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Self-Pulse Reading: An Introduction to Ayurvedic Diagnosis

Updated: May 19, 2023

Self-pulse reading, also known as Nadi Pariksha, is a technique used in Ayurveda to diagnose imbalances in the body and mind. It involves reading the pulse at the wrist to determine the state of the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and the overall health of the individual. To perform self-pulse reading, find a comfortable and quiet place where you can sit and relax. Sit with your spine straight and your feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your mind and body. It is recommended to perform self-pulse reading in a calm and quiet environment, as external factors such as noise, stress, and even thoughts of others can affect the pulse. *When performing self-pulse reading, it is important to keep in mind that women should read their left wrist and men should read their right wrist. This is because in Ayurveda, the left side of the body is associated with the feminine energy and the right side is associated with the masculine energy. To read your pulse, place the tips, right under the nails of your index, middle, and ring fingers, of your *right hand on the radial artery of your other wrist, just below the base of your thumb. Apply very fine gentle pressure with your fingers until you can feel your pulse - let it come to you. Keep your fingers still and observe the pulse for a few moments. Note the rhythm, speed, strength, and location of the pulse - more qualities will come to your awareness. Feel free to close your eyes and pay else no mind. It is also important to keep your arm and hand relaxed, avoid crossing your legs [Unless you are comfortable in Full-Lotus] and also avoid placing your hand above your heart while performing self-pulse reading. These actions can affect the pulse and may not give an accurate reading. You will also find benefit and comfort in maintaining your finger nails. As we mentioned, there are three main types of pulse: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The characteristics of each pulse are as follows:

  • Vata pulse: The Vata pulse is thin, light, and irregular. It may feel like a bird fluttering its wings. It is associated with the Vata dosha, which is characterized by creativity, movement, and change. Airy Qualities~

  • Pitta pulse: The Pitta pulse is strong, bounding, and forceful. It may feel like a drum beating. It is associated with the Pitta dosha, which is characterized by transformation, dynamism, digestion, and metabolism. Fiery Qualities~

  • Kapha pulse: The Kapha pulse is slow, heavy, and steady. It may feel like a swan swimming. It is associated with the Kapha dosha, which is characterized by stability, endurance, and strength. Earthy Qualities~

After you have observed your pulse, you can determine your dominant dosha based on the characteristics of your pulse. You can also consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for a more detailed assessment of your dosha. To get a good feel, it is recommended to take note of your readings before, during, and after various activities and throughout the day. There will be times where the qualities of these doshas will not be in their own home, per se - in these times we learn which qualities we need to pacify to purify.

According to Ayurveda, the pulse can be divided into three sections corresponding to the three doshas. The first section, read on the index finger represents Vata. The second section represents Pitta in the middle finger; and the third section represents Kapha in the ring finger. The complete index of the hand ranges from the thumb to the pinky - space, air, fire, water, earth. By analyzing the qualities of the pulse in each section, an Ayurvedic practitioner can determine the state of the doshas and the overall health of the individual. For example, if the pulse is weak or irregular in the Vata section, it may indicate a Vata imbalance, and the practitioner may recommend certain lifestyle and dietary changes to help balance the dosha.

Self-pulse reading is a useful tool for gaining insight into one's physical and emotional health, and for identifying imbalances in the doshas. However, it is important to note that this technique should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, and should only be used in conjunction with other diagnostic methods. In conclusion, self-pulse reading is a simple and effective way to gain insight into one's dosha constitution and overall health. By learning to read one's own pulse, individuals can become more in tune with their bodies and make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. However, it is important to seek the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for any health concerns or issues.

Feel free to comment below or visit our forum for more Om and Information. We welcome you to join in on the Discussion to learn and share with us and each other. We will also be sharing recipes and tips to help pacify the doshas, so be sure to check it out! *Whilst we don't recommend meat or dairy products, Follow the link to learn more about - The Tastes and Qualities of Food, by Vibrational Ayurveda.

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