Exercise 6 Check your ability

We are living in a performance oriented scientific society. If you are using the internet and read this site, you are – maybe a bit unwillingly – a part of it.

Something that cannot be measured and counted is often considered to be minor or worse.

Since the basic idea of feeling your pulse is to make you feel better, any form of counting and measuring was omitted in the previous exercises. It doesn’t make you better or more healthy if you can precisely describe your heart beat. But there is one obvious reason why measuring – from time to time – could be useful: you can check if you can determine your pulse correctly.

A simple way to determine this is taking a watch or any form of chronometer, preferably one that does not make a tick-sound. Then you count the beats you hear or feel for 10, 20 or 30 seconds and sum it up to one minute. If you are below 40 or above 200 than something either you don’t get the pulse right or you should go to see the doctor.

The rate looks correct – but is really correct? You could check it with a measuring device like Polar and many other systems measuring your pulse. Note that even those devices have errors. But they can narrow down the uncertainty. The 2 ways to get it correctly is either to measure with an expensive medical device.  The cheaper way is to have someone listen to the heart with a stroboscope for the same time and then compare the numbers. Of course you can also have that person to feel the pulse on e.g. your wrist, but that might influence your awareness. The better way might be to have that person putting the ear on your breast, however that needs a lot of confidence as well to the person as to the subject.

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