Iridology

Iridology, also called iris analysis or iris diagnosis, is the study of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Iris “readings” are made by iridologists to assess a person’s health picture (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and guide them to take measures to improve their health.

The basic concept of iridology has existed for centuries. The medical school of the University of Salerno in Italy offered training in iris diagnosis. A book published by Philippus Meyers in 1670, called Chiromatica medica, noted that signs in the iris indicate diseases.

Dr. Ignatz von Peczely, however, is generally considered the father of iridology, with the date of his discovery given as 1861. Von Peczely was a Hungarian physician. As a child, he accidentally broke an owl’s leg. He observed that a black line formed in the owl’s lower iris at the time of the injury.

Iron

Iron is a mineral that the human body uses to produce the red blood cells (hemoglobin) that carry oxygen throughout the body. It is also stored in myoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein in the muscles that fuels cell growth.

Iron is abundant in red meats, vegetables, and other foods, and a well-balanced diet can usually provide an adequate supply of the mineral. But when there is insufficient iron from dietary sources, or as a result of blood loss in the body, the amount of hemoglobin in the bloodstream is reduced and oxygen cannot be efficiently transported to tissues and organs throughout the body.

The resulting condition is known as iron-deficiency anemia, and is characterized by fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin, concentration problems, dizziness, a weakened immune system, and energy loss.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common intestinal condition characterized by abdominal pain and cramps; changes in bowel movements (diarrhea, constipation, or both); gassiness; bloating; nausea; and other symptoms.

There is no recognized cure for IBS. Much about the condition remains unknown or poorly understood; however, dietary changes, drugs, and psychological treatment are often able to eliminate or substantially reduce its symptoms.

IBS is the name people use today for a condition that was once called colitis, spastic colon, nervous colon, spastic bowel, and functional bowel disorder. Some of these names reflected the now-outdated belief that IBS is a purely psychological disorder and a product of the patient’s imagination.

Ischemia

Ischemia is an insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to an organ, usually due to a blocked artery.

Myocardial ischemia is an intermediate condition in coronary artery disease during which the heart tissue is slowly or suddenly starved of oxygen and other nutrients. Eventually, the affected heart tissue will die.

When blood flow is completely blocked to the heart, ischemia can lead to a heart attack. Ischemia can be silent or symptomatic. According to the American Heart Association, up to four million Americans may have silent ischemia and be at high risk of having a heart attack with no warning.

Itching

Itching is an intense, distracting irritation or tickling sensation that may be felt all over the skin’s surface or confined to just one area. The medical term for itching is pruritus.

Itching leads most people instinctively to scratch the affected area. Different people can tolerate different amounts of itching, and anyone’s threshold of tolerance can be changed due to stress, emotions, and other factors.

In general, itching is more severe if the skin is warm, and if there are few distractions. This is why people tend to notice itching more at night.

Jaundice

Jaundice is a condition in which a person’s skin and the whites of the eyes are discolored yellow due to an increased level of bile pigments in the blood resulting from liver disease. Jaundice is sometimes called icterus, from a Greek word for “the condition.”

In order to understand jaundice, it is useful to know about the role of the liver in producing bile. The most important function of the liver is the metabolic processing of chemical waste products like cholesterol, and excreting them into the intestines as bile.

The liver is the premier chemical factory in the body—most incoming and outgoing chemicals pass through it. It is the first stop for all nutrients, toxins, and drugs absorbed by the digestive tract.

Jet lag

Jet lag is a condition marked by fatigue, insomnia, and irritability that is caused by air travel through changing time zones. It is commonplace: a 2002 study of international business travelers (IBTs) found that jet lag was one of the most common health problems reported, affecting as many as 74% of IBTs.

Living organisms are accustomed to periods of night and day alternating at set intervals. Most of the human body’s regulating hormones follow this cycle, known as circadian rhythm.

The word circadian comes from the Latin, circa, meaning about, and dies, meaning day. These cycles are not exactly 24 hours long, hence the “circa.” Each chemical has its own cycle of highs and lows, interacting with and influencing the other cycles.

Jock itch

Also known as tinea cruris, jock itch is a growth of fungus in the warm, moist area of the groin.

Fungal infections are named for the affected part of the body. Cruris is derived from the Latin word for leg, hence Tinea cruris, for the fungal rash affecting the area where the leg joins the pelvis. Fungi seem to thrive in dark moist places.

Jock itch has been found most often in males, especially those who wear athletic equipment and frequently use public showers and locker rooms. It is also thought that some fungal infections may be spread by towels that may be inadequately cleansed between gym/spa users, but this has not been clearly documented.

Fungal infections can invade or spread to various other areas of the body, and are named for the affected body part. For example, Tinea capitis is a fungal infection of the head, usually resulting in red, itchy areas that destroy the hair in the affected area.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba (pronounced ho-ho-ba) oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the crushed bean of the jojoba shrub (Simmondsia chinenis). The jojoba shrub is native to the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and neighboring regions in Arizona and southern California. It grows in dense stands throughout that region.

The woody evergreen shrub may reach 15 ft (4.5 m) in height. Jojoba has flat gray-green leathery leaves and a deep root system that make it well adapted to desert heat and drought. It has a life span of 100–200 years, depending on environmental conditions.

Jojoba grows best in areas with 10–18 in (25–45 cm) of annual rainfall where temperatures seldom fall below 25°F (-4°C) for more than a few hours at night. It can grow on many types of soils, including porous rocks, in slightly acid to alkaline soils, and on mountain slopes or in valleys.

Journal Therapy

Journal therapy is the purposeful and intentional use of a written record of one’s own thoughts or feelings to further psychological healing and personal growth. It is often used as an adjunct to many psychotherapy and re covery programs.

Healthcare practitioners maintain that written expression fills a very important role in the therapeutic process by providing a mechanism of emotional expression in circumstances in which interpersonal expression is not possible or viable.

Origins

People have kept journals and diaries to record dreams, memories, and thoughts since ancient times. Emotional expression has also long held a central role in the study and practice of psychology.

Juice Therapies

Juice therapy involves the consumption of the juice of raw fruit or vegetables. A person may drink juice preventively to stay healthy, to treat a medical condition like cancer, or to produce a certain outcome, such as strengthening the immune system.

Three widely practiced juice therapies differ primarily in the amount of time that a person is involved in the therapy and whether other items are included in the person’s diet.

For some people, adding fresh juice to their daily meal plan is sufficient. Others will embark on a juice fast for several days to cleanse their systems. Juice is also a major component of the so-called Gerson therapy diet that is used to treat cancer. This therapy usually starts with a stay of three to eight weeks in a clinic. Then therapy continues at home and may continue for years.

Juniper

Juniper (Juniperus communis) is an evergreen shrub found on mountains and heaths throughout Europe, Southwest Asia, and North America. The tree grows to a height of 6-25 ft (2-8 m) and has stiff, pointed needles that grow to 0.4 in (1 cm) long. The female bears cones that produce small round bluish-black berries, which take three years to fully mature.

Juniper belongs to the pine family (Cupressaceae). Juniper has diuretic, antiseptic, stomachic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antirheumatic properties. The tree’s therapeutic properties stem from a volatile oil found in the berries. This oil contains terpenes, flavonoid glycosides, tannins, sugar, tar, and resin.

Terpinen-4-ol (a diuretic compound of the oil) stimulates the kidneys, increasing their filtration rate. The flavonoid amentoflavone exhibits antiviral properties. Test tube studies show that another constituent of juniper, desoxypodophyllotoxins, may act to inhibit the herpes simplex virus.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) refers to a number of different conditions, all of which strike children, and all of which have immune-mediated joint inflammation as their major manifestation.

JRA is also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis or JIA. The European League Against Rheumatism, or EULAR, refers to the disorder as juvenile chronic arthritis, or JCA.

The skeletal system of the body is made up of different types of strong, fibrous tissue known as connective tissue. Bone, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons are all forms of connective tissue that have different compositions, and thus different characteristics.