Today I’m going to let you all become your own diagnostician of Chinese Medicine and show you how to diagnose your own tongue while talking about the health of your digestion.
Digestion, as I’ve stated before, can arguably be the most important system for you to maintain for your long-term health, vitality and happiness. Your digestion processes all of your life experience as well as your food, having strong spiritual as well as physical components. Many practitioners even believe your subconscious lies in your gut, which needs to be cleared on a regular basis; otherwise people live in the present moment wearing goggles of past events, clouding clear perception. The digestion is the energy of your core and in Chinese Medicine, we call it the Earth Element. This central core element nourishes all the other systems including your immunity, your healthy emotional spirit, your constitutional robustness and on and on. When the digestive energy becomes deplete over time, chronically, immunity suffers, low grade worry sets in (the emotion of the digestion), lack of vigor and inherent strength decreases, energy is poor, heaviness and sluggishness become a problem, as well as many other symptoms. Things that damage the digestive energy, and thus should be avoided are; Over work and insufficient rest, excessive mental activity as reading, ruminating, poor diet (excessive greasy, dairy, sugar, cold food), eating too quickly, working or reading while eating, over eating, not enough spices in the diet, and more. Things that support digestion are stopping worry, eating slowly, plenty of spices in the diet, balance of work, rest and exercise, lots of trinity roots (onions, garlic, ginger), abdominal exercises, juicing vegetables, minimizing excessive mental activity.
Now, one doesn’t need poor digestive symptoms to have low digestive energy, although they are often present on some level (loose stool, gas, bloating, distention, constipation, excessive or lack of appetite, as well as other more severe disorders as in Chron’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Ulcerative Colitis), so I’ll share with you a diagnostic of how to tell how your digestive, earth energy is doing through tongue diagnosis. It may be hard to tell at first, but if you look at your tongue daily in the mirror it can tell you a lot and over time you’ll begin to notice more subtle changes in the color and shape and coat.
The signs of low digestive energy are 1) Pale Tongue Body (pink, not red, is normal) 2) Swollen Large Tooth Marked Tongue (if the tongue is large and swollen and/or has tooth marks on the edges this is a sign of dampness/water retention due to poor energy circulation, from low energy) 3) Thick Tongue Coat (the tongue coat is a reflection of the amount of phlegm in the body, the thick coat is from phlegm build up from slow digestive metabolism and sluggishness) – So now you have the skills to monitor your tongue by its Color, Shape and Coat to help monitor how you are doing. If you feel you are deficient, follow the advice above for life style changes and if you need more of a support Chinese herbal medicine provides amazing herbal supplements and medicines to clean up and support your earth energy. I personally take a daily longevity formula to keep my self optimally supported and nourished. Any questions in this matter certainly call, text or email to set up a consult with or with out acupuncture. Also, join me on facebook as I post often great health tips and guidance so we all may grow in our quality of life. Good luck with your journey and keep that digestion clean and clear for your quality of life that it all revolves around.
Christopher Grodski, L.Ac., Dipl.OM