Excerpt From Adventures in Chinese Medicine: Your Tongue Is A Map Of Your Organs

In my book ‘Adventures in Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture, Herbs and Ancient Ideas For Today’ I wrote about the unique use of tongue diagnosis in Chinese Medicine.

Here is a short excerpt describing one of the many aspects your practioner looks at when they are examining your tongue.

In Chinese medicine, the tongue provides a map of the organs. As you can see on the diagram to the right, different parts of the tongue correlate to different organs.

Liver and Gallbladder are represented by the sides of the tongue so, if the tongue is red in that particular area, it represents heat in the Liver and Gallbladder.

Therefore, pathological changes in a certain portion of your tongue can indicate pathological changes in the corresponding organ. However, the TCM view of organs is not identical to the Western view and you might misunderstand the meaning of the changes unless you are trained in tongue diagnosis.

For example, in TCM, the tip of the tongue represents the heart in an emotional sense. Practically, this means that when your tongue has a very red tip (heart in the emotional sense) it’s quite likely to be your Shen (spirit/emotions) that is disturbed.

Your tongue is pretty amazing when you think about the vast amount of information it offers. I hope you now have a greater appreciation of how important your tongue is 
and how valuable a tool it can be in uncovering what imbalances exist, both physically and emotionally.

Comments 4

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  1. I like over 345 million people n the world have an incurable condition (through western medicine) called Lipedema. (It is spelled Lipoedema overseas). It causes the butt, legs, hips and arms to swell. This in turn makes a person overweight, however this is not regular fat that can be lost with exercise or diet. The swelling is due to an improper working lymphatic system. Many who suffer from this disorder do daily/weekly manual drainage massage. Is this something that can be helped with acupuncture?

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      Thank you for your question. I know what Lipedema is and it is a difficult issue. I do think both acupuncture and Chinese herbs could be helpful with symptom relief and overall well-being.

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