By Bob Flaws
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For more than 2,000 years Chinese doctors have relied on pulse diagnosis to identify patterns of disharmony in the body. The ability to “read” the pulse remains a crucial diagnostic tool in Chinese medicine to this day. Unfortunately, few Western practitioners of Oriental medicine feel truly competent in this art.
It has been more than 15 years since Dr. Flaws first described this approach to learning Chinese pulse diagnosis in the first edition of this book (1995). During the intervening years, Dr. Flaws continued to research the Chinese language literature on pulse-diagnosis and to refine the material contained in this book based on feedback from his students all over the world. Therefore, this book has gone through several editions.
In this book, Bob Flaws, a world-renowned Western teacher and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, explains why Western students and practitioners often have difficulty reading the pulse. He then reveals the secret of mastering the subtle art of Chinese pulse diagnosis, offering a way for anyone who applies this method in clinical practice to feel all 27 or 28 classic pulses. This is Dr. Flaws final revised edition of this long-lived book, containing his ultimate understanding of both this art and the best way to learn it. It also includes a number of new translations of pre-modern Chinese texts on this art. It is telling that he chose this book as the last one he worked on, seeing it as one of his greatest contributions to the field of Chinese medicine in the West. Since retiring at the end of 2010, Dr. Flaws has devoted himself to the fulltime practice of Tibetan Buddhism.
About the author:
Bob Flaws began his study of acupuncture and Chinese medicine in 1977 and was in practice for over 25 years before he devoted his full-time effort to writing, teaching and research. He is one of the most famous English-language teachers, authors, and practitioners of Chinese medicine in the world, having published scores of books and hundreds of articles on all aspects of Chinese medicine. Bob is an NCCA Diplomate of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs, a Fellow and Governor of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, a founder, past president, and lifetime fellow of the Acupuncture Association of Colorado, and a Fellow of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (UK). Bob is a polished public speaker, and effective teacher, and an insightful thinker. He is renowned for the knowledge, clarity, and passion he brings to work.
“For the first 10 years of my practice, I was never really confident with my pulse diagnosis. Then one day I realized that, because I had never really memorized the exact, word for word definitions of the 28 pulses, I was feeling certain pulses all the time in my clinical practice but failing to label them correctly. Therefore, I immediately sat down with a variety of Chinese texts and began clarifying and then memorizing the definitions of each of the 28 pulses. This one act alone revolutionized my practice. Now practitioners all over the U.S. refer patients to me just to have me read their pulses. While this is flattering, it is also a shame. Chinese pulse examination is not all that difficult if you know the secret, and the secret is not some special tactile skill. It is essentially an issue of words. Although some students persist in thinking that good pulse examination skills have something to do with esoteric and arcane lore or superhuman tactile sensitivity, I know this method works because scores of students to whom I have taught tell me that it has revolutionized their pulse-taking abilities as well.”
–Dr. Bob Flaws