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One of the significant diagnostic procedures or techniques of the Ayurvedic system of medicne is Naadi pariksha (Pulse diagnosis). The first Ayurvedic treatise to mention details of pulse examination is Saarangadhara Samhita, created in 13th century AD. Later on, Ayurvedic texts like Bhavaprakasa written in 15th century AD, Yogaratnakara written in 16th century AD., and Basavarajeeyam written in 17th century AD., deals in detail with the Naadi pariksha.
Naadi pariksha is the ancient science and art of detecting the current status of a person's body, mind, spirit and soul. Nadi (pulse) represents vital flow of life or energy which passages subtle channels of circulation all over the body. This vital flow of life or energy enables the ayurvedic physician or vaidya to detect the patterns of the blood spurts from the heart. For a skilled ayurvedic physician or vaidya, taking nadi is more than counting the beats per minute.
The health and functioning of the whole mind- body constitution is determined from the nadi, including the balance of the three biological humours, the healthy state of the human organs, alarming signs of potential diseases that may attack at later stage. With help of pulse-examination, ayurvedic physician or vaidya detects early symptoms of imbalance among three biological humours and disease reactions in the human body. Based on the conclusion of the pulse examination, we can take preventive measures to solve the disease before it can manifest into a serious problem.
Radial pulse can be felt normally with the help of first three fingers (the index, middle and ring). For this purpose, pulse examination can be read from both the wrists. To get accurate result from the pulse examination, the patient is required to close to his norm as much as possible. If pulse is taken after exposure to a severe environment and strong exertion, it has impact on result of pulse examination.
The diagnosis of the disease is largely based on pulse examination. An expert Ayurvedic doctor is in a position to tell about the disease process by examining the pulse.
The pulse examination reveals mental and physical characteristics of the pulse. The mental and physical characteristics are interpreted as symptoms along with prognosis which gives understanding the underlying cause. Thus, pulse examination forms the basis for detecting any diseases in a personl.
The five basic elements (Panchamahabhutas) are ether, air, fire, water and earth. The three biological humours or doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) are derived from combination of The five basic elements.
Any imbalance in the three biological humours results in disease. Each of three biological humours have their physical, mental, emotional, and physiological characteristics.
Proficiency in nadi pariksha is gained by alertness, long clinical practice, and proper guidance from the mentor. Although learning to detect the disease process from nadi pariksha is area belonging to the Ayurvedic physician, one can become familiar with own nadi and have overview into three biological humours. Once we have worked the biological humours we can easily correlate the humours to pre-mentioned attributes, symptomatology of corresponding humours in the Ayurvedic texts. From this very much database, we are in a position to get information regarding three biological humours.