Associative Pulse Diagnosis
Although we tend to regard thought as a relatively quick process, it is actually slow in comparison to other processing capabilities of the human body. More significant than its slowness with relation to some of our other bodily reactions, such as reflexes, for example, is the fact that human thought assesses reality in relation to situations it recognizes from the past. When people think, they compare, consider, and draw conclusions. Human thought attempts to compare what it senses with what it already knows in order to make sense of reality. This process of scanning, processing, and defining is ongoing and complex and does not provide us with a clean picture of reality.
When we try to contend with something new and unfamiliar, human thought becomes a tool that is limited and cumbersome. Without the ability to compare something new with something familiar, our mind grows weary of searching for and cross-checking information. Thought serves as a transmission medium of sorts between reality and our ability to understand reality. However, humans also possess an ability to perceive and to respond appropriately and quickly to reality – one that bypasses thought. Consider, for example, human reflexes or the manner in which people react in a time of emergency. Such reactions are typically pure, focused, and correct.
Is it possible to diagnose pulses using a method that is not based on comparison, sorting and selection, and cataloguing? The answer to this question is - yes.
This method of pulse diagnosis requires relaxation and mental disengagement. While checking the pulse, practitioners must attempt to empty their minds of all everyday thoughts or thoughts that contain contradiction or engagement in everyday concerns. They must focus all their attention on feeling the pulse, not on attempting to classify the pulse in question, and they must empty their minds of all thoughts, including thoughts regarding the pulse itself
Ideally, practitioners performing a pulse examination should feel as if they are floating in space, as if their only connection to reality is their finger feeling the pulse. A fraction of a second after the practitioner achieves a state of complete mental detachment, an association will enter his or her mind stemming not from normal cognitive thought but rather from the impact of the frequency sensed by his or her finger. The association may occur to the practitioner as a sensation, a feeling, an image, a sound, or some other form.
The process may appear complicated at first but is actually quite simple. Although some practitioners may at first be unable to grasp the meaning of “mental detachment”, a brief period of guidance and practice can enable all students to experience this feeling. It is surprising to observe the ease and swiftness with which this powerful tool can be acquired, even by those encountering it for the first time.
The next step is analyzing the association and turning it into something practical. An effort must be made to analyze the association according to the qualitative spirit of the Five Elements and possible pulse qualities, such as heat, cold, fire, dryness, excessive dampness, obstruction, weakness, strength, and Emotional Wind (Gui) . The following table contains a number of examples of individual associations. Their aim here is solely to give the reader a sense of what is involved.
During the initial stage of using this tool, practical training is essential. However, after a basic period of instruction and training, it is a tool that practitioners may develop on their own.
Associative Pulse Diagnosis – Associated Images