It is not uncommon to hear that our bodies tell us more about ourselves than we realize.
Typically though, the problem is it takes months, if not years, of training to discern anything useful.
Thanks to Ayurveda though, it seems a simple diagnosis tool is sitting right within our very own mouths.
Much as in reflexology, different parts of the tongue correspond to different organs. As a mirror of the body’s digestive system, the tongue can reflect the toxicity level in the gut, show potential food sensitivities or a weak digestive fire, point to malabsorption of nutrients, and reveal the health of other organs in the body.
Trained Ayurvedic practitioners will be able to provide a complete health analysis by examining a patient’s tongue.
A daily look at the tongue helps us to become more aware of the effects of food on our body. The tongue doesn’t lie. It provides the feedback about last night’s dinner with full honesty first thing in the morning. This is your free daily health report.
There are a few factors that are worth noting when you look at your tongue: shape, shadings, markings, wetness, texture, and coating. A healthy tongue should look like a kitten’s tongue or a young baby’s tongue: symmetrical and evenly pink. It should not tremble. It should have a thin, transparent coating. All the taste buds should be flat, orderly, and free from bumps, lines, cracks, and patches. It should not have foam, hair, fur, be too dry, or too wet, or have a foul odor or taste.
As a beginning tongue explorer, there are a few things you should pay attention to:
Tongue coating. Excessive coating usually means sluggish digestion and toxins in the colon.
Scraping the tongue first thing in the morning removes overnight build-up of bacteria and toxins. Rather than brushing the tongue, which will only push bacteria and toxins into the tongue, scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper or spoon. You can use a metal or a copper one. To scrape your tongue, extend it out and place the scraper as far back on the tongue as comfortable.
Using one long stroke, gently pull the scraper forward so that it removes the unwanted coating on the tongue. Rinse the scraper and begin again if necessary. I usually do this five or six times.
Teeth imprints. Teeth imprints around the contour of the tongue can mean malabsorption of nutrients, inflammation, or too much salt in the diet.
Trembling tongue. This is a sign of anxiety or fear.
The changes on the tongue will show the effects of changes in your diet. You will be able to watch the changes on your tongue as you begin improving your diet and healing your digestion.
Nadya Andreeva is the author of the #1 Amazon best-selling book on digestive health for women Happy Belly: A Woman’s Guide to Feeling Vibrant, Light, and Balanced. Professionally trained in mindful eating, yoga, and positive psychology, Nadya helps women create a healthy relationship with food that honors their body’s unique chemistry and eliminates bloating and irregularity. To learn more about improving your digestion, check out Nadya’s free Happy Belly cookbook http://www.spinachandyoga.com/100recipes/
**Tongue Diagram images reproduced with permission from Ayurveda: Science of Self Healing, by Dr. Vasant Lad. Lotus Press, a division of Lotus Brands, Inc., PO Box 325, Twin Lakes, WI 53181, USA, lotuspress.com ©1984 All Rights Reserved.
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