The nerves involving the tongue, eyes and ears are cranial. But many times, pressure on nerves from the neck can ‘overspill’ causing problems further up the nervous system. If there is either numbness or pain in this area, remember that your chiropractor will assess the neck for possible implications.

On her daughter’s advice, a sweet lady of eighty-six came for help. She was suffering because her tongue was so full and sore. It also had a burning sensation that was unpleasant and she felt ‘wafty’ and tired. She was distressed because the doctor did not think it was important.

On getting the overall picture, it was discovered that her neck was twisted more to one side than the other and on reading her pulses, the chi energies were quite out of balance. She had good reason to be tired and wafty.

The first approach was to balance her pulses. Needles were inserted in her legs and hands. The famous point in the ear, called ‘the gate of heaven’ by the Chinese, so important because it treats the central nervous system, was the concluding choice. She started to settle down.

She needed therapy on the neck to relax the neck muscles and by her third treatment she was able to announce how much better she felt and all her tastebuds were back to normal. Zinc and vitamin B tablets were advised.

The tongue is a major source of diagnosis for traditional Chinese medicine. All naturopaths also observe the tongue for its colour, markings and general health. What it tells us would surprise you. Have a look at your tongue first thing in the morning before your yoga teacher tells you to scrape it with a spoon.

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