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The Pulse – A Snapshot of Your Entire Body’s Health

The Pulse – A Snapshot of Your Entire Body’s Health

The Pulse - A Snapshot of Your Entire Body’s Health

What Does Your Pulse Say Today?

When a Chinese medicine practitioner is taking your pulse in a consult, there is a whole world of information that they are feeling into.

If you have never experienced this, the practitioner will place the finger pads of three fingers on your radial artery (at your wrist) and start gently pressing and probing as they gather their information.

“What does the pulse have to say today” patients will often ask. This is an excellent question. What are we feeling for?

Believe it or not, all three different finger placements will feel very different.

“How can that be?” My aunt, a nurse, once asked me at a family gathering. “Isn’t it all just the radial artery?” Bearing in mind that in western medicine the pulse is really only felt for heart rate and strength.

When a Chinese medicine practitioner is feeling the pulse with very little pressure, they are feeling into the surface level of the body: does the surface of the body have sufficient fluids to keep the skin and hair moist? How strong is the immune system that protects the exterior of the body from being invaded by the pathogenic environment?

When a Chinese medicine practitioner is feeling the pulse with medium pressure, they are feeling the wall of the artery; how much strength or weakness is present in the way the artery resists finger pressure, how thin or thick the blood vessel will show the volume and quality of the blood running through the artery. At this level of the pulse different organs can also be felt into to determine their strength or weakness.

When a Chinese medicine practitioner is feeling the pulse with a lot of pressure, they are feeling the deep level of the pulse. At this level, depending on the position, they might be feeling into the strength of constitutional qi, the strength of hormones, the state of thicker fluids that nourish the deeper tissues of the body, and also different organs depending on the position of the finger.

And a really really good practitioner, who has developed the most amazing sensitivity in their fingers and intuition, can feel the minutia of a valve in the heart that is not working correctly, or a small tumour beginning to grow, or even the feeling of the cold dinner that you ate the night before travelling through your blood!

It is a micro snapshot of your entire body.

And it is absolutely fascinating. 

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