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In addition to the white signs, Nature also portrays acute healing activity by white nerve rings and by the appearance of the white sympathetic wreath.
Nerve rings are concentric rings shown in Fig. 7. They look in the iris as though they had been drawn with a white pencil.
According to anatomists who have made a special study of the structure of the iris, these rings originate in the following manner: "During the dilation of the pupil the anterior layers of the iris are disposed in folds, the depressions between which constitute the so called 'contraction grooves or furrows'. These grooves are deepened when the iris narrows and are almost entirely obliterated by being smoothed out as the iris broadens (pupil contracts)." Fig. 8 (B-B), p. 66, shows the contraction grooves as portrayed in standard works on anatomy.
While it may be true, as anatomy claims, that the grooves in the iris are caused by mechanical contractions and dilations of the iris curtain, we claim that these fluctuations in the size of the pupil are also brought about by an over irritated nervous system, by pain, emotional states, etc. This explains why nerve rings appear and disappear in the iris in strict correspondence with pathological conditions in the nervous system. At first they appear white (acute) on account of the fact that all pathological changes occur first in the acute form. (Color plate, e.)
White nerve rings indicate an irritated, over stimulated condition of the central nervous system or of certain parts of it. If they show in certain confined parts or organs only, they often indicate the approach or present activity of healing crises. When they appear in the brain region they indicate a disturbed, irritated or over stimulated condition of brain matter. This is usually accompanied by a nervous mental condition and insomnia. (Fig. 26.)
This nerve irritation, when long continued, produces a benumbed, semi-paralyzed condition of the nerves. These progressive atrophic conditions are portrayed in the iris by a gradual darkening and final blackening of the nerve rings. (Fig. 6, Secs. 3-4. Color plate, f, page 116.)
When the nerve rings appear dark grey or black it means that the corresponding portions of the nervous system have passed from the acute, over irritated condition to the atonic or semi-atrophic.
To illustrate--white nerve rings in bronchi and lungs might indicate acute bronchitis or pneumonia. White nerve rings in the brain might indicate hyperaetivity, great irritability, hysteria and insomnia through irritation by systemic or drug poisons or by mental or emotional irritation. Black nerve rings in the same area would indicate a benumbed or semi-paralyzed condition of brain matter, characterized by great weakness and prostration, loss of memory, numbness and partial paralysis of nervous and mental functions.
It is most interesting to observe the gradual change of the black nerve rings into white, and in time the entire disappearance of the white rings under natural methods of living and treatment. I have seen the black nerve rings in the iris of many people afflicted with chronic insomnia or with serious mental diseases. As such cases yielded to natural treatment the black nerve rings always changed into white and finally disappeared entirely from the brain region.
Iridologists so far have, in the worst cases of nerve derangement, discovered only four fully developed nerve rings. (Fig. 7, p. 57)
These four nerve rings, from the pupil outward, form five consecutive zones.
Imagine the iris divided lengthwise and the nerve rings straightened out and you will have the five zones as in zone therapy for each half of the body.
If we count the areas of stomach and bowels as one zone each, and add them to the five outer zones, then we have again the mystical number seven. Furthermore we find that the various organs center in one or several of these zones; thus the stomach is located in the first zone when we count from the pupil outward, the intestines in the second zone, the pancreas, kidneys and heart in the third zone, the respiratory organs in the fourth zone, and so forth, as outlined in Fig. 7a, p. 58.
According to Jackson's Anatomy, "the surface radial ridges coming from the edge of the pupil and those radiating from the periphery of the iris, meet in a zig-zag elevated ridge concentric with the pupil called the 'corona irides'." (Fig. 8-D, page 66)
This elevated ridge is identical with the area of the sympathetic nervous system in the iris.
"Since these ridges correspond to the situation of the blood vessels of the stroma, the corona irides represents the location of the minor circle" (of blood vessels). (Fig. 3, page 19)
From the Nature Cure viewpoint, the manifestations of disease occur as vasomotor changes, which are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. This explains why the blood vessels in the iris and the "sympathetic wreath" are identical in location.
Since the sympathetic wreath forms the outer boundary of the intestinal zone, its widening and branching corresponds to a flabby, flaccid, atonic, dilated condition of the intestines. Such a relaxed condition of the intestines results in constipation due to the fact that the musculature of the intestinal walls is too weak to contract on and to propel the food residue (enfeebled peristalsis). (Fig. 19, p. 218)
From this it is plain that in such a condition enemas are particularly contra-indicated, because the habitual injection of warm water still further dilates the already weakened intestinal walls. The indicated spinal manipulation (aside from correcting specific lesions) is to treat the reflex center in the spine which contracts the intestines--i. e., the second lumbar.
On the other hand, a small, narrowed sympathetic wreath signifies a correspondingly spastic, over irritation of the intestines. This brings about spastic constipation with straining at the stool. The indicated spinal treatment in such a case is diametrically opposed to the treatment for the relaxed condition, i. e., stimulate the center (the eleventh dorsal), which dilates the intestinal musculature.
Osteopaths, chiropractors and naprapaths are sometimes at a loss to account for the fact that in some cases of constipation the patient may immediately respond to adjustment, whereas in other cases the patient apparently gets worse until the spinal lesion has been corrected.
To illustrate: Suppose in a case of flaccid constipation where the iris shows a widened sympathetic wreath and the physical examination a distended condition of the bowels with gas formation, the spinal lesion happens to be at the second lumbar (the reflex from which center contracts the intestines), adjustment will not only tend to correct the mechanical lesion but will also elicit nerve reflexes which contract the distended bowel wall. In such cases improvement is noticed long before the spinal lesion is corrected.
To illustrate the opposite condition: A patient with spastic constipation has a spinal lesion in the second lumbar. In this case adjustments on account of the reflexes of contraction which they elicit will temporarily aggravate the condition--spastic constipation--until the lesion is corrected.
In order to prevent these temporary aggravations, adjustments in this case should be followed by treatment of the eleventh dorsal so as to dilate the intestines.
We find the contracted sympathetic wreath and "pin-head" pupil in many types of paralysis, while the distended, highly mobile pupil is indicative of nervous irritation and hyper-sensitiveness, as caused, for instance, by intestinal parasites in children.
Symbolism has always identified white with the constructive principle in Nature and black with the destructive principle. White are the angels of light, black the demons of darkness. White is the emblem of youth, joy, peace and happiness; black symbolizes old age, war, death, destruction and mourning.
In her picture language in the iris, Nature confirms and upholds humanity's instinctive perceptions. She paints all constructive processes in white and destructive processes in black. In this way she confirms the fundamental law of cure--all acute conditions are the result of Nature's healing efforts.
When chronic and destructive processes in the body have painted in the iris the dark shades and black signs of destruction or of loss of substance and the patient has been "given up" by allopathic practitioners as incurable, when as a last resort he has adopted natural methods of healing and is approaching the crisis periods,--then the white signs of acute activity in the dark regions of the iris are as welcome to the sight of the natural therapeutist as the white flag of surrender on the fortress wall to the besieging army.
Thus the white signs in the iris, as well as the white nerve rings, are not only indicators of acute disease but in chronic cases they become the heralds of approaching healing crises.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said 2,000 years ago that it, was "the duty of the physician to foresee these changes, to assist or not to hinder them," so that "the sick man might conquer the disease with the help of the physician". The times at which crises were to be expected were naturally looked for with anxiety; and it was a cardinal point in the Hippocratic system to foretell them with precision. With the limited knowledge of diagnostic science at the command of the disciples of Hippocrates this was an exceedingly difficult task.
Iridiagnosis not only proves the truth of the teachings of the great master of medicine, but also makes it comparatively easy to carry out his injunction, to foretell and describe the coming healing crises.
The manager of a great sanitarium in this country, scouting the idea of healing crises, says in one of his works that some "tyros" in the art of healing say a great deal about, healing crises, but that the violent reactions which they produce are merely the results of harsh treatment.
I have treated and cured many patients who were discharged from this and other sanitariums during the first six weeks of improvement because the doctors in such institutions were under the mistaken impression that the first improvement was a cure, but in many instances these "cured" ones hardly reached home when healing crises made their appearance. Not understanding the meaning of these reactions, the patients were frightened back to the "flesh-pots of Egypt" and to the pills of Dr. Dopem.
I have found that others who remained in these institutions during the first improvement until the crisis period, not having been instructed or warned about the significance of these natural reactions, became greatly alarmed, packed their trunks and secretly left for home, believing more firmly than ever in the efficacy of drugs and the surgeon's knife. The following may serve as a typical example.
Some time ago an elderly woman visited a lodge sister, who was under our care and treatment, The visitor kindly volunteered the information that she had undergone "this kind of treatment, but that it had done her no good". When questioned about her experience she said that, for many years she had suffered with "bowel trouble" and that her family physician had recommended an operation for appendicitis. Dreading the operation, she went instead to a renowned sanitarium supposed to be working along natural lines of healing. For a few months her improvement was remarkable, but then all at once the old pains and inflammations returned. She concluded that the "drugless treatment" was not the thing for her, returned to Chicago and at once had the offending appendix removed.
"Since that time," she added defiantly, "it has never troubled me any more."
Looking at her enlarged finger joints, I remarked: "Since the operation you have been badly constipated."
"Yes, that is so."
"Since that time you have also suffered a great deal with rheumatism." This she also confirmed.
I endeavored to explain to her that the removal of the appendix simply aggravated chronic constipation; that this in turn was the cause of rheumatism; that it, would have been better for her if she had stayed in the sanitarium, weathered the crises and had then been cured permanently of her intestinal ailments. This would have meant restoration of perfect function, normal action of the bowels and kidneys, and freedom from rheumatism.
These suggestions she vehemently resented. She knew her appendix was "cured" and the rheumatism had nothing to do with it. Her doctor had told her "the rheumatiz was caused by the damp Chicago climate".
An old proverb says, "Against stupidity even the gods battle in vain." I left her to enjoy in peace her chronic constipation and her "rheumatiz".
If the doctors in the great sanitarium had understood the laws of crises, they could have saved, in this one as well as in many other cases, the reputation of their institution and of natural treatment--as well as the appendix of the patient; and they could have spared her a great deal of chronic suffering.
It would have been impossible for me to hold one half of my chronic patients through the trying times of acute reaction if I had not been able, from the records in the iris, to foretell and to describe the future healing crises.
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