The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis

The science of Ayurveda teaches that a person is essentially a living book. To fully understand their physical well-being, a daily reading and study are required. There are numerous ways of obtaining this information, one of which is through Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, also called Nadi Vijana.

The Pulse Of East And West

In Western medicine, a doctor would check your pulse to monitor your heart’s rate, rhythm and regularity. However, in the science of Ayurveda, a pulse diagnosis should only be practised by specialist Ayurvedic doctors. Its use will determine far more information than just the rate of the heart.

The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis
Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis has no age limit

Ancient Science For Modern Lifestyles.

In India, the study of Ayurvedic medicine has a five-year curriculum at a college level. However, the art of Nadi Vijana is not part of the curriculum. This intricate science has almost remained a secret knowledge for the past six thousand years. To perfect it, it must be taught directly by a Master Practitioner.

The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis
Ayurvedic Medical Students And Professors

How, When And Where.

When performing an Ayurvedic radial pulse diagnosis, which is the most commonly practised form, the radial pulse is felt with three fingers. Namely the index, middle and ring fingers. To conduct a complete pulse examination, the doctor will face the patient and check both of the patient’s wrists.

As the pulse indicators may vary from the left to right side, doctors will check the pulse on both wrists. This enables them to get an accurate overview from both sides of the body.

The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis

To ensure accuracy, a pulse diagnosis should not be taken immediately after exertion, massage, eating or bathing. Likewise, it may prove inaccurate if the patient has been sitting near heat or performing strenuous exercise. Additionally, apart from the wrists in Ayurveda, there are various other checkpoints on the body. These include the temples, the neck, the inner thigh and several other locations.

Feeling More Than Just a Heart Beat

Vata dosha is measured by the index finger. If Vata is predominant in the constitution, the index finger will feel the pulse strongly. It will be irregular and thin, swaying in waves like the motion of a serpent, called the “snake” pulse, and it indicates aggravated vata in the body.

The placement of the middle finger indicates the pulse of the pitta dosha. When pitta is predominant in the constitution, the pulse feels strong under the middle finger, feeling active and excited.Its behaviour is like the dynamic jumping action of a frog. Accordingly, its named the “frog” pulse. This pulse denotes aggravated pitta.

If kapha is predominant, a throbbing of the pulse under the ring finger is most discernable. The strong pulsations will resemble the undulations of a floating swan, so it is called the “swan” pulse.

The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis
At the Heart of the Diagnosis

A well-performed pulse diagnosis can determine both the health and the status of the body’s organs by studying the shallow and deep pulsations. The pulse beats not only correspond to the heart but also act as indicators relating to the essential meridians of the body’s pranic energy currents.

These currents circulate through the blood, passing through vital organs like the liver, kidney, heart and brain. By feeling the shallow and deep pulsations, a sensitive examiner can detect the conditions of these various organs.

Three Fingers Read The Whole Body

Each finger rests on a meridian of the element associated with the dosha of that area. For example, the index finger which rests on the vata dosha detects bodily air; the middle finger which touches on pitta detects fire; and the ring finger which feels the kappa pulse, water.

The Ancient Science Of Pulse Diagnosis
The Single Strand of Hair Test

The finger sensitivity of an accomplished Ayurvedic doctor who can accurately perform a pulse diagnosis is remarkable. One of the training exercises for those who are studying the science of Nadi Vijana is to place a single strand of hair between two sheets of paper, and proceed to roll the hair under the tips of the index, middle and ring fingers while keeping their eyes closed.

When the hair can be felt clearly beneath the fingers through the paper, a second sheet of paper is added and the exercise is repeated until the hair can be felt distinctly through seven layers of paper. This then denotes sufficient sensitivity of the fingers.

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