resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
August, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 08
The "Secret" of Chinese Pulse Assessment, Part II
By Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc
Editor's note: This series of articles is based on information from Barbra Esher's forthcoming textbook, Shiatsu and Chinese Medicine.
Last time, I gave an introduction to taking the pulses using the information gathered within the context of Chinese assessment principles.In this article, you will find the method for taking the pulse and the correlations to the whole body.
Method for Taking the Pulse
If you want accurate readings, it is essential to decrease your variables as much as possible. I can't emphasize this enough! There are so many things that will affect your readings. Being consistent each time you take a pulse will enable you to better evaluate the information.
The best time to take the pulse is at the crack of dawn, which is considered a neutral time between yin and yang when you can get the most accurate reading. I don't know about you, but I am not ready to restructure my practice so that my clients line up at 6 a.m. to have their pulses taken! Instead, I give my clients a few minutes to settle down from the yang of rushing to get to their appointment (between the yang of the outside world and the relative yin of my office) and take their pulses at that time. Most of my questions are guided by what I feel in their pulses.
To start, make sure you are grounded: both feet on the floor if you are sitting, shoulders relaxed and your breath regular and natural. Traditionally, the pulse is compared to that of the healthy practitioner. You could always use a clock if you aren't in optimal shape! Likewise, the client needs to be relaxed: shoulders dropped, with nothing even slightly occluding the arteries. The hands need to be below their hearts, resting naturally on a pillow or their bodies. The client can be sitting or lying down, but be consistent with whatever way you do it.
Use your first three fingers to rest on the radial artery at the styloid process, with your right hand on the left wrist and your left hand on the right wrist. The first position is sometimes referred to as cun, or inch, and is on the wrist crease, just distal to the styloid process. The second position is called guan, or bar, and is right over the process; the third position, chi, or cubit, is just proximal to it. The pressure is fairly light at the superficial level, slightly deeper at the middle level, and just before the bone for the deepest level.
Pulse Position Correlations
It is common for the superficial and deep positions to be each associated with a meridian; there are three superficial and deep pulse positions on each hand, making a total of twelve pulse positions. Interestingly, the positions were described in the Nan Jing (Classic of Difficulties, written around the 2nd century CE) using six meridian terminology, such as Hand Taiyang and Hand Shaoyin for Small Intestine and Heart. This specifically relates to the meridians more than the organs - a distinction not normally made in English. That's why ABTs often use this pulse map, compared to later ones commonly used by herbalists.
The Nan Jing used and developed the Five Element theory more than other Chinese medicine texts, and you may notice those correlations within the positions. The elements associated with the positions on the left hand control or act on the positions on the right. Fire (SI/H) controls Metal (LI/Lu); Wood (GB/Li) controls Earth (St/Sp); and Water (Bl/Ki) controls Fire (TH/Pc). Thus, it is thought that the pulses on the left hand are stronger than the right, though often with people that are Blood-deficient, this is not the case.
Start taking the pulses using this map and write down how strong or weak the pulses are in each position. Group the pulses into the upper part of the body for the first position; the middle part of the body for the second position; and the lower part of the body for the third position. You will notice that the part of the body in which your client feels the most discomfort is the pulse that stands out as the most weak or strong, in relationship to the other pulses. You will refine this technique the more you practice!
Click here for previous articles by Barbra Esher, AOBTA CI. Dipl. ABT & Ac. (NCCAOM), LAc.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.