If you have never had acupuncture or herbal treatments, the
intern or clinician always asks to see your tongue. I still have
regular patients that I see in the main clinic in Lombard who think
the practice of sticking out their tongue for five seconds is very
silly and awkward, but it is a necessary diagnostic tool in Chinese
In fact, the tongue is one of the most important diagnostic
areas in ancient medical traditions. Your tongue, containing water,
electrolytes, mucus, and enzymes, is a very sensitive organ and its
appearance changes with many physical changes in the body. In TCM,
the tongue represents the organs in in our body, for example the
tip of your tongue represents the Heart and Lung, the sides of the
Liver and Gallbladder.
Have you are ever curious about what your tongue looks like?
Wonder if you're coming down with a cold? Stick out your tongue and
say "Ah!" Or at least give it a glance. Get in front of the mirror
and look at your tongue right now. What does your tongue look like?
Here is what you want to see: A normal tongue should be pink,
muscular without tooth marking or discoloration, and have a very
thin clear coating.
When I exam patients' tongues I am looking at the color of the
tongue, texture, and if there is a coating on the tongue (usually
white, yellow, black, or clear) or no coating. I look at the tip,
both sides of the tongue and back of the tongue. In addition, I ask
patients to show me the underneath of their tongue where sublingual
veins are located.
I always advise patients not to brush their tongue if they think
they are coming into the clinic. The reason for this is because I
need to see the tongue's true physical state. If you brush your
tongue, it is physically altered, and this will affect the accuracy
of the tongue diagnosis.
Your tongue is one of the easiest ways to check your health
Thank you for you continued support of the AOM Blog! Have a
wonderful week and stay dry!
Summer is slowly approaching. What does this mean? Summertime is
a season full of energy, heat, longer daylight, and sunny days.
Summer is the season of yang, a time when the body undergoes
vigorous metabolic (body energy) processes.
According to TCM, summer is yang as mentioned earlier, but
summer is also based on the five elements. Summer is fire, color is
red, emotion is joy, and the organ associated with fire is heart
and small intestine. Fire is symbolic because in TCM it is the
maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of
heat, outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives.
In human anatomy, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire
element. We should give greatest focus on our heart, mind, and
spirit for staying healthy in summer.
It is important to make sure our body is balance during the
summertime. When we are balanced in the summertime, our heart is
strong and healthy, the mind is calm and sleep is sound. But if we
are not balanced in summertime we create an imbalance in the fire
element, which may cause either lack of joy (depression) or an
excess of joy (mania). Indicators of an imbalance in the fire
element include agitation, nervousness, heartburn, and
Cherry tree in bloom
Dia's Helpful Tips for the
Thank you for your continued support of the AOM blog. Have a
If you, a friend, a family member, or a patient is trying to
become pregnant, you may want to consider acupuncture and
Traditional Chinese Medicine. The enhancement of fertility has been
at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 5,000 years,
and there has been great success with acupuncture and herbal
medicine treating infertility. Below are real patient's questions
that I have been asked in the clinic regarding fertility
How does acupuncture improve fertility?
Acupuncture causes a reduction of stress hormones and a release
of endorphins that produce a profound state of relaxation. Research
has shown that women with elevated stress levels have significantly
lower pregnancy rates. Regular acupuncture treatments result in the
correction of the body's neuro-endocrinological activity resulting
in hormonal regulation and balance. The insertion of needles in
specific acupoints in the body increases ovarian and uterine blood
flow. This increased flow stimulates ovulation and enhances growth
of the uterine lining. Acupuncture supports implantation and growth
of the embryo during the very crucial initial stages of fetal
Fuke 11.24 (Tung's Point)
How does herbal therapy improve fertility?
Herbs work to nourish and strengthen the body; assimilation of
critical nutrients supports a healthy pregnancy. The quality of
ovarian eggs and the thickness of the uterine lining are dependent
on adequate nutrition. When present in the reproductive area,
inflammation creates yet another obstacle to fertility, so
acupuncturists prescribe specific herbs to reduce inflammation.
Lastly, other select herbs are effectively used to regulate and
balance hormone levels.
Can TCM also help with infertility in men?
Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly used to increase
and improve the quality, motility and quantity of sperm. Since male
infertility accounts for over 40% of infertility issues in couples,
male partners are encouraged to partake in regular treatments to
address potential sperm issues. Strengthening the male partner
increases the odds of pregnancy. I often encourage couples to come
in together for fertility support.
Huanchao 11.06 (Tung's acupuncture)
Word to the Wise: Please be careful when treating women patients
who are trying to get pregnant or have history of miscarriage;
avoid acupuncture points ST12, GB21, LI4, SP6, UB60, UB67. These
are very strong points that move the qi and blood. I often use
these points: DU20, Zigong, Fuke 11.24 (Tung's point), Huanchao
11.06 (Tung's acupuncture) and sometimes auricular points in the
ear uterus, endocrine, ovary, LV, KD, depending on the patient. I
also remind fertility patient's that consistency is the key to
successful fertility support along with a healthy balanced diet and
exercises, such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi. In addition, I ask
patient's to create a menses calendar to track their menstruation
cycle and ovulation cycle.
Thanks for continuing to support of AOM blog. Remember spring is
• Fertility and TCM
• Cupping Therapy
• Boost Your Qi
• AOM and Autism
• New Spring AOM Interns
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.