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The first thing you must know, traditional chinese medicine works on the principle good health is achieved by the proper balance of blood, fluids and energy (known as Qi - pronounced chee) flowing through the whole body. Chinese medicine also uses the principles of Yin and Yang, two of the body's forms of life energies. Everyone's life energies ebb and flow back and forth depending on the multitudes of forces which we are bombarded with on a continuous basis. During a tongue examination, a practitioner looks at factors including coating, shape, and color before examining specific tongue regions. A perfect tongue is smooth in texture, it fits comfortably in your mouth between your teeth. Color reflects the stability of the internal organs and blood circulation and provides clues about the strength of a patient’s health.
A healthy tongue coating is thin and clear, or sometimes pale yellow with a slightly thicker coating at the back of the tongue. Traditional Chinese Medicine usually distinguish the tongue in three major areas, called Upper Jao (tip of the tongue); Middle Jao (center of the tongue) and Lower Jao (back of the tongue). Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. But according to Chinese medicine, the tongue is a map of your internal organ systems, and it’s the most accurate reflection of the health of these organ systems.
When you stick your tongue out at me, I am looking at the shape, color, moisture level, cracks, and amount of coating to get a general sense of how your body is functioning. For example, a swollen or puffy tongue will indicate overall spleen organ system deficiency. Tongue diagnosis is a powerful tool for me to gauge progress of a patient along with discussions of symptoms. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Tongue diagnosis is a very traditional and effective method which has been used to diagnose diseases for over two thousand years. During TCM diagnosis we focus on the body of the tongue, the coating and any particular tastes the patient might experience. The colour of the tongue is linked to the stomach and spleen, a healthy digestion will show a nice fresh redness of the tongue.
Different regions of the tongue are related to different parts of the body, internal organs and channels. Because of the relationship between the tongue and the body, your Chinese medicine practitioner can get valuable information about changes in the body and internal organs by observing your tongue. Please see below for specific examples of some relationships between the tongue coating and health conditions. Sometimes, people may experience an abnormal taste when there is a disorder of the internal organs. TCM practitioners check the tongue, not only to find out which internal organs may be abnormal, but also to see the history and constitution of the body in relation to issues that may be arising. In my clinic I have seen many abnormal tongues, however I will share with you some common tongues I see to give you an idea about how TCM tongue diagnosis works. This indicates that the liver and heart have a functioning disorder and there maybe a lack of circulation with blood clots (you may have an old injury). It is best for our practitioners to see your original tongue state (including tongue body and coating). It is best to avoid eating foods that may change the colour of your tongue, three hours before your consult. In the morning, when brushing your teeth it is best not to clean the coating off the tongue prior to seeing us. If you didn’t avoid the last three points, it is best to let our practitioner know during your consult. Tongue diagnosis in Chinese medicine is an example of how the human body is interconnected, even a small part of the body can give important clues that reflect the whole condition of the body.
So, if you have any chronic health issues that cannot be solved, please visit your experienced Chinese medicine practitioner who will use tongue diagnosis to help solve your internal health issue. Ping Wang is the director and senior practitioner of Ping Ming Health with over 30 years of experience in traditional Chinese medicine teaching and practice. Appointments available 7 days across our six Perth clinic locations and Melbourne CBD clinic (Mon-Sat). Acupuncture in Melbourne: Experience our caring, professional service now on the east coast. Like us on FacebookThe Open Acupuncture ProjectHow do you decide if Chinese medicine is the right treatment for you? Supporting families for over 20 yearsWe provide quality and comprehensive Chinese medicine care trusted by generations of families in Perth and Melbourne. You can see us for a wide range of health issues, from fertility and pregnancy care to women's, men's, children's, senior's and preventative health. There’s much more to Chinese medicine than acupunctureOur clinical experience combines acupuncture, herbal medicine, meridian massage, cupping and scrubbing with diet and lifestyle advice to achieve the best results. Prevention is the best medicineDon't wait for minor health symptoms to become worse and more difficult to solve.
Working together for a healthier futureOur clinic is committed to health promotion, preventative education and clinical training of Australia's next generation of Chinese medicine practitioners. The information provided on our website is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease.
Protecting your privacyOur clinic complies with Australian Privacy Principles according to Australian law (Privacy Act 1988). In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is an organ clock that represents the time of the day when each organ is functioning optimally and has the most energy. There are 12 organ systems and 2 accessory systems that are represented by this clock. Here is a brief discussion of the organ systems with their corresponding times, and how imbalances in these systems may arise both physically and emotionally. 3-5am Lung: The lung is responsible for moving the qi (energy) through the meridians and to the entire body, as well as providing immune protection. 1-3pm Small Intestine: The small intestine separates the clear and turbid fluids, and moves these to the urinary bladder and large intestine, respectively. 3-5pm Urinary Bladder: This is a time of the day when you can feel a dip in energy levels, especially if you are not well-hydrated.
5-7pm Kidney: The kidneys are responsible for healthy reproduction, development, and growth. 11pm-1am Gall Bladder: Physically, the gallbladder stores and excretes bile, but emotionally, it is in charge of self-esteem and decision-making. Thank you for this web site of informed and easily accessible information for healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices. Traditional Chinese medicine is a theory of medicine, as is Western medicine which emphasizes homeostasis. We are two naturopathic doctors with a vision to inspire healthy cooking, healthy eating, and healthy living for you and your family. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis and treatment is guided by the philosophy of Yin-Yang, which instead of treating patients with pharmaceutical solutions, treats by examining internal disharmony.

For example, modern era physicists such as Fritjof Capra, author of “The Tao of Physics,” described in his book how Yin-Yang diagrams are similar to how particles and antiparticles occupy opposite places. That the same ancient Yin-Yang concepts can be found in the relatively modern field of quantum physics is not surprising; the philosophy was developed as a result of observations of the movement of the planets and observations of the body.
Capra described how Yin-Yang is virtually indistinguishable from string theory (or, as it was known when Capra was writing his book, “S-matrix theory). If fact, a core tenet of Yin-Yang is that the machinations of the human body mirror those of the universe. Be it a planet, body of water, organ, landscape, time of day, etc., Yin-Yang is not a fixed state. In TCM diagnosis, certain organs are yin or yang, relative to other organs, as well as the time of day and other factors.
From a western perspective, Yin-Yang is likely discredited by certain people in the medical community. Using Yin-Yang in TCM theory, here’s a diagnostic example: if somebody feels excessively hot, has red skin and perhaps allergies, there is Yang excess.
If someone feels heavy, lethargic, suffers from bloating and gets sick often, these are all signs of excess dampness in the body.
In colloquial western parlance, it could be said that someone with Yang excess, by contrast, needs to “cool their engines” and eat foods and take herbs that nourish Yin energy.
Yin-Yang theory, then, is not only employed to diagnose patients, it can be applied to human behavior, as well as every other phenomena.
Pulse diagnosis is one of the more important diagnostic tools used in Chinese and Japanese acupuncture and herbal medicine.
This 8.5" X 11" double sided laminated chart shows the patients hands from the doctors perspective, making learning pulse diagnosis much easier. Please check your shipping address before completing your transaction with Paypal!Money back guarantee on all orders.
Color laminated chart measuring 8.5" X 11" showing the relationship between the meridians, teeth, body organs and functions.
Inspection of Face and Body for Diagnosis of Diseases, based on the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, gives a detailed introduction to discovery of diseases of human body, either existing already or to be developed, by observing human face, chest, torso and limbs, and reminds patients to see doctor as soon as possible. The salivary chemicals can alter the appearance of the tongue in relation to organic imbalances. Your diet, exercise, stress levels, work environment, your physical health and even the choices you make each day during the daily circumstances all vary the balance of emotions, health and well-being on a minute by minute basis.
If there is an anomaly in a certain area, the practitioner pays special attention to the related organ system. It is not too thick or too thin, should have a pretty pink color with a thin white transparent coating. When evaluating shape, a practitioner might also examine the size of the tongue in relation to the opening of the mouth, looking also for teeth marks, ulcerations, and inflammation. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy. If the tongue is very wet, then that further indicates presence of something we call dampness (basically, think of it as slush that’s not able to be processed by your body). As you continue treatment with acupuncture and herbs, your overall health will improve, and it will be reflected in your tongue. Knowledge of tongue diagnosis is one of the unique treasures of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It will be a very interesting topic for you to understand how the tongue is a mirror of the body. The normal tongue body should be flexible, the colour a fresh red (not too dark, too red or pale), have suitable moisture (not too dry or wet), the shape of the tongue should be suitable to the mouth size (not too puffy or narrow).
A normal healthy coating should be white, thin, and allow the tongue body to be seen through the coating. The body may have some of the following symptoms such as, body feels hot, easy to perspire, red face, takes time to fall asleep or vivid dreams, constipation, pungent dark stool, hunger (eats more), very emotional (easy to get anxious) or period comes earlier. You may have some of the following symptoms such as lack of energy, pale face, dizziness (especially upon standing), short of breath, sluggish bowel movement, bloating after eating, scanty period (one or two days), little or no milk production after labour. You may have some of the following symptoms such as body heaviness, puffy and heavy limbs, bloating, lack of energy, sluggish bowel movement, easy to gain weight or hard to lose weight, gain weight before period, puffy face and eyes in the morning. You may have some of the following symptoms such as insomnia, vivid dreams, hot flushes, constipation, dry skin, thirsty, heart burn or hunger. You may suffer from the following symptoms such as heavy arms and legs, bloating, lack of energy, stiff joints, weight gain, sluggish bowel movement. You may have some of the following symptoms such as body heat, easy to perspire, body odour and bad breath, yellow urine, constipation, pungent or dark stool, pass lots of wind, bloating, red face, vivid dreams or nightmares or insomnia. You may suffer from the following symptoms such as heart burn, stomach pain, not solid sleep, vivid dreams, dry skin, discomfort of the side of body.
Ping is experienced with all general health issues, women’s health, fertility and pregnancy problems. Lyndsay Wareham, ND 11 Comments Yin & Yang are opposite energies, yet they are interdependent and could not exist without the other. If out of balance, symptoms that may arise include acid reflux, stomach ulcer, and bad breath.
The heart dislikes heat (emotional & physical), so try to avoid caffeine, stress, intense exercise, or anything that raises your blood pressure. If you haven’t drank enough water during the day, you are more likely to feel dehydrated during these times. The urinary bladder stores & secretes urine (clear fluid), and is nourished by salty foods so having a bowl of brothy soup, such as miso or veggie broth, during this time helps strengthen the bladder (and the kidney, which is it’s paired organ).
Some activities that support this are to have a healthy meal (but not too large) with a little salt for flavoring and love making, which keeps your kidney ‘essence’ strong! To support the pericardium, this is the time to do something gentle to help you ease into sleep, such as meditation, light stretching, reading, or cuddling. During this time, to best support San Jiao, we should think about going to sleep during this time – having an earlier bed time in the winter, and staying up a little later in summer.
If you’re not sleeping by this time, you are depleting your gall bladder’s energy stores, which over time, can lead to poor self-esteem, poor judgment, or difficulty digesting fats.
If you’re not sleeping at this time, you can quickly become deficient, especially if you are female because of the importance of blood for menstruation (even for those going through menopause).
The organ times article was made to be a very basic introduction to the TCM system of diagnosis, and so we didn’t go into too much detail. An organism maintains homeostasis throughout its life time regardless of time and environment. It could be defined as one way in which the world operates; a natural order of the universe.
He observed how both have a similar structure and how in each respective discipline (or philosophy), change is a constant, no matter how fixed a structure may seem. Both systems are comprised of reactions that give rise to all the phenomena in the world, whether the world is subatomic or the every-day occurrences we see on planet Earth. That’s perhaps because Yin-Yang cannot be validated by empirical data; there is no scientific basis for Yin-Yang.

To bring the body back into a state of homeostasis, this person will need some Yin tonics to bring Yin-Yang in proper balance.
It’s not a philosophy that necessarily needs to be quantified, at least in the eyes of TCM doctors. If everybody and all creatures in the world were ‘good’, would we know what ‘bad’ or evil is? While tongue diagnosis provides valuable clinical information, the pulse can be used to gain a deep understanding of the patient on many levels. The chart is indexed by: Meridians, Sence organs, Muscles, Joints, Spinal cord segments, Vertebrae, Organs (Yian & Yang), Endocrine glands. This chart clearly shows the relationship of the five elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood) Laminated five element chart measures 8.5" X 11".
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Many trained experts with nothing more than your tongue and a good eye, can diagnose many diseases. Taken together, these uniques attributes of the tongue help a trained practitioner make a contributory diagnosis using the tongue.
A pale tongue reveals excess cold, for example, if there’s also a thick white coating. Signs can indicate problems in the urinary, reproductive, and elimination systems, as well as adrenal issues or back issues. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. If the spleen and stomach area of the tongue is covered with a thick coating, then that means there is large amount of phlegm and mucus in the body. The shape of the tongue is associated with the functioning of the spleen, kidney and liver. Some may have the following disorders, hyperactive thyroid, high blood pressure or menopause. These people may suffer the following disorders such as endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, migraine, arthritis. These body’s usually have the following disorders such as under-active thyroid, chronic fatigue syndrome, overweight or polycystic ovaries.
These people have the following disorders such as hyperactive thyroid, menopause, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety or gastric ulcer. These people may have the following disorders such as liver and stomach disorders, gastric ulcer. She especially enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chinese medicine through our popular clinic articles, seminars and clinical training of students and practitioners. Symptoms of malfunction include constipation, dry stools, skin rash, and feeling emotionally ‘stuck’ . Imbalances may show up as loose stools, bloating after meals, craving sweets, and low energy. Symptoms of imbalance are palpitations, shortness of breath, cold hands & feet, and insomnia. When out of balance, conditions that may arise include duodenal ulcer, bloating with vomiting or gas. When out of balance, you may experience burning when urinating, yeast infection, or urinary incontinence. When the kidney meridian is out of balance, symptoms that may arise include sexual difficulties, low back pain, or premature graying of hair. But your comment reminds us to revisit this article and make amendments to include this important fact. It could be considered, like karma, an esoteric way of understanding the governing laws of the planet. It’s largely a big mystery, and as such, western medicine does not use it as a guiding philosophy. And if someone runs cold in summer (even if it’s just their hands or feet), then there is a Yang deficiency, and herbs that nourish Yang energy would be the diagnostic solution.
Someone with excess yin can be brought back to a harmonizing state of balance by taking herbs that nourish Yang energy. Placement of the doctors fingers for reading the pulse, a brief description of the pulse charateristics on the front with a detailed description of the 28 pulse characteristics on the back of the chart. With various illustrations, it is readable and helpful to teachers and students of medical schools, practitioners and those who are interested and illustrated. The size, shape, color, moisture level and the texture will show a continuous change as different events unfold in your life each day. Color often relates to the functioning of internal organs and blood health, as well as immune health. For instance, a yellow, thick, or glossy coating reflects damp heat, along with a candida or yeast infection or a decreased immune system. I’ll talk to you and look at your health history to find out where the phlegm is hiding out, which could be a number of places in your body. Here we will discuss the physical and emotional symptoms that arise if an organ is out of balanced. You may find that you wake up between 1-3am if you have repressed anger or long standing resentment.
There are also lifestyle factors that can help diminish Yin energy in the case of dampness. Perhaps there is a striking similarity between the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin- Yang and Judeo-Christian teachings.
For instance, a swollen or puffy tongue points to a spleen chi deficiency and damp heat, while an elongated tongue might indicate heart heat. I can always tell when someone has not been sleeping well or is anxious because the tongue tip will be super red. Symptoms of liver imbalances include irregular menstruation, anemia, chronic fatigue, and headache. One example is not eating fast food, which would further contribute to excess dampness and Yang deficiency. And what’s considered internal or external, like Yin-Yang itself, is relative (a person’s body can be considered internal, relative inside of a room; yet external relative to the cells within the body). It’s no stretch to see how we humans can become imbalanced, from a health and character perspective.
A red tongue might indicate a yin deficiency if the coating is also thin, absent, or peeling.
In TCM theory, Yin and Yang can consume one another if there is a state of extreme imbalance. The heart organ houses the spirit (remember body, mind and spirit?) Chinese medicine believes that when your heart organ is malnourished, the spirit becomes restless, and your mind cannot rest.

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