Sunday, December 11, 2011

Your Body Knows (Continued)

Your Tongue Shows Your Physical Health Status
One of the diagnosis methods that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctors use is observing your tongue. A TCM doctor can evaluate your overall health status by examining the shape, the color, the coating or fuzz, any cracks or spots and any teeth marks on your tongue. Please do not self-diagnose your health based on the discussion in this post.   
A normal tongue is pinkish with a thin white and uniform coating on it and has no teeth marks on either side. Your tongue coating can reflect the physical condition at any given time. Since tongue and organs are closely connected through meridians, any dysfunction of organ will definitely be reflected on the tongue. All five organs can be found on the tongue according to the TCM practice, generally, the tip of your tongue represents the heart and lungs, the side of your tongue reflects the liver and gall bladder, the centre of your tongue represents stomach and spleen, and the root of your tongue represents kidney. We can understand the internal organs’ pathological changes through their relevant area of the tongue. And the degree of the pathological changes of the organs can also be estimated based on the colour, the shape and size of the tongue, the coating of the tongue and how moist or how dry the tongue is. Here are some basic about this diagnosis method that has been used for thousands of years by the TCM doctors.
1.      The tongue
Normal tongue is pinkish color and it is moist. A pale tongue typically indicates anaemia, Qi and blood deficiency, and coldness in your body. A red tongue represents excess heat in your body. If only the tip of the tongue is red while other areas are normal color, this indicates that the excess heat is in your heart. If the sides of your tongue are red and other areas are normal color, then the excess heat is in your liver. A purple tongue indicates poor circulation and meridian blockage. Any teeth mark on the side of your tongue indicates Qi deficient and week stomach and spleen.
2.      The coating of your tongue
There should be a thin white layer of coating on your tongue, and it should be moist and smooth. A thick white tongue coating indicates coldness in your body and the coldness can come from the cold food you eat or from the cold you catch. Now days, a lot of people have thick white coating on their tongue, which is caused by having cold fruits, vegetables, and ice cold drinks all the time. Black tongue coating means the coldness is your body is very serious, and the function of your spleen and stomach are badly affected and your digesting system is very weak.
Yellow tongue coating represents excess heat within your body, however, the excess heat can be real or fake and we need to exam the tongue and tongue coating together for more accurate diagnosis. Yellow tongue coating in conjunction with a red tongue indicates excess heat in your body, and in most cases, this is caused by the over consumption of warm /hot and high energy food and your body does not digest them. In this case, you need to reduce the consumption of those foods, drink adequate water and exercise more.
When you have only yellow coating but your tongue is pink or pale or only the side of your tongue is red, this indicates your digestion system is weak and there is coldness in your body. This kind of internal excess heat can be completely dispersed by clearing meridian through massaging or other physical means and there is no need for inflammation drugs or cold herbal medicine. Although those medicines work fast, they can aggregate the coldness in your body while massaging does not have this kind of side effect.
Tongue without coating often occurs to those who are ill for a long time and are very weak. It also occurs to those who have a cold with a thick white coating while they have fever but the coating disappears after taking inflammation drugs. They may think the medicine is very effective; in fact, this may not be good news since this may indicate that their digestion and absorbing ability becomes weaker. When this occurs, people need to nourish Qi and blood by food therapy which will be discussed later to get the normal thin layer of white coating back on the tongue.
  3. Things to consider when observing your tongue
        In order to get accurate color of your tongue coating, it is not recommended to exam your tongue right after eating and drinking since the food or beverage may give false color. For example, the tongue becomes red after drinking hot water, or eating spicy foods; tongue coating becomes white after drinking milk and it is yellow after eating orange. Your tongue coating will have different color after eating chocolate, drinking coffee or other food with color. It is recommended to wait at least for half an hour after eating to observe the tongue, and it is beneficial to observe your tongue a few times in a day because this will provide accurate information for correct diagnosis.  

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