Education and Newsletters, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath

Iridology – Constitutional Iris Assessment

 

 

Iris Assessment Charts, courtesy Leaves of LIfe

What is Iridology?

Iridology is the art and science of analyzing the markings, structure, and pigmentation in the iris (colored portion of the eye). Bernard Jensen, DC popularized iridology in the US and taught that the iris revealed present tissue conditions as well as changes in the iris from healing interventions. However, several studies have refuted this and there has been no photographic proof of the “healing lines” he wrote about.  His work was based on early research in Germany that was developed by medical doctors.  Modern research from Germany is based on autopsies and other scientific analysis, and points toward iris patterns as constitutional (inherited tendencies) rather than diagnostic of present tissue conditions.

Unfortunately, there are those who use iridology as a diagnostic tool, which detracts from its credibility. Personally, I studied under Steven Horne, author of numerous books and courses in natural healing, a professional member and past president of the American Herbalists Guild and professional member of the International Iridology Practitioner’s Association (IIPA). His Iridology courses can be accessed here.

Steven Horne’s courses are taught from a constitutional perspective, meaning that the iris will tell us where a person tends to be weakest.  I think of it like looking at a board and seeing the knothole/s in the board.  Put pressure on the board, and it will most likely break at the knothole, since it’s the weakest point. Similarly, when looking at a person’s iris, if they’re taking good care of themselves, none of their tendencies/weaknesses may be manifesting.  Alternatively, when someone has taken poor care of themselves, their genetic weaknesses are more likely to be expressing. In general, as a person ages, more of what we see in the iris will point to present tissue conditions.  Iris assessment is a great way to find out how to prevent future problems or give us a place to start with what’s presently going on.

More than 20 years ago, I saw an herbalist and had an iris assessment done, and it was so accurate (I was quite ill), I knew I had to learn to do it myself.  For many years, it was part of all my new patient appointments.  Nowadays, I informally include it as part of a visual assessment, without most patients even being aware.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is whether the iris will change as people improve their health.  Though iris signs are mostly constitutional, I have observed some pigment changes in my years of practice.

When I first started practicing, much of my focus was on regaining my own health, and I noticed that each time I did a focused, deep detox, my eyes were noticeably bluer (as opposed to their usual grey-blue).  Every time I detoxed, several people would ask if I’d gotten blue contacts.

Approximately 18 ago, a married couple came in for a dual new patient appointment.  The wife was concerned because her liver enzymes had been chronically elevated over the last several blood draws with her doctor, and she was interested in doing a detox.  I did an iris assessment with each of them, gave them a paper outlining each of their iris signs that included the organ map (shown above), we outlined a plan for both of them and they went on their way.  Six months later, they returned to my office, concerned about a dark brown pigment that had appeared in the wife’s right eye over the liver area on the iris map.  In talking with them, it became apparent they hadn’t followed any of the recommendations I’d outlined in our previous session, so we talked about the barriers to making changes, came up with some solutions, and they got started.  Within 3 months, the brown pigment had completely disappeared! (And of course, she felt much better.) This was fascinating to me, but what I’ve seen over years of reading irises is that in general, if pigments have been present in the iris for a prolonged period of time, even if the original imbalance that triggered these pigments to appear is resolved, they seem to have gelled and become a permanent part of the iris.  This may be one reason why photographic proof is so difficult to come by with iris assessment.

In general with iridology, there are three basic eye colors: brown, genetically mixed (AKA biliary) and blue. Any other variation from these colors is due to pigmentation that comes in over top the fibers, which can give the appearance of hazel, green or grey eyes.  Note the photos below.  A list of some of the different signs depicted in each is listed below each picture.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to do any type of in-depth explanation of iris assessment, but below the iris pictures you’ll find a few of the common signs that are seen in iris assessments and their meaning.

 

Blue iris depicting “jewels”, lymphatic rosary, scurf rim, stomach halo, polyglandular fiber structure, tight, irregular, pocketed autonomic nerve wreath, enlarged pupil
Biliary or genetically mixed iris, wearing contacts, nerve rings, connective tissue fiber structure, uneven pupil tonus
Blue iris, scurf rim, lymphatic rosary, pink stomach halo, arcus senilis, dilated pupil
Brown iris, nerve rings, radii solaris

Lymphatic Rosary

Looks like a string of white or yellow/white pearls in the outermost portion of the iris and indicates a tendency toward lymphatic congestion that can result in chronic sinus/respiratory or allergy symptoms, and can also involve joint and kidney problems.  The lymph system is the garbage-removal system in the body, and doesn’t have a pump.  It moves when we move, so exercise is beneficial to increasing lymph flow.  Bouncing on a mini-trampoline or skin-brushing can also stimulate lymph flow.

Tight Autonomic Nerve Wreath

(Visualized most easily in the 3rd picture above) There is a tendency for tense, tight or spastic bowels with an ANW that is closer than 1/3 the distance between the outer edge of the iris and the pupil.  Often I find these people crave chocolate, notice a worsening in constipation with travel or have menstrual cramps that respond to heat.  Often there is an increased need for magnesium.

Nerve Rings

Seen most easily in the brown eye above, they are the concentric circles around the outer edge of the iris that resemble ripples in water. These are indicators of a tendency toward tension or stress or a type A personality.

Scurf Rim

Seen in the 1st and 3rd eyes as the dark circle at the edge of the iris, which is in the skin zone.  This indicates a tendency toward slowly eliminating or toxic skin.

Radii Solaris

Appear as “spokes” that radiate out from the center of the iris and are easily pictured in the brown eye above.  RS are a tendency for a toxic bowel that is allowing for toxins to be absorbed across the lining into the body tissues.

Enlarged Pupils

Not technically part of the iris, enlarged pupils can indicate current issues with adrenal burnout, difficulty sleeping and fatigue.

As I said, this article doesn’t list all of the common iris signs and markings, but is just a smattering to give you a little taste.  If you’d like to schedule for an iris assessment with me, you can contact the office.  Assessments take approximately 15 minutes and are $50. Simply want to do a little more reading and learning?  Check out these links:

http://vibrantwellnesscoaching.com/iridology/

http://modernherbaleducation.com/an-introduction-to-constitutional-iridology.html

http://iridologyinternational.com/node/5

Patty Shipley, Naturopath, RN, Herbalist

Education and Newsletters, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath

Nitric Oxide

 

Nitric Oxide–the Body’s Natural Vasodilator

 

Say NO to Disease!

Prevent and reverse disease by generating Nitric Oxide with WHOLE FOODS and a HEALTHY MICROBIOME!

What is Nitric Oxide?                                                                             What Nitric Oxide is not:

A combination of one molecule of Nitrogen and                                   Nitrous oxide, “Laughing gas” used

and ONE molecule of Oxygen. (NO)                                                        at the dentist’s office:  one molecule of Nitrogen and TWO molecules of Oxygen (NO2)

 

What does Nitric Oxide do?  It’s a chemical messenger that signals:

-Arteries to relax and expand, promoting blood flow              -Communication between brain cells

-Immune cells to kill bacteria and cancer                                 -Oxygenation of tissues

 

Nitric Oxide can:

-Prevent high blood pressure                                                 -Protect bones from osteoporosis

-Keep arteries flexible                                                             -Help protect skin from sun damage

-Lower cholesterol                                                                   -Reduce risk of developing dementia

-Limit swelling and pain of arthritis                                         -Reduce formation of blood clots

-Prevent, slow or reverse arterial plaque                                  -Reverse erectile dysfunction

-Reduce risk of diabetes and complications like kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation

 

How to help your body make Nitric Oxide:

-Raw greens (particularly kale, swiss chard, arugula, spinach, bok choy, lettuce, cabbage, mustard greens, kohlrabi),

-Dark colored fruit (berries, red wine, grapes), dark chocolate, asparagus, celery, watercress, artichoke, eggplant

-Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes)

-Fish oil and other unsaturated oils

-Refrain from antiseptic mouthwash, as this kills the normal flora in the mouth that are involved in making NO

-Support normal flora in your GI tract and ensure adequate hydrochloric acid in the stomach (avoid acid blockers, rule out H Pylori or other GI infections)

 

By Patty Shipley RN, Naturopath

Education and Newsletters, Patty Shipley, RN, Naturopath

Zinc Taste Test

Zinc Taste Testing is a quick and inexpensive way to determine your zinc status.

How to do the Zinc Taste Test

A small amount of zinc sulfate solution is taken and swirled around the mouth for ten seconds, then swallowed or spit out.  Compare your results to the table below:

Optimal- An immediate, unpleasant, obviously adverse taste, at which the patient usually grimaces.

Adequate- A definite but not strongly unpleasant taste noted immediately and tends to intensify with time.

Quite Deficient- No taste noticed initially,  but noticed in 10-15 seconds.

Very Deficient- Tasteless or “tastes like water”.

Dozens of zinc dependent enzymes participate in a myriad of crucial metabolic functions.

Zinc is necessary for healthy mental function and mood, protein synthesis, nucleic acid and DNA metabolism, hormone production, prostate function, energy, response to stress, and taste acuity.

Studies show even a mild deficiency affects clinical, biochemical and immunological functions.

Reports indicate that in the United States, marginal zinc deficiency is widespread.

A study of over 15,000 people revealed almost 70% were not consuming even RDA levels of zinc.

How do you know if you’re zinc-deficient?

The initial symptoms of marginal deficiency are dysfunctions of taste and smell.  Studies found taste sensitivity to be a good indicator of zinc status, leading to the development of the Zinc Taste Test.

Mild to marginal deficiency includes: decreased muscle mass, neurosensory changes, inability to react, sluggishness, decreased immune system functions, decreased sperm count and decreased testosterone in males.

Moderate deficiency includes:  growth retardation, delayed wound healing, neurosensory changes, immune dysfunction, rough skin, poor appetite, mental lethargy and sexual under-development in males. Severe deficiency: delayed healing of ulcers, neurosensory disorders, infections due to immune dysfunction, weight loss, skin inflammation, baldness, diarrhea, sexual under-development in males and emotional disorders.

 

What to consider if you’re zinc deficient:

Sufficient hydrochloric acid is necessary for absorption from diet. Taking acid blockers regularly can cause deficiencies in all your minerals as well as fat-soluble vitamins.

Chronic copper exposure from cookware, plumbing, supplements or certain medications can create a deficiency. For this reason, we don’t advise supplementing copper without first testing your copper status.

Estrogen dominance can lead to copper excess, which lowers zinc.

 

Food sources of zinc:

Red meats

Seeds

Potatoes

Oysters

Nuts

Legumes

 

Want to know about your status of zinc, copper and other critical nutrients?

Consider MicroNutrient testing through SpectraCell Labs.  This test utilizes white blood cells that live for approximately 6 months and determines intracellular nutrient status of Vit B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, folate, choline, biotin, inositol, vitamin A, C, D, E, K, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, COQ10, Alpha lipoic acid, glutathione, cysteine, glutamine, carnitine, asparagine, serine, chromium, fructose sensitivity, insulin sensitivity, oxidative resistance and immune strength.

 

By Patty Shipley RN, Naturopath