Fundamental Signs of Iridology--Part 1: The Basic Morphological Markings
The eyes are the mirror not only of the soul but also of the body. --Ignaz von Peczely
We call signs that mark changes on the surface of the iris since birth organic or morphological signs. These morphological markings were identified by Josef Deck in the mid-twentieth century as lacuna, honeycomb, crypt, defect, and skin ring.
A lacuna is an elliptical morphology of variable size, with changes in both the greater and minor axes. Located preferentially in the ciliary zone of the stroma, and in the whole range of the chart, a lacuna coincides with fiber distension; it is not frequently found in the first and second circular zones of the iris. It can be closed or open, and it signals organ failure, with no clinical expression, that will become evident only with the presence of infectious processes, lesions that involve the organ, or old age. H. W. Schmidt and Josef Deck both agree that an open lacuna indicates a predisposition toward sudden organ failure. The organs most frequently marked by this sign are the brain and the heart. There are iridologists who believe that a closed lacuna indicates a concluded process, though there are many doubts regarding this, and it is a controversial issue. There are many descriptions for the peculiar shapes of lacunae and their whimsical combinations in the iris, but even today these different shapes have no clear and conclusive meanings.
The honeycomb or cluster marking has plurilacunar morphology, being shaped like the cells of a beehive. This marking indicates a loss of function due to nutritional disorders, which can evolve into a state of cirrhosis. The most frequently affected organs are the pancreas and lungs.
A crypt has a rhomboid-shaped morphology, with loss of substance. It indicates chronic damage, or an ulcerous area with a tendency for perforation. When the crypt has pigments like the one called “pepper grain,” it indicates a predisposition toward relapsing ulcers. The most frequently affected reflexive areas are the stomach, intestines, and pancreas. (Cysts with a tendency toward necrosis can be formed in the pancreas.) The base layer of the iris is observed in a crypt.
Morphologically, a defect is similar to a small buttonhole, dot, or virgule (a very small line or radius). It is a deep mark, where the base layer of the iris can be observed, just like in a crypt. Its meaning is no different from that of a crypt (tissue destruction, scarring), and it is compatible with intestinal polyps and diverticula.
Loss of substance: We use this term to describe a distension and gradual loss of stroma fibers. Defects and other organic markings are sometimes accompanied by loss of substance. However, it is necessary to differentiate the defect from said loss. Loss of substance implies benign tissue changes of accommodation with loss of function, though that function is recoverable.
A skin ring indicates the functional state of the skin.
Reflexive signs correspond to body levels (sectors) in the iridology chart. Their nature is phenotypical, and they are organic alerts or in situ reparation signs, showing that the body is in a state of defense or repair. They follow vascular and nervous pathways, with calibrated changes, and can be observed for days or even months, depending on the process taking place. Reflexive signs are reversible, with the exception of the transverse ones, which, once present, never disappear.
Reflexive signs can generally be categorized as one of the following:
• Radial sign: Signals an acute irritation state and swollen tissue. Depending on the chart, it can be a sign of cardiac neurosis.
• Vascular radial sign: Signals intense irritation and capillary stasis.
• Sinuous or curved sign: Signals ptosis or adhesions.
• Transverse sign: Signals adhesions or deformations, which calibrated changes following the changes in the relevant process.
• Vascular transverse sign: Shaped like a root; signals congestion or hyperemia.
• Radial silver thread: Signals spasmophilia.
• Reticular or neural network: Signals nerve inflammation.
• Radial fish hooks: Signal psychic spasm. Aside from the markings described above, there are a few other reflexive signs that are also very common: tension rings, furrows, radii solaris, and mamillations.
Tension Rings or Arches
It is a common mistake in iridology to associate this sign with nervousness, when in reality it indicates a predisposition toward muscle spasms in both smooth and striated muscles. For a 5 person with this tendency, factors that favor a spastic disposition include local irritants, intense cold, lack of blood supply, and excessive exercise.
This sign has various manifestions, all with the same meaning. It occurs more frequently in people with chestnut or mixed-colored eyes and is less evident in people with blue or gray eyes. Tension rings are located in the ciliary zone, from the collarette to the border of the iris, and are rarely located in the pupil zone. They are also known as Schwalbe contraction folds or furrows.
Radial furrows are most commonly found in the cephalic and ventral zones, and their presence allows us to connect ailments with a predisposition to have symptoms of gastrointestinal origin and constipation. Radial furrows have many manifestions, all with the same meaning. They occur more frequently in people with mixed-colored eyes. Some iridologists believe that short radials are more common as we age, but that theory remains to be documented.
Multiple radial signs are related to the predisposition to suffer from chronic fatigue.
According to J. Andrews, mamillations are a sign of immune hypersensitivity, with increased presence of macrophages (cells able to perform phagocytosis with large particles).