Chinese Pulse Diagnosis - A Contemporary Approach

Chinese Pulse Diagnosis - A Contemporary Approach

Leon I. Hammer

Pulse diagnosis, one of the jewels of traditional Chinese medicine, is a profoundly subtle instrument for the early diagnosis and prevention of disease. Yet far too often, in the haste of modern education and practice, it has become a neglected art. Chinese Pulse Diagnosis: A Contemporary Approach offers a clear and practical path toward a much deeper understanding of this traditional diagnostic method, while recasting its interpretation in the context of our own times.

The book is organized in seventeen chapters, which are presented in an advancing hierarchy of complexity. The early chapters consider such general issues as terminology, classification of pulse qualities, historical comparisons of positions and depths, the effects of age and gender, and a methodology for taking the pulse. The middle chapters provide an in-depth look at each of the individual pulse qualities, identified by felt sensation based on such characteristics as rate and rhythm, stability, volume, depth, size, and shape. The types of pathology associated with each of the qualities are also discussed.

Later chapters examine the significance of the qualities when found across the entire pulse, or large segments of the pulse (left or right side, across the burners), and at different depths. The relationship of the various pulse qualities to psychology and prognosis are addressed in separate chapters. A final summary chapter on interpretation, supported with case histories, draws everything together to show how this information can be formulated into a rational diagnosis.

Key information in the book is organized and richly illustrated in over one hundred tables and graphic drawings. Individual chapter tables of contents and extensive indexes provide convenient access to every aspect of this important subject.

Pulse diagnosis, one of the jewels of traditional Chinese medicine, is a profoundly subtle instrument for the early diagnosis and prevention of disease. Yet far too often, in the haste of modern education and practice, it has become a neglected art. Chinese Pulse Diagnosis: Revised Edition offers a clear and practical path toward a much deeper understanding of this traditional diagnostic method, while recasting its interpretation in the context of our own times.

The book is organized in seventeen chapters, which are presented in an advancing hierarchy of complexity. The early chapters consider such general issues as terminology, classification of pulse qualities, historical comparisons of positions and depths, the effects of age and gender, and a methodology for taking the pulse. The middle chapters provide an in-depth look at each of the individual pulse qualities, identified by felt sensation based on such characteristics as rate and rhythm, stability, volume, depth, size, and shape. The types of pathology associated with each of the qualities are also discussed.

Later chapters examine the significance of the qualities when found across the entire pulse, or large segments of the pulse (left or right side, across the burners), and at different depths. The relationship of the various pulse qualities to psychology and prognosis are addressed in separate chapters. A final summary chapter on interpretation, supported with case histories, draws everything together to show how this information can be formulated into a rational diagnosis.

Key information in the book is organized and richly illustrated in over one hundred tables and graphic drawings. Individual chapter tables of contents and extensive indexes provide convenient access to every aspect of this important subject.

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JCM Review

Have you recently examined a list of available books on Oriental Medicine? Then perhaps you may have noticed that with over 200 books vying for attention, only a handful of them are dedicated to diagnosis, with the majority of those focused on auricular therapy and even fewer delving into the intricacies of the pulse. We are taught that the pulse is one of the two pillars of diagnosis, yet there seems to be less and less serious attention paid to it, at least in print. This situation has finally been rectified with the release of Dr. Leon Hammer's long awaited book Chinese Pulse Diagnosis: A Contemporary Approach.

Dr. Hammer has spent the last 28 years studying, demystifying and teaching pulse diagnosis. What makes his work and this book so unique is the fact that Dr. Hammer has taken the time to fully reveal and explain the subtleties found within the pulse. His work is based upon the lineage of Dr John H. F. Shen and the apprenticeship that ensued. Dr. Hammer brought to this relationship the mind and spirit of a sceptical researcher, demanding that sensation, meaning and interpretation of every pulse be both proven and repeatable. Dr Hammer has taken pulse diagnosis out from underneath the weight of historical antiquity and brought it into the 21st century; never before has any book on pulse diagnosis attempted such a feat. This book is certain to have a major impact on the evolution of Oriental medicine and how pulse diagnosis is practised in the future.

Chinese Pulse Diagnosis: A Contemporary Approach, does not just blindly follow the dogma of pulse diagnosis as it has been passed down, but presents a refreshing willingness to reexamine that which has not been previously questioned. One example of this is the tight pulse, a quality that the classics refer to as indicating a condition of internal cold. In our modern world, with indoor heating and plumbing, this is less and less the case and the quality is more likely to be a reflection of a nervous system that is overworking, creating tension and heat. Of course, on rare occasions, this quality may still reflect internal cold, but this would have to be an individual who spends a great deal of time in freezing temperatures for example swimming in frigid waters. This concept alone can save weeks of clinical confusion: treating an urban patient with nervous system tension (who already is creating plenty of internal heat) as someone who has internal cold can undoubtedly lead to undesirable treatment outcomes.

A vitally important issue that is brought to the forefront, in this system of contemporary pulse diagnosis, is the role of the Heart. We call the Heart the Emperor, but some schools of Oriental medicine give scant attention to the maintenance of the Heart, while others even avoid treating the Heart. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death for both men and women, and can not be ignored. Contemporary pulse diagnosis brings the Heart back to it's rightful central position while offering a unique approach for differentiating Heart blood and/or Heart qi deficiencies. Dr. Hammer also offers valuable clarification of how the Heart affects the circulation, and the circulation affects the Heart. This information alone makes Chinese Pulse Diagnosis: A Contemporary Approach, a must for all practitioners.

The book contains remarkably clear drawings and information, demonstrating the 22 complementary pulse positions along with the 6 traditional pulse positions. The complementary pulse positions can direct a detailed diagnosis of potential neurological problems, acid reflux, duodenal ulcers, mitral valve insufficiencies, parasitic infestations and much much more. The pulse qualities themselves can reveal the cholesterol levels in the blood, the location of tumour growth, issues of birth trauma, emotional shock and of course the entire process of disease. The resulting diagnosis smoothly dovetails into the TCM paradigm for creating a treatment strategy. Nothing has been left out; this pulse system has been revealed in it's entirety, allowing the practitioner to view a patient's past, present and potential future health, all from the radial artery. The book is so thoroughly organised and indexed that one can easily locate specific information. Case evaluations have also been included to shed light on how all of this information can be integrated into a useful diagnosis and treatment plan. Every attempt has been made to make the information accessible and useable. With over 800 pages, this book was a massive undertaking and an incredible gift to all of us who practise Oriental Medicine. The only thing I can say is: thank you Dr. Hammer, your work has not only saved one of our most exquisite art forms from neglect, but you have catapulted it into the future. We are indebted to you.
Robbee Fian

Contents

Preliminary Reflections
Pulse Positions Through History
Basic Axioms and Other Considerations
Taking the Pulse: Methodology
Classification and Nomenclature of Pulse Qualities
Rhythm and Stability
Rate
Volume
Depth
Size: Width and Length
Shape
Individual Positions
The Three Depths and Common Qualities Found Uniformly over the Entire Pulse
Uniform Qualities in Other Large Segments of the Pulse
Qualities as Signs of Psychological Disharmony
Prognosis and Prevention
Interpretation (Appendix: Case Illustrations)
Epilogue
Endnotes
Appendix 1 Pulse Qualities: Sensation and Interpretation
Appendix 2 Glossary
Appendix 3 Bibliography
Pulse Index
General Index

Overview

AuthorLeon I. Hammer
PublisherEastland Press
Number Of Pages812
Book FormatHardback
ISBN978-0-939616-49-7

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