Ayurveda: Importance of Pulse in Ayurveda

Avurveda has got something more than the above general information about pulse. According to Ayurveda, every cell in our body sends its own unique signal to the heart via different vital organs, and the blood stream. These praanic currents of energy are then compressed into rhythmic pulsation, which can be decoded to reveal what is going in the liver or the kidneys, the left ventricle of the heart or the right fallopian tube.

One electro-magnetic wave is all it takes to telecast an entire scene; likewise, our constitution has devised out how to convey the entire body’s activities through the pulse. The first Ayurvedic classic to describe pulse examination is Saarangadhara Samhita 13th century A.D.). Later works such as Bhavaprakasa (15th century A.D.), Yogaratnakara (16th century A.D.), Basavarajeeyam (17th century A.D.) etc. deal extensively with the subject.

The term naadi literally means “a tube or channel through which something flows”. Pulse examination is the examination of the arterial pulses at certain points on the body. The early hours of the morning are the best times for pulse examination. It can be misleading or incorrect if done after the patient has taken food, exercise or bath, after raking intoxicants, having sex, sleep or when afflicted with hunger, thirst, anger, grief or worry.

The pulse at the wrist on the right hand is selected for the men and on the left hand for the women. While examining the pulse, the patient is made to sit comfortably, relieved of his natural urges, and with faith in the examiner. When an Ayurvedic physician touches your wrist, he probes deep into your general state of health, ill health and even the bad prognosis.

As the strings of a veena bring out all the raagas, so does the naadi. Naadi spandana is caused by heartbeats and the consequent movement of rasa (comparable to plasma) and rakta (comparable to blood). Rasa dhaatu is the medium for the tridoshas to circulate all over the body, their signs being found in the naadi. Proficiency in pulse diagnosis is gained by long practice, alertness and guidance from the preceptor.

Though learning to detect disease from the pulse is a skill belonging to the physician, you can also become familiar with your own pulse and glean fascinating insights into doshas. Once you have worked with your doshas you can easily attribute them to pre-mentioned qualities, signs, symptoms etc. of corresponding doshas in the classical texts. From this data-base, you can gain true intimacy with your own doshas.

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