We can tell by the color of a person’s eyes if their liver is functioning well, we know if we need to eat by the growling of our stomach, if we bleed we put a band-aid on; but how many of us look to our tongue to see if we are healthy?
Most dentists can get a pretty good idea of your health based on your gums and teeth. However, ancient Chinese medicine takes this one step further and actually analyses the tongue as part of your overall health. Much like a palm reader, the tongue can give you insight into what is to come. Each area of the tongue corresponds to a different internal organ.
One of the most important methods of looking diagnosis in mainland Chinese medicine is the tongue. Many, many details of the tongue are examined, including qualities such as:
- Depressions, swollen areas
- Enlarged papillae
- Thickness and color of coating
‘Actually, all dental students learn not only about the the anatomy of the tongue, but about how the tongue can provide an general indication of what is happening in the rest of the body,’ says Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association.
‘For example, an enlarged tongue might be a sign of vitamin deficiency. So dentistry does not disregard the tongue.’
It just doesn’t put it at the centre of things. That said, it’s not so much Dr Roberts’s tongue theories that his fellow professionals find hard to swallow, as his opposition to metal fillings (he won’t do them, and suggests patients have them all removed).
‘I am not remotely short of patients,’ he says. ‘My appointments book is full, and people come from all over the world to see me.’
‘I should stress, though, that I don’t just take one look at someone’s tongue and give them a conclusive diagnosis. All I do is tell them if their tongue is pointing towards an area that might need addressing.
‘And don’t forget – I haven’t come up with the idea of tongue analysis off my own bat. It’s an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, dating back many centuries.’
Speaking of which, does the dÈcor, perhaps, owe something to the East, too? ‘That’s right, we’ve had the whole place feng shui-ed,’ he beams.
‘Hence the yellow chair, the pink shirts, even the positioning of the basins for the patients to spit into. Oh yes, for me, dentistry goes much deeper than just teeth (source).’
• Holistic Dentistry Practice, www.holistic-dentistry.com, 01484 514451.
Well I definitely didn’t learn this in college! It’s amazing how much someone can learn over the internet. It’s even more amazing that holistic medicine can find problems not yet apparent in western medicine. I am a firm believer in holistic medicine myself. Try finding a natural cure for things that ail you first. Most of the time, there is an answer somewhere in nature.