Pulse diagnosis, a healing art and science, is a most refined, accurate and comprehensive diagnostic tool employed in Ayurveda to figure out where any imbalance exists in the body, and what the nature of the imbalance is.
In Ayurveda there are 8 diagnostic or examination methods (Ashta Sthana Pariksha):
- Nadi Pariksha (Pulse Examination)
- Mutra Pariksha (Examination of Urine)
- Mala Pariksha (Stool Examination)
- Jihwa Pariksha (Tongue Examination)
- Shabda Pariksha (Voice Examination)
- Sparsha Pariksha (Touch Examination)
- Drik Pariksha (Eye Examination)
- Akrti Pariksha (Physical Appearance Examination)
Pulse Is Superior
Pulse is #1 because, through the channel (nadi) of the radial pulse, a physician (who has the knowledge and capability) can simply and quickly gain an insight into what is going on in the body and mind on a level deeper than any other examination method.
The pulse can access the deepest and subtlest aspects in the body and mind, including fathomless root causes of disease. It intervenes very early in the disease process, whereas other examination methods are more delayed.
For example, urine and faeces examination are the next two methods after pulse which provide the deepest insights. They are high up the list for detecting disease early because they are the first wastes of the body.
With the pulse however, you don’t need to wait for the waste product to come. You can tap into the earlier four stages of disease before symptoms or waste products manifest.
This is not only useful for prevention but also is valuable for those with niggling health issues or that are poorly responding to treatments.
This, of course, is only possible by a pulse physician who holds mastery in this area. Other physicians may have more experience or mastery with other diagnostic methods and don’t utilise the pulse at all.
Vast Holistic Knowledge
They say it takes within 2-4 minutes for the blood to circulate to every cell all over the body.
The pulse gives information on what is happening physically.
Your pulse is your heart and your heart is your feelings. When the heart beats, it gives information about the emotional blocks, traumas as well areas in life where people thrive.
The heart is the faculty of thought, actions and desires. It is closely connected to one’s mental state.
The heart is the source of Ojas - the physical expression of consciousness. It connects us to the Absolute infinite source of Being that underlies everything. This is why the heart is known as the ”spiritual organ” in many traditions. When you take your pulse you are taking information about the physical connection between your blood and the underlying consciousness state.
Pulse as Therapy
When you connect your body with the underlying state of Pure Consciousness (where perfect health is) through pulse, it heals the physiology. There is even a highly advanced therapy called “Vedic Vibration Pulse Therapy” which my teachers father, Father B.A. Raju was a well known master in.
The Subtle Power of Touch: Sparsha
The epidermis (superficial layer of skin) is closely connected to the nervous system. It contains epidermal keratinocytes (skin cells) that are highly specialised epithelial cells designed to precisely interact with the environment. These cells can feel all the senses. They enable the skin to feel fragrance, light and sound. Similarly, a tail of sperm goes crazy and moves towards a flower.
Continuous practice of pulse promotes one to develop super subtle sensory perception, which essentially enhances ones overall approach to healing, whether it be on yourself (self-pulse) or communicating with a patient and treating a patient (pulse is the pre-requisite to learning marma therapy and special massages as it superbly refines the sense of touch).
There Are Many Methods of Pulse Diagnosis
Pulse diagnosis has not only been utilised in India, but also China, Persia, Greece, Egypt and various medical traditions all over the world.
Furthermore, within Ayurveda there are many different methods of carrying out a pulse diagnosis.
The good news is, the Pulse Diagnosis method I utilise and teach, which my teachers teach, and which their disciples* across the world teach, is one of the easiest and mosteffective methods out there which is objective and logical.
Why the Radial Pulse
There are many pulses in the body in addition to the radial pulse (wrist) such as the neck (carotid artery), groin (femoral artery), behind the knee (popliteal artery), near the ankle joint (posterior tibial artery) and on the foot (dorsalis pedis artery).
Why do we use the radial pulse and not the heart? If you put your ear on the speaker, sound isn't good. Better get some distance. Furthermore, the radial pulse is known as “kuma nadi” - the artery giving knowledge.
Sustainable Form of Diagnosis
Blood tests, urine samples, x-rays, MRIs, etc. are polluting the earth and use a lot of energy. Pulse you don't even need electricity. In Ayurveda we use Pulse Diagnosis because it is correlated with natural law and therefore we avoid putting any poison in the environment; it’s more than biodegradable.
In traditional families of Vaidyas (Ayurvedic physicians), the children start learning at a very young age.
In this photo, Vaidya J.R. Raju teaches his grandchildren pulse diagnosis.
Art depicting Ojas: Alpha Channeling.