The pulse is the primary and most utilized method of diagnosis in Oriental medicine. Thousands of years ago, when there wasn't any technology such as blood tests, MRI's, X-rays, and so on, the ancient practitioners took the pulse. Today, the pulse remains sacred.
There are 3 different pulse positions, superficially and deep, located on each wrist. That is a total of 12 pulses that we read. The rate of the pulse is taken, as it is in Western medicine, but we also look at the quality, characteristics, and personality of each pulse position. The different locations represent an organ system and meridian. I want to know if the pulse is strong and bounding against my fingertips at the surface, or deep and weak, difficult to palpate. Is it thick or thin within the blood vessel? The Chinese even have fun labels for pulse descriptions, such as "spinning bean pulse", "bamboo stalk", or "wiry". These metaphors describe the imbalance within the system and therefore which points, herbs, techniques, or other therapies to use in order to realign the balance within the body. I can feel the difference within the pulses before, during, and after treatments to know we are on the proper course of the healing journey