resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
October, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 10
The "Secret" of Chinese Pulse Assessment
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.
Author's note: In the first two articles in this series, I described the way pulses are taken (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/06/07.html) and how to perform a quantitative pulse analysis (www.massagetoday.com/archives/2003/08/06.html).The following article, which will discuss performing a simple qualitative pulse analysis, will be best understood after reading the previous articles in the series.
In my last article, I referred to Dr. Hammer's book as being 800 pages. He corrected me: It is only 756 pages (811, with a comprehensive index). My mistake, however, demonstrates how deeply one can be drawn into the study of pulse diagnosis. I am grateful Dr. Hammer took 20 years to study and record an oral pulse tradition. Reliable information can be obtained from the pulses in a relatively short amount of time; however, incredibly in-depth and accurate diagnoses can be obtained with additional study. If you find you have a good feel for the pulses - as many bodyworkers do - I recommend taking more extensive courses.
Check out www.dragonrises.org for more information.
It is generally agreed there are 28 main pulse qualities that can be identified in the 12 different pulse positions (there are many more positions and qualities in the book mentioned above). For the purpose of Asian Bodywork Therapy (ABT), I start students with qualities related to the Eight Principles and the Five Elements.
The Eight Principles is a method of pattern identification, with some elements dating back thousands of years to the Huang Ti Nei Jing and the Shang Han Lun. However, it was formulated into Interior/ Exterior; Hot/Cold; Full/Empty; and Yin/Yang in the early Qing dynasty (late 1600s). It is a useful system for unraveling the genesis and nature of just about any disharmony.
Exterior/Interior identifies the location of the problem, not the etiology. An Exterior condition affects the skin, muscles and/or meridians. It is categorized as Interior when it primarily affects the organs and bones. An Exterior condition can arise from an external pathogenic factor, or it can come from an internal problem and vice versa. Interior/Exterior only describes the location at the moment the pulse is taken. Simply, an Exterior condition manifests as a Floating pulse. It is a pulse felt at the superficial level, using light pressure. An Interior condition is felt with more pressure and is called a Deep pulse.
Hot/Cold describes an aspect of the nature of a pattern. Clinically, Hot manifests as a Rapid pulse. Traditionally, the pulse rate was measured in relation to the practitioners' breath, but for consistency's sake, it might be better to use a watch. Rapid is roughly over 80 beats per minute. Children run a little hotter, temperature wise, than adults; their pulses are more naturally rapid, which doesn't necessarily indicate pathology.
Cold is usually considered less than 65 beats per minute and is described as a Slow pulse; however, someone who is athletic typically has a Slow pulse. In that case, it is not necessarily a cold condition. Interestingly, regular exercise tends to "chill us out," so these people may be treating their hot natures, bringing themselves and their pulses into a more relative balance.
Full/Empty may be the easiest conditions to relate to a pulse type. These conditions are sometimes referred to as Excess/Deficiency, and manifest as Full and Empty pulses. A Full pulse can be a specific pulse often described as hard and rather long, extending beyond the normal pulse position. It also can be used to describe any pulse type that has a bigger, more substantial feel under the fingertips. An Empty pulse indicates a lack of something, such as Qi, Blood, Yin or Yang, and is referred to as a Deficiency. It occupies a shorter space and has a less substantial feel to it. It is used also in the general sense to describe a whole range of different deficiency type/weak pulses.
Yin/Yang can describe a generalization of the other six principles; therefore, a condition that is entirely Yin would be Interior, Cold and Empty. The pulse quality is a combination of Deep-Slow-Weak. A Yang condition is Exterior, Hot and Full; thus, the pulse for a strictly Yang condition is Floating-Rapid-Full. Yin/Yang are more frequently used to describe conditions of emptiness, commonly called Yin or Yang Deficiency. If there is not enough cooling Yin, it is referred to as a Yin Deficiency. This condition is Hot and Empty, manifesting as a Rapid-Empty pulse. If there is not enough warming Yang, it is called a Yang Deficiency. The condition is Cold and Empty, and the pulse appears Slow-Empty. So, in a way, there are only six main pulse types - all of the other qualities being variations of these six.
The pulse quality left out of the table is called a Leisurely or Slowed-Down pulse. It is about the same strength in every position: not too strong or weak, and with a moderate rhythm and rate. This pulse indicates a fairly balanced and healthy individual, and so far, I have never felt it with anyone coming into my clinic! Maybe it was more common in ancient times?
A good way to learn five common pulse qualities is by relating them to the Five Elements and the Yin organs that relate to each one:
The pulse qualities outlined in this article are the simplest to begin with. The more that pulse assessment is consistently practiced, the more the information received will make sense. Get started!
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.