three questions should be answered based on the attached readings

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Ghasemzadeh, Nima and A. Maziar Zafari. 2011. “A Brief Journey into the History of the Arterial Pulse.” Cardiology Research and Practice 2011: 1-14.

Hsu, Elisabeth. 2000. “Towards a Science of Touch, Part I: Chinese Pulse Diagnostics in Early Modern Europe.” Anthropology and Medicine 7. 2: 251-268.

Farquhar, Judith. 2011. “Pulse-Touching: Qualities and the Best Practitioner.” In Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Healthcare: Authenticity, Best Practice and the Evidence Mosaic, edited by Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPherson, 39-53. New York: Elsevier Ltd.

  • 1. In “A Brief Journey into the History of the Arterial Pulse,” compare and contrast the notion of pulse and its application among Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, and Islamic medical practices. Give concrete examples of their similarities and differences. The authors argue that “[t]oday’s understanding of various characteristics of the arterial pulse relies on our ancestors’ observations and experiments.” What evidences do they use to support this argument? Are you convinced? Why or why not?
  • 2. According to Hsu, what was Jean Baptiste Du Halde’s foundational understanding of medicine? How did Du Halde seem to impose the Galenic understanding of pulsation on the Chinese pulse patterns? How does Chinese tacit perception/experience of pulse taking achieve a diagnosis in a detached and descriptive way? How does a Chinese physician “calibrate” himself or herself when taking a patient’s pulse? What are the differences between “active touch” in Chinese pulse taking and “passive touch” in psychophysical practice?
  • 3. In Farquhar’s article, what can’t a pulsometer achieve in comparison with the traditional Chinese pulse-taking? What are its limitations? Consider both medical and non-medical reasons.

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