Pulse: General Rules/Guidelines to Check Pulse
The purpose of information given below is not to teach diagnosis through pulse. Using this information, you may check your pulse and draw your own conclusions but for proper diagnosis, you should consider consulting the expert. Checking the pulse on regular basis may give you an early warning of some troubles brewing underneath. Normal pulse of a healthy person should be smooth, balanced, constantly regular, rhythmic with easily readable beats. The pulse should be found easily, not by exerting undue pressure but at the same time, it should not be too strong.
The pulse is checked mainly for count, location, rhythm, strength, length, width and depth. These aspects make up about twenty-eight different combinations. According to another concept, there are lesser number of combinations. Whatever be the number of combinations of pulse, each has its own diagnostic significance.
The pulse should be checked at radial artery of the wrist. The advantage of checking the pulse at the wrist is that it can be compressed against the wrist bone with required pressure, which can be varied according to the depth of the pulse. Remember that it is not always found at the surface. Electronic instruments can detect and count the beats but are not designed to check other aspects like depth and length of the pulse etc, which are very important for diagnosis through pulse. It is not just counting the beats; it is much more than that. In fact count, location under the checking fingers, rhythm, strength, length, width and depth are all important for diagnosis and depend on many factors and conditions in the body.
It is important that the pulse is checked correctly otherwise the answer might be misleading. Make sure that the fingers are placed correctly at the correct location. Following guidelines can be helpful:
- Pulse should be checked at the wrist with all the four fingers by placing in a way that the index finger is towards the base of the hand. Some practitioners use only three fingers depending upon their own technique.
- The hand being checked should be in normal relaxed position and not tense, held out straight or stretched by force.
- Palm of the hand being checked should face upwards.
- Hands should be kept stationary while checking.
- Pulse of both hands should be checked.
- Initially the fingers should be placed gently. Undue pressure should not be exerted unless it is necessary to find the pulse.
- It should preferably be checked in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
- If it becomes unavoidable to check at a time other than morning, it should not be checked immediately after eating or drinking unless there is no choice.
- Do not check if you are feeling emotionally disturbed. Wait till you calm down.
- Should not be checked when you have been walking and feeling somewhat out of breath. Rest for a while till you feel and breathe as you generally do.
Along with other details, following symptoms also need the attention of your doctor:
- Shortness of breath on little physical exertion or going upstairs.
- Any heaviness, pain or pricking feeling in heart area.
- Any pain in left arm and jaw with or without swelling of veins of the neck.
- Palpitation after taking food containing fats.
- Any heaviness in heart area specially on lying on left side.
- Limbs go to sleep easily.
- Legs swell when hanging down.
- Feeling of weakness without any apparent reason.
- Swelling or cramps in calves.
- Persistent low blood pressure and subnormal body temperature.
Homeopathy does not deny the concept and checking of pulse. If it is found weak, intermittent, irregular, rapid or too slow, it does indicate abnormalities. In case of heart patients, it is always beneficial to check the pulse thoroughly and attentively. It gives a lot of help in reaching a diagnosis and selecting a medicine for homeopathic treatment.
For online patients,
It is not possible to physically check the pulse online but still basic information can be obtained through a special set of questions so that this important tool is as much used for diagnosis as possible, we have incorporated questions about the pulse in our questionnaire for online patients.