Identifying the causes of disease is not easy and therefore not always possible, but to try to do so is important as it is only by finding the causes of disease that we can help the patient to eliminate or minimize them if at all possible. Even if the patient can do nothing about a particular cause that is rooted in the past ( such as an earlier accident), its identification is still important in order that we may channel our advice to the patient along the right lines. For example, there is no point in delving deeply into a past accident; vice versa, there is no point in tinkering with a patient’s diet or suggesting strict dietary prohibitions if the cause of the problem is clearly emotional.
Pulse diagnosis is the most difficult of the Chinese diagnostic arts: it is a very complex subject which must involve a deep level of understanding and a great deal of skill. An essential diagnosis is truly an “art”: it has more right to that title than any other of the Chinese diagnostic skills. To acquire the skills of good pulse diagnosis requires great patience and to become proficient takes years of practice. It is a study that has no end: one will continue to develop one’s skills and understanding of pulse diagnosis throughout a lifetime of practice.
What is one feeling when taking the pulse? Basically, we are feeling the pulsation of Qi through the pulsation of Blood. Qi is a subtle energy and cannot be” felt” or ” measured”: we therefore use the radial artery to feel the pulsation of the blood to give us an idea of the state of the Qi. Pulse diagnosis is important for two reason: it helps to identify the internal organ affected or the prevailing pattern and it reflects the whole complex of Qi and Blood.
Another method of diagnosing illness, is the Hara. The Hara is the area of the torso between the solar plexus and the pubic bone. It is more or less a horizontal oval shape, with the rib cage above and the hip bones below. From a Japanese point of view, the Hara expresses a person’s life energy, dignity, spiritual being, and personality. Since the Hara is also a person’s center of gravity, it is considered the fulcrum about which any expressive movement must revolve.