A skeptic converted? One family’s experience of naturopathy and iridology.

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Popular Culture et al
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

iris

I’m looking at you, Dear Reader. What do you make of this story?

So, it has recently been an interesting period, health-wise, for the Family Wellthisiswhatithink.

Fruit of One’s Loins and She Who Must Be Obeyed have been visiting a naturopath. A form of medical practitioner usually dismissed in my world as a “quack”. To say that I was skeptical would be like saying the Tea Party is mildly opposed to Obama’s economic spending. I was utterly cynical, warned them to watch for evidence of suggestions being implanted in their subconscious mind, to puncture open ended questioning and cold reading style enquiries, and above all not to deliver too much hard information in advance.

The process began with an Iridology session where the alternative health practitioner examined the eyes of the girls, and analysed them for various bodily flaws. I repeat, she was given virtually no prior medical information. Basically she takes a close up photo of the eye and looks at it.

Iridologists belive the eye reflects changes in the performance of the body over time, and that each place in the eye connotes a particular part of the body. They have a chart which lays out which bit of the eye relates to which part of the body.

Iridology chart

The Iridology chart – is it anything more than pretty colours?

Scientists, and the orthodox medical fraternity, call this nonsense. (Indeed, they claim the look of the eye is laid down at birth and never changes. In fact, that’s how eye recognition software can work.)

Anyhow, having examined their eyes she then took them through a re-setting of their chi, or electrical impulses, or whatever else one wants to call it, to address deficiencies or inflammations she had “spotted”.

This process involved holding in one hand a small impermeable glass vial with certain products inside it – grass seed, egg – and attempting to use the other arm to provide mild resistance to a pushing down motion from the practitioner. So the patient holds her arm out straight in front of them – the other one from the hand holding the vial – and tries to resist the naturopath pushing down on it.

Normally, the patient has no difficulty doing this. If the patient is sensitive to an item, for whatever reason, they find their arm weakened by the holding of the vial in the other hand, and the naturopath is able to push their arm down with little effort.

So far, so much utter nonsense, right? Well, yes. Except …

My wife is plagued by hay fever and this year is the second highest pollen count for the last 20 years. Usually she is a mess of running nose, itchy throat, weeping eyes and sneezing. Misery.

So far this year, she has had no hay fever. Not one sniffle. We await with interest the ever onward march of Spring which I have also been commenting on this week.

Not only that but also …

My daughter is anaphylactic to egg. That’s like the worst allergy you could possibly imagine. One allergist told us she was one thousand times more allergic to egg than the ordinary person.

cracked egg

Good morning. Fried, boiled, scrambled, or cooked with, I will kill you. Have a nice day.

As a result, she has carried an adrenalin-injecting pen with her since she was about 4.

Ingesting egg in any way produces a violent over-reaction from her body, including her breathing tube closing. In short, without prompt medical attention, and perhaps even then, egg is fatal for her.

Now, after a few treatments from the practitioner who we came to affectionately call “The Witch”, (which is a bit unfair, as she seems entirely sane and un-witch-like) she is virtually cured of her egg allergy. Certainly no longer in danger, it appears.

This diagnosis has been confirmed by a professional medical-doctor allergist. He simply cannot explain it, and nor can our GP.

She has been given egg under controlled conditions in hospital. Lots of it. She was fine apart from a mild remaining sensitivity to uncooked egg white.

(The naturopath believes she can fix that too.)

She has eaten, for the first time in her life, cakes, biscuits, pasta, pastries and other items all including egg or brushed with it. Her life is changed out of all recognition, and for the better.

I promised my family, if there was a good outcome, that I would investigate further. So, Dear Reader, I did.

Yesterday I went to said naturopath myself, dragging She Who Must Be Obeyed along with me for moral support. I gave her some basic medical information about me as I have one or two medical challenges currently which need fixing, and I didn’t want her operating in a vacuum. But I by no means told her my whole medical history.

She photographed my eyes.

She looked at my eyes.

And then she blew me out of the water.

“Have you ever experienced such and such?” she asked, pointing at what she called a lesion on the picture of my eye on-screen. It was her first question. Her first question.

Now without revealing the precise nature of what she spotted, let me just explain that Mr Wellthisiswhatithink endured, as a child, an extremely rare medical condition – less than 2% of children have it. And I repeat, this was the first thing she investigated. She didn’t start gently with “have you ever had bronchitis or shortness of breath?” or “do you get back pain?” (both of which, for a gentleman of some corpulent excess such as me would have been stone bonking certainties at some point).

No, she said “Have you ever experienced such and such?”

She had 98 chances to be wrong, and on top of that the question would also appear so bizarre as to create doubt and confusion in the mind of any patient. But she nailed it. And there was no way she could have known – none.

To my mind, the only possible conclusion is that there was something in my eye that indicated it to her.

Now if you go to Wikipedia or elsewhere and investigate iridology, you will find countless warnings, and many comments that no scientifically-valid trials ever prove it to be valid, and so on. I do not for one moment doubt the genuine-ness of those objections.

I do also know, however, that there is more to know about the human body that we know. And whether or not the reason that the process that this person goes works is what she thinks it is, nevertheless she is currently 3 for 3.

She then looked around my body – via the photographs of my eyes – and cheerfully reeled off a whole series of comments that made perfect sense given my recent medical history, and confidently predicted that doing this or that would help. At no stage did she argue I should reject or discontinue conventional medical treatment: in fact, very much the opposite, she offered to co-operate with my GP and insisted I carry on doing what he wants, too, although she did think that in due course some alternative therapies might make conventional ones less necessary.

So am I converted?

Well, I am certainly confounded. Astonished. Fascinated. Intrigued, and hopeful of good outcomes.

I will report back on my progress. Meanwhile, I’d love to know if you have experienced anything similar, or, indeed, the opposite.

Be assured: even as I write these words, I am shaking my head in bemusement that I would ever suggest that such “quackery” was seriously worth investigating. Perhaps some of you are too.

I can only confirm, everything you read above is true. I have no reason to exaggerate, or lie.

HORATIO
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

HAMLET
And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. harvey993 says:

    Happens every day here in the city.
    NYC has had the full time services of Clinical Iridologist Judy Vedder for sixteen years now, and your story is quite typical. Do you really think something as complicated as the human body could operate without self reporting diagnostics like discomfort, sleepiness, nausea, pain of a thousand delicate varieties and so on? The Irides are live brain tissue, highly differentiated tissue capable of displaying in five eighths of an inch the entire conspectus of body organs and their relative condition. All that is required is diligence in carefully observing those tiny bio-markers (NOT just the great big ones that the Iris ID devices you mention focus exclusively on) but little smudges of color, of textural wavyness, depth etc that training and experience enables identifying.

    Like

  2. daprof says:

    The difficulty with proving iridology as a science is that there are no studies being accomplished in North America, yet, there are several studies from other countries that show great reliability of iridology as valid diagnostic tool.

    For example, three recent studies showing good success in detecting diabetes:

    Journal Article: Learning to predict diabetes from iris image analysis:
    Early Detection on the Condition of Pancreas Organ as the Cause of Diabetes Mellitus by Real Time Iris Image Processing

    Journal Article: Early Detection on the Condition of Pancreas Organ as the Cause of Diabetes Mellitus by Real Time Iris Image Processing:
    Early Detection on the Condition of Pancreas Organ as the Cause of Diabetes Mellitus by Real Time Iris Image Processing

    Journal Article: Abnormal condition detection of pancreatic Beta-cells as the cause of Diabetes Mellitus based on iris image:
    Abnormal condition detection of pancreatic Beta-cells as the cause of Diabetes Mellitus based on iris image

    And some amazing studies accomplished in Russia:
    http://www.iridologyinternational.com/content/russian-iridology-clinical-studies

    Like

  3. Pat A says:

    I wonder how things have gone Yolly – you did say that there would be updates! (I too wondered at the ‘changes in the iris’ and the iris recognition software – am still confused!).

    If you think this lady is worth seeing – could you email me with her name, I have a friend near Melbourne that really could do with a little assistance with her health, and I am 12,000 miles away, so very frustratingly can only give limited advice over the phone/net….

    Like

  4. Sha'Tara says:

    Enjoyed your experiences. The “System” is so incredibly powerful and loaded with brainwashing adepts to control people at all ages, it’s difficult for any Earthian to dare break out of the fishbowl and investigate to big ocean of “what ifs” on her/his own. After doctors and shrinks basically murdered my mother I decided it was time to look at alternatives to medibuck science. The alternative was right under my eyes, in my garden. If I could meet myself at age 25, when I was riddled with chronic back pain and multiple allergies, and if could challenge that body’s performance with this 70 year old one, I’d win hands down in working endurance, running speed and distance, sharpened mental faculties, and much less volume of food intake and much less need for sleep. I don’t attribute it all to a vegetarian diet – I also experienced what you could call a “singularity” or drastic “paradigm shift” that changed my approach to life; my view of the world. I think what really caused the shift and empowered me to make new choices was admitting that my life hadn’t worked for me and wasn’t going to work if I kept doing what I’d been brought up and taught to do. I had to get the “matrix” out of my mind and take control. Difficult but not complicated. Now I call it self-empowerment. Not to be a winner a la Arnold Shwarzenegger motivational BS but by practicing compassion. The compassionate life is healthy because it is stress-free. Kind of a package deal. If it works for one person, why would it not for another… and another…?

    Like

What do YOU think? That's what matters. Please comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s