The Basics of Tongue Diagnosis

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Greenleaf acupuncture clinic, tongue diagnosis, tcm



The Basics of Tongue Diagnosis

How your body looks and feels can be a great indication of your health, but did you know your tongue can say a lot about your health too?


In Eastern medicine, a tongue diagnosis is used as one of the techniques to assess your health, as its shape, coating, and colour can reflect imbalances occurring in your body. Specific areas of the tongue can also give clues as to where these imbalances occur. By examining your tongue, we are able to get a quick look at the health of your pancreas, kidneys, heart, and more, as problems with these organ systems can manifest as physical changes.


Here’s a brief breakdown on the basics of a tongue diagnosis:



A healthy tongue is an unremarkable one with a completely normal shape, but changes to your tongue’s thickness or texture can be indications of illnesses related to blood, other bodily fluids, and Qi. A swollen tongue specifically indicates issues with the pancreas and digestive system, whereas cracks can indicate issues with the heart. If your tongue curls at the sides, it can indicate liver Qi stagnation.



A healthy tongue’s coating can have a wider range of appearances. A coating that is white or a pale yellow is normal, and it can be thick or thin. However, significant changes can indicate an imbalance. The coating of yours is associated with the health of your spleen, stomach, and kidneys.



A healthy One is light red in colour. If your tongue is pale, that can mean that you have issues with your pancreas and digestion. If it is a more purple colour, it may be caused by blockages in the flow of your Qi. Finally, drastic changes to the colour of your tongue can be an indication of chronic illness.


Once complete, we can use information gathered from yours diagnosis to recommend treatments such as acupuncture, acupressure massage (tui na), moxibustion, herbal medicine, and diet guidelines. We also use the findings from yours diagnosis in combination with insight from your symptoms and lifestyle to uncover the best treatment option for you.


Have you noticed changes in the shape, coating, or colour of yours? Are you looking for an alternative method to diagnose other symptoms you’ve been experiencing? The answer may lie in Eastern medicine. Contact us today to book an appointment!

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