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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
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.
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