One of the primary diagnostic tools in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is visual observation of a client’s tongue. Just like every client is different, every tongue can be equally so. The colour, thickness, shape and coat can tell us about the overall health and balance of fluids in the body. The internal organs are also mapped onto the tongue so that problem areas are identifiable by location.

In a single tongue, the degree of indicators can shift from day to day, but the elements will generally remain consistent. Of course, the tongue coat can temporarily change colour based on your last coffee, tea or afternoon snack of cherries, so the best time to take a look at your own tongue is first thing in the morning.

Is your tongue thick or thin? Is it red throughout, or only on the sides? Does it have a purplish tint? Are there little red dots at the tip? Can you see teeth marks on the side? Is your tongue coat thick and white or thin and dry? Next time you visit your TCM acupuncturist or TCM practitioner you can participate in the discussion!