How About Some New Tongues?


Have you ever noticed how different tongues can be? Probably not if you aren’t an acupuncture geek. Each of these tongues give  clues about the health of the person showing it. Assessing tongues is one of the tools TCM has to figure out the state of your health. If you want to see more tongues, find them here.

Tongue Map TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Here it is-
The not-so-secret tongue map your acupuncturist is using to “read” what’s happening on your inside.

What Tongues Can Tell Us…

About a week ago I just happened to have some time on my hands and I also had my camera. It occurred to me that I was at an intersection of  a golden opportunity. I ran around the office snapping pictures of the tongues of anyone I caught off guard enough to consent to have their tongues photographed. Why? Because this blog definitely needs a tongue gallery.

Of course one of the most-often asked questions at the clinic is, “What does my tongue tell you?” I usually tell the patient what I see and follow up with the recommendation that he or she look at the tongues of friends and family for contrast and comparison. Now I can probably guess correctly that few, if any, of my patients ask to see the tongues of the people of their inner circle. Have you ever noticed that, when asked,  people become shy or reluctant to show their tongues? This isn’t by chance as it turns out. Chinese medical theory explains that reluctance nicely. It also explains why it’s so bone-chillingly terrifying when the Maori blatantly loll their tongues at their enemies.  But the chance to be able to see many tongues at once is just too good to miss (at least to an acupuncturist!).

So here they are, the first of a growing gallery of tongues just waiting for contrast and comparison. Before you look, just know that there is such a thing as the perfect tongue but no one has the 100% perfect one. It’s an ideal that we can all try to reach through healthful living.

What Is Your Tongue Telling You?

Day 100

Originally uploaded by SuperFantastic

What an opportunity! What a great pic!
Be brave and give your own tongue a good, long look. Check it out first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. Look at it in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Check it out after an argument and also after a particularly good experience. Look at it when you’re 20 years old and when you’re 80 years old. Compare your tongue to your friends’ or loved ones’ (any of them that won’t think it’s too kooky that is).
What changes do you see? What stays the same? Each part of your tongue including the body, coating, tip, middle, edges and root, its color and shape, whether it’s dry or moist, curled or flat, deviated or straight all tell your acupuncturist about what’s happening inside of your body. Even if you don’t know immediately what your tongue is “telling” you, your acupuncturist can translate!
Whereas your “Chinese” pulses provide up-to-the-second information about what’s going on in your body, your tongue shows your body’s trends. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER brush your tongue before an acupuncture visit. The point of looking at your un-brushed tongue is so that we can figure out what points to needle to make the most of your visit!