The Moving, Stirred, Spinning Bean, Bouncing Pulse (Dong Mai)


Moving Pulse (動脈 Dong Mai, stirred, spinning bean, bouncing)

Key points: Short, round, slippery and rapid, forceful in the middle position (compared to others)

Indications: pain: qi and blood stagnation causes a disharmony of ascending and descending of the qi and blood. Unable to manifest in all three positions.

Fright: emotional shock causes qi and blood disturbance and confusion leading to the moving pulse.

Explanation: this is one of the more interesting pulses that one can find. It appears, based on the indications classically listed that this is some really esoteric situation but really it is very close to that short pulse. The only difference is that the pulse can still be felt in the other positions, however the continuity of the vessel seems to be occluded between the middle and other positions. This is another way of stating “no head, no tail” as this pulse is often described.

p.moving The Moving, Stirred, Spinning Bean, Bouncing Pulse (Dong Mai)

The Moving Pulse

4.1.43.table The Moving, Stirred, Spinning Bean, Bouncing Pulse (Dong Mai)

Comparison of Short and Moving Pulses

Alism: The graphic below describes my experience with the moving pulse. The way that I feel this in the clinic is a sense of occlusion between the different positions. In the graphic below, focus on the red circle. It is as if the pulse goes down beneath the bone where you can’t feel it.

The official stance on the moving pulse is reflected in the table found above, but according to one of our book’s contributors (Tiande Yang), the moving pulse isn’t so much about the bulge found in the middle position as much as the occlusion between that bulge and adjacent pulse positions. This is referred to as the position having “no head and no tail”.

If this pulse were to be found on the left arm, I might consider this as indicative of Liver blood stagnation (bulge in middle position) leading to a lack of blood rising up to the Heart. If this pulse were found on the right arm, I might read that as dampness in the middle jiao (the excessive bulge in that middle position) preventing qi from rising to the Lungs (as evidenced by the occluded radial artery.)

These are common interpretations, other pathogenic factors causing an excess in the Wood or Earth element are equally plausible. As usual, consider all other signs and symptoms before jumping to conclusions.

dong.mai The Moving, Stirred, Spinning Bean, Bouncing Pulse (Dong Mai)

Spinning Bean or Moving Pulse

Next: please grasp the handrails, things are about to get a little slippery.

Last modified: July 21, 2009  Tags: ,  ·  Posted in: Pulse Class, Pulse-Palpation