Last week I was asked to attend a one-day iridology intensive for a large corporation on the Gold Coast. Over the day I looked in over 30 people’s eyes and gave them brief consultations regarding the indications I had seen. My patients were all between the ages of 30 and 50, mostly women and (here’s where I got surprised) mostly presenting with one, two or three distinct indications.
Firstly, I’ve got to say, iridology is not palm reading. I can’t look into your eyes and tell your future, nor can I tell your past. For me, iridology is a diagnostic tool that supports or adds weight to a naturopathic diagnosis. For example, during a consultation the digestive system may be coming up as something that needs attention. Looking into the patients eyes and seeing radii solaris (deposition of toxic wastes into weakened tissue of the digestive tract) or a blown out ANW (indicating loss of tone and energy of the digestive musculature of the bowel wall), backs up my diagnosis of digestive problems and can give me clues as to where to focus. It also tells me that the digestive problems are actually starting to physically affect the patient.
Now that is not to say that everyone who has those signs, has digestive problems- this is why iridology should not be used as the only means of diagnosis. The iris can indicate genetic predispositions to conditions up to 20 generations in the past. You may be showing signs that relate to your relatives, not to you personally.
Anyway, back to the quick 30! The focus of the day was iridology. There was no time to consult the patients or ask too many questions, it was all a bit “Hi, look into my eyes…” So I was pretty much guessing. And I have to say, 9 times out of 10, the guess was right! And as I mentioned above, the same three issues kept coming up time and time again. This leads me to believe that the majority of people out there can relate to one, if not all of these general conditions.
Stress Rings- The Nervous System
I would guess that about 70% of the people I saw displayed stress rings in their eyes. These rings occur in the coloured part of the iris as the result of excessive contraction and dilation of the pupil. They indicate a burdened nervous system, either from internal diseases, or stress from emotions such as worry, anger, fear, depression, and anxiety. They can also be a sign that the nervous system is lacking in essential nutrients such as magnesium, and B vitamins.
Everyone I questioned about these rings said they were, or had been stressed. And none of them stated doing anything about that stress other than just trying to ‘get through’ it.
The general treatments I listed for these busy executives included regular exercise (3 times a week), relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga, nutrient support with B vitamins and magnesium and laying off the stimulants such as coffee, tea and energy drinks. If stress is not reduced by these simple treatments, further investigation into adrenal function, or talking to a holistic counsellor was advised.
Digestive Signs- White Stomach Zone, Acid Wash, Blown Out ANW, Radii Solaris, Congested or Coloured Ruff Zone.
Again, in about 70-80% of the patients I saw, various digestive signs made themselves apparent. After questioning, almost all of these people admitted that they didn’t drink enough water, drank lots of coffee, didn’t have the best diet and often suffered from constipation or IBS symptoms.
My simple suggestions included drinking water (1.5-2L per day), cutting down the coffee, cleaning up the diet, having more fresh fruit and veggies with lots of natural fibre, and doing structured, professionally supervised yearly detoxifications.
In many people I saw signs of an acidic system, caused by acidic foods such as wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee and meat. This doesn’t mean they have acid reflux. This means their system in general is acidic, tending towards increased inflammation and free radical damage. Simply by increasing the amount of alkaline foods in their diet, (good old fruit and veg) they can help themselves become more alkaline and less inflammatory.
The radii solaris and coloured or congested ruff zones all indicated leaking gut- toxins from the bowel not being properly eliminated and leaking into other parts of the body.
It was no real surprise to see the majority of people with stress rings, also showing signs of digestive imbalance. Stress first and foremost reduces our ability to digest. Long-term stress can lead to lowered hydrochloric acid levels, leaky gut, and other digestive problems.
Lymphatic Congestion- Lymphatic Clouds and Lymphatic Rosaries
A sign I saw in about 30-40% of patients was lymphatic congestion. The lymphatic system is similar to our blood circulatory system, with vessels running all over our bodies- often right alongside our blood vessels. Instead of carrying blood, they carry lymph, a clear fluid used to transport nutrients and wastes. The heart does not pump lymph, but rather the movement of our muscles push lymph around the body, back towards the heart, emptying eventually into the vena cava.
Signs of lymphatic congestion can suggest a failure of the body to eliminate wastes correctly, not enough movement to pump lymph effectively around the body, not enough water, and too many toxins in the diet. Often I saw these signs in people with the digestive signs listed above. This could mean that their digestive systems have not been clearing wastes effectively, the toxic burden is too much, and leaky gut has developed, leading to the accumulation of toxins in the lymphatic system.
Easy suggestions to improve lymphatic functions include drinking enough water (1.5-2L per day), regular exercise (3 times a week minimum), reducing toxins in the diet, reducing caffeinated beverages, increasing fresh fruit and vegetable intake, doing regular saunas, skin brushing daily, and doing yearly structured, naturopathic detoxifications.
So after 6 hours of solid iris gazing I have come up with some simple tips for anyone out there wanting to improve their health.
• Exercise more! At least 3 times a week.
• Drink more water! At least 1.5-2L water per day.
• Drink less coffee and caffeinated beverages.
• Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
• Eat less acid forming foods (meat, sugar, dairy, wheat, grains, alcohol).
• Take up yoga and meditation.
• Do yourselves a favour and detox at least once a year.
Now I just have to work on points 1 and 6 myself! No one is perfect, we are always a work in progress, but I know my irises would love me if I included those two simple points. Not to mention my body and my mind!