A Eye won­der

You can see it in her eyes; Shan­thini Naidoo is some­what scep­ti­cal about iri­dol­ogy

Sunday Times - - HEALTH -

HEAD of an iri­dol­o­gist ap­point­ment, you might won­der whether to spruce up your lashes with makeup, or if a rough night’s sleep would make for a bad di­ag­no­sis. Af­ter all, Monika Stran­sky is go­ing to look into my eyes, deeeep into my eyes. Or my irises, to be ex­act.

Stran­sky is a home­opath who spe­cialises in iri­dol­ogy, “the sci­ence of analysing the colour and fi­bre struc­ture of the iris of the eye”. It is a di­ag­nos­tic tool, she ex­plains.

She does not ex­am­ine the sclera, or white of the eye. “That is scle­rol­ogy, which is a dif­fer­ent sci­ence,” she says. So the rough night’s dark cir­cles do not mat­ter. She does point out that a hang­over shows up as bloody veins em­a­nat­ing from the cor­ner of the eye.

“Makeup is fine, even con­tact lenses, ex­cept coloured ones of course,” she says. Be­cause colour is key in iri­dol­ogy.

Stran­sky starts the exam from afar. She ex­plains that there are three (very) broad colour ranges — brown, blue and mixed.

“Each has its own set of ge­net­i­cally in­her­ited traits. Your irises are brown, which im­me­di­ately tells us a few ar­eas where your body will have is­sues. Blood, the en­docrine and hormonal sys­tems, di­ges­tion. So ill­nesses such as di­a­betes, thy­roid is­sues. You may have all of them in your fam­ily his­tory, or some.”

She is on the mark, but you’d have to ask all the brown-eyed people in the world if the re­sults cor­re­late.

The blue-eyed or lym­phatic group have glan­du­lar is­sues. Fevers will be worse in blue-eyed boys and girls and they usu­ally have prob­lems with the lymph glands, she says. Those with mixed eye colour or bil­iary types would be pre­dis­posed to liver and bile prob­lems.

It all feels vague. Worse is the con­fu­sion when you get to the eye chart, which is so de­tailed it looks as though it was made to be read by ants.

“The irises are mir­rored, so they share a com­mon stomach area but the left eye matches the left part of the body, and vice versa,” she says.

Eye-read­ing gazes back to the 1600s, but it was the 19th-century Hun­gar­ian physi­cian, Ig­naz von Peczely, who pin-pointed the ar­eas in the iris con­nected to the body. Ap­par­ently he no­ticed sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween the streaks in the eyes of a man he was treat­ing for a bro­ken leg and those in the eyes of an owl that had a sim­i­lar break. It is said he tracked ill­nesses and iris mark­ings for years to cre­ate the maps.

Ger­man physi­cian Pas­tor Emanuel Felke fur­ther de­vel­oped the charts. To­day, the Felke In­sti­tute in Ger­many is the leading cen­tre of iri­do­log­i­cal re­search and train­ing in the world, which ex­plains Stran­sky’s large Ger­man client base.

Like many al­ter­na­tive med­i­cal treat­ments, iri­dol­ogy is re­garded as pie in your eye by main­stream doc­tors.

Stran­sky, who spent two years study­ing at the SA Iri­dol­ogy In­sti­tute in Cape Town, ex­plains about fi­bre struc­ture.

“We look for a loose weave or a tight weave. People with tight weaves, like you, are neu­ro­genic sen­si­tive. A worry wort. You hold stresses in, and these will show in tight mus­cles, ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, ten­sion. People with loose weave struc­tures I call the Mediter­ranean types. They are loud, ex­pres­sive. They let it all out, shar­ing their stress. They are less likely to have stress-re­lated phys­i­cal re­ac­tions.”

As on the skin, she says “life marks” show up in the eye, too. Leaf-shaped marks, sun­flower-shaped marks, hon­ey­combed dots, tulip-shaped marks and white sodium rings all mean some­thing.

“You have a sodium ring, which shows tox­i­c­ity and acid­ity. But your or­gans are all in good nick.” My eyes glis­ten.

But she also sees three “cramp rings”. “The most you should have of these, which look like crum­pled fi­bres, is six. But more than two means it af­fects you phys­i­cally. There is ten­sion in neck and shoul­ders from where they ap­pear.”

She sug­gests a diet for the tox­i­c­ity and acid­ity, in­clud­ing a home­o­pathic rem­edy to help with detox­ing. My al­ler­gies also show up, and low iron lev­els. Fairly typ­i­cal, though, for a woman of my age and life stage.

Do her clients ever re­ceive dra­matic di­ag­noses? “Not usu­ally. People usu­ally come to see me as a last re­sort, or for pre­ven­ta­tive medicine. Iri­dol­ogy gives them an an­swer and ex­pla­na­tion for those nig­gles. It is also about chang­ing lit­tle things in their life­style which will be con­ducive to be­ing a happy and healthy per­son.”

For those of us who put our faith in stetho­scopes and doc­tors peer­ing into our ears with lit­tle lights, it seems kooky.

“It is sim­ple,” Stran­sky says. “Ev­ery nerve end­ing in the body sends mes­sages into the spinal cord, and then to the brain. So if you con­sider the brain to be the hard­drive of a com­puter, the eyes would be like a screen. They re­flect what­ever is hap­pen­ing in the body. The op­tic nerve is the only nerve to go straight out of the brain, into the eye.”

Per­haps the eyes are not only win­dows to the soul, but the body too? LS

Pic­ture: KATHER­INE MUICK-MERE

DON’T BLINK: Iri­dol­o­gist Monika Stran­sky

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