Pulse Assessment

Profound - Enlightening - Liberating

A centuries-old, foundational tool that will help unlock the mysteries of what is ailing the client.

"Getting hands-on experience was wonderful."
"...Tons of
great information"  
"...Took my assessment skills to another level."

A time-tested, expert-level clinical skill that you can apply starting day one!

Chinese medicine practitioners have been using this skill as an effective assessment tool for centuries, and now so can you!

Before blood tests or expensive assessment procedures, practitioners relied on observing the signs the body gave about what was ailing the patient.

We still recognize that the pulse tells us a good deal about the condition of the body; observing the heart rate, the heart rate variability or the intensity of the pulse.

But there is so much more we can gain from observing the pulse, for example:  where the ailment stems from, other organs that are affected, whether an ailment is due to weakness or excess in an area of the body. We can also utilize the pulse to detect if a chosen remedy is helpful or not.

Pulse Assessment with Guest Teacher Francis Bonaldo, LAc.

In this course, we also focus on skin assessment, exploring thermoregulation, circulation, and their significance.

Expert guidance from Francis sheds light on herbal remedies, providing specific pulse and tongue indications for remedies. Francis also shares insights from his study of Culpeper's English Herbal and the Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine. Both teachers give specific pulse and tongue indications for specific remedies. 

"...the old doctors knew how to just "look at a person" to diagnose (this includes observation of the face, neck, forearms, lower leg, and more to assess the overall quality of blood flow), so I want to share some insights regarding observational assessment in old Chinese Medicine which are essentially absent from the modern practice." - Francis Bonaldo, LAc.

How do you convey pulse over video?
Our instructors are experienced at teaching this content and incorporate multiple teaching methods to convey the pulses. We also use extra cameras and sound equipment to catch extra footage for students. Learning the pulses does take time, practice, and patience. Teachers are available online to help answer your questions. As with learning any new skill: practice, practice, practice! 


Support Materials

Free intro. to Tongue and Facial Assessment

Support Materials

Herb walks & examples from multiple volunteer clients


18 hours of video


Certificate included
(see more below)

Pay Once = One Year Access

1 year to view and review content, ask questions and discuss

Bonus Material

11 hours Bonus Pulse and Tongue Evaluation with Matthew Wood, MS 

  • high/low
  • fast/slow
  • quick/rare (a Greek pulse)
  • long/short
  • wide/narrow
  • regular/irregular
  • tense/relaxed
  • tight/loose
  • full/empty
  • hard/soft
  • strong/weak
  • choppy/slippery
  • thick blood/thin blood
  • and others
differentiation of tongue types by tridosha:
  • vata (dry, thin, medium to long)
  • pitta (elongated, pointed, carmine red, muscular)
  • kapha (thick, round, moist, sub-pink)
and the differentiation between watery and oily secretions.
Note: The BONUS material is one of our earliest class offerings and may have been recorded before the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism was formally started. In this handful of classes, the video and audio may be sub-par. Nonetheless, we've included them so you can enjoy and gain from the information you otherwise will not find.

This is for you if you...

want essential holistic evaluation skills such as pulse assessment and complementary herbal evaluation techniques.
are ready to take your clinical skills to the next level.
want to prepare for an upcoming in-person pulse assessment class.

Upon completion, you will...

possess advanced assessment skills crucial for herbalists to holistically evaluate individuals.
practice and hone your pulse assessment skills.
feel more confident in your assessment of what's ailing a client and the remedies you choose.


Matthew Wood, MS

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist for over forty years. He is an internationally known
teacher and author with more than ten books to his credit, including The Book of Herbal Wisdom, 
The Earthwise Herbals, Holistic Medicine and the Extracellular Matrix, and A Shamanic Herbal 
(July 2024). Matthew has an MSc in herbal medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine 
(accredited, U. of Wales). He lives in the Midwest. 

Francis Bonaldo, LAc

Francis Bonaldo has been a practicing herbalist for 15 years. He served as a member of faculty in the acupuncture department of Rosemont College (Montreal, Canada) from 2011 to 2015. He specializes in pulse evaluation.
Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation: A Conversation by Matthew Wood, Francis Bonaldo L.Ac. and Phyllis D. Light M.A. is required reading.
We encourage students to study the following to get the most out of this course:
  • Shamanic Herbalism is a fascinating topic. Gain a solid understanding from one of our earliest courses recorded for the Institute.

All of these courses are in The Library!

Certificate Included

  • How to Get a Certificate

    • Complete course materials
    • Pass the test with a grade of 70% or better
    • Save or print your certificate!

    Available with subscription and individual course purchases.

  • Accreditation hours

    This course is a total of 28 accredited hours
    • 28 hours Clinical Experience

    *Please check with your accrediting agency whether they will accept accredited hours or certificates from the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism
Write your awesome label here.

Pulse Assessment

Take your clinical skills to a new level!

Check out our certificate courses!