Chinese Diagnosis Through Pulse Taking and Palpation

February 12, 2023 | Category:

chinese pulse taking

Chinese Diagnosis Through Pulse Taking and Palpation

Pulse taking measures the changes in one’s pulse. It is used to determine the level of qi and blood in one’s body.

In general, traditional Chinese medicine uses the entrance to the pulse, ie. the inch section. As it is where the Hand Taiyin lung channel passes through, bearing in mind.that the lungs are the part of the VIscera that store qi, blood and nutrients, and are crucial to the limbs and bones, pulse taking at this section will reveal the state of the viscera, channels and collaterals, qi and blood etc. 

The human wrist can be divided into three sections: inch, bar and cubit. Each section corresponds to different internal organs. 

Read also:
How to feel the pulse? And what to look for in pulse taking?

Analysis of Pulse Taking

When a person is in good health, the pulse is slow and steady, rhythmic and strong. A rapid or a very slow pulse will indicate presence of disease. 

If a patient is very ill, but the pulse is calm and strong, it indicates a chance of recovery. But if the pulse is fine and faint, almost imperceptible, it is a portent of grave consequences.

There are many types of pulse, such as floating pulse, deep pulse, full pulse, fine pulse, feeble pulse, replete pulse and others. The differences are very subtle. Hence diagnosis through pulse taking is not easy to master. 

Different types of pulse

Floating pulseCan be felt by a light touch. It grows faint on hard pressure and can be likened to a floating log. Usually seen in early stages of diseases caused by exogenous factors.
Deep pulseCan only be felt by applying pressure. Usually seen in many various chronic diseases. Indicates that the disease has attacked the internal organs.
Rapid pulseFast beating. Usually indicates the presence of heat.
Retarded pulsePulse beat is slow; Indicates diseases of a cold nature.
Feeble pulseThe pulse feels feeble and faint. Indicates deficiency of positive qi.
Replete pulseThe pulse is vigorous and forceful. Indicates excess syndrome.
Full pulseA thin, thready pulse. Faint yet always perceptible. Indicates deficiency of yin and blood.
Fine pulseA pulse beating like waves with forceful rising and gradual decline. Indicates presence of excessive pathogenic heat.
Taut pulseA long and forceful pulse that feels like a string on a musical instrument. Usually seen in liver trouble, severe pains and retention of phlegm.
Tense pulseA fast and strong pulse that feels like a tightly stretched cord. Indicates presence of cold or pain.
Knotted pulseA pulse pausing at irregular intervals. Usually seen in cases of stagnation of qi or blood, phlegm due to cold.
Intermittent pulseA slow and weak pulse pausing at regular intervals. Indicates severely weakened viscera, deficiency of the qi and blood, severe trauma or terror.
Running pulseA rapid pulse with irregular intermittence. Usually seen in cases of excessive heat, stagnation of qi and blood, retention of phlegm or indigestion.
Slippery pulseA smooth pulse running like beads rolling on a plate. Usually seen in cases of phlegm retention.
Hesitant pulseAn uneven pulse. Usually caused by loss or stagnation of qi and blood.

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