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What Is Iridology?

Iridology is the practice of looking at an individual's eyes to determine or predict health-related issues. It's not a form of medical treatment, and its efficacy as a diagnostic tool has not been proven. Alternative health practitioners who practice iridology also typically are trained in other disciplines, such as holistic medicine. Continue reading to learn more about this discipline.

The Concept Behind Iridology

Iridology is the practice of looking at an individual's eyes to determine his or her health. The philosophy behind iridology is that the eyes are a source of learning about general systemic health. Iridology practitioners also believe that certain characteristics of the iris can indicate a person's overall vulnerability to disease or illness. This belief is not backed up by scientific studies, several of which cast doubt on iridology's effectiveness.

Important Facts About Iridology

Schools While unavailable through mainstream schools, programs are offered at alternative private institutes.
Accreditation Currently, iridology is neither regulated nor licensed by state or federal governments or accrediting agencies.
Common Courses Herbology, natural health approaches, anatomy, and physiology
Specializations Animal iridology
Median Salary (2018)$73,960 (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)13% (for health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

The Practice of Iridology

The practice of iridology is considered a diagnostic means rather than a treatment for health-related issues. According to the National Association of Certified Natural Health Professionals, iridology practitioners believe that the eyes' connection to the nervous system affords the opportunity to look to the eyes for potential health issues.

Iridology is broken up into two categories: physical and emotional. Within those categories are characteristics of the iris that help to indicate individual issues. Practitioners look at colors in the iris, as well as rings. These colors and rings might indicate such things as kidney or liver issues, emotional tension or perfectionist tendencies.

Training in Iridology

One institution that offers training in iridology is the New Eden School of Natural Health and Herbal Studies, which is accredited by the American Council of Holistic Medicine (ACHM). It may be worth noting that the ACHM is not affiliated with any government-sanctioned medical board. The program at the New Eden School is overseen by the International Iridology Practitioner's Association (IIPA), an independent association of individuals who specialize in iridology.

Several independent associations, including the IIPA, offer training classes and seminars in iridology. Some may provide certificates upon completion of classes. Iridology practitioners also might study other disciplines, such as naturopathy or herbal sciences.