TCM and Western Clinical Tongue Diagnosis

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When was the last time you visited a doctor and the first thing asked of you was to show your tongue? Western medical practice of tongue diagnosis as part of a routine clinical examination seems, like many Western clinical practices, to have become a relic of the not-too-distant past.

Instead, it survives as a standard of practice routinely employed as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurvedic medicine, and used by some naturopaths and herbalists.

While there are similarities between old Western medical and traditional Eastern tongue diagnosis, some of the differences can serve to amplify what can be learned with each of these methods.

To begin, one of the ground rules for both approaches is that tongue diagnosis is only one aspect of differential diagnosis which evaluates and compares several different diagnosis parameters. This means that there are exceptions to…

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