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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.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
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.
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.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
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.
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.
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.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
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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