Boynton Beach: Many of my new patients coming for acupuncture are surprised when I ask them to stick out their tongues. Why are we so interested in tongues? Acupuncture treatments are based on clues the body gives off about where the problem is. A great indicator is the tongue. The tongue is the only muscle we can see without cutting a person open. Therefore it gives us an idea about state of all the other muscles in the body. The color, shape and coating of the tongue can all indicate specific problems. For example, if the the tongue is swollen with teethmarks on the sides, then it would suggest the other muscles in the body are swollen. This would then indicate the patient is retaining fluids. The treatment strategy is to use acupuncture points to help the body manage the fluids properly. This would be further verified by palpating points classically indicated in Acupuncture theory for water metabolism issues. If these points are tender when touched, then this pathology is confirmed. Acupuncture points become tender when they are active, but that will have to be the subject of a later blog.
In good health, David Green AP, DOM
Why do we look at tongues?