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For over one hundred years, researchers have studied the links between health and the patterns, colors, and textures of the iris. In the United States, Dr. Bernard Jensen brought the art of reading the iris into the twentieth century. In Visions of Health, Drs. Jensen and Bodeen describe the basics of iris analysis in easy-to-understand language with dozens of illustrations and color photos, as well as charts for reading your own eyes and those of friends. They believe that with this book in hand, you can ...
For over one hundred years, researchers have studied the links between health and the patterns, colors, and textures of the iris. In the United States, Dr. Bernard Jensen brought the art of reading the iris into the twentieth century. In Visions of Health, Drs. Jensen and Bodeen describe the basics of iris analysis in easy-to-understand language with dozens of illustrations and color photos, as well as charts for reading your own eyes and those of friends. They believe that with this book in hand, you can recognize weaknesses in the iris and adjust your lifestyle to achieve optimum health.
What This Book Is About . . .
• This book shows you how to look into eyes and tell the body’s inherent weaknesses and strengths.
• This book explains why some people are nearly always well in spite of their indiscretions, while others who try to take care of themselves are sick.
• This book explains the meaning of colors seen in the eyes and how eye color can be changed or modified.
• This book reveals what you can and cannot learn from the eyes using iridology.
• This book tells you the four most important things to take care of in order to gain and maintain better health.
• This book shows the importance of integrating other natural-health-care disciplines, especially nutrition, with iridology in order to build health.
The dictionary definition here is reprinted with permission from W. B. Saunders Co. It is from Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 27th edition © 1988 by W. B. Saunders Co.
The photographs on the back cover and the artwork and black-and-white photographs on pages 9, 22–23, 25, 26, 30, 32, 42, 64, 68, 148–149, 150–151, 152–153, and 156 are copyrighted by and used with permission from Dr. Bernard Jensen.
It sometimes seems a great sacrifice to dedicate one’s life to a truth or a belief. Yet because of this unselfish application of certain individuals, truth takes on real meaning. I humbly acknowledge my gratitude to the mentors I have had who have, through their dedication, helped me to put light in dark places. I hope I have used their knowledge wisely for the benefit of the wholistic healing arts and mankind.
Iridology has been something of an orphan. No healing art in particular has seen fit to adopt it, to be identified with it. It is a fact of life that most new concepts are at first rebuffed. I have found iridology to be a most useful tool. Married to nutrition, it has been indispensable in practice. As with nutrition and all things ahead of their time, I believe, iridology’s day in the sun is in the process of arriving.
The authors wish to thank their wives, Marie Jensen and Joyce Bodeen, without whose assistance and understanding, life would be infinitely more difficult.
We also wish to thank our publisher, the Avery Publishing Group, and its staff for all their kindness, patience, and professional assistance in the preparation of this book.
Do you believe that you are what you eat? Today, the overwhelming majority of people will answer “yes.” With this thought in mind, Dr. Bernard Jensen has dedicated his life to the search for good health through nutritional excellence. Internationally acclaimed and the author of numerous books, he has guided people to improve their quality of life and health by changing their eating habits. Dr. Jensen, at age 83—but looking twenty years younger!—is a living example of how we can achieve perfect harmony between the physical and the emotional. In addition, with improved nutritional habits, we can help to reduce the killer stress factor that is all too prevalent in our daily lives.
As a United Kingdom-trained chartered physiotherapist, I was attracted to iridology through my own medical and nutritional interests in association with my husband’s profession as an optometrist. Fascinated by the wealth of information about the body that the eye reveals, I was drawn to the philosophies and ideals as expounded by Dr. Jensen in his books and seminars. It was at one of these seminars that I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Donald Bodeen, whom, as Dr. Jensen’s colleague, has contributed greatly towards the pioneering of iridology and its acceptance as an effective analytical method that can be used by all health practitioners.
The hope for the future is that the intensive research and analysis that are currently being undertaken will lead us to a greater understanding of our physical and nutritional needs to enable us to achieve a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.
—Sheila Spivack, Grad. Dip. Phys., M.C.S.P., S.R.P.
Iridology is exciting! If you like excitement, you will like this book. The excitement of iridology stems from the thought that if tissue integrity throughout the body can be assessed by simply observing the color and structure of the iris, then a new and wonderful world of diagnostics and preventive medicine could thereby unfold before us. If this is so, why, you may ask, hasn’t the science of iridology already made a smashing debut in the theatre of the healing arts? This book will tell you why. The science of iridology has been a sleeping giant. But of late, the giant has been stirring.
Iridology is controversial. Once you know what constitutes the science and practice of iris diagnosis, you will find it impossible to leave it alone. You will be compelled to investigate it in depth and then to either reject it or embrace it. You will find no middle ground. If iridology is true, it is nothing short of astounding, and the logical extensions of its philosophy will be enough to cause modern orthodox medicine to re-examine some of its most cherished principles. If false, it has to be the tragic product of misguided, albeit well-intentioned, people who mistakenly devoted the better part of their professional lives to its philosophy, practice, and promotion. But there is one thing iridology is not: it is not dull!
If you have eyes to see, iridology is for you. You don’t have to be a health-care professional. You don’t have to be a college graduate. And you don’t have to be an expert to prove to yourself the validity and the benefits of reading the iris. The pages of this book will guide you step-by-step to the place where you, with no equipment other than a flashlight and simple magnifying glass, can examine your own eyes or the eyes of a friend and gain accurate and valuable information. How you utilize this information can be instrumental for you in attaining and maintaining health. You will learn how the eye is more than just “the window of the soul.” Iridology will lend new meaning to the phrase, “the ‘eyes’ have it!” Let’s not waste another moment. Enjoy!
Iris analysis is catching on. It’s coming out of seclusion. A technique once known and practiced by only a few, iridology—as it is called—is being discovered by a greater number of people. Founded in the late nineteenth century in Hungary, iris analysis is now being studied in many countries of the world. Not long ago, Soviet officials announced that it is being taught in medically oriented institutions in the U.S.S.R. The Chinese recently translated modern iridology textbooks into their language. Iris analysis is in growing use in most of Europe, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South America, Asia, and the United States.
Iridology is the art and science of analyzing the color and structure of the iris of the eye to gain valuable health information. “Amazing” and “controversial” are two words often associated with it. It is both. It is amazing to all who see its wonders but do not yet perceive its secrets. It is controversial because of its struggle for acceptance by contemporary medicine as a valid examination method.
The story of modern iris analysis is the story of its discoverers and pioneers. Studying iridology is learning its philosophy of health and disease. It is taking the time to explore its territory, learn its unique landmarks, and practice its principles.
Iris analysis does not stand alone. It is part of a larger family. Its close relatives are the numerous branches of the natural and drugless healing arts. Its marriage partner is the art and science of nutrition, to which it is joined for all time.
If you have ever wondered about the secrets the iris can reveal, come with me now and explore. In Part One of this book, I will introduce you to iris analysis—its history, tools, language, and major signs. I will also explain, in layman’s terms, how and why it works. In Part Two, I will help you put to use what you learned in Part One. Learn well, and enjoy the learning. You will not regret the time you put in, and you will use your new knowledge and skills forever.
Overview of Iridology
All cure starts from within out, from the head down, and in the reverse order as the symptoms appeared.
—Hering’s Law of Cure
The Big Picture
This story belongs to the eye. And we are going to let the eye tell it from its special point of view. The iris is a wonderful and colorful storyteller. By definition, the iris is that portion of the eye surrounding the pupil and giving the eye its distinctive color. It is the pigmentation of the iris that defines your baby blues or bashful browns. Since humans come equipped with a left and right iris, they possess one set of irides.
Iridology (i-rid-doll’-o-jee) is “the study of the iris, particularly of its color, markings, changes, etc., as associated with disease.” This is according to the twenty-seventh edition of Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary. The word “iris,” like so many words in medicine, stems from the Greek and means “rainbow.” Another translation is “halo.” The iris surrounds the pupil of the eye and might easily be thought of as a kind of halo encircling it. More descriptively, however, it is a rainbow because of its color or colors.
The iris is the most distinctively colored portion of the eye. It is what we see in our mind when we think of a beautiful eye color. Your iris is your personal rainbow. The precept of iridology is that valuable information concerning a person’s health and well-being can be obtained by studying this rainbow. What irides reveal, and the fascinating way in which they relay the information, is the subject of this book.
It is very important to mention that information from the irides can be obtained quickly, painlessly, and inexpensively. That in itself ought to gain everyone’s attention! Furthermore, a practitioner skilled in iris analysis can glean this information using nothing more than a simple, hand-held light source and a small magnifying lens. Expensive and complex equipment is not necessary to read an iris, although such apparatus is available for the serious, practicing iridologist and iridology researcher.
The practice of iridology is a covalent bond of science and art. Because iridology is practiced according to certain long-established and time-honored principles that constitute a rather well-defined and expanding body of knowledge, it rightly falls into the category of a science. At the same time, this fascinating science has some aspects of an art.
An iridologist must be able to exercise mental faculties that are not usually accessed through cold, scientific methodology. The iridologist’s thinking must be broader. In keeping with the wholistic approach of iris analysis, the iridologist’s attention must be focused on the person as much as on the person’s complaints. Diseases can be dealt with scientifically; people are better dealt with artfully. Quality service to people seeks and employs the best of both dimensions, recognizing the unique value of each.
They say that there is nothing new under the sun. Maybe there isn’t. But sometimes it takes a long time, even thousands of years, for people to rediscover things. What they find may have been discovered before, but it surely is new to them. Such is the case with iridology. You may be surprised to learn that the idea of iridology, if not its practice, is nearly 2,000 years old, possibly even older. The idea is found in the Bible. Consider the verse in the sixth chapter of the book of St. Matthew. In verse twenty-two, we read, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” The Old English of the King James Version can be modernized to read, “The light of the body is the eye: so if your eye is pure, your whole body shall be full of light.” Using iridology, we can see how the “purity,” or “integrity,” of the iris reflects the condition of tissues everywhere in the body.
You are now making your own discovery of iridology. For you, it is something new under the sun.
MEET DR. VON PECZELY AND REVEREND LILJEQUIST
Two European men who “rediscovered” the idea of iris analysis in the nineteenth century are generally considered today to share the title of “father of iridology.” The first of these men is Dr. Ignatz von Peczely. (See Figure 1.1.) His is a story that may seem rather curious. However, bear in mind that it is not in the least unusual for the pacesetters of any era to say or do things that may seem bizarre or strange to those of a less inquiring mind.
It is interesting to note that nearly all traditions have a mythology. Iridology is no exception. Please remember that myths are not akin to fairy tales or fabrications, as many people erroneously believe. Myths are stories usually preserved through oral tradition for quite some time before being put to paper. Thus, their origins are often obscure and they do not always reflect the ultimate in historical accuracy. Nevertheless, they are built around a kernel of truth. Such is the case, I believe, with the story of Ignatz von Peczely and the owl.
Tradition holds that in 1837, Von Peczely, as a lad of about ten years of age, captured an owl in the family garden in Hungary. In an effort to escape from its captor’s hand, the owl fractured its leg. Von Peczely claimed to notice immediately a spot that developed in the owl’s iris at the 6:00 (six o’clock) position, which is to say the bottom part of the iris. We know from the iris chart (which we will discuss in Chapter 2) that this position corresponds to the leg. The iris mark made an impression on Von Peczely’s young and inquisitive mind. Later in his life, Von Peczely noticed a similar marking in a man’s iris. This sparked a remembrance of the encounter with the owl and brought the onset of the development of what is now modern iridology. Von Peczely went on to study medicine in Germany and later returned to his native Hungary to practice. He became quite well known as the doctor who could diagnose by looking into the eyes.
In recent years, it has been my privilege to meet and establish a friendship with Andre Peczely, who resides in San Mateo, California. When I met him, he had only an inkling of his Great Uncle Ignatz’s work in iridology. He was surprised and pleased to learn of my work in this field and of the great esteem with which I hold his famous relative. Through his records and recollections of family life in Hungary, he has graciously provided me with much additional insight into the life of Dr. von Peczely. One of the unusual stories Andre Peczely told me was that Dr. von Peczely was an accomplished sculptor at the tender age of ten. Perhaps it was through this talent that he recognized something in the anatomical makeup of the eye that the average person usually misses.
The other father of iridology is Nils Liljequist, a Swedish clergyman who discovered iridology at about the same time as the young Von Peczely. (See Figure 1.2.) Liljequist’s interest in the iris began around 1864 when he noticed in his own irides the appearance of discolorations. Through observation, he came to realize that such discolorations were associated with chemicals or drugs that were ingested or absorbed into the body. The observant clergyman noticed that each drug or chemical, however taken into the body, eventually resulted in a particular shade of discoloration in the iris.
The Swedish pastor eventually constructed what would develop into an elementary iris chart. The similarities between his drawings and those of Von Peczely are striking, especially since neither man at the time was familiar with the work of the other. Together, Dr. von Peczely and Reverend Liljequist are regarded as the founding fathers of the science and art of iridology as we have it today. These two iridology pioneers established themselves in about the year 1880.
LATER OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTORS
Others, through the years, have also contributed to the development of iridology. Iridology was introduced in Germany largely through the work of Erdmann Leopold Stephanus Emanuel Felke, a clergyman who taught iridology to numerous students. Today in Germany, as a tribute to Pastor Felke’s work, the Pastor Felke Institute is helping to develop and promote the science and art of iridology. Other German iridologists are Peter Johannes Theil, Josef Angerer, Theodor Kriege, and Josef Deck, to name but a few. Dr. Willie Hauser has now taken over for the late Dr. Deck.
Figure 1.1. Dr. Ignatz von Peczely became a father of iridology when he looked into the eyes of an owl that had just broken its leg. Von Peczely was ten years old at the time.
Figure 1.2. Reverand Nils Liljequist became the other father of iridology when he looked into his own eyes, which were discolored from drug accumulations.
Figure 1.3. Dr. von Peczely and Reverend Liljequist developed iris charts that were strikingly similar even though neither man knew the other existed. The chart above is one of Von Peczely’s first efforts, published in 1886 in the Homeopatische Monatsblatter.
From its birth in Hungary and incubation in Germany, iridology did not take long to break loose from its confinement on the European continent. By the turn of the century, it crossed the ocean and landed on the shores of its new frontier, North America. More than likely, the person responsible for the introduction of iridology to the United States was Henry Edward Lane, an Austrian medical doctor. He, in turn, taught Dr. Henry Lindlahr, a medical colleague, who spread the news of this new form of analysis through various publications. The publications included Nature Cure, a magazine, and Iridiagnosis and Other Diagnostic Methods, one book of a six-volume set published in 1919. Dr. Lindlahr had a profound effect on me.
Following my studies of the Lindlahr methods of analysis and nature healing, I spent time studying under Dr. R. M. McLain, a chiropractor and iridologist in Oakland, California. Another amongst the great American iridologists, Dr. John Dreier, of Glendale, California, also had a great influence on the development of iridology studies in America.
Still another name to mention in connection with the history of iridology is that of J. Haskel Kritzer, M.D. Dr. Kritzer wrote a textbook, The Book of Iridiagnosis, as well as developing one of the first iridology charts especially useful in teaching beginning students. Kritzer, like Liljequist before him, was deeply interested in the effects of drug accumulations in the body as observed in the iris. He was so taken with this idea that it became quite difficult for him to prescribe medications in his practice. Prescribing medications became an offense to his sense of ethics. He became increasingly interested in teaching “right living” in place of prescribing drugs to effect a cure.
In 1929, after reading the work of Kritzer and consulting with Dr. John Arnold, another California iridologist and the founder of the World Iridology Fellowship, I arranged to study with Dr. F. W. Collins, of Orange, New Jersey. With Dr. Collins, it was part of my work to sketch, in color, 500 irides of patients to point out the lesions and other markings germane to the study of iridology. This is a lesson that I still have not forgotten through my sixty-two years of iris analysis!
THE WORK CONTINUES
Despite its long and honorable history, iridology has had tough sledding. This emerging science has not been without its detractors and critics. Its arrival on American soil and continued pursuit of the mysteries resident in the iris fibers have proved to be anything but uneventful. Although it has advanced considerably, it sometimes has been the subject of harsh criticism. Probably because of, and certainly in spite of, this criticism, iridology and its practice have gained new strength.
Although a number of persons in the United States have taken up iridology, written books about it, and spent time lecturing and teaching, I believe I have spent more time, and delved into the subject deeper, than anyone. I feel as though I have been driven to iridology by powerful forces deep within me. Nearly all of the profits I have made over the years have been plowed back into my iridology work.
I entered the private practice of chiropractic in 1929. However, I found that most of my patients needed not only my chiropractic services, but also lessons on how to live right, how to garden, how to select foods, and how to devise a menu for their family. They needed to learn how to correctly prepare and cook their food. We all know that old habits die hard. My patients needed to be taught how to obtain the best for themselves so they could get well and stay well. But I found that I could not spend enough time with each one of them to teach them all the things they needed. So, in 1931, I established my first sanitarium. In sanitarium-style living, I had access to my patients on a daily basis. We lived together. I taught them how to break old habits and put new ones in their place. And, out with the old habits went the old health complaints. You see, proper living results in robust health. Poor living habits bring fatigue, sickness, and unhappiness.
I’m mentioning my years of sanitarium experience because during all those years, iridology was my guide and stay. I became known as the doctor who looked into your eyes and then told you what you had to do to improve your health. During those years, I had people from all over the world come to my sanitarium in search of better health. And I looked in the eyes of each and every one of them. In fact, I have looked into more than 300,000 eyes in my sixty-two years of practice! These irides told me what each person needed in his life. They were my guide to suggesting the proper treatment, exercise, and diet. Through this work, I saw the results of iridology.
After experiencing my success with iridology, I began to think that it would be wonderful if more people knew how to take advantage of this science. Average people would then have a philosophical background to help them better understand their bodies. They would learn about the unity of disease and know better how to care for the body nutritionally and closer to the laws of nature, as we were intended to. I, therefore, began to teach classes in iridology and nutrition. My thought from the first was to teach anyone who wanted to learn: laypersons from all walks of life and health professionals as well. Before long, I was teaching these classes in various parts of the world.
After more than forty-five years in sanitarium practice, I sold my last sanitarium, Hidden Valley Ranch, in Escondido, California, in 1976. I decided to devote my remaining years to iridology and nutrition research, teaching, and writing. I have published numerous books during my years, including the culmination of my life’s work in iridology, Iridology: The Science and Practice in the Healing Arts, Volume II. First published in 1982, it is an update of my very first text on the subject, The Science and Practice of Iridology, which I published way back in 1952. The preliminary book is still around today and is now in its twelfth printing.
On a recent trip to China, I was greatly surprised to find that the Chinese had translated several of my books, including my first iridology text. I found that I had quite a following in China of my work in iridology and nutrition. Although I am continuing my heavy schedule of teaching and writing, my interest of late has been learning how to utilize the speed and accuracy of the modern computer to help analyze the iris. I will further discuss my work with computers later in this book.
IRIDOLOGY AND THE WHOLISTIC PRINCIPLE
People are talking a lot these days about wholistic healing. Practitioners engaged in wholistic healing take into consideration the whole person. They don’t just treat disease; they treat people. This philosophy recognizes that the pain in your neck may be your boss at work. Wholism considers the importance of the 99 percent of you on the other end of your injured finger. It affirms that your wholeness is something more than just the sum of your discrete parts. It says that you are more than just a body within which may be residing a disease.
Those who embrace the wholistic concept are more apt to consider the person, as opposed to merely his disease. The cart must not be placed before the horse. Diseases do not create people; it is people who create disease. We need to affirm that we don’t catch diseases. We create them by breaking down our natural defenses through the way we eat, drink, think, and live. There is a saying that all disease can be cured, but not all people. The emphasis must be on the person, not on the disease. Dead people can’t be cured of anything. It is wholistic thinking that is willing to consider the meaning resident in the words, “The light of the body is the eye. . . .” Iris analysis belongs with wholistic health care.
The iridologist is a wholistic thinker when it comes to considerations of health. It is the iridologist who looks to the iris of the eye and sees that, indeed, the eye is the light of the body. And to the degree that the iris is healthy, whole, single, pure, and perfect, the health of the body will be too.
“The Enlightened One” is a title that has been given to various figures in history. These people have usually led pure, simple, and exemplary lives. They have “seen the light.” Iridology is a method of putting light in dark places. Darkness is associated with evil and the impure, while light is associated with goodness and purity. Everyone desires to be enlightened, to see, to know, and to understand. Iridology is a means of gaining understanding and becoming enlightened about the body. It is for discovering the dark places and bringing light to them. It is not enough to be a doctor. It is better to be a healer.
Sometimes iridology seems almost too good to be true. It is said that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We must be careful. Iridology can’t tell everything about a person’s health. No method of health analysis, whatever its means, is perfect. It is best to beware of exaggerated claims. Like other methods, iris analysis has its limitations. And within these limitations, its unique value can be properly defined. What iris analysis is and how you can use it to improve your health and avoid disease are what we are about to look into.
YOUR EYES REVEAL THE REAL YOU
Even the casual observer will notice that the iris appears to be less than homogenous in its appearance. Both its color and structure vary markedly from person to person and even from right eye to left eye in the same individual. What romantic fails to notice eye color or the sensual allure of pupils dilated in sympathetic acceptance of amorous advances? We have all experienced glaring eyes, soulful eyes, wandering eyes, fearful eyes, and even tearful eyes. But have you ever heard of the skin, the bones, or the blood described with similar expressions?
The eyes are the most expressive organs in the body. Nowadays, we have the ability to dress our eyes in various colors through the use of tinted contact lenses. We can make fashion statements with our eyeglass frames, cosmetics, and accessories.
One of the first things people notice is the eyes. We communicate through the appearance and use of our eyes. A good speaker makes frequent eye contact with his listeners. An old song is “Speak to Me Only With Thine Eyes.” One person can have an eye for beauty, while another has an eye for a bargain. You will see what you are on the lookout for. Truly, the eyes are revealing. Sometimes the lips may be saying “no,” but the eyes are saying “yes”!
The eyes communicate in a special way for the iridologist. Iris color, structure, and special markings are interpreted by the practitioner to attain valuable information about the patient as a whole. Iris analysis is about communication. Your body communicates with the iridologist using the iris as the vehicle of transmission. There is possibly more truth than we realize in the saying that the eye is the most complicated tissue in the whole body.
There are a number of special studies of the eye that concern themselves with areas other than the iris. Let’s now consider some of these. They can help define iridology by indicating what it is not.
WHAT IRIDOLOGY IS NOT
Perhaps the best known medical discipline dealing with the eye is ophthalmology. But iridology is not ophthalmology. Ophthalmology is the branch of allopathic medicine that deals with diseases and dysfunction of the eye. Allopathic medicine is the branch of medicine that treats disease utilizing drugs and surgery. An ophthalmologist is an allopathic medical specialist. As a physician, he treats disease and dysfunction. Drugs and surgery are his most common prescriptions.
Ophthalmologists can also examine for, and prescribe, corrective lenses, although optometrists are increasingly assuming this aspect of eye care. It is not the function of the iridologist to examine the eyes per se for disease or dysfunction. However, the astute lay practitioner, as well as the professional iridologist, should always refer a client for further examination and appropriate care when necessary or when in doubt.
Neither ophthalmology nor iridology should be confused with optometry. Iridology is not optometry. Optometry is the branch of medicine that concerns itself primarily with the examination for, and correction of, refractive errors of vision utilizing optical lenses. Complementary to the optometrist is the optician, who specializes in dispensing the lenses and associated eyewear prescribed by the ophthalmologist or optometrist. Neither of these professionals is associated with iridology, nor do they use the analysis techniques of the iridologist.
Posted July 16, 2001
The field of Iridology is still a new panorama for science and medicine. Chiropractor Alan Boyce used it during a session with a head injur victim in his attempt at determining injury and damage. Though the Boyce clinic in Chelsea Michigan (near Dexter, Michigan) is well known by the Chiropractor's friends and neighbors, his attempt at following procedures in this book are broadly accepted by his clientel who consist mostly of New Age and Bahai personalities. New approaches at medicine and healing will long exist, this book gives insight on Boyce and other pioneer medical practicioner's methods.
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