In TCM class, we've started to learn about tongue and pulse diagnosis. Heck yeah! I've been so eager to learn these techniques, especially the tongue aspect, because my tongue changes color and texture so often, I really want to learn what the changes mean. (Oh, and if you start paying attention to your tongue, ESPECIALLY when you first wake up in the morning, you may very well also see some changes. The tongue can tell you some much about what's going on in the body).
We've only started to discuss pulse diagnosis (tongue will be next week, but the two really go hand-in-hand). In TCM, it is believed that everyone has six different pulse points in each of their radial pulses, and each of these points has three different depths. That means that there are a total of eighteen ways to assess what is going on in the body (in case that wasn't clear: right arm, three spots, each with three different depths, and left arm, three spots, each with three different depths... equaling eighteen pulse points). Moreover, in addition to these eighteen points, there are over twenty different ways to describe the pulse overall. Does this sound a bit complicated? Yes, yes it does. If you want me to explain it further, then you'll have to sign-up as a learning subject (keep reading to learn more!) and then I can show you each of your pulse points.
In class, we were taught how to feel the eighteen different pulses on a partner. Our professor told us that it takes lots, and lots, and LOTS of practice to get good at reading pulses, so we must get to work! He told us that by the end of the year (the end of year two, not the end of the year 2011), we should have felt one-hundred different pulses. We should be asking neighbors, family, classmates, even strangers, to feel their pulse. This will allow us to feel all sorts of different pulses and should help us to practice our pulse diagnosing skills. So, here is a little warning: if you come near me within the next school year, you may very well be asked to extend out your arm and to let me feel your TCM pulses. I've only felt three pulses thus far, so I'm actively recruiting learning subjects!