Lots of wonderful alternatives are available in holistic health care. Many of us remember getting excited then overwhelmed at our first encounter; mine occurred visiting a NYC alternative health expo. The sheer number (over a hundred in NYC) can leave you in a quandary—which is best for me? Fortunately a few modalities act as a guiding light by which to navigate through all the rest, because the first line of defense in healing and wholeness is an intelligent and thorough assessment before starting any treatment at all. In this arena, diagnostics, your choices are narrowed down considerably; and a good iridologist may be your best bet.

Most allopathic (mainstream medical) tests are limited in scope, quite expensive, and are constrained to problems that have manifested symptoms already. The trouble is, these symptoms often don’t get our attention (or our MD’s attention) during years of subclinical stages. So if we want to know which body system is sub-performing, genetically weak or what the general state of our health is, we need a broad, timely diagnostic assessment that goes beyond the familiar health history form. There are others. A good “medical intuitive” can be invaluable (my daughter-in-law learned amazing things about her body over the phone from one.) You may have tried hair and blood analysis (both very accurate but limited in scope) and on the more esoteric level, energy healers attuned to morphic and psychic fields. But what we want is a plain, physical, in-our-face (literally!) map of our bodies.

Iridology is such a map; a whole-body, non-intrusive discovery technique that is based on reading the colored part of our eye, the iris. Amazingly, the condition of every body system and organ can be seen in the left or right eye. This is because nerve impulses constantly convey and leave an audit trail, which builds up over time in the trabeculae, or iris fibers. A trained practitioner can quickly and accurately determine both our genetic weaknesses (“did I inherit my mother’s weak heart?”), and organs presently under stress from current or past trauma. With training and experience an iridologist can read our body like a book, using only a light source and optical lens for tools, plus a micro-photograph to track changes.

The first thing an iridologist will check is the constitution. By this the iridologist means the inherited strength of resistance and inherited weaknesses; in short our genetic bank account. Just as being born into an affluent family give us financial strength, so being born of parents who pass on strong genetics insures our ability to resist all the debilitating influences of environment, toxins, stress, and trauma. Our constitution is not the same thing as our health at a given time, rather it’s our inherent ability to sustain health.

Every organ is found mapped in a particular sector of either the right or left iris (or both, as in the case of medial organs like the thyroid.) The absence of a mark in one of these regions indicates a healthy condition in the corresponding organ; deviations or irregularities from what should be a smooth blanket of fibers are noted on a chart, and the iridologist will then look for marks in allied organs. For example, a particular mark that shows up on the heart will be double-checked in the medulla sector of the brain that influences heartbeat. In this way the underlying causes of malfunction are often exposed along with contributing causes in other body systems and organs.

The iridologist goes over the entire body record depicted in the irides, carefully noting the findings on an iridology chart and perhaps using a computer-assisted pictorial chart. This yields a ‘map’ of our body that can be addressed by herbal, chiropractic, energy or other regimen of our choice. Most iridologists are also herbalists and can start us off with a regimen that addresses our immediate concerns. We walk away with a whole body assess-ment that can be used as primary diagnosis or even a second opinion with a medical diagnostic. For example, if diagnosed as having an under-active thyroid, an iridologist might see that it’s the result of a weak pituitary gland. Rather than be on thyroid medication for life, the pituitary can be strengthened to solve the hypothyroidism, and likely other problems triggered by a weak pituitary gland.

The strength of iridology as a detection technique inheres from its total body view, and in its prescience—ability to detect a tissue condition in the early stages before it advances (over eight to fifteen years!) to the chronic stage where most allopathic diagnoses catch it. Early detection means a correspondingly mild corrective and avoids the costly, heroic measures that plague treatment of chronic or degenerative conditions.

Abroad, iridology enjoys popular mainstream medical acceptance in Europe, South America, Korea and Russia. China has used it for millennia. Here in America the lack of insurance coverage or inclusion in teaching institutions has held back availability or encouragement among doctors. Fortunately for us this is changing, as baby boomers are taking responsibility for their own health. The now-famous Cassileth study at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center disclosed a surprising correlation between education level and selection of an alternative/complementary practitioner as secondary or even primary health care provider. College trained individuals were found to be 24% more likely to use an alternative practitioner than those with only High School diplomas. Among those with advanced degrees, the use of alternative providers was even higher, until at the PhD level 89% were using unorthodox therapy either exclusively, or in combination with a traditional provider. This means that an amazing 9 out of 10 PhDs are using alternative remedies. The twenty-year-old (1984) study shocked the medical establishment, which had expected to find alternative health users either uneducated or last gasp sufferers willing to try anything! Since then, another milestone has been reached: visits to non-traditional practitioners now exceed total visits to mainstream doctors, and is climbing every year.

A detection technique like iridology is remarkably affordable, especially considering the wealth of information it can provide. The trend toward true understanding of the body is likely to continue as the public finds increasing numbers of broadly trained practitioners, the mainstream continues to explore non-traditional modalities, and the health system expands coverage to include those that prove most effective and efficient.

Harvey B. Vedder

540 Broadway, New York NY 10012
212 968-0230

Author's Bio: 

Retired Verizon Data Communication Engineer.
Co-founder of New York Center for Iridology, a holistic clinic and professional training center.
Subject Matter Expert on NYC's hundred-odd Holistic Modalities operating outside the medical mainstream.
Frequent lecturer and teacher on holistic and other subjects. Host of several Meetup groups in NYC.