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  • Writer's pictureSusan Koning

Stick out your tongue please!

One of the first things that you’ll hear from me is “Stick out your tongue please” which usually results in a surprised look or a giggle from my patient. This seemingly unusual request is the result of a diagnostic system that has been used for thousands of years. Long before any blood tests, x-rays, and other modern diagnostic tools, practitioners had only the human body to rely on to help them discover the state of health. Therefore they became intuitive at reading the clues and signs the body provides. Smell, observation, and pulse are amongst the other type of forms of diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The tongue provides a quick way to observe what is happening in the body. The colour, coating, shape, texture, moisture; all these things indicate what could be happening in the body. Maybe you think all tongues look alike? Not at all! Now you’re going to want to check out everyone else’s tongue, and believe me I wish it was something that I could turn off as I diagnosis all the celebrities on tv that seem to love sticking their tongues out!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we diagnosis by the organ system. The chart shows the area of the tongue that correspond to the organs. In Chinese Medicine, deviations from the 'normal' tongue may indicate deficiencies or excesses in the corresponding organ system. Check it out and see what you can find! Better yet, let me check it out!

Please remember that the way of diagnosing in the Chinese organ system is different than the physiological function in Western medicine, while there are many correspondences between the systems, it is different.

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