Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Naturopathy's Bunk Iridology in the Clinical Advisor, 2013

here, I cite from a recent mild scientific criticism of the pseudoscience known as iridology [see 001., below]; then, I do a brief search of the web to see what turns up [see 002., below]:

001. Sherril Sego writes in "Iridology: Detecting Impaired Organ Function with the Iris" (2013-01-08):

"in recent years, naturopathic practitioners have renewed interest in a disease recognition method that is based on detailing characteristics of the human iris. Iridology represents the study of carefully mapped sections of the iris and the assigned organ systems represented by those areas [...] evidence-based studies do not support its safety and utility [...] the study of the iris for systemic disease indications is far from being a viable clinical tool";

Note: I completely disagree with the author's claim that "iridology is based on intriguing possibilities."  This may highlight the 'rigor gap' that exists between evidence-based medicine and science-based medicine.  Let's in ALL the evidence.  An understanding of basic anatomy and physiology blows apart any plausibility to the claim that the iris is some kind of homunculus for the body's organ systems.  Yet, we do know that the eyes have diagnostic utility when it comes to some indications of extra-ocular / systemic abnormality. As Steve Novella states at sciencebasedmedicine.org, "iridology is an excellent example of pseudoscience in medicine."

002. a current google.com search reveals [first-page results via >iridology naturopathic science<] iridology going quite strong in naturopathy, actually, internationally:

002.a. there is the Guild of Naturopathic Iridologists which tells us "iridology is a safe, non-invasive analytical science";

002.b. ND Koufos who tells us "I am a naturopathic doctor certified in reflexology and iridology. I can help you feel your best through natural means";

002.c. the Holistic Health College which tells us "naturopathy and iridology: these are the cornerstones of the Holistic Health College's complementary health courses";

002.d. and ND Meredith who tells us "iridology is the scientific analysis of patterns and structures in the iris, the colored part of your eye, as well as the sclera, the white part surrounding the iris, to locate inflammation or degeneration in tissues and to identify them as possible causes of physical complaints [...it's] a very good diagnostic tool ";

Note: you'll notice that most of these sources are registered or state-sanctioned.  But, of course! 

 absurdity in a tuxedo is naturopathy's avatar.
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