Do
According to Bernard Jensen, who has spent more than 50 years studying the iris, iridology provide a holistic approach as it views the body as a unified structure, providing clues to constitutional strength and health level. Basically, Iridology can determine if their are any current, chronic and degenerative weaknesses present. It has the ability to show the location of environmentally obtained toxic accumulations.
Computer generated topographic map showing damaged tissue in the heart zone of the iris. Permission: Jensen from "Iridologists International and the Allied Healing Arts," Vol VI, 1, 1991.
It can pinpoint the acid / catarrh level in the body and location of such accumulation. It can tell the quality of nerve force in the body and the condition of the nervous system. During the healing process, it can provide indications about how well the body is healing itself and at what rate.
Limitations of Iridology
Iridologists don't generally make claims specifically naming the disease a person may have. Instead they try to see situations and conditions developing long before there are symptoms to which disease names are attached.
According to Jensen, there are some things beyond the scope of Iridology diagnostics, at least at the level it has currently been developed. Iridology cannot reveal if operations that have been performed under anesthesia because nerve impulses are short circuited under such conditions. It does not reveal pregnancy since this is a normal condition for the female body. It cannot tell you what accident has occurred although it can identify damaged tissue in the affected region. It is not a psychic phenomenon but a clear diagnosis based on structures that are visible in the iris.
Iridology examination in Baku.
Many doctors trained from the Western model of medicine which excludes Alternative Medicine don't quite know what to make of iridology. Some have referred to iridologists as quacks and charlatans and attempted to discredit them by claiming their work is unscientific and unsupported. But the field is extremely popular in countries such as China and other countries where preventive medicine is the norm.
And it's likely to gain an even larger following in the West as people look to preventive medicine for better health care. Many years of patient study and experience go into the making of a qualified and skilled specialist in iridology. "We have only begun to learn what the iris has to teach. There's more to the iris than the iridologist will ever know", insists Jensen. Computer technology is helping to make the diagnosis easier and more accurate as topographic maps of the iris can now be constructed that vividly show the qualities of tissue ranging from acute to chronic and degenerative.
Jala Garibova contributed to this article.
For more information, contact Iridologists international, 24360 Old Wagon Road, Escondido. CA 92027; Tel: (619) 749-2727 or Fax: (619) 749-1248.
All iridology photos are reprinted with permission from Dr. Bernard Jensen, from his book, "Iridology: The Science and Practice in the Healing Arts," Vol II, 1982.
From Azerbaijan International (3.4) Winter 1995.
© Azerbaijan International 1995. All rights reserved.