Your Tongue: Why It's So Important in Chinese Medicine

by Jordan Titchener |

Your Tongue: Why It's So Important in Chinese Medicine

Have you ever wondered why your acupuncturist asks to look at your tongue?

Chinese medicine map of the tongue - Acupuncturist Jordan Titchener, R.Ac - DAO LabsTongue diagnosis is a very traditional and effective method which has been used to diagnose diseases for over two thousand years. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the tongue reflects the health of the corresponding organ systems. TCM is based on the theory that all of the body’s organs mutually support each other and that in order to achieve optimal health an individual’s organs must be in balance.

The tongue reflects what is going on within your body. After all, it is the only muscle in the body that we can see.  It provides us with valuable information to correctly diagnose the energetic pattern in your body, the root cause of the sickness or pain you are experiencing, and how to treat it.

When we look at your tongue to diagnose, we are looking for:

  • General color     
  • Color in certain areas such as on the tip or sides
  • Coating – how thick is it and is any missing?
  • Shape of tongue – Is it swollen?  Do you have teeth marks?
  • Are there any cracks?  If so, where?

Chinese medicine uses the tongue to help diagnose health issues - Acupuncturist Jordan Titchener, R.Ac - DAO Labs

Image from AcuMedic


Acupuncturists use the tongue to help diagnose your underlying condition, and we use the pulse (another important diagnostic tool) to diagnose how your energy is acting in that moment. Taken together, these tools provide us with very important and useful information to understand how your body and energy are working.

Jordan Titchener, R.Ac, is the founder of Inner Chi Acupuncture & Wellness in Vancouver, B.C. Jordan’s interest in Eastern philosophy led him to study Traditional Chinese Medicine at Vancouver’s International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM). Before studying Acupuncture, Jordan was a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) and emergency responder. Jordan integrates Acupuncture, Cupping, Tui Na massage, cranial sacral massage, and dietary counselling into his treatments. Jordan can be reached via the Inner Chi clinic (

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