Understanding Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine
- Jennifer Dubowsky, LAc, is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since 2002.
I find tongue diagnosis to be informative; I learn a lot about a patient’s health from examining their tongue. A tongue examination consists of observing color, shape, size, and coating. However keep in mind that when a practitioner is analyzing your tongue, she is putting all these pieces of information together and does not only focus on one aspect of the tongue. Whenever the tongue body changes from a healthy pink to another color, it indicates an imbalance existing within the body.
* A red tongue indicates that there is too much heat in the body; the redder the tongue, the hotter the disease.
* A pale tongue indicates a deficiency of qi and blood or the presence of cold; the paler the tongue, the colder and/or more deficiency existing within the body.
* Very thin, short tongue may indicate dryness or a lack of fluids in the body.
Many changes in the state of your health and balance of your body can appear in your tongue. As an example, stick out your tongue, and if you notice a thick, greasy coating, you may be experiencing digestive problems or be on the verge of a nasty cold. Also, keep in mind that food and drink will influence the color off the tongue coating temporarily, and smokers are easily detected because of the dry yellow coating of their tongues. Keep reading for more details on the coating of your tongue and other indicative signs.