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Pulse/breathing rates


#1

Hello,

I have a question in regards to my pulse and breathing rate. My pulse is about 76 bpm and I take in only about 3-4 breaths per minute which is quite a low breathing rate. When I do take a breath it is very deep and "efficient" (so I was told by a Western herbalist) and I have no issues with breathing. When I was going through acupuncture school fellow students would tell me to "not hold my breath" during pulse-taking practice but I don't hold my breath, this is spontaneous and natural for me. I attribute this to my many years of meditation practice which calms the nervous system which controls breathing.

Some practitioners use the system of judging a patient's pulse rate in relation to their own breathing (i.e. if there are 6 pulse beats to each respiration the pulse is rapid and this indicates a hot disease). In my case I have 19 pulse beats per breath which would be a very hot disease by this standard. I do have a bit of empty-heat but I'm not an overly hot person. With patients, I just use a watch to count the pulse rather than measuring it with my breath as this is more objective.

So I'm wondering what does TCM say about this breathing rate and do others have this issue?

Thanks,

Cynthia


#2

I think you are aware enough of your breathing patterns to just adjust the rules so to speak. So if 3 beats or less is cold, for example, you would change this to 9 or less or whatever works mathematically after doing it for awhile.

Beyond that, I personally feel just using your sense is enough. By combining all of the patients signs and symptoms, their other pulse factors, etc. the rate becomes obvious in many cases. Furthermore, some systems tie the pulse rate to the patients breathing which you could also experiment with and see if it jives with your overall diagnosis after looking at it that way for awhile.

The watch works as well, but to me seems like a distraction from the receptivity you are trying to hold, but that&#39s just my opinion.


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