Pulse Diagnosis

Updated: Nov 8, 2019

Reading pulses is one of the first points of physical contact I make with my patients. As such, I regard it as an honor, and I approach it with respect and wonder. Not to be confused with a heart rate reading, this technique of pulse reading allows me to get in touch with your energy and to understand the state of your organs, blood, fluids, immune system, reserves, and more. Other aspects of my diagnostic process include tongue diagnosis and palpation.


My fingertips are placed carefully on the patient's wrist, in particular positions that correspond to specific organs. Photo by Daniela Brown Photography

My fingertips are placed carefully on the patient's wrist, in particular positions that correspond to specific organs. This allows me to sense the pulse qualities. There are several possible descriptors for these (e.g. wiry, slippery, thin), and one person may have different qualities in different pulse positions, or overlapping qualities in one or more pulse positions, or both.


It is my job to sort through this information, in combination with my other observations and your reported symptoms to understand the nature of the imbalances that are present. Then I design a treatment strategy to untangle the knot, so to speak, in order to restore the proper flow of qi ("chee" / energy) and a feeling of well-being.


Personally, I check pulses before and after every single acupuncture treatment. That almost instant feedback (your energy can move quickly, y’all!) is so valuable to my process of confirming and/or reevaluating the treatment strategy. With this new information about how your energy is responding to the treatment, I have a clearer understanding of what it will take to bring your body into balance.


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