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Iris signs fall into two main categories:

  • Genotype – iris markings that are inherited through the family gene pool.
  • Phenotype – signs in the irises that are acquired through lifestyle choices and traumas.

Inherited signs provide information about the constitution of a person – their make-up and physical tendencies from birth. Acquired signs arise as a result of the neuro-optic reflex – a pathway that connects the layers of the iris with the nervous system. Stimulation of the nervous system evokes a response, which, over time leaves a visible marking on the iris.

Nerve supply

The iris has a rich supply of nerves. Along the margin of the iris they form a network from which nerve filaments are given off to the muscle fibres and other structures of the iris. Some of these nerve filaments also go to form a complete network on the surface of the iris immediately underneath the surface endothelium.

The muscles of the iris are controlled by sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, which influence pupil dilation and contraction. Ciliary nerves innervate the sphincter pupillae and ciliaris muscles to constrict the iris and change the shape of the lens, allowing the eye to focus on nearby objects.

It is estimated that there are an additional 28,000 nerves supplying the iris for which medical science has yet to find a function.

Layers of the iris

The Iris is constructed of layers, which undergo observable changes (visible as white, dark and black markings) as the body responds to disease conditions. Each of the layers represents one of four stages of tissue activity, by noting which layer is affected the iridologist can suggest what the nature of the problem is.

Acute stage: The body tissue is active, inflamed and possibly painful. The iris is visibly white in the corresponding reflex area. This sign is also associated with catarrh and mucus elimination. The areas of lightness occur as the fibers rise up from the surface of the iris, appearing to be white.

Sub-acute stage: Tissues become under-active as the nerve supply is exhausted. Nutrients are depleted and circulation compromised as a result of fatigue. The white areas become darkened as the tissue integrity is lowered. Some individuals may be born with this level as weakness can be passed genetically from parent to child.

Chronic stage: Conditions are conducive for the development of serious disease – metabolic wastes are not eliminated, cellular activity is congested and nerve impulses deaden. It is estimated that 80% of illness in Western society are chronic in nature. Correction of a chronic condition will take perseverance and often a change in lifestyle.

Degeneration stage: This appears on the iris as black holes where fibres have disappeared from view. It indicates a serious condition of ill health in the body.

By monitoring changes in a patient’s iris, improvements to the condition of the body can be observed and disease processes noted and acted upon before they become serious.

I see patients both for preventative treatment and those with a diagnosed or often non-diagnosed illness.

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