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Tells of the Dis-eased Body

by Emma Lane(more info)

listed in naturopathy, originally published in issue 252 - February 2019

Are you listening to your body’s communication of dis-ease and addressing it before it turns into a disease?

Did you know that disease processes take 10-15 years to develop in the body?

Most people believe that symptoms are the first sign that they have a problem but, in fact, symptoms are one of the last stages of the disease process. Therefore, if you have symptoms the body’s fundamental metabolic control systems have been out of balance for some time and are demanding your attention.

Homeostasis - a Body in Balance

In an ideal state, the body can maintain a state of metabolic equilibrium or balance - in other words, stay within normal limits. Naturopaths call this “homeostasis”, and this means no symptoms are being communicated by the body; obviously, this is what we want to experience.

Every minute of the day physiological changes are happening in our bodies. For example, 600,000 red blood cells are turned over every second, and there are constant hormonal and temperature adjustments. Therefore, each day there are constant deviations from homeostasis, the body is constantly making adjustments and this physiological dance is what maintains the homeostasis balance.

Tongue Small

The tongue can provide useful information about your health

The Journey from Dis-Ease to Disease

However, if for some reason the body has difficulty correcting a deviation and remains chronically outside the limits of physiology this can lead into another phase, which would be a pathophysiologic change, which means abnormal and disordered physiologic function.

Some examples of this would be poor blood sugar balance, headaches and bowel movement issues such as constipation. These are just a few examples of how your body communicates that it’s having some problems. If you continue not to listen to that communication, then over time it progresses to the next stage where you will start to experience pathomorphological changes. The body will still be working hard to regain homeostasis, but if the pathophysiology continues this third phase of pathomorphology is invoked, and this indicates a change to the structure of the body-damage to tissues and/or organs.

Some examples of pathomorphological changes would be atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome; again if you do not listen to the communication and do little to address the underlying causes of the pathologic shifts, and if the imbalance is severe or exists for a prolonged period of time, the pathological changes continue to occur until you suffer the symptoms of a disease. Unfortunately, by the time a person is aware of symptoms or is diagnosed with a disease this process has usually been going on for some time.

Constant Care for Optimal Health

The human body is remarkable and is designed to continually self-heal if it has access to what it needs to rebuild and heal itself. Therefore, you have a duty of care to nurture and look after it by adopting simple daily routines such as feeding it the right types of nourishing foods, giving it a diversity of both essential and complementary nutrients, drinking plenty of clean water, getting enough rest and avoiding exposure to those things which are considered toxic - such as chemicals and excessive stress - and if you look after it by making consistent choices in line with creating your optimal wellbeing, you will reap the benefits.

Your body will function optimally, enabling you to live a life free from the constraints of illness and at the ready to handle most of the things thrown its way. Unfortunately, if you consistently do things that upset the balance in your chemistry and function - perhaps preferring an unhealthy diet, not getting enough sleep, or drinking alcohol too much or too frequently, your body will start to give you those early warning signals in the form of signs and symptoms.

Some signs and symptoms are obvious, for example, the onset of fever is the body’s way of letting you know that it’s fighting off an infection. Then there are more subtle signs like having white spots on your nails, which is an indication of possible zinc insufficiency.

The Body’s Earning Warning Signs

So, let's take a look at some of these early warning signs. Do you experience muscle cramps, shaking hands, eye twitches, tongue tremors or chocolate cravings? These are all indications that there may be a deficiency in magnesium.

Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, irritability, insomnia and muscle tremors or twitching. Increase sources of magnesium in your diet by eating more fish, meat, seafood, almonds, cashews, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, brown rice and green leafy vegetables, or utilise a good supplement such as those that can be found on

Do you notice a chicken skin-like texture and appearance on the back of the upper arms? This is known as Keratosis pilaris, a very common genetic follicular disease that produces rough bumps on the skin that look like chicken skin. Primarily, it appears on the back and outer sides of the upper arms, but can also occur on the thighs and buttocks or any part of the body except for the palms and soles.

Keratosis pilaris is affected by the level of fatty acids in the diet, especially vitamin A, so adding essential fatty acids (EFA) into the diet will help. You can increase them in your diet by including more oily fish, apricots, barley grass, butter, carrots, fish liver oils (cod, salmon and halibut), green leafy vegetables, liver, mint and egg yolk.

Again, a good supplement could also be incorporated - examples can be found here:

Are you prone to bruising easily or to getting infections, or do you have periodontal problems? These are indicators of vitamin C and possibly bioflavonoids insufficiency.

  • The reason why many people bruise easily is that their capillaries are too fragile and essentially are easily torn.
  • Periodontal (gum) problems are a symptom of vitamin C deficiency. One of the best ways to ensure that your capillaries remain strong and flexible is to make sure you have an excellent source of bioflavonoids in your diet.
  • Increasing these dietary sources of vitamin C and bioflavonoids in your diet will assist your capillaries. Broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, dark-coloured berries, citrus and peel, dark leafy greens, garlic, and onions are all good sources. Again you can also add in a good quality supplement; examples can be found on

Look and Listen - your Body is Calling

A more serious indication is finding a diagonal crease on your earlobe as this may indicate that you are susceptible to cardiovascular disease. At least 30 different studies have shown that a diagonal crease across the earlobe is a highly accurate sign of increased risk for heart attack.

Typically, the presence of a crease across one earlobe was associated with a 33% increase in the risk of heart attack and this rose to 77% if both earlobes were creased. Chronic circulatory problems cause the blood vessels in the fleshy part of the earlobe to collapse, this then causes swelling of the tissue and creates a crease in the earlobe. In fact, in most people, a diagonal earlobe crease is a more accurate predictor of sudden death from heart attack than age, smoking, weight, high cholesterol, or lifestyle factors.

If you find an ear crease, then it would be wise to visit your doctor for a check-up and guidance. If you wear earrings, this can also create creases when you initially take them out.

Looking in the Mirror for more Early Warning Signs

The tongue and face can be very helpful in supplying information regarding your internal health. As a naturopath, I use all the tools at my disposal to gather information that will help me understand what is out of balance for my patients. The tongue has many relationships and connections in the body, both of the meridians and the internal organs; it is, therefore, beneficial and vital for gathering valuable information as it can present strong visual indicators of a person’s overall harmony or disharmony.

The tongue is inside the mouth; however, it is one of the few places where we can see the state of the internal organs – but on the outside of the body.

Everyone’s tongue is different – like fingerprints, the colour, shape, moisture, movement, coating and areas of the tongue are all important.

What is your Tongue Telling You?

A healthy tongue should be a pale red/pink colour, reasonably moist, fit snugly into the mouth and have a thin white coating. There should be no lines, cracks or slices; the papillae are minimal (these are the red looking spots on the tongue). It has a look of aliveness, is supple (not stiff) and there should be no movement such as quivering, trembling, side-to-side motion, curling or shifting to one side.

Do you have short or long horizontal cracks or transverse cracks on the sides or the tip of the tongue? What about a very deep ventral crack with other smaller cracks on the surface of your tongue? These indicate a vitamin B deficiency, therefore, look again to your diet and make sure you are getting a variety of the following foods: poultry, liver, fish, shellfish, eggs, whole grains, potatoes, beans and lentils. Green leafy vegetables are particularly high in folate (vitamin B9). Again visit holisticsonline to find quality B vitamin supplements -
The Tongue Terrain

Each area of the tongue corresponds to a different organ in the body. The rear of the tongue shows the functioning of organs in the lower body - bladder, kidney and intestines; the middle area of the tongue shows the organs that are in the middle area of the body – stomach, spleen, liver and gall bladder, whilst the tip represents the organs higher up – the heart and lungs. So if you notice differences in colour or texture in certain areas on the tongue surface, it may indicate there is a corresponding concern with the related organ.

Health Information at your Fingertips

Fingernails can also be a potent indicator of a person’s:

  • Nutritional status
  • Medical history
  • Overall vitality
  • Poor absorption
  • Stress
  • Cardiovascular function
  • Rheumatic conditions

So it’s helpful to keep an eye on your nails and any changes that you notice could give you a valuable warning that something is not in balance and needs your attention.

Don’t Ignore the Body’s Messages

The body is continuously in communication with you; the question is, are you listening? Or when you get a headache do you just reach for the painkillers and not take the time to figure out why you are getting headaches? Remember a headache is just a symptom, and the body is saying, “Hello, I have a problem here - can you help sort it out?” So ask yourself what’s possibly contributing to the cause.

It could be because of:

  • Dehydration
  • Too much coffee
  • Low blood sugar
  • Stress
  • Too much screen time
  • Poor posture or ergonomics
  • Eyesight issues
  • Lack of rest/sleep
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Diet

All of the above are common causes of headaches; therefore you will benefit from making appropriate changes so that you are supporting your body rather than continually pushing it out of balance, for example by not being hydrated, choosing to eat foods that don’t support your biochemistry or not eating on a consistent basis to keep your blood sugars balanced.

The Tells of Dis-ease

As you can see, I have only been able to give you a brief insight into how the body tells you it is in dis-ease. I teach a whole day’s class called “The tells of dis-ease” on the subject so you can learn a myriad of tells, thereby helping you be proactive about your health.

Please take a look at the Integrative Health Education website

  • February 2019 - St Louis, USA
  • March 2019 - Wakefield, UK

To Conclude

By becoming more attuned to your body and taking the time to observe and listen to it, you will develop a powerful awareness of your inner health which in turn will continuously help you achieve ongoing optimal wellbeing, creating great protection against disease and illness. The more engaged you become with your own health and the more vigilant you are about identifying anything different or abnormal about your body state and function, the better wellbeing and experience of life you can have.

For more Information:


Bezanis, R. (2008) Diagnostic Face Reading and the Holistic You, Neff / Harry Publishing, USA. ISBN 978-0-615-18332-9, 3rd Edition.

Chalmers Lions, D. (1968) Oral and Facial Signs and Symptoms of Systemic Diseases Charles C Thomas, Illinois, USA, 68-18300

Family  Mouth Problems. Family

Kushi, M. (1983) Your Face Never Lies, Red Moon Press, London, ISBN 0-89529-214-9

Kushi M. (2007) Your Body Never Lies, Square One Publishers. New York, USA. ISBN 978-0-7570-0267-0,

Higdon, J (2003) An Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Nutrition

New York: Thieme Publishing

Institutes of Health.

Ohashi with Monte T.  (1991) Reading the Body – Ohashi’s Book of Oriental Diagnosis Penguin Group, NY, USA, ISBN 978-0-014-019362-6

MacGregor H. (2008). The Body Language of Health, Eclipse Natural Care, Derby, UK. ISBN 978-0-9557909-0-4, your skin is a window to your health

MedlinePlus. Tongue problems. National Library of Medicine National.

Reamy BV, Derby R, Bunt CW. (2010) Common tongue conditions in primary care. Am Fam Physician. 81:627.

Zimmermann, M. (2011) Macronutrients in Health and Disease. New York: Thieme Publishing

(2015) The Tongue in Diagnosis.


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About Emma Lane

Emma Lane ND Dip NT CMTA C.H.E.K IV HLC3 PEA RSA – Founder and Director of the Lane Wellness Group – has more than 30 years’ experience in the industry, working as a Naturopath, Naturopathic Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is a registered practitioner of ISEAI (The International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness). Emma has two busy practices in the north of England and central London and is also the Founder and Director of Integrative Health Education and PCI Europe. Emma regularly lectures around the world and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with other practitioners. She works closely with Dr Omar Amin, a world-renowned professor of parasitology. Emma is qualified to practise across a wide range of natural health sciences including Naturopathy, Naturopathic Nutrition, Functional Medicine, FSM (frequency specific microcurrent) Neuro-linguistic Programming, Timeline Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Auricular Acupuncture, Functional Corrective Exercise, Sound Therapy and Energy Healing. For further information please contact Emma on Tel: 01924 242 851 and via Energize, Mind, Body;    Holistics Online,    Parasite Testing,    Integrative Health Education ,   Lane Wellness Group


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