It’s amazing how much you can tell about someone by looking at their tongue! With training, you can see when someone is not sleeping well, experiencing anxiety, having trouble digesting their food, is irritable, or fighting a cold. How can you know all that by looking at someone’s tongue?

In East Asian medicine, the tongue is divided into different regions that represent the 12 meridians of the body. Discoloration, swelling, inflamed papillae (taste buds), thickness and color of tongue coating can indicate areas of imbalance in the rest of the body.

For instance, in this picture, you can see that the woman has a thick yellow tongue coat. It is considered to be thick because you cannot see through it. This can be a sign that her stomach is having trouble digesting her food. It can also indicate that her body is fighting a pathogen. The yellow hue shows an excess of heat in the body that can manifest in fever and irritability as well as hanger (you know, that unfortunate combination of hunger and anger).

The edges of her tongue are slightly rolled up and toothmarks are visible. Rolled edges may indicate stress, irritability, or anger. And the toothmarks or scalloped edges point to her body having trouble optimally processing food or fluids. The tongue shape and indentations, along with the thick tongue coat, can also signal feeling fuzzy-headed.

Most of her tongue color is hidden by a thick tongue coat, however, notice that the tip is a brighter red than the rest that’s visible. A red tongue tip can indicate anxiety, insomnia, racing thoughts, and trouble concentrating.

Are you wondering what I can tell about you by looking at your tongue in a virtual session or reviewing a photo of your tongue prior to your in-person acupuncture session? The answer is a lot!

Find out more about your health. Use my online booking to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment or contact me directly (415) 994-0252.

Learn more
How to manage the Delta blues
The chicken noodle soup of Chinese medicine