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Health is in the ‘Eye’ of the Beholder

Iridology and Sclerology Help Detect Whole-Body Issues

by Michelle Bense

While proper eye health in itself contributes to improved vision, some specialized practitioners examine the appearance of the eyes to extrapolate the state of other health conditions and systems in the body. These professionals study the colored part, or iris, of the eye—a field known as iridology—and the whites, or sclera, of the eye—known as sclerology.

Both methods involve identifying discolorations and variations in the eye that correspond to disruptions or issues occurring throughout the rest of the body. Practitioners of each discipline are trained to help a patient discover various health problems and assist in taking the steps needed to solve them. During a session, the iridologist or sclerologist usually photographs the iris and sclera using a specially designed digital camera. The resulting images are then compared to professional charts and analyzed.

Each person’s iris has a unique blend of colors, fiber density and structures, according to the Center for Iridology. These patterns represent certain energies within different body systems, which, when interpreted correctly, can indicate where underlying body weaknesses, strengths and genetic predispositions lie. Although iridology is generally believed to have originated in Europe, with various iris-related studies attributed to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century scientists in Hungary, Sweden and Germany, iris analysis appears in records dating back to ancient Babylon.

Sclerology’s beginnings are also believed to be ancient, with references to it found in 3,000-year-old Chinese writings. Medieval medical journals depict sclerology, and Native American cultures have passed down similar teachings from generation to generation. Sclerology is popular for its ability to indicate current health issues without being invasive. According to, signs of ill health can show in sclera long before symptoms arise, or before blood test findings—up to 13 months in advance.

While the two practices often overlap iridology is typically seen as an indicator of a client’s genetic weaknesses or tendencies, while sclerology shows its strength in giving clues to the body’s current status. In particular, sclerologists read stress and congestion in the body—often indicators of potential cardiac issues—as lines, colors, pigments, clouds and films in the sclera.

Iridology and sclerology can be beneficial tools for anyone whose work or practice supports the holistic well-being of others, such as massage therapists, naturopaths, chiropractors, holistic nutritionists, herbalists, energy healers and physiotherapists.

Through iridology and sclerology, a holistic health professional is able to assess areas within the body that need nutritional, energetic and spiritual support to maintain optimum health. The modalities can be valuable in confirming another diagnosis, seeing which organs are affected by an illness, indicating developing problems and more—all in a nonintrusive, educational way.

Michelle Bense is a freelance writer and editor for Natural Awakenings. Connect with her at [email protected]. March 2016.

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