Iridology is the study of the iris (colored part of the eye) with the intention of gaining information about underlying diseases. Naturopaths and other practitioners may use this technique.
Iridology is based on the belief that each body region and organ is represented at one specific location in the iris. Abnormalities in a region are suggested to correspond to abnormalities in the respective organ. This technique was developed in Budapest, Hungary in the 1800s by the physician Ignatz von Pezcely. Iridology was later adapted by Bernard Jensen, an American chiropractor. Jensen based his practice on detailed diagrams of the left and right irises, assigning every organ, many body parts, and several bodily functions to a specific location on one or both irises.
The popularity of iridology grew in the 1900s. Iridologists visually access the iris of their patients by direct examination or by studying close-up photographs. Some iridologists use sclerology, a technique that studies lines on the sclera (the white part of the eye), which they believe can show changes in health patterns and conditions. The Rayid model may also be used, which studies eye patterns with the aim to evaluate mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical balance.
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