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Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Removing Door pulse

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Credit: Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Removing Door pulse. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Illustration of Removing Door pulse (tuohu mai) from Renyuan maiying guizhi tushuo (Pictorial Handbook of Pulse Images Based on the Person). This is a specialist text on pulse diagnosis attributed to the third-century master Shuhe, edited and revised by Shen Jifen in the Ming period (1368-1644). It discusses various pulse images and the medical conditions to which they relate, and contains 48 pulse image diagrams. This undated edition was engraved and published in Japan.

The text states: Removing Door pulse (tuohu mai) is one of the Sixteen Weird Pulses (guai mai). It is also known as Returning Corpse pulse (gui shi mai). Its pulse image is described as being as taut as the strings of a musical instrument. It arrives in haste and departs swiftly, is ample at the beginning and slight at the end, 'like the strings of a string instrument', and occurs three times in rapid, uninterrupted succession. For each sequence of exhalation and inhalation, this happens once or eight times followed by a pause. A patient having this pulse will die within a day.

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