When you go to see an Ayurvedic practitioner, one of the first things that he or she will do is to take your pulse. When western doctors take your pulse, they are counting the beats. An Ayurvedic practitioner uses the pulse in a much different way. Three fingers are used, and each finger “reads” how much a dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) is present in the physiology. The doshas run through the blood in a predictable way, so a trained practitioner can sense the movement of the doshas and figure out which is dominant. The most subtle dosha is vata. It is felt with the index finger. Pitta is felt with the third finger, it is liquid and substantial in nature. Kapha is felt with the ring finger – it is heavy and slow in nature. The practitioner feels for these qualities, and also the underlying subtle qualities that lie beneath each dosha. An experienced practitioner can get a lot of information just from your pulse!