Many traditions consider reading the body as a powerful tool of diagnosis. I have learned and practice both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medical pulse taking, tongue reading, as well as reading the nails, hair, facial lines, palm reading. (Yes, even palm reading. Ayurvedic Master/Teacher Dr Vasant Lad has spent decades sitting with patients and reading palms, which is considered a valuable and valid medical practice in Ayurvedic tradition). The key to all of these readings, whether its the tongue the pulse or the nails, is context, each part of the body demonstrates/expresses the whole. So in context of the whole, they provide much information for confirming and understanding health or imbalance in each individual.
“the pulse is the individual’s psychophysiology and a flow of consciousness …” ~ Dr Vasant Lad, M.A.Sc.
“Energy moves in waves.
Waves move in patterns.
Patterns move in rhythms.
A human being is just that
energy, waves, patterns, rhythms
Nothing more. Nothing less.
A dance.” ~ Gabrielle Roth
When we listen to pulses in the western medical system, we are listening to the number of times your heart rates per minute. This information, and how it varies for each of us, is a part of knowing ourselves, our heart, our bodies. In Ayurvedic and TCM understandings, the pulse is considered ‘blood song’, we are able to listen to different organs, how they are sitting in relation to other organs, as well as your overall balance, and your emotional health. For example, the liver represents over 200+ physiological functions in the body- as well as the emotion of anger or repressed grief- to be able to read the pulse becomes a very useful tool in the context of laboratory testing, as well as other physical and emotional symptoms.
Years of reading tongues, facial lines, nails and hair, have also taught me to trust much of the traditional knowledge shown in the pictures on this page. They have become invaluable way of watching for change as the body mind and spirit change.
Read more about Ayurvedic pulse reading here.