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Does Iridology Really Work?

Iridology is a form of alternative medicine. Now right at this moment your alarm bells should be going off. In fact I’m going to go out on a limb and state that if something is marked as an alternative remedy – then chances are it doesn’t quite work or at least isn’t proven to work. It sounds harsh but think about it – if it was proven to work then modern medicine would have adopted it and it wouldn’t need to be ‘alternative’ anymore. I’ve offended roughly half the population with that statement, and I’m sorry, but sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind.

If you’d still like to read on, then we’ll look at iridology in particular and whether this is the exception that proves the rule.

How Does Iridology (Claim to) Work

So iridology, what is it? Basically this is the belief that it’s possible to infer things about the systemic health of a patient by looking at the characteristics of their iris. This uses an iris chart which splits the iris into specific zones which are believed to correspond to particular parts of the body. There are 80-90 zones in total, and the practitioner will use a flash light or slit-lamp microscope in order to look for tissue changes, irregular stromal architecture and articular pigment patterns.

So if the lower part of the iris just before the 6’oclock position demonstrates unusual patterning then this might indicate a problem with the kidneys. This is generally accepted as the designated kidney zone, but it’s worth noting that there are variations from chart to chart regarding which parts of the body refer to which parts of the iris. This should give you a little more idea about just how reliable this process is. Iridologists also look for ‘contraction rings’ and ‘klumpenzellen’ which are claimed to indicate ‘various’ health conditions dependent on context.

Evidence

Hopefully you will have noted by now that this is not a particular scientific approach to health, and science/modern medicine has rejected it thusly. Published studies have so far shown entirely negative results with no correlation between the predictions of iridology and the reality of individuals’ health. In fact there is no evidence to suggest that observable changes in the iris are indicative of anything aspect of health or wellbeing and in controlled settings iridology predictions have proven no more successful than random chance in predicting the presence of disease.

And of course the most damning piece of evidence here is simply that the iris does not undergo change throughout the duration of our lives. This is a phenotypical feature dictated by genetics and does not change after birth. Thus the only thing that an iridologist could honestly tell you about your health is that you had a sty or a piece of dust in your eye.

So in short no, iridology does not work. The eyes might be the window to the soul, but they can tell us very little about our health through iris changes. That said, a well-trained optician can tell certain things about our health by examining the eyes – for instance spotting signs of brain tumor.





Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics. He lives in London, England with his girlfriend and in his spare time he enjoys climbing, travelling, playing games, reading comics and eating sandwiches. Circle Adam on Google+! 

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  • Comment #1 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I rated this comment poor, because your information is purely based on opinion. I can tell you emphatically that Iridology has totally helped me recover from some serious health issues. I am feeling so much better since following the recommendations from my Iridologist. I can tell you from first-hand experience that having this done saved my life. My Dr. was against me having this done, after telling me that he could not find the cause of my health problem. All he did was examine me send me for several test and wrote prescriptions that made me feel worse. This is a well-known and respected practice in the holistic world. I will continue to have this done and share how wonderful and helpful it is with my family and friends. Western medicine tends to just put a band aid on problems. It is rare that a solution to the issue is resolved. I am so much better off health wise by going the natural holistic route.
     
  • Comment #2 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    Modern medicine would have adopted it? Right, of course they would... give me a break.
     
  • Comment #3 (Posted by an unknown user)
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    I have had friends and relatives treated by both medical Dr's and Iridologists. Medical Dr's did not pick up on early cancer when Iridology did...because of iridology and other alternative testing they are alive today to tell their story! There's a reason why Medical Dr's catch cancer in the late stages when it's already too late to treat. It's not often they catch something early, and it's usually because of an patient insisting they get tested fully or there is a visible growth. I wish more medical dr's would work together with alternative medicine. I feel it's the best chance for survival. Then again if that happened the pharmaceutical companies and medical practices would lose a lot of money...God forbid they lose money to give the best to help save a life...but oops that's just my opinion.
     


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