Acupuncturists are not often computer fans. In fact, a lot of practitioners eschew technology and are quite proud of it. A few of us embrace it. As much as I love the internet and can make a good website, I have to say I’m blown away by self taught app developer, and acupuncturist, James Rohr. Rohr’s application is called Tungz!. Available for android or the iphone, as well as the ipad, Tungz is a great way for lay people to get a look at what a healthy tongue does and does not look like.
Rohr says, ” I’ve been giving lectures on tongue assessment for many years now, and I thought the subject matter would lend itself to a nice app. I’m a big fan of technology and education, so this app is a natural combination of those two interests. ”
I found out about Tungz! when Rohr mentioned it in an online group for acupuncturists. As I went to check it out, I was expecting something for practitioners, but it’s actually an introductory tongue evaluation for patients. Rohr says, “Because of the ease of use and the accessibility of the pictures, I actually think this app will be a great tool for practitioners to share with their patients to help build their practice. How many times have we heard someone say, “I’m healthy. I don’t think I need acupuncture.” Practitioners know that Chinese medicine has a very narrow view as to what is actually healthy. A quick glance at a tongue and comparing it to the healthy pictures can show the potential client right away if their tongue shows imbalances. Another thing I hear quite a bit in my practice is “I love the treatments and I think my _______(husband, wife, children, co-worker, etc) could really benefit, but they don’t think they have anything wrong with them. What can I do?” If the patient has the app, they can show the app to the person they want to refer and if the tongue is different, the prospective client can see for themselves that their body is sending a signal thru the tongue that their Qi is not in harmony.”
One challenge in creating the application was getting good clear pictures of tongues. Not only can flashes drown out color but quivering tongues are often blurry. Rohr has asked for people to send in more photos of their tongues and the response has been good. One person said, “Wow, do you also read minds? 🙂 I was quite impressed with what you said about my health by one single look at my tongue!!”
Rohr has been in practice since 2005 after graduating from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He has also trained at Chengdu University. Lest you think his background was in computer science, Rohr has an undergraduate degree from Stanford in anthropology. Rohr taught at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at their Chicago campus.
Rohr now works at an integrative health center in Florida and divides his time between that and private practice. His areas of interest lie in treating stress related disorders and “chronic conditions”. If developing apps and acupuncture aren’t enough, Rohr also has a line of organic teas, designed around tongue diagnosis.
Reading about everything Rohr has going on, I had to wonder what’s next. Rohr says, “I’ve just opened a new clinic in South Beach here in Miami, FL. I’m very excited about the new space. I’m also working on a book about rethinking chronic illness. I hope to have that out sometime in 2012. I’ve also launched Tungz Teas, a line of organic teas using some western and eastern herbs in formulations to help support people’s constitutions. For the uninformed, there are some great tasting teas. For the eager and educated patient, there is the option to search for teas based on tongue features. I’m excited to see how this business grows in the coming year.”
Check out the Rohr’s websites for his app as well as his line of teas. The teas integrate well with his Tungz. He’s definitely a practitioner bringing this ancient medicine into the digital age.