Lymph retuen is equivical to wei qi flow according to Deke Kendall. If
one plays with that notion and explores the correlations between poor
lymph return, the cotton pulse, depression and hypothyroidism, then the
connections can be made. Also, wei qi travels deep at night through the
supporting connective tissues of the zang as well as on the surface of
Pulse qualities that suggest collection of fluid in the interstices
such as the ‘cotton’ pulse of the Shen-Hammer system or pulses that are
very uneven in distribution of qi and blood between the various
positions are suggestive of impeded flow of wei and ying qi.
Following is an explanation of each of the pulses and the ways in which
they can contribute to interstitial fluid accumulation and
correspondingly poor lymph return. These phenomena are considered by
the author to be synonymous with the pathogen ‘damp’ of Chinese
The cotton pulse is also sometimes considered to the the ‘ruo mai’ or
the soft pulse. It is discussed as the sensation of a thread floating
on water. However, it is also discussed as a sensation of cotton.
Hammer conflated the terms – the net impact is the same, dampness, or
interstitial fluid accumulation.
The weak pulse lacks force is very soft, deep and thin. It can only be
felt in the deep level. This can be indicative of low cardiac output
and with the likely low circulating blood volume resulting in poor
perfusion and interstitial fluid accumulation as ‘damp.’
The deep pulse is found only at the organ depth and if due to
deficiency patterns can lead agin to poor perfusion and accumulation of
The floating pulse occurs when there is a depletion of qi or when there
is an external pathogen. When due to deficiencies, yin and yang lose
intimate contact and correspondingly the warming and moving functions
of qi allow for local metabolic functions to become impaired with a
corresponding collection of damp.
Lymph as a Portal to Integral Medicine
It has been argued that the lymph return system has features common to
the flow of the defensive qi (wei qi). If a patient presents with a
‘cotton’ pulse, then there is an accumulation of interstitial fluid
occurring that is consistent with poor lymph return. Hammer describes
this as a ‘sad’ pulse wherein people live lives of quiet desperation,
however, this may not be the only reason for such a pulse. Other causes
may include spleen qi or yang depletion leading to damp accumulation;
other causes include impaired cardiac function or kidney yang
depletion. From a western perspective, this scenario can be induced
through sedentary behaviors or reduced metabolism related to an
impaired pancreatic function or hypothyroidism.
From: Sarah Schwab <pseudobleu@...
Sent: Thu, 1 Jun 2006 05:36:03 -0000
Subject: [PulseDiagnosis] night-time wei qi and depression
Why is the night-time wei qi cycle especially helpful for depression?
I don't understand this indication since wei qi is associated with the
exterior and to my knowledge, not associated with the emotions.
The mission of this group is to provide a forum for the discussion of
diagnosis so that a depth of understanding is furthered.
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