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Traditional Chinese Medicine tongue diagnosis

If you have been to a Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner you would most likely have been asked to stick out your tongue. What is this all about?

Inspection of the tongue is used as a tool in Chinese medicine to assist in reaching a diagnosis. The appearance of the tongue reflects the health of an individual and any imbalances occurring within the body.

In some ways the tongue serves as a map of the internal organs. The tip of the tongue reflects the organs that are higher in the chest, the lungs and the heart. The middle of the tongue relates more to the digestive organs and the back of the tongue reflect the lower abdomen including the bladder, kidneys and intestines.

Abnormalities and changes to these areas of the tongue give us clues into any dysfunctions occurring within these systems.

The colour, shape, size, coating as well as the location and depth of cracks on the tongue will also be indicative of different conditions. A healthy tongue is pinkish-red which is a sign of good circulation. A tongue that is very pale will often indicate lower energy levels and a very red tongue indicates too much ‘heat’ in the body – high blood pressure, anxiety, fever, infection etc.

The coating of a tongue should be thin and white, indicating strong digestive functioning. If there is a thick coating, yellow coating or no coating this indicates imbalance in the body and will help guide the treatment.

Next time you are brushing your teeth stick out your tongue and have a look, it might be trying to tell you something!

For a comprehensive health treatment, come and see TCM practitioner Kirsten Lee at Hornsby (9482 4877) or Mona Vale (9979 8887).

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