When you see your acupuncturist, chances are they ask you how you're doing physically and then check your pulse on each wrist to make a diagnosis. However, if they've ever asked to see your tongue, you may be left baffled. What does your tongue have to do with anything, you might think? Believe it or not, in traditional Chinese medicine the tongue acts like a road map, visually showing imbalanced qi in your body. Here's a basic idea of what the appearance of your tongue means.
Your acupuncturist is looking for color, bumps or plaque-like film on your tongue. The area of the tongue these things show up on indicates that a part of your body is struggling. Here's a basic map of what's matched to the regions of your tongue:
For example, if the tip of your tongue is red, that could indicate excess heat qi in your heart. If it's pale or purplish, that could indicate that there's excess cold in your heart.
The colors that appear on your tongue aren't limited to red and purple. The meanings of the colors seen on your tongue follow common sense: paler, bluish colors like purple, blue, or faint pink indicate that something is cold, and red and dark red indicates that it's hot.
A "colder" color like blue or purple means that the matching part of your body isn't receiving enough heat qi, and a "hot" color like red means it's getting too much.
Your acupuncturist may have asked you in the past to not brush your tongue prior to coming in for a treatment. That's because the film or coating on your tongue is also important to diagnose your condition. By brushing your tongue before an appointment, you remove this film temporarily, and your acupuncturist loses a diagnostic tool.
A healthy tongue film should be thin, and fairly moist. A thick or wet film on the tongue indicates an excess of cold energy, and a dry film means there's an excess of heat.
Unfortunately, without training as an acupuncturist, it's not possible to diagnose yourself and equalize the qi in your body yourself. Your acupuncturist like one in West Omaha Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic is trained to recognize the heat and cold levels in your body with the help of your tongue's appearance and will stabilize them during your acupuncture treatment. Doing so will help to promote your overall health and well-being.
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