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Basic guidance and questions about the tongue


Dear forum members,

I actually have two questions. I am currently a pre-med student going into medical school to be a surgeon. I find TCM very interesting and would like to integrate it into my practice one day, however because of the cost of medical school I can't see myself going for acupuncture and 5 element diet/ natural remedy training for several years.

1. I read most of the articles I can find on TCM, but does anyone have suggestions of free references that give a very strong foundation in theories which can easily be put into practice? I don't want to learn a way of thinking in med school just to have to unlearn it for TCM, so I need something with strong concepts especially definitions and explanations (a lot of things are lost in translation).

2. I've been spending a lot of time recently trying to understand the TCM tongue diagnostic, but I haven't seen enough real examples to make much sense of it. Today I took a look at my tongue and it looks like there are multiple things out of balance. I also have a bad headache coupled with muscle tension, and localized pain at St-1 running down the neck to the chest then traveling down the right arm to SI-1. I've included a link with a picture. Any help would be very much appreciated; I really can't make too much sense out of Oddtongue_zps473b2fb6.jpg

Thanks a bunch!



Honestly my site is easily one of the most comprehensive places to learn, but you really have to go through all of it. For a practical starting point, I would look through the protocols found within our acupuncture protocol section.

With regards to tongue diagnosis there are many texts with good examples, two of the best are located at the bottom of our tongue diagnosis page.

Along that note, we are in the process of rebuilding large parts of our website to both improve readability and add new features. One of these new features will be a tongue diagnosis gallery with voting for the proper diagnosis. We hope this will be ready by end of 2nd qtr 2014.


Thanks for being curious- but I feel compelled to suggest that after hearing my patients stories and reading articles/news about health care accross the board- your best bet is to:

1. Hire an acupuncturist

2. Refer out to one

Too many MD&#39s want to keep their patients, for better or worse. Diet is a great example- it&#39s a HUGE component to wellness- and probably the MOST cost effective one. We all have to eat- and we all must spend money on food- why not refer out to a nutritionist to make that most effective? But MD&#39s shockingly do not. The best thing we all can do as proffessionals is to stop feeling like we can take on so much. Your studies are incredible. So is TCM. I studied it for 4 years and have been in practice for 6 and still feel like I&#39ve only scratched the surface. We all need to know our own boundaries and capacities and know when to refer out for the best interest of our patients, and the integrety of perspective medicines and specailties.

Have an open dialog with one or 2 acupuncturists you work with. This will be incredible for everyone involved!!!


Yeah, Chad, I&#39ve got to agree with you on that, this website does have a lot of info on it. I&#39m looking foward to the new updates.

I get where you&#39re coming from LiteIceBerg, but I don&#39t think I&#39m personally going to do that. For the record I don&#39t want to become a surgeon and an acupunturist, I want to learn enough about acupunture to use it to enhance my surgical techniques. Most importantly, I think the TCM approach to understanding the body and its involved mechnisems surpases that of what the west considers medicine. It&#39s an integration of these different paradigms that will bring about much greater levels of health for our patients. I can&#39t do what an acupunturist can do, and they can&#39t do what I do, but learning from each other is the path to inovation on both sides. In the end I think thats what you were saying anyway, so I think we&#39re in agreement.

Thanks for the feedback guys and take care,


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