The Slippery, Rolling Pulse (Hua Mai)


Slippery Pulse (滑脈 Hua Mai, rolling)

Key point: all indications point to earth phase

Indications: food stagnation: any stagnation in the Earth element can lead to dampness.

Phlegm or dampness: damp or phlegm cause an increase in blood viscosity and decrease in pulse wave flexibility, hence the smooth pulse without corners.

Excess heat: qi and blood are mobilized against pathogenic factor, entwined, they cause the pulse to plumpen and enslipperate. (A perfectly cromulent term!)

Excess heat: (alternative mechanism) rapid pulse makes it difficult to make out the corners of the pulse wave.

Explanation: just about any problem found in the Earth phase can give rise to dampness. Dampness increases the viscosity of the blood generating a pulse with less edge to it. The pulse wave then rounds out and we get that rolling, curvy, bulgy pulse we know as slippery. On the other hand, heat can cause the pulse to get faster. This can plumpen the vessel which limits its sensitivity to the subtlety of the pulse wave and feel simply rounded and full. The third (and alternate) mechanism is that a fast pulse is more difficult to make out its corners giving rise to the sensation of a smoothly rounded pulse wave.

p.slippery The Slippery, Rolling Pulse (Hua Mai)

The Slippery Pulse

Next: It’s hesitant, it’s rough, it’s the choppy pulse.

Last modified: July 20, 2009  Tags: ,  ·  Posted in: Pulse Class, Pulse-Palpation