It’s Not Rude To Show Me Your Tongue

Centrepoint Acupuncture, Roger Thompson, Acupuncture Townsville, Chinese medicine Townsville

Observing the tongue and feeling the pulse are cornerstones of diagnosis in Chinese medicine. Many of us were told as kids that it was rude to poke tongues. In the clinical context it can be a great help in determining the cause of an ailment.

Asking a patient to show me their tongue elicits a range of responses from immediate confession of foods just eaten to childlike defiance or inquiry as to what can be interpreted from such examination.

The colour and shape of the tongue body plus the colour consistency and distribution of the tongue coating reveal much about the state of someone’s health.

In his book Tongue Diagnosis in Chinese Medicine, Giovanni Macioca explains this method of diagnosis has been detailed in China since 403 BC and refined and expanded ever since (1997).

The advantages of tongue diagnosis over pulse taking are numerous. Firstly, the tongue body colour almost always reflects the true condition of the patient, as it and the tongue coating are relatively unaffected by short-term events or recent changes, such as a disturbing experience or vigorous exercise just before the consultation.

The tongue can be a useful gauge for monitoring improvement or decline of a patient’s condition; the tongue body colour more useful in chronic ( long-term ) conditions and the coating more useful in acute ( short-term ) conditions.

The correspondence of different areas of the tongue body to different organs is a subject of fairly general agreement.

Tongue diagnosis is relatively objective compared to pulse as distinguishing a certain colour is easier than the quality of a pulse.

Compared to pulse diagnosis,tongue diagnosis is easy to learn. It’s limitation compared to pulse reading is it’s lack of precision in differentiation of presenting signs and symptoms. Only by combining both tongue and pule taking can the practitioner have access to the full picture of a patient’s health.

Finally, please don’t clean or brush your tongue before a consultation as you’ll be destroying the vital indicators needed to make a complete diagnosis.

 

 

Painless Needle Insertion

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Much is said about the use of special needles ( usually superfine ) to allow painless insertion during acupuncture treatment.This approach however,ignores a crucial factor…the need for practitioner skill.To use a motoring analogy,only a good driver will get good lap times at the racetrack – in any car.

Over the course of 30+ years of practice,one of the main causes of painful insertion I’ve noted is patient tiredness.In this case the insertions have an increased tendency to be sharp,and so I vary my technique to allow for this.

Learning on the job is an integral part of being a successful acupuncturist,and the lessons learned from treating myself have been invaluable;way beyond my original training.I am my harshest critic,so any technical deficiencies encountered are forensically dealt with.

Through this process,I’ve developed strategies that encompass communication and co-operation with each patient that ultimately lead to their empowerment.Thus,even though there may be occasional sharpness,the treatment isn’t painful.

Ode to Acupuncture

A – cupuncture, the Ancient Wisdom,

Still in demand these modern days.

C  – HI, invisible, precious energy,

That may be blocked or has gone astray.

U – nder Roger’s needle-artistry, patients submit trustingly to their magic.

To miss out on such natural potency really would be tragic…

P – ain is a fear

That can turn some folk off,

U – ntil you’ve actually tried it, however,

who are you to scoff????

N – eedles, oh so dainty,

So fine and so neat.

C – HI cannot resist them

and so swiftly admit defeat.

T – ranquil and relaxed patients wait

While the needles do their stuff

U – niversal energies deem

When enough is just enough

R – oger’s the resident Practitioner,

To give the artist a name

E – nriching and enhancing energy flow

is his path’s rewarding game.