I also get asked by acupuncture students and even other acupuncturists “why do we only use the radial pulse for pulse diagnosis?”
My response to this question is “that there was a time in acupuncture history that we utilised the other pulse points on the body too, however over the years the radial pulse was deemed the main pulse point that ‘the superior physician’ could use to discern patterns of illness.”
Thus in this blog post I would like to share a paragraph from the “Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine” also known as the ‘Suwen’ or ‘Basic Questions’. This text was written more than 2000 years ago and has been interpreted/translated countless times. I have mentioned this text in various other blog posts and this classical acupuncture text forms the roots of Chinese Medicine & Philosophy.
The paragraph in chapter 11 states that the ‘stomach’ is the sea of nutrients, it is where all the foodstuffs are collected and broken down. The ‘spleen’ concept in acupuncture/Chinese medical philosophy is responsible for transforming & transporting the essence and energy from said foodstuff to all the internal organs. The ‘spleen’ meridian forms the taiyin meridian along with the lung in six channel theory. Now, the ‘lung’ meridian is responsible for dispersing the energy and this is why we feel the pulse at Taiyuan LU 9 (radial pulse). Taiyuan LU 9 is the influential point of the pulses and it is due to its connection to the ‘earth’ element (stomach & spleen) via the meridian connection (taiyin) that acupuncturists utilise this acupuncture point region (radial pulse) to diagnose & treat.
Hence, the organs and meridians receive their nutrition form the stomach & this is reflected in the radial pulses.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Giancarlo Nerini - Licensed Acupuncturist