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Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Choppy Pulse (semai)

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Credit: Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Choppy Pulse (semai). Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Illustration of Choppy Pulse (semai) 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: The pulse image of Choppy Pulse is as follows. When palpated lightly (ju, lit. raised), it appears deficient(?). When one presses down to the bone, the pulse is very thin and tardy …(?)… with a hiatus in its rhythm like scraping bamboo. It pauses from time to time and then resumes with force. Choppy Pulse relates to Essential Qi (jingqi) damage. When found at the cun (Inch) pulse sector of the wrist, Choppy Pulse relates to cold-damp conditions and deficient stomach Qi. At the guan (Pass) sector, it relates to retrograde-cold Qi and blood. At the chi (Foot) sector, it relates to dysmenorrhea, profuse sweating, retrograde cold in the feet and lower legs, and cold in the small intestine.

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HEADING: Illustration of Choppy Pulse (semai)

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