What Is The Significance Of Ayurvedic Pulse Readings?

Pulse reading is one of the key diagnostic methods followed in Ayurveda that have been used for centuries.

Whenever we visit a doctor, they check our pulse as part of the routine physical examination. Pulse reading allows the doctor to check your heart rate, and whether it is regular or not. It helps the physician assess your overall health and detect any abnormalities specifically related to the heart.

However, in Ayurveda, pulse reading is not just about checking the heart rate. It offers a unique way to gain information about the mental and physical constitution of the patient. It can also help the ayurvedic physician understand the underlying factors responsible for the specific symptoms of the patients.

The vital information about the patient’s health revealed during pulse readings could be used by the physician to form the basis of personalized and holistic therapies based on the Ayurvedic principles.

Ayurvedic pulse reading: precision in the diagnosis

You must have observed that an Ayurveda practitioner holds the patient's wrist for a longer period of time. An experienced Ayurvedic practitioner focuses on your pulse to get a glimpse of your overall wellness and specific health concerns.

In Ayurveda, this diagnostic method is called Nadi Pariksha, and the ayurvedic practitioner who performs Nadi Pariksha is called a Vaidya or Nadi Parikshak.

What does Nadi Pariksha reveal?

Nadi Pariksha involves paying attention to the vibrations and the frequency of your pulse at different levels on the radial artery at the wrist. It involves reading the subtle vibrations at 7 different levels to ascertain the efficiency as well as abnormalities of various functions of the vital organs.

The pulse also reveals the mental and physical characteristics of the patients along with the symptoms they suffer from and their likely prognosis.

It offers an effective scientific method that enables the Vaidya to recommend a personalized wellness regime to the patient. Such regimens usually include uniquely customized diet, massages, yoga asanas, detoxification, exercises, and lifestyle transforming habits.

The treatment and advice recommended based on the pulse reading can bring about holistic improvement in the patient’s health and support faster recovery.

This is why Nadi Pariksha is considered the basis for the diagnosis and treatment of any ailment.

Ayurvedic pulse reading for your Dosha

Ayurveda has determined three forms of pulse reading each of which can be felt in a unique way by the practitioner by placing his fingers on your wrist.

The pulse for Vata Dosha is felt under the index finger. The Pitta pulse can be taken under your middle finger, while the Kapha pulse is felt under your ring finger.

The Vata pulse feels thin and has an irregular and fast rhythm. The Pitta pulse is stronger, bounding, or more voluminous with or without a regular rhythm. The Kapha pulse can be located deeper beneath the fatty tissues as it moves slowly but regularly.

Your Ayurvedic practitioner may take pulse readings at other parts of the body as well to gain a complete picture of your health.

Through pulse reading, your Ayurvedic physician would determine:

  • Your physical and mental constitution
  • Dominant Dosha
  • Imbalances in the Dosha
  • Abnormal physical and mental activities
  • The state and movements of the Doshas
  • The movements of sub-Doshas
  • The strength of Agni signifying the activities of the digestive fire and metabolic functions
  • The extent of tissue damage and degeneration
  • The movements of toxins

Key considerations for the accurate diagnosis using pulse readings

While performing Nadi Pariksha, some factors need to be taken into consideration for the accurate diagnosis. Read on to learn the right ways to perform Nadi Pariksha.

Method of pulse reading

During pulse reading, the patient's hand should be free and relaxed. It should be flexed slightly at the forearm, such that the index, middle, and ring fingers of the physician's right hand can be easily placed on the wrist over the radial artery.


The pulsations of a person tend to vary from time to time throughout the day.

For example; the Kapha pulse is usually dominant in the morning, while the Pitta pulse is dominant during mid-day. The Vata pulse, on the other hand, can be observed more precisely in late afternoon or evening.

Hence, it is important to check your pulse reading at different times of the day for the precise diagnosis of your health conditions. It would provide a holistic picture of your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and allows the physician to recommend a personalized approach to restore wellness.

Empty stomach

For an accurate diagnosis, Nadi Pariksha should be performed on an empty stomach. It can be performed early in the morning before breakfast or 3 to 4 hours after food.

Being on an empty stomach can prevent disturbances in the pulse due to the active metabolism and digestion occurring in the body. This can help the physician get a more accurate reading of your pulse and enable him to offer the most appropriate advice and suggestions related to your health.


Nadi Pariksha is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that can help in identifying the physical, emotional, and spiritual imbalances accurately. Nadi Parikshak inspects your pulse to diagnose the imbalances in your system.

Pulse reading is also one of the most fascinating methods for monitoring the interactions within your mind, body, and soul. This Ayurvedic method can help to recognize the disease processes even before the symptoms are evident.

It is a non-invasive science as it enables the practitioner to detect the root cause of your health issues and address the symptoms without drawing blood for tests or requiring you to undergo any imaging test like x-rays or scans.

This is why ayurvedic pulse reading is considered safer and superior to modern diagnostic tools.

Please be sure to follow us on Instagram: @caru_nyc for Ayurvedic inspiration and tips on how to embrace your dosha for beauty, inside and out.  

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Photo: @photosbylanty