Why are you looking at my tongue?

I must get asked this question at least once a day.  It seems so strange, doesn’t it?  When Chinese medicine developed, over 2000 years ago, they didn’t have the diagnostic imaging equipment that we have today.  They instead relied on an acute sense of observation, looking closely not only at what the main problem was, but also how it may be affecting the body as a whole.  At your own visit, you may have noticed that I ask a million questions that seem very unrelated, and then feel your pulse and look at your tongue.  All of these help me understand more specifically what is going on in your body, and puts together a picture of your health as a whole.

Let’s talk more about the tongue.  We look at the shape and color of the tongue and the quality of the tongue coating.  Divided into different areas, it is reflective of the internal workings of your body.  An ideal tongue is pale red, with a thin white coating. Pay attention to your own tongue and you will notice it can change depending on how you are feeling.  When getting a cold it is not uncommon to notice a redness on the tip (reflective of the lungs).  If you become nauseous you may notice a thick coating in the tongues center, (reflective of the digestive system).  It is amazing what the body is able to communicate, and how we can continually learn how to listen.