What the tongue says
When we look at person, we notice their complexion (dry, pale, spots), we notice the vitality of their hair, liveliness or tiredness of their eyes and so on. We are making instant judgments about a person’s health, wellbeing and mood from these non-verbal clues. Similarly these exterior aspects are also reflected on the tongue. However, the tongue is special because of its immediate connection to the interior of the body. This gives it a prominent place in Chinese Medicine diagnostics: it tells a practitioner about the state of your blood, fluids, organs (especially your digestion) and disease progression. This information has been gathered by generations of Chinese Medical physicians over thousands years to produce a window into the body about what is going on. It is another non-verbal clue.
So what I am looking at?
The tongue body – the shape, colour and cracks on its surface tell me much about a person’s health.
The tongue covering – the coat on a tongue is important too. I look at thickness, colour, texture (dry/greasy) and coverage (are there patches of no cover for example). Please don’t brush your tongue before your appointment!
What is a normal tongue?
The tongue should be a pale red, without cracks, not too big or small, no teethmarks and with a thin white coat covering the tongue. When your tongue deviates from the norm, this could be due to disease past or present, your constitution (genetic inheritance) and lifestyle. This includes your emotional life. The photo shows a normal tongue
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