Pulse Reading in Siddha

Pulse Reading in Siddha

Diagnosis by pulse reading is one of the chief aspects of diagnosis in siddha system of medicine. A skilled practitioner is expected to diagnose the abnormality present in the body by reading the pulse of the patient. Pulse reading in siddha system refers to the detection of the abnormalities in mukuttram (three humours), by feeling the pulse of the patient by the method prescribed in the siddha texts. A siddha physician feels the patterns of vibration that represent the metabolic processes going on in the body at a specific time.

According to siddha system, 96 basic principles form the basis for the physiological functions of the body. Any abnormality in the function of these principles, which are controlled by the three humours can be sensed in the pulse. The three principal pulses are felt in the wrist region along the radial artery with three fingers simultaneously. The index finger senses vatham; the middle finger, the pitham; and the ring finger, the kabam. The adept practitioner can also sense these three as well as combinations of the main three and subdivisions of those pulses. Altogether, the skilled pulse-taker can detect as many as 32 different pulse qualities. The rhythm and vibrating movement of these distinct pulses tell the examiner the condition of the body systems and their functioning. The experienced physician can read, through the pulses, the strength and vitality of each internal organ, and even is reputed to be able to diagnose diseases. It is the presence of these vibratory qualities gives them those names such as the snake pulse, the frog pulse, or the swan pulse that alerts the physician to the nature of the imbalance that is responsible for the patient's condition.

The place for feeling the pulse is on the lateral aspect of the forearm, 2cm up from the wrist. The index, middle, and ring fingers are used to feel the three pulses in their respective order. Pressure of varying levels is applied with each finger on the artery in order. Application of pressure is repeated as many times as needed for diagnosing the disease. Based on the dominant pulse among the three and the direction in which the pulse motion is felt, a trained practitioner identifies over 350 different disease conditions. Healthy human subjects have the three pulse amplitudes in the ratio of 4:2:1 respectively. However, this ratio is believed to follow seasonal variations and changes with parameters such as time of the day, temperature and humidity of the skin. The right arm of male subjects and left arm of female subjects is used to read the pulse.

General characteristics:

Character

Vatham

Pitham

Kabam

Felt by

Index

Middle

Ring

Frequency

80-95

70-80

50-60

Rhythm

Irregular

Regular

Regular

Amplitude       

Low

High

Moderate

Gait

 

Quick and leaps like a frog

Prominent, strong, high amplitude like snake

Deep, slow, broad like elephant

Tension

Low

High

Moderate

Volume        

Low

High

Moderate

Temperature

Cold

Hot

Warm to cool

Texture

Rough, hard

Elastic, Flexible

Soft , thick

 

A siddha text called  vaidya sadagam mentions vividly the symptoms/ disease conditions that are associated with each dominant pulse reading as tabulated below briefly.

 

Predominant pulse felt

Few  associated Symptoms/ Disease conditions

Vatham

Loss of appetite, Flatulence, Abdominal distension, Diarrhea, Pain, Piles etc

Pitham in vatham

Indigestion, Regurgitation, Constipation, Laziness, Body pain etc

Kabam in vatham

Cough, Heart disease, Seasonal asthma, Fever, Bronchial asthma etc

Pitham

Body heat, Bone fever, Memory loss, Excessive thirst, Menorrhagia etc

Vatham in pitham

Oligospermia, Abdominal diseases, Indigestion, Acid peptic disease etc

Kabam in pitham

Jaundice, Eye disease, Sinusitis, Wasting disease, Loss of appetite etc

Kabam

Tuberculosis, Cough, Bronchial asthma, Vomiting, Anemia, Dropsy etc

Pitham in kabam

Fever with chills, Body pain, Hiccups, Jaundice, Dryness of mouth etc

Vatham in kabam

Abdominal distension, Hiccups, Nausea, Pain, Delirium, Hemiplegia, Diseases related to head etc

 

In addition to this, the text also describes the combination of other factors like heat, cool etc along with the dominant pulse sensed by the physician in the patient’s body and the symptoms / disease condition associated with them. Also a condition in which all the three pulses dominate is mentioned which is called as thiri thodam. This indicates the complicated stage of any disease in which delirium like symptoms occur which may lead to death. Also in any disease if pitham dominates in kabam and kabam dominates in vatham, the prognosis is expected to be slow.

The pulse reading and diagnosis is done taking in to account of other factors like season, body constitution of the patient and time of the day in which the reading is done. These factors tend to influence the pulse thereby masking the actual state of pulse in the body.

Pulse reading is important in diagnosis of diseases in siddha system of medicine because treatment is primarily aimed at normalization of humours.

References

http://siddhabooks.com

https://apm.iitm.ac.in

K.S Uthamrayan, Siddha Maruthuvanaga churukkam, 2006, Department of Indian Medicine & Homeopathy, Chennai-106.

 

                

  • PUBLISHED DATE : Jul 18, 2016
  • PUBLISHED BY : Zahid
  • CREATED / VALIDATED BY : Dr. G JEBA SINGH (CREATOR)
  • LAST UPDATED ON : Jul 19, 2016

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