resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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