Chi and the Eyes

Chi (energy) flows everywhere in the body. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believe that on part of the body can affect other organs and tissues on the same energy paths. It is believed that all the energy paths of the body pass through different sections of the eyes, and specifically though the colored part of the eye know as the iris (“EYE-riss”). Iridology is based on the fact that stress and other conditions in the body physically change the iris of the eye.


Iridology (“EYE-rid-doll-uh-gee”) is the study of the iris of the eye as a diagnostic method of determining actual and potential health problems, based on various colors and many kinds of markings in the eyes, which correlate with various stages of inflammation in diverse parts of the body.

Frank Navratil, BSc, N.D. states this about the eye on the back cover of “For Your Eyes Only – A Fascinating Look at the Art and Science of Iris Diagnosis, the Diagnosis Method of the New Millennium”:

“‘The eye is not the only window to the soul, the eye is a map to our body.’

The eye gathers information and reflects our soul, spirit and emotions. Everything that concerns out health is encoded in our eyes.”  

How Iridology is Performed

Iridology involves examining the eyes and comparing what is found to the standards (i.e., “maps”) developed to date. A human (iridologist) or machine/camera can do this. An iridologist can examine the iris of each eye with a light and a magnifying glass, while making comparisons to an enlarged iridology eye chart. This takes about an hour, and perhaps much longer for a very detailed examination. A faster examination can be done utilizing a machine, which will “photograph” the iris of each eye and match it to the ideal “standard” and usually produce greatly enlarged photographs of each eye that a human can then also examine. Some clinics use both methods, as there are some advantages to each method. The machine allows for a permanent picture of the eye to use as “history” and may be used in making “before” and “after” comparisons.

Both eyes must be examined. The right eye corresponds to the right side of the body (e.g., the right lung) and the left eye to the left side. Each iris is divided into 7 circular zones. Each of these 7 areas correlates to one or more areas of the body (e.g., zone 4 includes the prostrate, uterus and skeleton). In addition, the iris is divided into a large number of pie-like slices. Combining zones and slices means more than 90 different known specific eye areas for each iris can be identified and mapped to other parts of the body. Therefore, using both eyes, there are over 180 separate divisions from which to gather health information about other parts of the body.

History of Iridology

Examining the eyes for clues to health is not new. Hippocrates (460 BC-377 BC) the so-called Father of Medicine, did this some 2400 years ago. In the late 1600s, iridology had become at least a recognized diagnostic tool. In the late 1800s, several Europeans made far greater associations and correlations between the markings of the iris and current or potential health problems, and the science of Iridology evolved tremendously.

A Hungarian doctor, Ignatz von Peczely (1822-1911), discovered his lifelong interest in iridology at only age 11. At that time, he had accidentally broken an owl’s leg and, looking into the owl’s eye, he noticed a black mark appear. He made a splint and nursed the owl back to health, and he noticed that the black mark changed to a white mark over a period of time. Dr. von Peczely became a medical doctor and created the first chart of the iris, mapping eye markings to specific organs. Many of his observations came from observing patients in a hospital before and after surgery.

In the late 1800s, another European, a Swedish minister named Nils Liljequist (1851-1936), made a correlation between a drug he was taking (quinine) and a yellow-green discoloration of his eye.

In the 1950s, Dr. Bernard Jensen (1908-2001), an American chiropractor, took iridology to an advanced level, and is called the Father of Iridology in the United States. He had earlier received a diploma in the “Science of Iridology” in San Francisco. Later on, he “mapped” the eye far more extensively than had been done earlier. He worked with over 300,000 patients, students and physicians. He founded Iridologists International in 1977. His son and daughter-in-law are carrying on his work.

Bernard Jensen, D.C., Nutritionist states in his book “Iridology Simplified: An Introduction to the Science of Iridology and its Relation to Nutrition”:
“Used correctly, iridology gives an individual information concerning his health level that is not available in any other way.”  

What Iridology Can and Cannot Do

According to Dr. Bernard Jensen and others, Iridology has advantages and limitations. These lists are not inclusive, but are just a sampling.

Iridology is reputed to be able to:

  • Show overall constitutional strength
  • Indicate how well body handles stress.
  • Show indications of toxin accumulation.
  • Show strongest and weakest organs/parts of body
  • Show actual conditions and even potential conditions (it is believed that weaknesses show up in the eyes prior to actually manifesting themselves in various other ways)
  • Reveal nutritional/mineral needs – what is lacking and where
  • Show how well the body is healing
  • Shows acid levels in the body

Iridology cannot:

  • Diagnose or name specific diseases and many abnormal conditions (e.g., cancer, gallstones).
  • Identify certain conditions that are normal in the body (e.g., pregnancy).
  • Fix anything – it is only a passive tool involving observations of the eye (any “fixing” must be up to the individual and medical team, and may involve nutrition, balancing chi, etc.). However, when a condition is “fixed” or made better, the change will soon be reflected in the tissues of the eyes.
  • Pinpoint the location of harmful bacteria and other parasites in the body

Iridology References

There are several organizations for iridologists, including:

International Iridology Practitioner Association (IIPA)

PO Box 3334

Escondido, CA 92033


(was riginally called the National Iridology Research Association, but the name was changed in 2000 when it became an International organization)

Note: The IIPA central office maintains a list of Certified Iridologists and will provide you with the names of those Iridologists in your area)

Institute for Applied Iridology™

P.O. Box 301

Laguna Beach, CA 92652-0301

Phone & Fax: 1-949-362-4959

Products Order Line: 1-888-886-8985

Bernard Jensen International and Natural Books & Products

1914 W. Mission Road, Suite F, Escondido, California, 92029

Phone: U.S. (888) 743-1790       Fax: (760) 743-1265

Some iridology books:

1. Visions of Health: Understanding Iridology — by Bernard Jensen, Donald V. Bodeen

2. For Your Eyes Only: A Fascinating Look at the Art and Science of Iris Diagnosis, the Diagnosis Method of the New Millennium — by Frank Navratil

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