Al Stone - Pulse Diagnosis Made Ridiculously Simple

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One qi gong teacher famously suggested that it will take a year to feel your qi, and five years to believe it. In much the same vein, pulse diagnosis is easy to pick up in a few minutes, but it takes somewhat longer to really derive useful diagnostic information.

This lecture has taken many of the ambiguous descriptions of pulses that rely on poetic names and evocative terms and presents them in terms of mostly quantifiable parameters such as width, length, and depth. I hope that this makes pulse diagnosis a little bit easier to wrap your head around.

Because this information is freely distributed online, I assume that it will also be accessed by consumers, patients, and other interested parties. At no point should any of the references to internal organs (eg. Spleen, Liver, etc.) be assumed to be the same concept as is usually attributed to these organs in the biomedical mindset.

For instance, when I write about Liver qi, this is best understood as the peripheral or enteric nervous systems. However, Liver blood disharmonies commonly look “hormonal” in conventional biomedicine. Heart blood looks like neurotransmitters. These correspondences are not written in stone. There are too many exceptions to all of these things to make any one-to-one relationships between Chinese medicine concepts and biomedical “realities”.

Next, to properly access a pulse, you will have to be calibrated by someone there with you passing on what a wide pulse feels like compared to a thin pulse. I suppose that after some time and effort, you may be able to arrive at your own calibration if you take enough pulses, but most consumers or patients really are not in a position to achieve that goal. As for the more tactile sensations such as the wave forms, this absolutely requires someone showing you exactly what that means so you can then recognize it in other pulses.

So, if you’re a consumer, patient, or student, please view this with the understanding that you are missing about half of this course, which is the practical action of taking pulses and discussing their diagnostic findings with a more experienced practitioner.