Tongue diagnosis in Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been using the tongue as a principal diagnosis tool since its very beginning. Oracle bone inscriptions indicate that diagnosis by inspection of the tongue was done as far back as the Shang dynasty (1066 B.C.). 

One of the biggest attraction of using the tongue to help diagnose a disharmony, is how objective it is. For example, there is no doubt if the color of the tongue is red, pale, purple, etc. There is also no doubt if the markings are on the edges of the tongue, the tip, or the back.


I believe in empowering my patients so that they can be co-creators of their health. One of the advantages of tongue diagnosis is its value in self-diagnosis. Patients can quickly learn the topography of the tongue (see image to the right) and look for markings that could help identify a possible disharmony and call for an appointment before the physical or emotional symptoms begin.