Pulses in Traditional Chinese Medicine One of the unique features of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the taking of the pulses to assess the energy of the electrical meridians or channels to the organs. The pulse on the left wrist corresponds to the Heart, Liver and Left Kidney meridians and the pulse on the right wrist corresponds to the Lungs, Spleen and Right Kidney meridians. Different qualities of the pulses mean different things about what is happening in the meridian. For example, if the pulse is tight and wiry then stress is leading to stagnation or obstruction in the tissues. The cause in these cases may be emotional resistance, pain or even a poor diet and dehydration. If the pulses are thin or weak then that is considered blood deficiency. Blood deficiency can imply dehydration, lack of salt, minerals and blood building foods. If the pulses are floating and weak or absent altogether then that is yin deficiency. Yin deficiency is a sign of exhaustion of the restorative and healing capacity of the tissues. People who go, go, go all the time without sufficient rest or down time get yin deficient. If the pulses are floating and full then that is an external invasion from cold, allergies or flu. Slippery is another quality that is often felt in the pulses that can either arise from weak digestion or a poor diet of greasy foods or both. The pulses can be monitored throughout the acupuncture treatment to give feedback that the treatment is having the desired effect. Over the course of many treatments the pulses will naturally balance into smooth, moderate and lively pulsations that reflect a person's underlying good health. Terry Rudd, ND, L.AC Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine