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Friday, April 20, 2012

Stick Your Tongue Out, Please

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Just as eyes are the mirror of the soul, the mouth is a window into the digestive system. Literally. And the tongue is an indicator, a really good one, of what is going on. 

According to a very interesting article in Body Ecology how the tongue looks--its color and its coating give us enough information that make it well worth sticking out your tongue. You can read the article in its entirety, but here are a few fascinating takeaways:
First, the article states that Chinese medicine sees the body in terms of the microcosm and the macrocosm. So according to Chinese medical theory, a single pattern can repeat itself from the largest to the smallest scale.
If we consider this in terms of the body, the tongue becomes a gauge reflecting the health of our entire bodies. 

The tongue coat tells us how well we are metabolizing the food we eat. A light, thin white tongue coat indicates normal, healthy digestive function. In contrast, a thick tongue coat indicates poor gut function. If your tongue is red and shiny wet (i.e. no coating at all), this can indicate exhaustion and that you don't have enough fluids in your body.

Color is another important indicator. Tongue color ranges from pale pink to red or bluish. It reflects the distribution of fluids throughout our bodies. Paleness can indicate a shortage of blood in the body, which can be tracked to our diets, because what we eat provides us with the energy to make blood. Purple or bluish color can indicate a problem with circulation.

An acupuncturist looks at your tongue for information about your mental and emotional state--specifically the tip. For example, a red tongue tip can signal psychological stress, because over-thinking and stress can generate heat and impede the natural cooling process of body fluids.

Body Ecology


1 comment:

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