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Learn the Science Behind Iridology Diagnosis and Iridology Careers

The iris is the colored part of the eye that surrounds the pupil and controls how much light falls on the retina. Practitioners with iridology training also see the iris as a diagnostic tool that can be used to pinpoint areas of health or weakness within the body’s systems.

Specific areas of the iris have been mapped to correspond to particular organs, and markings such as rings, spots and discolorations, according to iridologists, may indicate ailments or predispositions to illness.

Scientific research has not conclusively proven whether iridology is an accurate method of diagnosis, and some professionals oppose its use. However, trained iridologists favor the practice as an indicator for potential health problems, especially when used in conjunction with other alternative or traditional medical practices.

Career Overview

Some practitioners with iridology training favor a direct visual approach: inspection of the iris in person during an office visit, using light and magnification, or analysis of slides of the iris.

Others use methods of computer analysis such as 3-D maze spectroscopy and dynamic overlays of the iris at different stages of health or illness.

Iridology certification may be useful to traditional health care practitioners such as optometrists and ophthalmologists, as well as holistic and naturopathic health professionals.

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Training and Education

What You’ll Study in Iridology School

Iridology training generally includes study of anatomy and physiology, health and nutrition, pathology, diagnostic methods, and herbal medicine.

You’ll also take specific iridology classes that teach about the history of iridology, the iridology chart, eye anatomy, types of irises, how to analyze the iris, and how to formulate treatment plans.

Average Length of Study

Basic iridology training may be completed through traditionally structured programs or via intensive workshops; usually these result in practitioner-level certification and take about 15 to 25 credit hours over the course of 1 to 2 years. Doctoral degrees in iridology take about 68 credit hours to finish, over and above the time spent on basic training.

Average Tuition

Tuition for iridology certification courses may cost anywhere from $1,250 to $4,500, depending on the level of iridology training you are pursuing. A doctoral degree may cost another $2,500 or more.

Iridology Certification

Because of the disagreement in the scientific community about the effectiveness of iridology, practitioners who want to demonstrate that they have made a commitment to professional, ethical and knowledgeable practice would benefit from seeking iridology certification.

The International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA), an iridologists’ trade association, approves iridology certification programs that meet their professional standards. In addition, some practitioners choose to apply for certification from other groups such as the American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board.

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Career Outlook

Iridology is hailed by its proponents as an important diagnostic tool in the area of preventive medicine. With preventive medicine and public health promotion taking a front seat in the ongoing changes to health care in the United States, practitioners with iridology training may see an upswing in interest from patients seeking out less invasive diagnostic methods and more holistic approaches to their health.

Iridology Salary

Once you’ve completed your iridology training, your annual salary may vary depending on your specific job title—naturopathic doctor, holistic nurse, and so on. However, most iridologists charge between $60 and $125 for an in-office iris analysis and consultation. Analysis of slides or digital images may cost more—usually between $100 and $150.

Is an Iridology Career Right for You?

Iridology traces its lineage all the way back to the late 1800s, but its potential in modern medicine has yet to be fully explored. If you’re interested in this dynamic and growing field of preventive medicine and would like to incorporate complementary, non-invasive diagnostic techniques into your health care practice, iridology training can be a useful tool to add to your repertoire.

Sources:, American College of Healthcare Sciences, International Iridology Practitioners Association, American College of Preventive Medicine, New Eden School of Natural Health and Herbal Studies, Niebergall, Lisa, MD. “Iridology.” AltMed.

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