top of page

Foundations Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis
With Dr Karen Bilton, PhD.

Understand the pulse in ways you've never imagined

Diagnose complex patients with confidence

Uncover signs of past adverse events - gestational, birth and life and their influence on present and future health

Discover the profound skill of Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis

Screen Shot 2023-07-04 at 10.33.54 am.png

Shen - Hammer Pulse Diagnosis workshops Australia 

What you will learn

Learn the entire Shen-Hammer pulse system and be provided with a framework for your skill to grow.

Understand the implications of alterations from a normal resting and exertion heart rate often indicate more far-reaching conditions than heat and cold.

Decipher psycho-emotional pulse signs to understand how to establish better connections and more effective communication with your clients. 

Harness the power of the pulse to refine your skill in interpreting the signs that portray your clients' physiology.

Leverage this acquired knowledge and integrate it into your preferred theoretical model and existing style of practice, be it zang/fu, classical, or the five-element system.

Feel confident in your ability to merge the information from the pulse with other diagnostic information to improve your treatment outcomes with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Class Details

📍 Location:

International House

Level 5, 540 George St,

Sydney NSW 2000

Opposite Town Hall Railway Station

📅 Date:

Friday to Monday September 20-23, 2024

⏰ Time:

8:30am to 5:30 pm 

💲 Investment:

Early Bird: $1760 incl. GST

Full Rate: $ 2090 incl. GST

Current TCM Students: $1450 incl. GST

Returning SHPD Students: $1250 incl. GST

🗓️ Prerequisites:


☑️ Approved AACMA, NCCAOM (USA) - 30 CPDs

📧 karen@lotushealingarts.con

Stone Tower

Shen-Hammer Foundations Course Structure 

Hands-on Practical Classes

Pulse diagnosis is a practical skill and at least 50% of time in class is devoted to sitting with the pulse to feel depths, positions and qualities guided by feedback from the instructors

Coherent Lecture Content

The theory component is presented in an informative structured style and a digital version of the PowerPoint slide show will be supplied. The pulse examination form is provided as a .pdf for future use. You are also encouraged to take your own notes to improve your learning.

Practical Demonstrations

Finger placement on the wrists and specific techniques for rolling the fingers to access pulse positions is demonstrated by the instructors on a student model as well as all of the participants. Teaching aides are used to enhance palpation skills.

Introduction to SHPD


History of SHPD

Inherited Roots of SHPD  Menghe Ding Lineage, Dr Shen, Dr Hammer


3 Main Pulse Depths

Qi, Blood, Organ Depths


6 Wave Forms

Normal, Hesitant, HFO, Flooding Excess, Flooding Deficient, Suppressed


Classification and Identification of Pulse Qualities Based on Sensation

Robust Volume - HFO, Flooding Excess, Robust Pounding, Inflated

Reduced Volume - QD Yielding, Diminished, FA, A; Spreading; BD Diminished; Flooding Deficient; Reduced Pounding; Reduced Substance; Deep; Deep Feeble/FA; Absent; Muffled; Flat

Depth - Floating, Cotton, Empty

Width - Thin, Blood Unclear, Blood Heat, Blood Thick

Length - Long, Short


  • Fluid - Slippery

  • Non-Fluid Even - Taut; Tense; Tight; Wiry; Ropy; Leather Hard

  • Non-Fluid Uneven - Choppy; Rough Vibration, Smooth Vibration

Qualifying Qualities - Rough, Smooth, Separating

Anomalies - San Yin, Fan Quan, Amorphous, Ganglion

Miscellaneous - Biting, Restricted, Doughy, Electric


Palpation throughout day

Calibration of Depths, Waveforms, Pulse Qualities


What people said...

Support your learning.. 

Becoming skilled in pulse diagnosis requires repeated practice and ongoing support as your skills improve. To cater for this there are several levels of Shen-Hammer pulse diagnosis classes that are designed for all stages of learning to support practitioners on their journey.

Screen Shot 2023-06-06 at 12.28.51 pm.png

Learning Pathways

Re-take the Foundations Class 

  • Large discounts for returning students​​

Intro-Mediate Classes

  • Small classes – 2 days – scheduled every 6-8 weeks

  • Held in Potts Point, Sydney

  • Day One – Review of Shen-Hammer Pulse Model

    • Lecture and palpation​

  • Day Two – seeing 3 live patients

    • Morning session ​- feel their pulses 

    • Afternoon session - work through cases

    • Management strategies according to acupuncture, formulas, referrals

Intermediate Classes

  • 2 days of seeing live patients

Learn with Dr Karen Bilton, Ph.D.

Pulse Diagnosis Expertise:  

​​With over two decades studying Shen-Hammer pulse, Karen's knowledge and teaching experience ensure exceptional instruction.

Research and Academic Excellence:

Karen's Ph.D. research on Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis and co-editing of the Handbook of Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis demonstrate her commitment to advancing the field.

Clinical Wisdom:

Karen's three decades of full-time Chinese medicine practice and background in physiotherapy provide practical insights for effective treatments.

Collaboration with Dr. Leon Hammer:

Regular contact with Dr. Hammer, offers invaluable knowledge and mentorship.

Expanding Horizons:  

Karen also teaches the Psychology of Dragon Rises, Red Bird Flies, deepening the holistic understanding of Chinese medicine.

Unlock Your Potential: 

Study with Karen to master Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis and elevate your practice to profoundly impact the lives of your patients. 


The Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis is the modern interpretation of the c.15th Century Menghe Ding Lineage method from the Shanghai region of China. Ding Jiwan (grandson of Ding Ganren of Wen Bing fame) taught this method to Dr. Shen in Shanghai and then Hong Kong during the turbulent years of 1937-1942. Dr. Shen as the sole survivor of World War 2 with knowledge of the pulse method, fled the Communist Revolution in China for the USA.

Dr. Hammer, a renowned practitioner, first encountered Dr. Shen's exceptional diagnostic skills in a Chinatown clinic in New York City during the early 1970s. This serendipitous meeting led to an eight-year apprenticeship for Dr. Hammer under Dr. Shen's guidance, and their collaboration spanned thirty years, during which they recorded and refined the Menghe pulse method.

The Shen-Hammer Pulse method has evolved from Classical Chinese medicine theory. It recognizes that the range of energy transformations within a human body reflects the infinite combination of spatial and temporal energy possibilities in the macrocosm. The pulse carries information encoded within it, representing the physiological exchanges specific to that individual organism.

Palpating the radial artery allows us to decipher these exchanges and provides rich and extensive diagnostic information. The pulse describes the inherited life of a person, their current state of being, and can indicate possible health trajectories for the future.

Once the information encoded in the pulse is deciphered, it guides the practitioner to skilfully implement management strategies. These strategies may include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and lifestyle modifications to positively impact the physical and psycho-emotional potential of the clients.

The Shen-Hammer Pulse method is a refined and comprehensive approach to pulse diagnosis that draws upon ancient Chinese medicine theory. It allows practitioners to gain valuable insights into their clients' health and guide them towards appropriate treatment strategies to enhance their well-being.

Dr S 1.jpeg
Dr H 1.jpeg

What is Shen-Hammer Pulse diagnosis ?


Class Registration


  • ACCMA CPD 30 hours, NCCAOM 28 hours

  • Attendance at all days required for CPDs awarded


"The course gave a great introduction to the pulse technique that I can apply directly and immediately towards my current patients. I also gained knowledge of pulse depths associated with emotional and psychological states."

Lily K

"Course is extremely informative, well structured and engaging.

Karen is a fantastic teacher who explains the content very clearly, uses her clinical knowledge to help explain concepts and draws great diagrams."

Lucy H

"Karen has a personal and personable approach to teaching. Checking the pulses of participants and explaining what we're feeling was extremely helpful. The course was well organised and used repetition and positivity for effective learning."

Narelle S

"This course gave me a clear visual of the pulse qualities. The structure is very simple and makes the content easy to comprehend.

The time spent practicing pulses with Karen is most valuable."

Chen Q

My Journey with Shen-Hammer Pulse diagnosis and Dr Leon Hammer, MD

My association with Dr. Hammer greatly influenced my experience with Chinese medicine. When I first embarked on my quest to understand and find meaning in the elusive art of pulse diagnosis, I had the good fortune of meeting him in New York in 1996. This began many years of mentorship under his direct guidance, a privilege for which I am so grateful. 

Motivated by my passion for Chinese medicine and an interest in academic inquiry, I obtained a Ph.D. through our collaborative effort and pioneering research investigating the reliability of skilled practitioners utilising Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis. Our aim was to delve into the complexity of intra- and inter-rater agreement and the repeatability of practitioners using the method in the clinical setting. Through this research, we were able to identify areas within the pulse system where agreement levels among raters fell below acceptable standards. Consequently, we refined the method by making the modifications that were indicated by the results.

Another outcome of this research, was the honour of co-editing the Handbook of Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis, which is now recognised as Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis. By sharing the expertise and insights of those skilled in the method, we aimed to provide a clinical resource that would support and educate practitioners in the field.


In 2016, Dr. Hammer received an invitation to travel to China to share his expertise teaching Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis. Unable to fulfil the commitment due to advancing age, he asked me to be his representative, entrusting to my hands the responsibility of transmitting the knowledge. Accompanied by Dr. Chang Wenhuai, who served as both translator and teaching assistant, we embarked on a four-year journey dedicated to teaching Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis in China - Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Our efforts completed the transfer of the pulse knowledge back to its cultural source in Shanghai and the present-day lineage holders and practitioners of the Menghe Ding lineage.


My collaboration with Dr. Hammer has had a profound impact on my Chinese medicine path that goes way beyond pulse diagnosis. Learning his approach applying the five phases of Chinese medicine to modern psychology (as defined in his book Dragon Rises Red, Bird Flies) has given me great insight into understanding the development of the human condition. And the further connection of Shen-Hammer Pulse Diagnosis to this body of work provides an exquisite awareness of a person's psycho-emotional functioning. Beyond Chinese medicine our association has encompassed a 27 year friendship, exploring the intricacies of life, philosophising cultures and sharing a love of the great outdoors in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. 


© 2023 by Lotus Healing Arts. All Rights Reserved.

bottom of page