Acupuncture and the Tongue

We are all used to going to the GP and being asked to put our tongue out – but do they see what we see?  In acupuncture and TCM the tongue is a comprehensive guide to what is going on in your body, with information regarding both your physical and emotional health.  In acupuncture and TCM we pay particular attention to the tongue when assessing and diagnosing you.  Here is a little more detail on, what is, a very involved subject

Read on and fell free to email us any questions

Colour, shape and coating

Tongue Body Colour

In Chinese medicine, the tongue body colour reflects the state of your vital energy, or Qi (Chee). This indicates the overall state your blood & circulation, and the health of your organs – ideally I am looking for a tongue this is pink.

A purple tongue shows blood stagnation or clotting whilst if pale it can indicate a blood deficiency  or imbalance. A bright red tongue this shows heat present indicating inflammation and possible infection

Tongue Body Shape

The shape of your tongue reflects the state of blood & QI and indicates any deficiencies or excesses. Ideally a healthy tongue is full with no cracks – evidence of these could be a sign of a long term Yin deficiency . 

Tongue Coating

A healthy tongue has a thin white tongue coating. Presence of a thick coating can be a sign you have or are getting a cold. It can also indicate different kinds of digestive energetic imbalance.

Interpretation and evaluation

All these energy patterns and imbalances probably seem confusing but I spent four years studying for my degree so I know how to interpret them and where to focus my acupuncture treatments

In Chinese medicine areas of the tongue relate to different organs and areas of your body. The markings and coatings in particular areas guide acupuncture treatment and which acu-points to place needles. When your tongue coating, colour and markings are mapped over these specific areas, I build a picture of your internal health

In conclusion, therefore, there is a lot more to your tongue that sticking it out and saying “Ahhh”!

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