An iridologist practices iridology, a form of holistic medicine where the iris in each eye reflects the health of the body. The iris is the colored portion of the eye that opens and closes to control the amount of light hitting the retina. Iridology divides the iris into sectors that correspond to all the parts of the body. By studying the purity and intensity of the iris color and composition of the iris fibers, an iridologist can make predictions about the patient’s health.
Iridology contends that the nervous system, which is constantly surveying the health of the human body and reporting back to the brain, is also connected to the eye. The irides in the eyes mirror the health of the body, with defective areas in the iris acting as markers for disease or medical conditions within the body. For an iridologist, the most important tool is the iris chart. This is a map of the iris showing which parts of the irides correspond to different parts of the body. For example, the area surrounding the inner edge of the iris mirrors the health of the stomach and the outer edge of the left iris reflects the health of the heart and lungs.
During an iridology examm the iridologist takes a highly magnified image of each eye with a special camera called an iriscope. The practitioner of iridology then closely examines the images of the irides by either magnifying the images on a computer or by using a strong magnifying glass. Areas of the irides where the pigmentation is impure or the structure of the iris fibers is unhealthy are recorded. The practitioner of iridology then compares this record of flawed areas to the iris chart. Finally, the iridologist composes a a summary of the patient’s health based on his irides.
Many practitioners of iridology also believe that genetic predisposition to a disease can be evaluated using this discipline. When a patient has a healthy heart but the practitioner notices a flaw in the sector of the iris corresponding to the heart, the assumption is that the patient may have a genetic propensity to develop heart problems. Iridologists can thus provide general warnings about possible future health problems. This prediction may allow the patient to modify her behavior to mitigate or possibly avoid the medical condition.
Some iridologists may also practice behavioral iridology, a discipline in which the health of the irides provides information about the patient’s personality traits and even professional aptitude. A practitioner of behavioral iridology would review the irides, making notes about color and fiber structure and then comparing the findings to a behavioral iris chart. This type of chart divides the different sectors of the irides into various personality traits, such as self-reliance, jealously, and anger. The practitioner can then provide insight into the patient’s personality and make recommendations about career and life choices.