Pulse Diagnosis Chinese Medicine Canberra Oriental Medicine Canberra Natural Therapy CanberraThe art of reading the pulses is the central diagnostic technique of Chinese Medicine and in many ways shapes the whole character of Oriental Medicine practice. The practitioner feels (or ‘listens’ to) the pulse on both wrists at the radial artery, using the tips of three fingers. And just as a good mechanic can listen to a car engine and determine what is wrong with it, so too can the practitioner pick up disharmonies in the body by “listening” to the feel of the pulse.

The quality of the pulse is, of course, a direct link to the function and tone of the heart and blood vessels. So it is not difficult to understand how a careful feel of the pulse gives the practitioner an insight into the fluid dynamics of the life of the body. It is less easy to explain how the positions on the radial artery are specifically related to the individual organ systems of Chinese Medicine; but thousands of years of clinical practice says that it works.

In addition to focussing on the different positions of the pulse (three finger positions on each wrist with three levels of depth), the practitioner is assessing the quality and shape of the pulse in each of those positions. Pulse qualities such as strength, texture and rhythm give the practitioner valuable information on the condition of internal organs and tissues.

Reading the pulses is like looking through a small peep hole onto a vast landscape; what you feel will never be the total picture. So even though pulse diagnosis is regarded as the pre-eminent method for determining patterns of disharmony, it is always assessed in the context of the full range of four classical diagnostic methods.