Usually when you go to the Doctor with a sore throat the Doctor will put on some gloves, pull out what looks like a huge paddle pop stick, get you to open your mouth and stick your tongue. The Doctor will then press the tongue down, make you say, “ahhh” and look at your throat.
On the other hand, as an Acupuncturist and traditional chinese medicine practitioner, I will ask to look at your tongue every time you visit and without the tongue depressor. Many people, rightfully so, think this is so strange ask me why I do this?
Those unfamiliar with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine may be surprised when an acupuncturist asks to see their tongue. However, this tongue inspection plays an important role in acupuncture diagnosis, developing a treatment plan, and gauging progress. The tongue can be a window into your health and is connected to the meridians and organs.
To answer this question I found an article posted on, tryacupuncture.org, which explains it best.
The article covers the basics, though there are other aspects of the tongue which indicate body imbalances such as: veins under the tongue, spots and raised surfaces. Though I think this article will cover enough to tweak your interest.
Darren Geer, Acupuncturist, Quay Health Sydney CBD