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When the tongue speaks for your body

When the tongue speaks for your body

Along with pulse taking, tongue analysis is of the main pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine and therefore an essential part of the diagnosis. The human tongue is seen as a “map” of the internal body, standing not only for the blood and Qi fluency, but also for the harmony of all organs. Each part of the tongue mirrors an organical system according to the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water). But how can someone come up with a diagnosis just by looking at a person’s tongue?

In a normal condition, the tongue should have a reddish color with a thin, light coating. There shouldn’t be any visible abnormalities and it’s supposed to be somewhat moist. If the body gets attacked by an infection (virus or bacteria), it causes a disharmony in the blood and/or Qi, which affects the organs and the patient’s health condition, which would then be visible on the tongue. If a TCM doctor takes a look at a patient’s tongue, he would examine the coating, thickness, color and texture of it, as well as the shape, moisture and the appearance of cracks along the tongue body which could all indicate a dysfunction. Furthermore, it is possible to state the emotional wellbeing of a patient by looking at his/her tongue. Internal restlessness, stress, anxiety or low energy – caused by a stagnation or deficiency of blood or Qi – can easily be spotted on the tongue. Heat/cold conditions, dehydration or organ dysfunctions are also visible on the tongue: A pale tongue for example could stand for a blood deficiency where a patient could suffer from fatigue, insomnia or dizziness. On the contrary, a red tipped tongue would indicate stress and restlessness whereas a completely reddish colored tongue with cracks on the tongue body stands for a Yin deficiency accompanied by sweat at night and hot flushes, dry month etc.

There are certainly a lot more indicators, symptoms and possible diagnosis, which makes the tongue reading a highly useful tool to diagnose a patient’s condition making tongue reading an ancient and traditional art still used presently.

Curious about TCM and wanting to know more? Schedule a consultation with one of our TCM Doctors in a safe, cozy environment and find out how it can benefit your health. Contact Body & Soul to book an appointment at one of our four centers in Shanghai. Make sure to follow Body & Soul’s account as we will be sharing more TCM insights in our next posts!



Doris Rathgeber
TCM Doctor & Founder of Body & Soul – Medical Clinics

With more than 20 years of experience as a TCM Doctor and internal medicine specialist, Doris treats a vast array of acute and chronic diseases by expertly combining Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Medicine. She also hast extensive experience addressing women’s issues as well as infertility problems.