Though there are numerous sub-categories related to pulse-taking, I will, here, write only about the major Pulse categories. These are the ones that serve as the basis of adding to a true pulse diagnosis.
Superficial Pulse: This pulse can be felt easily with gentle touch. It indicates exterior syndromes and is present at the early stage of exogenous diseases.
Deep Pulse: This pulse is felt only on heavy pressure. It indicates interior syndromes.
Slow Pulse: This is associated with a rate that is slow, less than four beats per breath or less than sixty beats per minute. A slow pulse indicates cold syndromes.
Rapid Pulse: The rate of this pulse is quick, more than 5 beats per breath or more than ninety beats per minute. A rapid pulse indicates heat syndromes.
Pulse of Deficiency: This pulse reflects forceless touch on all three areas on the wrist. This pulse indicates deficiency of qi and blood.
Pulse of Excess (Surging): This pulse reflects forceful touch on all three areas on the wrist. It indicates syndromes of excess types.
Thready Pulse: A thready pulse feels like a fine thread but is very distinct and clear. It indicates deficiency due to overstrain and stress or deficiency of qi or blood.
Rolling Pulse: A rolling pulse feels smooth and flowing like pearls rolling on a dish. This pulse indicates retention of food and excess heat; it also indicates phlegm and retained fluid.
Hesitant Pulse: This pulse feels rough and uneven. It indicates stagnation of qi, blood or impairment of essence and deficiency of blood.
Tense Pulse: A tense pulse feels tight and forceful like stretched rope. It indicates cold, pain and retention of food.
Knotted Pulse: This pulse is slow with irregular missed beats. This pulse indicates excessive yin, accumulation of qi, retention of cold phlegm and stagnation of blood.
Again, these are the major pulse categories and each has sub-categories of pulses that are used to give the practitioner an even more specific level of information and detail.
Though Pulse diagnosis is an invaluable diagnostic tool, experts have pointed out that because it is so subjective, the ability and judgment of the respective practitioner takes on even more significance. Therefore, there have been attempts made by researchers to invent some type of instrument to render a measurement that gives out an objective reading. Regardless of what many perceive as deficiencies, Pulse diagnosis will always be an integral part in the diagnostic method undertaken by practitioners of Chinese Medicine.
Again, the site that I think is very useful in learning more about the basics of pulse-taking is www.pulsediagnosis.com.