How does a TCM practitioner diagnose using the pulse? (Part 2) 中医师如何把脉诊病?(二)

Updated: Feb 28


TCM Physician taking the pulse

> See Part 1 for explanation on pulse diagnosis and examples of different pulse types


Ever noticed that a TCM practitioner always uses 3 fingers to take the pulse and does so on both wrists? Why must three fingers be used, and wouldn’t the pulse on both sides be the same?

This is because there are 3 specific positions on each wrist that a practitioner places his/her fingers on. Each position corresponds to a certain organ in the body.

By taking the pulse at all 6 positions, the TCM practitioner can better understand the health of the organs (see image below).



This means that apart from identifying the general feel of the pulse as a whole (see previous article), the TCM practitioner also looks out for how the 6 individual positions may feel.

For example, in some elderly people, the pulse may feel normal as a whole, but the pulse at the kidney positions may be weaker and deeper than the other positions. This is because the kidney functions can deteriorate with age, and this is reflected as a weaker pulse in the kidney positions.

Similarly, if the pulse at the heart position is strong and wide, this points to excess heat in the heart, which may be manifested as insomnia, mouth ulcers, thirst, prone to frustration etc.

Therefore, by combining the information they gather from the pulse as a whole and from the pulse at each individual point, the practitioner can make a more accurate diagnosis.


〉请阅读关于脉诊简介之上篇文章

您可曾注意到中医师把脉时总在病人的两个手腕上,用3只手指来触摸脉搏吗?为何需要再两边的手腕把脉,而为何一定要用三只手指呢?

这是因为两手腕上都有三个取脉的特定部位,而这6个部位的脉搏都能反映体内各脏腑的健康状况(请看以下图片)。


因此,中医师在把脉时,除了感触脉搏整体上的感觉外(请看上篇文章),也在观察这6个特定部位脉搏的跳动法。

例如,有些老年人虽然脉搏整体上正常,但肾部位的脉偏沉、无力。这是因为肾功能常随着年龄而下降,所以“肾虚”就会在肾部位的脉表现为沉而无力之脉。

若心部位的脉搏宽大而有力,指心有火。症状可包括失眠,口里生疮,心烦等。

由此可见,通过感触脉搏整体的感觉及各脏腑的特定脉搏,中医师能够更精确地诊断病情。