Tongue Diagnosis

Tongue diagnosis is an integral part of taking a medical history in Chinese medicine.

Chinese medicine practitioners believe the appearance of your tongue can reveal a lot about your health. Different areas of the tongue are believed to reflect the state of the different organ systems. If there is an unusual color, coating, and/or shape in a certain area, special attention is paid to the corresponding organ system.

In Chinese medicine, disease is explained by an imbalance of yin and yang and heat and cold in the human body. Chinese medicine believes that chronic imbalances will have a definite impact on the color and shape of the tongue body and the color and thickness of the tongue coating.

A normal tongue is described as light red in color with a thin white coating. The tongue should not be too wet and not too dry. The tongue should be without cracks or movement. It should not be too long or too short nor too stiff or too flaccid.

Tongue body color reflects the health of the internal organs. When the tongue changes from the normal pale red to very pale, dark red, purple or blue it is a clear picture of pathological changes in the body. Changes in the shape of the tongue body will indicate the severity or duration of the condition. Tongue coating can change quickly and will be a clear indication whether or not the nature of the disease is one of excess or deficiency.

Tongue diagnosis is an important part of the Chinese medical assessment, but as with any assessment method, the doctor does not rely on tongue diagnosis alone, but uses it as part to provide a complete picture of a person’s health

When the wisdom of Chinese medicine meets the technological advances of western medicine, we will all benefit.