Lovingly call a slippery and wiry school where all the patients we saw in clinic had slippery and wiry pulses, or thin and wiry.
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Hi, I am Dr. Martha Lucas, and I am here with part two of Pulse diagnosis Beyond Slippery and Wiry. I am located, my practices are in Denver and then in Littleton, Colorado. I. Work at a regular internal medicine, modern medicine practice. They asked me to come there many years ago to what they said was help them with their diagnoses, which I thought was pretty cool.
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I also, I. Teach Chinese medicine classes. I’ve been in practice for more than 20 years. The name of the course is, or the name of these webinars in my book is Post-Diagnosis Beyond Slippery and Wiry, because I always say that I went to what I call a slippery. Lovingly call a slippery and wiry school where all the patients we saw in clinic had slippery and wiry pulses, or thin and wiry.
Occasionally we could say thin and wiry, but that was pretty much all we learned, and my school did not have any courses on pulse diagnosis. I was very lucky and. In my very first semester of school, my mentor, Jim Ramal, offered a full semester long course in pulse diagnosis, which I was so excited to be there that I took the class because I had previously been, or still working in Western medicine as a research psychologist, but was very curious about what else is going on besides my patients were cardiovascular.
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Patients who had just had bypass surgery and researchers are curious and I just wanted to know, hey, your engine just got fixed, but what else is working to keep that engine working well? So that’s why I started to study various energy medicines and ended up in Chinese medicine school. Just because I had, as a regular person, taken a color puncture course, but needed to know why certain colors, why on certain points, which I knew nothing about ’cause I was just a regular person, but.
My mentor made me fall in love with his method of pulse diagnosis, and and I never looked back. I continued in school, became a, obviously became a practitioner, and my specialty is the diagnosis. People come to me for. An in-depth diagnosis because guess what? Your treatment is going to be more effective if you actually give a correct diagnosis, and I would like to take that sentence.
I had acupuncture and it didn’t work out of the English language because either the patient didn’t work at it. They expect you to cure their five year long back pain and two treatments or. The diagnosis wasn’t right and then the treatment just didn’t work right? So I want to very much thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me this opportunity to go on and on about Pulse diagnosis, because as you can tell, I’m super excited about it.
And you can always look me firstname.lastname@example.org or my private practice site is acupuncture women.com, and I am always happy to answer. Any questions that you might have. So let’s go to the slides. As I said, this is part two. So I asked this question, what is this thing called the normal pulse? Because in part one I talked about how even historically, and not only in Chinese medicine, I.
Doctors talked about this thing, taking the pulse during healthy times, and they talked about what a normal pulse is that practitioners need to know how to feel a normal, balanced pulse as well as morbid pulses or imbalance or the pulses of a person who has an illness. And we are going to talk about the normal pulse.
Jin we said it is imperative to know the normal pulse or the pulse in the healthy person before the morbid pulses are to be learned because a morbid pulse is in fact. The abnormal change of a normal pulse? My school never told me what normal was. They talked about I think my school might have been a stomach cheese school that they said, oh, a normal healthy pulse is slightly slippery and somewhat wiry.
Oh my goodness. Could that be more ambiguous? What? What do you mean slightly wiry or slight, somewhat slippery. That’s wrong. That is not what a normal pulse feels like. What a normal pulse is a sine wave yang and yin. So yang rises, yin falls, and then they connect each other. So it’s a series of sign waves, yang and yin yang and yin.
And it’s symmetrical. So the yang isn’t founding up, and the yin is this little tiny thing. It’s symmetrical, it feels smooth, it’s connected. The yang and the yin are mixing, which is what they do, right? They mix with each other to create a wave that they’re each supporting each other. So that’s what normal feels and that’s the goal of every treatment.
The person comes in, you feel they’re outta balance pulse. You determine what you need to do with whatever you’re going to do. Acupuncture gua, una, herbs moa, and then you do your treatment. I recommend a little bit of treatment, refill the pulses to see what happened or what didn’t happen. A little bit of treatment.
Refill the pulses, so it’s a kind of a little puzzle that you’re trying to fix. So any break in symmetry from that normal sine wave yang and yin yang and yin is pathological. If the body isn’t able to self-regulate itself anymore. I. Without help in a perfectly healthy world, the body would self-regulate.
You’d have some outta balance. Let’s say there’s a cold or something and your pulse gets a little bit outta balance, but then your body regulates itself and it goes back into balance. If that. Doesn’t happen. If it can’t return to the normal sine wave, then we need to see people, which is why I recommend what I call maintenance treatments, which is, okay, we got you back into a healthy state.
I’ll see you in a month. And I always tell people, don’t go back to square one. Don’t not go back to square one and call me and say, oh my goodness. Because that would be. Your body is going back into the old pattern of imbalance, instead of staying in a more balanced state.
And believe me, we can retrain a person’s body to learn how to reregulate itself and get more balanced. Are we all ever gonna be perfectly balanced like we were in utero? And sometimes, not even then, frankly, depending on our parents’ health, depending on our parents’ relationship, et cetera. But we can get closer to it.
We can go out of a sickness state into a wellness state more quickly or out of an emotional state, into a calmer state more regularly when we, as the practitioners retrain the person’s body to remember what normal feels like. Because when all of our energies are substantial in communicating with each other, then there is not what we call a pathological pulse.
So we can deal, we can literally watch the health issue go from healthy to unhealthy to back to healthy, as I said, the front of the position. The uprising part is young. That’s the functional aspect of the organ and the back or the downward flow is the yin, which is more the physicality of the organ. So again, using this idea, we can see is this person’s problem more a function or more of a physical?
Problem the large intestine and constipation, we would maybe be able to determine whether the constipation or change in bowel habits is due to a weakness in the large intestine function handling a typical food load, or whether or not it’s over that physical organ is overburdened or both. Other interesting qualities are the co-sign.
So in my way of my system, we have the sine wave, which is normal. We have the co-sign wave, which is the opposite of a sine wave. So it starts more in the yin part and goes up. So that’s, and you, when we, when I teach this in classes and you get to see it like depression is a co-sign in the liver.
Position. Once you see a co-sign, then you are able to recognize it more and more. As I say, it’s often seen in the liver, but it’s seen in other positions as well, and we need to know what level it starts at. If the co-sign starts at the deep level, it’s an older issue with the person, an older emotional issue, or an older.
Physical issue, maybe even they’ve adapted to it. If it starts at the top level, it’s more current, something that they’re dealing with right now. For example, taking that depth idea, sinking or emptiness or you don’t feel anything, it’s empty in the spleen, stomach, the earth position. That can mean early childhood trauma.
It can mean what? What is called the relinquishment wound by psychologists, which means. The person was separated from their mother right at birth. For example, my oldest grandson was a preemie, and so he was, had to be taken out by emergency c-section, and he was taken away from my daughter at that moment.
All right? So he would have a tendency to have what is called the relinquishment wound, and sure enough, because. Spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine, rr immune system. What did he have as an early young one? Immune system issues. What did he have as an early, young one? Skin issues. So these were predictable according to his, preemie experience leading to immune problems may be seen. And he recently got diagnosed with asthma. So all of that, and he’s, thank God, and I also thank Chinese medicine. He is what I would call a very healthy 17-year-old, despite the fact that he went through some early life problems with strider and with rashes, and now has asthma.
But he’s a track runner in cross country. So Chinese medicine, I. Really as you if you couldn’t tell. Really love it. And then other interesting qualities are nodding. This movement is a three dimensional movement, so it comes up in the pulse. You can feel it, touch your finger, and it stays there. You probably heard about it in school as called the spinning bean pulse.
What you would feel in the beginning as you’re learning how to feel an knotted pulse is just it hitting your finger and no flow. It’s not going anywhere. That’s what a tumor feels like. That’s what a cyst feels like. That’s what a fibroid feels like, because what is that diagnosis? It is stagnation.
Stagnation in one spot, right? That cyst is in one spot. That fibroid is in the uterus, the nodding movement is eventually you’ll, if it’s growing, especially, you can feel the spinning at the top. You can feel the movement at the top, but that knotted movement is you feeling a localized stagnation.
Sometimes you feel it after people have a surgery because they just had localized. Trauma, localized damage in their body. You might feel it in the lung pulse because the person has some sort of mucus blocks in there. So that’s what nodding is. And it might seem like a pause because it’s not flowing.
It seems like a pause because it’s rising up. And you feel it before you feel the movement on. Some people think of this as an intermittent pulse, but sometimes you need to be a little more discerning to see whether it’s an actual or not, and. I’m talking to my patients while I’m taking their pulses because when I feel something, as I just said, it can be more than one thing.
So to asking the patient, how’s this, how’s that? Have you ever had this? Is this happening? Is that happening? Then we, I. Are getting down to the nitty gritty of what’s going on. Like the person says, oh yes, I’ve just been diagnosed with colon cancer. That’s why I’m here to see you. Then we might feel that in the right distal position because that’s the lung large intestine.
But we also might feel it in the proximal position because we are feeling the physical organ, the pulses can be a model for the whole body. What’s deep inside and what’s more on the surface, and where it is not only located in what we learned as the traditional pulse positions, but also where is that organ in the actual body.
So we are doing a lot of observation along with what we might call clinical findings, what their doctor has told them they have. So we we might think we’re looking at energetic qualities, but actually we are looking at impulse diagnosis at the physical body, the emotional bodies, and the spiritual bodies.
For example, we don’t ever wanna see a scattered pulse, right? That’s someone who’s living in fear, right? And fear and anxiety are almost the same thing. Fear is a little more dramatic than anxiety, but this person is in constant vigilance. Their kidneys get overloaded, get what we call scattered.
We don’t ever wanna feel, scattered kidney position. And then everything gets more tight after that because the kidneys aren’t flowing, they’re scattered. The sympathetic nervous system is showing up in the pulses because their muscles are getting tight. They’re. Central nervous system is overloaded, so it feels scattered little points of light under your finger instead of a nice kind of flow.
So this patient might think of everything as threatening, and that’s because they’re not centered, right? Their pulse. Can’t moderate itself back to calming the nervous system down and regulating and centering them anymore, they’ve become in that pattern of fear, anxiety, nervousness, and what we do is help that get regulated back to normal, back to balance, back to flowing back to the kidneys, being not scattered and supporting all the other organ systems.
So we talk a little bit about the pulses in cancer development, since we’re talking about nodding in tumors. In a healthy person, we know about the microcosmic orbit, right? Think about it. It’s a sine wave, and what happens when you do a sine wave? The other wave. So sine wave. Sine wave, which is how we communicate left and right, is the infinity symbol, right?
Sine wave this way, sine wave that way. And so we want to support the lower Dante N. We want to facilitate that connection. Some people call it the Tai G connection between yang and Yin and. There’s this story about how monks used to click their teeth actually pumping the salivary glands to catch and contain the fire element Ming Mu, to generate the saliva and swallow it, guiding it down.
The Ren Ma, back to the Dante. And so this idea of preserving your Ming Man fire has been around for a long time. And there are various ways that people in the past have done it. Now a blockage in the diaphragm, what we would call a dmai block, may prevent that saliva from getting down to the Dante.
And it’s the same way energetically, if the dmai is blocked, the vertical flowing channels are not communicating with each other anymore. So if you are, for example, treating a fertility patient and men and women, and you’re. Tonifying, the lower, their reproductive system in the lower J and also trying to help their digestion, but their dimmi is blocked and you don’t know it, you’re not helping them because where’s that energy gonna go?
How are, how is digestion going to communicate with the reproductive area? How is the middle or the upper going to connect with the lower? It’s not because those organ systems are dissociated when there’s a DI block, we need, that’s an example, a simple example of something that we need to be able to feel in the pulses so that we can reorganize those systems so that they’re flowing into each other.
So I recommend taking the pulses with your non-dominant hand for one thing with your right hand, I mean with your dominant hand. It happens to be my right hand. I might take, be taking notes. I might be writing down something that the patient says, and I’m also going deep to superficial. So feeling the Ming man feeling the kidneys.
Feeling what’s going on in their core and then moving up to what’s more current. And for example, a short kidney pulse that can be a blocked dite. Usually a blocked dite feels a little stronger than just a weak kidney. But if the, if there’s a short kidney pulse, a short proximal position, pulse, the kidneys aren’t flowing, that’s the bottom line.
If it’s short, they’re not flowing. They’re not supporting the other organ systems. A short heart pulse. Liver attacking the heart, maybe liver attacking the heart, and the heart is. Stopping that because it’s trying to protect the spirit. Is it old trauma that’s causing that? It could be. These are all things it could mean, and this is partly why we need to communicate with the patient.
I said in part one that like the great sociologist, Andrew Greeley said people will say anything and he was talking about surveys, how you can’t believe surveys. Because people will say anything. Same thing with po with the person’s body. They, I’ve had so many patients that I have felt some sort of old unresolved emotional issue or trauma.
I don’t use the word trauma in the first treatment, of course. And they’ll, I’ll ask them, oh, do you have anything unresolved? Something from the, and they’ll say no, I don’t think so. And then the second or third visit, they’ll say, I was thinking about what you said, and you’re right, I had blah, blah, blah.
So it’s. I just helped that patient know themselves better. I just helped that patient understand the cause of their fibromyalgia or their stomach, their digestive issues. So we are helping the patient know themselves better and understand why. Understand why they are having this particular illness or symptom.
Knotted left kidney pulse in the system I’m using in teach, the left kidney position can be the uterus and the prostate. So if it’s knotted in there, maybe it’s uterine fibroid, maybe there’s some prostate inflammation. A knot at the top of the stomach and or large intestine position is thyroid. In Chinese medicine, we don’t have a thyroid organ, right?
We don’t talk about it. We don’t have, certainly don’t have a thyroid channel per se, but where is the thyroid? It’s near some channels where it’s blockage it’s having little nodules or it’s inability to function well, can be felt in the pulses, and then the gallbladder and San Jal positions, especially at the sensory level.
Can show brain or central nervous system activity. In fact, gall bladder and Sanja channels are very good channels to treat the brain. So let’s talk for a minute about a couple of case studies. So a large gel pulse, right proximal. Remember, we’re gonna look at the positions in some unique ways. This can be, as I said, something going on with the brain.
Or. Something going on physically, right? A patient who has IBS, you might see that big movement in either the middle or the lower gel, but sometimes it’s nervous tension going to the brain. It might have some heat and dampness in it. So we’re looking at things in a unique, more detailed way. A young woman after a C-section, and she has a very stiff and painful neck.
All the tests come back normal, right? She doesn’t have any spine issues. If her pulse in the small intestine position is. Empty. Okay. Of course, her neck is full of muscle tension and knots and inflamed trigger points because there’s no oxygen and blood flow in the small intestine channel. So you know, you might be thinking, oh, wait a minute.
I should be feeling a choppy pulse. No. Remember, sometimes back problems, neck problems, muscle problems are hidden. Because it’s severely depleted, cheat, in her case from childbirth. It’s the hardest thing a woman’s body is ever going to do. Build. Then deliver another human being. So we, this is what I’m saying, we need to be open to what’s going on in all of the channels near where the person’s symptom is.
Or they may have a short wry movement going from the stomach backward. That’s what worry feels like. And we never wanna have worry in the pulses because not only is it not going forward to. Help the lung, large intestine and the immune system be strong, but it’s going backward and attacking the kidneys.
So case study examples, block dite, like I said, fertility example. The person has fallen, they’ve been rear-ended. They’ve been in some sort of accident. And by the way, falls include things like ski falls and sports falls where the person falls and gets right back up. They look down, nothing’s broken, they’re not bleeding.
The Dai still gets blocked. So again, it’s important to know what the person’s history is, what their activities are, if we’re feeling the Dai block, because our treatment is not going to be as effective as we want it to be. If there’s a Dai block. I mentioned a little bit about earth and metal connection.
That’s the immune system, right? So the spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine, they all need to be flowing with each other. So that would mean the kidney position, earth position, metal position, all Y and yin yang and yin. So we can have a strong immune system. Let’s say the person comes in with acne, maybe that is liver stress shooting out.
To the skin, especially on the forehead. Stress, acne especially shows up on the forehead. So again, with acne, we can’t just look at hormones, we can’t just look at heat. We have to look at other possibilities. Of what’s causing this person’s acne. And then the separation of yin and yang, they call that the end of life, right?
That looks like you. What it looks like in the pulses is you only feel yang. And when you go down into the deep portion, it’s pretty, pretty empty. That’s ’cause the organ systems are getting weaker. They’re not able to hold energy anymore. And so what happens? There’s no root. So the pulses just go up y yang, young.
So you know, that’s I treat internal medicine, that’s my specialty. So I always say practitioners who only treat pain are fairly lucky ’cause they’re probably never gonna have to go through the death of a patient. But I went through the death of a patient my very first year out of school. I just had one pass away last year.
It’s when you treat internal medicine, you are going to eventually, as your patients get older and older. Feel that separation of yin and yang, and I don’t like it, but I, it’s a hint of what I need to do. Try to get some of that connection back so they have more of a flow in their pulses. And I’m always optimistic.
I am really, no matter what the person comes with, I at least. I am optimistic that I’m going to be able to maybe slow down the progression of the disease, slow, slow down their symptoms, take their symptoms away, make them feel better quality of life. Always super, super because I get a smile out of the pulses every day.
I. I’m one of those people who’s really lucky that as a woman of a certain age, as I like to say, I still love my work. It still makes me smile every day. It makes my patients smile every day. They’re always interested when they’re like, oh, you’re feeling something, aren’t you? I appreciate your listening to this part two of Pulse diagnosis beyond Slippery and wiry, and I will hopefully see you for part three.
Again, I want to thank the American Acupuncture Council for allowing me to express my excitement to you about Pulse diagnosis, and hopefully I’ll see you next time.