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Chinese/Japanese Pulse Image chart: Fish Circling Pulse



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

About this work


Illustration of Fish Circling Pulse (yuxiang 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: Fish Circling Pulse (is one of the Sixteen Weird Pulses (guai mai). It is also known as Severed Corpse (jue shi) pulse. Its pulse image is likened to a fish, not moving forward but just agitating its tail. It sometimes moves and then stops repeatedly beneath the fingers, beating once per breath or once per palpation, like a fish in the water. When this pulse is found in a patient suffering from cold damage with underlying Yin disease(?), death will ensue within two days; if the patient is elderly, death will ensue within half a day.



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