Want to learn something about your health? Then let’s take a peek at that tongue. The tongue has many relationships and connections in the body, both to the meridians and the internal organs. It is therefore very useful and important during inspection for confirming TCM diagnosis. It can present strong visual indicators of a person’s overall harmony or disharmony. One look at your tongue and I can learn more about your body than any other physical examination.
Now it’s your turn. Take a moment to yourself. Sit in front of the mirror. Now, take a good look at your tongue.
What color is it? Is it bright red? Pale red? Dusky/purpleish?
Do you see a coat in the back of your tongue? How far does it go up to the front of your tongue? Is the coat yellow or white?
Do you see cracks in the middle of your tongue?
Is there a quiver to your tongue when you stick it out?
These are all things that matter when you are talking tongue diagnosis. Color, coating, cracks and other characteristics are all signs about your entire body’s overall state of health.There are 4 main aspects to look at when examining a tongue.
Body color refers to the color of the tongue itself. The color of the tongue color is the most important aspect when looking at the tongue because it reflects the true constitutional condition of the body, and doesn’t change much according to acute changes in diet, emotion or environment.
Examining tongue shape takes into consideration the features of the tongue surface, texture, and movement. Tongue shape reflects the state of the body’s organs, qi, and blood. It’s particularly useful in differentiating conditions of excess and deficiency.
Coating color reflects whether a pathogen is hot or cold in nature. A white coating corresponds to a cold condition and a yellow coating corresponds to a heat condition. The thickness of the coating reflects the strength of the coating and how deeply it has progressed in the body.
The moisture of the tongue provides an indication of the status of the body’s fluids. Simply put, a dry tongue will indicate an insufficiency of body fluids and a wet tongue indicates an accumulation of body fluids in the body.
Based on your tongue’s appearance, I can not only decipher what the root cause of your illness is (qi deficiency, blood deficiency, blood stasis, etc.) I can also prescribe the appropriate diet or herbs that would best correct the imbalance. This chart below has a couple of the most common tongues seen in clinical practice.
For a thorough and individualized diagnosis and treatment plan schedule a consultation with Michelle Hamilton at the SLO Wellness Center in San Luis Obispo or via Facetime which can be scheduled here.