Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TCM Diagnosis Part I - Observation of the Tongue

Observation is an important part of the diagnostic process in Chinese Medicine, which includes observing the patient's complexion, eyes, skin, demeanour, gait, spirit and tongue . Tongue diagnosis is divided into 2 major parts - tongue body and tongue coating.

The colour, shape, size and presence of other abnormalities such as cracks, teethmarks or prickles make up the tongue body. Whereas the coating can be described in terms of wetness, colour, texture and thickness. The location of these signs on the tongue also have diagnostic significance according to the organ systems. Areas of the tongue divided representing different organ systems as you can see by the image above.

What does a healthy tongue look like?
The tongue body should be pinkish-red, moist, moves easily inside the mouth. The tongue coating should be thin and white.

What are general indications?
Dark red, bright red tongue body and dry, yellow, peeling coat indicates heat in the body, whereas a pale body, white, moist, wet fur indicates cold, deficient qi or blood.

What does the location of imbalance indicate?
At the back of the tongue, which corresponds to the kidney and bladder is related to an imbalance with metabolism, storage and urination. The middle portion of the tongue is related to the spleen and stomach, therefore abnormalities indicate digestion and absorption of food is not optimal. The front third reflects the heart and lung and subsequently the transportation of qi and blood in the body.

No comments:

Post a Comment