Do you have Miley-Tongue? Health & Chinese Medicine


There were many things about Miley Cyrus’ shocking 2013 VMA performance that had me concerned, but one in particular was her enlarged, white-coated and unhealthy looking tongue. Gross. Put that thing away girl!

But why do I care about Miley’s tongue? After spending a bit of time over the years in the offices of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists trying to sort out digestive issues, I’ve come to realise the importance of the tongue as an indicator of all over body health. If you’ve ever been to one of these practitioners, you will know that one of the first things they do is ask you to poke out your tongue.

In Eastern medicine, the tongue is considered to have many relationships and connections with the rest of the body. It is therefore used as important tool in TCM diagnosis.


The normal tongue in Traditional Chinese Medicine has a light red or pinkish body with a thin white coating. That my friends, up there, protruding from Miley’s face, is none of the aforementioned.

Some other common unhealthy signs in a tongue is a thick white or yellow coating towards the back of the tongue (usually indicating yeast build up on the body), teeth marks on the side of the tongue (spleen qi deficiency), rough texture, lines or cracks on the tongue (usually bad gut health).

The Sacred Lotus Arts Centre has this incredible resource for determining your own tongue health.

So go, right now, and stick out your tongue in a mirror and see how you fare compare to Miley.

If you’re concerned, go and see a TCM practitioner / Acupuncturist.  Of course, in HK there are an abundance of local practitioners, but I can recommend both of these Central based practices who have great western TCM practitioners.

The Vitality Centre 

Suite 801 Commercial House,
35 Queen’s Road
Central, Hong Kong

(852) 2537 1118

Integrated Medicine Institute Hong Kong

13/F & 17/F Kailey Tower,
16 Stanley Street,
Central, Hong Kong

(852) 2523 7121

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