Tongue Analysis Ayurveda
“While thou livest, keep a good tongue in thy head.”
On a break during class at the Ayurvedic Institute, Dr. Vasant Lad agreed to see a few students about their health issues. I told him I had not been feeling well, and I asked if there was any way he could help me. He asked me to stick out my tongue, so I did. “Hmm, ” he responded. “There’s pain in your shoulder blades, grief and sorrow in your heart, a thyroid condition and a harmless parasitic infection.”
I began to get chill bumps, and I could barely speak. I always get chill bumps when some great truth is spoken. I just nodded and waited to hear what else he might say, hoping he would prescribe some magic remedy. Without me saying a word about the details of my health, Dr. Lad figured out I had lost function of my thyroid (a few years earlier from Graves disease, which he was unaware of), sorrow from a recent divorce, chronic pain in my shoulder blades from stress and that I had a mild parasitic infection, perhaps from the New Mexico tap water. He told me to watch the changes in my tongue as I began my healing process. To save his voice (since he had been lecturing all day and seeing so many students during break), he wrote down an Ayurvedic herbal remedy especially designed for each of my imbalances, taking into consideration my genetic Ayurvedic constitution. After religiously taking these herbs (which were not tasteful) every day with warm water, I curiously watched my tongue clear up and reshape itself.
The tongue is a holographic map of every aspect of you. Once you learn to identify the markers, it’s very easy to read. Charles Chow, a Chinese doctor, agrees, “A tongue reading is much simpler than pulse diagnosis. The patient can also see where the problem is and monitor changes themselves.” Tongue diagnosis is more objective than pulse diagnosis, though pulse diagnosis takes decades to master, while basic tongue diagnosis can be taught in a weekend workshop.
The ancient art of tongue analysis has its root in the science of Ayurveda, although many other ancient Eastern healing systems use this method as well, including Chinese medicine. When we use the tongue as a tool for analysis and diagnosis, we are looking at the shape, shadings, markings, wetness, texture and even the way someone sticks out her tongue. Having this knowledge can help describe the current state of a person’s (or animal’s) health, as well as his or her genetic tendencies. It is a diagnostic technique, and it can reveal an existing disease process and disclose many things about a person on many levels. Much like reflexology, all the organs and the entire body can be located on specific regions of the tongue. As a mirror of the body’s digestive system, the tongue can reflect what minerals and vitamins may be deficient and can reveal the health of other various organs in the body.
Tongue analysis can be a valuable tool for a massage therapist, or anyone in the healing industry. I had a chart designed by an artist, who studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, based on some notes I took during Dr. Lad’s one-year Ayurvedic program. This chart has been quite a conversation piece and the main attraction in my treatment room. It also makes people laugh because the artist drew silly faces with these different tongues, but it has also given the science of Ayurveda some credibility to my clients.
Benefits of tongue diagnosis include:
• The greatest advantage is its value in self-diagnosis and monitoring one’s state of health on a daily basis.
• The beauty of tongue diagnosis is in its simplicity and immediacy.
• Determines one’s unique inherited constitution.
• Assesses a person’s current health condition.
• Used as an early detector for disorders in the body.
• Informs the practitioner about the underlying cause of disease.
• Is an accurate way of determining what is happening in the digestive system: liver, stomach, spleen, small and large intestines.
• Reveals the stage and progression of a particular illness.
• Shows the quality of the individual’s energy production.
• Reflects the quality of the circulation of prana, blood, bodily fluids and essence.
• Reveals the quality and balance of the five elements as revealed within the organs and overall body chemistry.
• Determines the acid-alkaline pH balance.
• Mirrors the condition of the bodily fluids, function of the organs, strengths and depth of the pathogenic factors in the body.
• Assists in determining the cause of illness.
• Reveals the emotional aspects relative to the constitution.
• Pathological processes for disorders that war full of contradictions are quickly clarified.