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Massage Today
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10

Iridology and Massage

By Karen E. Jones, LMT

Welcome to the launch of "Stay in Touch with...," a quarterly column designed to provide a brief introduction of a particular technique or modality.

If you would like to contribute to this column, contact the managing editor, at .

If you have never heard of iridology, you are not alone.

When combined with massage therapy, iridology is an excellent modality that has given me a new way to treat clients. It assists me in identifying and applying techniques to specific areas of the body that need attention in order to restore energy, and physical and emotional balance; it serves as an alternate pathway to support, nurture and revitalize areas of concern during a massage therapy treatment.

Years before I started applying iridology to my practice, I heard a story about a European scientist named Ignatz von Peczely. As a young boy in Hungary, Ignatz captured an owl in the family garden to keep as a pet. The owl fractured its leg while attempting to escape. Ignatz studied the owl and noticed a black spot that had developed in the owl's iris that he had not seen there before. The experience must have made an impression on von Peczely's young and inquisitive mind, because later, when he noticed a similar mark in a man's iris, he remembered the encounter with the owl. Thus began the development of what is now modern iridology, a study accepted and practiced by medical doctors in Europe today, and gaining popularity in the United States.

Iriodology is the study and analysis of the neuro-optic reflex, observed on the iris of the eye. Iridology is the art and science of revealing pathological; structural; functional; and emotional disturbances in the body. The iris can reveal information concerning an individual's inherited and acquired tendencies toward health and disease, his or her general condition and the state of every organ. In short, the iris is a blueprint or microstructure of the entire body. Iridology cannot detect a specific disease, but it can tell if an individual has an excessive or deficient activity in a specific area or system. It complements the practices of massage therapy; herbology; acupuncture; homeopathy; naturopathic medicine; energy bodywork; reflexology; Chinese medicine; and other various types of natural therapies.

The International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA) [formerly the International Iridology Research Association] offers this insight into iridology:

"We all inherit certain combinations of physical traits. We can observe some of these origins from our family tree, but how much of this specifically affects you? Diet and lifestyle have a great impact on some people, but why are others able to get away with abusing their bodies? Which mental and emotional aspects significantly affect our physical health? And as we get older, we lose our resiliency at different rates. What is our individual rate?

Iridology takes a lot of the guesswork out of these questions. Going through life without this information is like taking a trip without a map. What are your chances of arriving at your desired destination? Will you get there efficiently, or end up taking many detours along the way? And how will you know where you are heading next? Using the road map or blueprint contained in the iris, you can find out how well you are put together (and how much abuse your body can handle), where your body will tend to get sick, (including which organ systems are at greater risk), what specific underlying reasons contribute to your symptoms (which may vary from person to person with the same symptoms), and what emotional or behavioral factors are influencing these patterns. In short, it can show you where you came from, where you are headed, what kind of body you have for a vehicle, and what type of driver you are. With this knowledge, you can more effectively approach health challenges and also identify which preventive medicine practices would be most important for you to pursue."1

This is an exciting time to discover alternatives in the health care field. Massage therapists can enhance their work, provide the best service, and open new horizons by incorporating iridology into their practices.

For more information on iridology and becoming a certified iridologist, contact the IIPA at 888-682-2208.


  1. Iridology: An Introduction. International Iridology Practitioners Association.


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