Traditional Chinese Medicine/Basic Pulse Axioms

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Pulse Positions | Basic Pulse Axioms | Methodology Of Taking The Pulse | Classification And Nomenclature Of Pulse Qualities | Rhythm And Stability Of The Pulse | Rate Of The Pulse | Our RSP | Volume Of The Pulse | Depth Of The Pulse | Size: Width And Length Of The Pulse | Shape Of The Pulse | Individual Positions Of The Pulse | Pulse Qualities As Signs Of Psychological Disharmony | Prognosis And Prevention | Pulse Interpretation

The pulse is a precise instrument for transmitting signals about the organism of which it is a part. [1]

The Pulse And Chinese Physiology[edit]

Paradox as a sign of illness[edit]

Positive and negative signs[edit]

The pulse record can tell us our strengths. Intact proximal positions of the lower burner tell us that we are rooted and have ground to stand on. Intact middle positions of the middle burner tell us that we can restore and cleanse ourselves. Intact distal positions of the upper burner tell us that we can reach out to the world with awareness of our creative being, and to maintain mental and emotional stability.

An accurate pulse record is a precise and faithful catalog of a person's physiology and pathology at a given moment in life. It is the royal road to early diagnosis and prevention.

The Pulse And Western Physiology[edit]

Large Segment And Small Segment Pulse Signs[edit]

Large Segments[edit]

Small Segments[edit]

Quantity vs. Quality[edit]

Conditions And Circumstances That Affect Pulse Qualities And Interpretation[edit]

Environment and etiology[edit]

Age at onset of qi deficiency[edit]


A very thin pulse in a man and a very wide pulse in a woman are inappropriate signs. Men tend toward heat from excess and women tend toward blood deficiency.

Body condition[edit]


Disharmony will first occur in the most deficient organ. For example, anger is commonly associated with the Liver, but if a person's Lungs are weaker than the Liver, the Lungs will be affected by anger first, and disharmony will then be found in the Lungs.


  1. Leon Hammer, M.D. "Chinese Pulse Diagnosis, A Contemporary Approach", Revised Edition, Page 33. EastLand Press, Seattle, 2005. ISBN: 0-939616-49-1

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