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Pulse reading is a form of diagnosis in Ayurvedic Medicine since 5000 years ago.
The pulse is the sign of life in your body. It is the center of circulation for the entire body, and according to Ayurveda, the seat of pure consciousness. Taking a pulse is a process of deep listening.
In Ayurvedic science, the heart is thought to be the true home of your soul. Nadi or pulse is that vital flow or energy that courses through as a subtle channel all over the body, and enables Ayurvedic practitioner to feel the way the blood flows from the heart.
There are three qualities or doshas in Ayurveda. These are Vata(space and air), Pitta(fire and water), and Kapha(water and earth). The pulse can be interpreted to determine the balance or imbalance of any of these three doshas. This helps the practitioner to diagnose or treat various ailments, or to prevent their occurrence.
How to Read Your Ayurvedic Pulse
Pulse reading can be learnt through continuous practice and under the guidance of an experienced practitioner. An expert pulse reader is able to diagnose the imbalances within a person’s body by touching, pressing and feeling the different combinations of the pulse. Like most things in Ayurveda, there are some basic concepts that are accessible to all.
Pulse is felt with the first three fingers, the index, middle and ring fingers. The first finger detects Vata, the second Pitta and the third Kapha. The practitioner can detect the three doshas imbalances through the qualities of the pulse. The speed and strength of the pulse also determines the diagnosis.
Vata dosha is strong in the constitution when the index finger will feel the pulse strongly. The pulse moves in a slithering motion, like a snake or worm, or irregular and thin moving in waves. This type of pulse is called a snake pulse.
The middle finger denotes the pulse corresponding to the Pitta dosha. When the patient has a predominant Pitta constitution, the pulse under the middle finger will be stronger. The pulse jumps like a frog or crow does along the ground, this type of pulse is called frog pulse.
It is a sign of Kapha constitution when the throbbing of the pulse under the ring finger is stronger. If the pulse a deep sweeping, steady pulse, like a graceful swan that glides on the water, then its displaying Kapha properties. This type of pulse is called swan pulse.
The rate of the pulse is dependent on the dominance of the doshas in Ayurveda. Vata is 80-90 beats per minute; Pitta is 70-80 bpm, while Kapha is 60-70 bpm. The rhythm of the pulse can be regular or irregular. Vata is irregular in rhythm and its characteristic is fast, feeble, cold, light, and thin and disappears on pressure. Pitta is regularly irregular while its characteristic is prominent, strong, high amplitude, hot, forceful and lifts the palpating finger. Kapha is regular and its characteristic is deep, slow, broad, wavy, thick, cool or warm and regular.
When the qualities of the pulse are not in location, it can indicate an imbalance in one’s health.
An Ayurvedic practitioner uses vastly more involved analysis when reading the pulse but knowing the basics can help guide people to create a perfect health on daily basis. Though learning to detect disease from the pulse is skill belonging to the practitioner, one can also become familiar with their own pulse and glean fascinating insights into doshas.
To understand more about pulse reading join Holistic Panama in this incredible journey of Ayurvedic pulse reading to heal and enhance the self-awareness and restoring the natural state of health that people have within their selves.
Walk this journey with us, at Holistic Panama.
Our founder: Jason Kerr