Tongue Diagnosis: What It Tells Your Acupuncturist

During your acupuncture visit your acupuncturist will want to look at your tongue. Pulse and tongue diagnosis are two of the most important diagnostic tools used in Chinese medicine. When looking at a patients tongue we examine the tongue body color, tongue body shape, and tongue coating. You would be amazed at how different each tongue looks! Each one is unique.

The tongue is broken down into regions, each reflecting an organ system. The tip of the tongue in connected with the lung and heart. The middle of the tongue reflects the intestines. The outer edges are connected to the liver and gallbladder. And the root of the tongue reflects the kidney and bladder. For example a pale tongue may indicate fatigue, digestive problems, or sleep problems. A pale tongue shows that there is a deficiency of either qi or blood in the body. A red tongue indicates there is heat in the body. This could manifest as anxiety, restlessness, PMS, high blood pressure.

You may have noticed that when you get sick your tongue changes. Often a white or yellow coating forms. A white coat indicated cold while a yellow coat indicates heat. As we get better the coating changes back to normal. This is a good example that most people can relate to. Are you racing for the mirror to look at your tongue?

To help your acupuncturist makes a diagnosis do not brush or scrape your tongue to remove any coating at least 1 day before your treatment. Also, try not to consume food such as blueberries, coffee, artificial colored candies that will change the color of your tongue for a few hours before your treatment. This helps your acupuncturist form an accurate tongue diagnosis when looking at your tongue.

Changes in the tongue can be seen over time. If you notice any change in your tongue such as new cracks, patches of color then consider seeing an acupuncturist for an accurate tongue diagnosis. Changes in the tongue can precede a medical condition.