Pulse diagnosis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Pulse diagnosis is a diagnostic technique used in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Mongolian medicine, Siddha medicine, traditional Tibetan medicine, and Unani.


In Ayurveda, advocates claim that by taking a pulse examination, humoral imbalances such as the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) can be diagnosed. The ayurvedic pulse also claims to determine the balance of prana, tejas, and ojas.[1]

Ayurvedic pulse measurement is done by placing index, middle and ring finger on the wrist. The index finger is placed below the wrist bone on the thumb side of the hand (radial styloid). This finger represents the Vata dosha. The middle finger and ring finger are placed next to the index finger and represents consequently the Pitta and Kapha doshas of the patient.Pulse can be measured in the superficial, middle, and deep levels thus obtaining more information regarding energy imbalance of the patient. [1] [2]

Traditional Chinese medicine[edit]

In traditional Chinese medicine, the pulse is divided into three positions on each wrist. The first pulse closest to the wrist is the cun (inch, 寸) position, the second guan (gate, 关), and the third pulse position furthest away from the wrist is the chi (foot, 尺). Each position represents a pair of organs, with different organs apparent on the superficial, middle, and deep level. Various classic texts cite different pairings of organs, some omitting the second organ from the pulse entirely. Generally, the first position on the left hand represents the heart and small intestine, the second, liver and gallbladder, and third the kidney yin and the bladder. On the right hand, the first position is representative of the lungs and large intestine, the second of the spleen and stomach, and the third represents the kidney yang and uterus or triple burner. The strengths and weaknesses of the positions are assessed at 3 depths each, namely fu (floating, 浮), zhong (middle, 中) and chen (deep, 沉).[3] These 9 positions are used to assess the patient diagnostically, along with the different qualities and speed of the pulse.[4]


  1. ^ a b Peter Koch, December 1, 2012: Ayurvedische Pulsdiagnose
  2. ^ Noah Volz - Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis http://www.ayurvedacollege.com/articles/students/pulse
  3. ^ Hammer, Leon. Handbook of Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis. Copyright 2012.
  4. ^ Maciocia, Giovanni. The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, Second Edition. Copyright 2005.