Monday, December 13, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

What do you see when you look in the mirror? A well trained practitioner of TCM will probably look at very different things than you. You are all finely tuned to changes in your children’s health, behavior and demeanor, but here are some additional ways that you can learn more from Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Outer Appearances Reflect Inner Health

Thousands of years ago when Chinese Medicine was taking root, there were no x-ray machines or the very sophisticated MRIs (magnetic imaging). These original healers and diagnosticians depended on their finely tuned observational skills in order to assess their patients. Some of those early ideas seem simplistic today but many elements of diagnosis persist because we do understand that that outer appearances can provide clues to a person’s health. In TCM, bodily observation includes looking at the face, eyes (do you have dark circles?), body type, demeanor, and tongue.

Being able to observe, reflect and respond are skills that serve us well. I remind myself of this several times a week as I work with my patients. You observe, reflect and respond to your children for the same reasons – to provide the best help of which you are capable.

Previously on this blog, I have advocated for the idea of maintaining an inner calm in order to act with purpose and clarity. We remain open to signals because these signs can give us warnings, allowing us to attend to problems before they get out of hand. You can learn more about yourself and others using Chinese Medicine. One of the most intriguing areas of the body to study is the tongue. Want to know more?

Stick Out Your Tongue

Chinese medicine has used tongue diagnosis for thousands of years. An experienced practitioner can look at your tongue and begin to understand your internal problems but you can also be aware. Look for changes in the color of your tongue, teeth marks, and coating. These changes may indicate that something is amiss. Note any changes in shape (do you have a puffy tongue ?)  and coatings. A healthy tongue is naturally the same pink-red color as the lips and has a thin white coating. If it's too pale, too puffy or too red it may indicate an imbalance. Someone who is very stressed or irritable may have a tongue with a red tip and sides. Also if you see a thicker coating developing you maybe catching a cold or flu. If the coating is yellowish the illness has a hotter nature.  For example a cold with a sore throat and yellow phlegm.  A thick white coating would indicate a cold without a sore throat, chills and clear/white phlegm. So if you see a thick coat developing take precautions, sleep more,  keep warm (especially a scarf) and try taking some Echinacea or Astragalus, to boost your immune system.

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday ! Best Wishes !

 

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