This is a common question. Your acupuncturist will look at your tongue to determine;
- Diagnosis for TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
- And to identify the advancement of a condition
The tongue is associated with the internal organs of the body as well as the meridians. The meridians in TCM refer to pathways within the body where energy is known to flow. These energy pathways coincide with the overall health of the organ system they correspond with.
- The back of the tongue corresponds with the kidney, bladder, large and small intestine
- The left and right side of the tongue correspond with the liver and the gallbladder
- The center of the tongue corresponds with the stomach and the spleen
- The tip of the tongue corresponds with the lung and heart
The colour of the tongue serves as an indicator of the internal temperature of the body and correlates with circulation from the liver and the heart. Colour of the tongue can also reveal to your acupuncturist if there is a heat or cold condition present. A heat condition indicates that the body’s internal temperature is too warm and vice versa for cold conditions. This is also why your acupuncturist may suggest that you eat hot or cold foods (see: Healthy Eating According to Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Red or Pink: Indicative of the internal temperature of the body and is a normal colouring. However, too much redness (only when applicable symptoms exist), could indicate a “heat” condition.
White: The thin white layering of the tongue is referred to as the tongues coating. In individual cases, the coating can vary from week to week. For example when a woman has their period, is pregnant or after labour the white coating may change. The white layer is indicative of a healthy digestive system however, if the white layer has a thickness to it, this could mean a “cold” condition is located in the GI tract. Poor circulation (blood clots and toxins) can cause there to be more or less white coating.
Purple: A purple colouring is indicative of poor blood circulation, due to the liver and the heart. But there are several other reasons why the colouring of the tongue may be purple. Migraines and arthritis are a couple examples.
Yellow: The GI tract is inflamed and digestion is sluggish.
Your acupuncturist will also examine the shape of the tongue to gain a sense of the nature of a condition. Therefore; it is important for your acupuncturist to take a look in order to gain a sense of your body and your health.