When I then ask you to stick out your tongue you might start to think, ok now things are becoming a little bit weird.. But it wasn't very long ago that your local doctor would always ask you to see your tongue.
Tongue diagnosis is another diagnostic method that chinese medicine practitioners continue to use today. Another part of the essence, of the medicine that we have maintained throughout the ages.
Well, you say. What do you see?
When I look at your tongue, I have this map in mind. I notice whether there are any areas of the tongue that are out of balance. In general a very healthy tongue is pinky red, has a thin white coat that covers the whole area of the tongue, it fits comfortably in your mouth and it can reach the tip of your nose without straining.
It doesn't actually need to reach the tip of your nose but I hope you gave it a try! :)
The tongue is a very extensive diagnostic tool. It gives me a good idea of what is going on and what has been going on for the past couple of days/weeks/years. The first thing I notice is the colour and where the colour is different. For example more red at the tip would demonstrate more heat in the heart, or more red/orange on the sides more heat/disharmony in the liver.
I then look at the tongue coating, determining whether it covers the whole tongue body or if it is peeling off, it may even be peeling off in spots. I also notice whether the coat is coloured from thick white - light yellow - dark yellow - green - black. A thick white coat could demonstrate cold or dampness and yellow would mean heat.
I notice how your tongue moves. The movement of your tongue gives me an idea of how your psycosocial self feels. We call this the 'Shen', the shen can be likened to the spirit or the creative self. A tongue that wriggles around can tell me you're uncomfortable sticking your tongue out but it can also mean your spirit is currently our of balance.
I also notice whether your tongue is large or small in your mouth. All of these things add to your overall health picture and give me detailed picture of the different disharmonies that exist in you at this current moment.