A Typical Day in College - Pulse Diagnosis Class
Teaching this class is Don Clarke our Pulses Stream Leader. Don is one of the UK’s leading experts on the "Shen hammer" technique for pulse diagnosis. We teach our students this technique which was developed in the USA to enable western practitioners to learn this eastern art more easily. Pulse diagnosis is an important diagnostic tool for every acupuncture practitioner and this particular session was our first year student’s second class in this stream.
Don (Stream Leader)
Why is it so important that we teach pulse diagnosis?
"Pulse diagnosis is one of the many ways that we can gain direct information from our patient's body. It is important that our students have a good understanding of this diagnostic tool to enable them to become good practitioners. Pulse diagnosis is a subtle skill that takes time to develop. Our students knowledge builds over their three years as they gain more classroom knowledge and clinical experience with real patient's."
Ben (Assistant Tutor)
What is your role as an assistant tutor in this class?
"My role is to assist Don and help the students to learn the practical techniques. Pulse diagnosis really is one of those skills that need patience and lots of practice. During these early sessions we concentrate on making sure the students are understanding the basics and gaining confidence. The students also have a handbook that we have developed at the NCA specifically about the “Shen-Hammer” technique that we teach"
Natalie (Student, far right)
What do you enjoy the most about the practical classes such as pulse diagnosis?
"I really like the practical classes. One of the things I like about the pulses classes as there is a such huge variety of pulses, and how they feel , to get to grips with. Getting “hands on” in practical classes is also a great way to get to know one another better. They are also a great way to get to know the tutors more as you are interacting with them on a more personal level, rather than just seeing them in the front of a class."
How are you putting pulse diagnosis you have learned in class into practice in the clinic?
"Simple – we practise on real patients! Pulse diagnosis is a very important tool and a patient can give you a lot of information about their presenting condition so that we can identify the right course of treatment. I am now into my second year and getting a lot more “hands on” with patients in clinic- so there is more opportunity to practise pulses."
You are now in your second year, how were you feeling in this first year class and how do you feel now about pulse diagnosis?
"I did struggle with pulse classes in Year 1 and found it quite hard. This year, there is still a lot to learn but the basics are there and it’s getting more and more interesting and enjoyable. As Don says – with practice it all starts to fall into place."