The Normal Pulse from the Yellow Emperor's Classic


††††††††††††††† "Normally, the pulse of the heart is like a strand of pearls; it flows continuously beneath the fingertips. If the pearls arrive rapidly, without rhythm, and seem to veer off the track, the indication is pathology of the heart. If the pulse wave is curved in the beginning and straight in the end, and there is no softness, this is called the death pulse of the heart.

††††††††††††††† "The normal lung pulse is light, floating, and soft; neither rushed nor slow. It is like a leaf falling from a tree. If the pulse does not float back and forth with the downward motion of the leaf, it is considered a pathologic pulse of the lung. If the pulse wave feels like an object floating on the surface of water and has no root, this is the death pulse of the lung.

††††††††††††††† "The normal liver pulse feels like the end of a long bamboo stick and is springy. If it feels slippery and full, like the hard bamboo pole, this is a pathologic liver pulse. If it appears as a new bow, taut and tense, this is the death pulse of the liver.

††††††††††††††† "The normal spleen pulse is soft, harmonious, and rhythmic, like the feet of a chicken as they touch the ground while walking. If the pulse is full and rapid, like the chicken lifting its feet, this is a pathologic pulse of the spleen. If the pulse wave appears like the beak or claws of a bird, sharp and hard, or like a roof leaking randomly, or water flowing downstream, never to return, this is the death pulse of the spleen.

††††††††††††††† "The normal kidney pulse has a round, smooth, slippery quality; it has a slight tendency to sink. If the pulse wave appears to be a large climbing vine, hard and not smooth or round, the indication is imbalance of the kidneys. If the pulse appears to be two people fighting over something, as in a tug of war, unpredictable, hard, and erratic, with tension, as hard as a marble, this is the death pulse of the kidney."


From the Yellow Emperorís Classic, p74