What is pulse testing?
It’s actually referred to as the “Coca Pulse Test” named and developed after Dr. Arthur F. Coca. It’s a simple, and best of all inexpensive at home self test to determine reactions, intolerance’s, or sensitivity to a particular food. It’s based on the principle that the pulse rate increases when the body is under stress, in this case, the stress that is caused from a food sensitivity. According to Dr. Coca, “the pulse has been almost totally neglected as an indicator of ill health”. View Dr. Coca’s book on the pulse test here.
Why is this important to know?
Food sensitivities can limit our body’s and skin ability to heal completely. They’re typically irritating to the gut, as stated in this article, as well as prolongs inflammation, especially when consumed consistently.
The problem is we typically don’t isolate one food group when we eat. We consume meals with a variety of ingredients, and so this can make it difficult to identify which foods are causing our problems. Symptoms are often relieved by eliminating the trigger food or substance.
Some of the most common symptoms of food sensitivities I see with skin include:
- Hair loss
- Dark circles, bags and swelling under and around eyes
There may be many other causes for these symptoms, however, given that food sensitivities and allergies are so common these days, it’s a great place to begin to address health concerns.
When eliminating a food that is suspected to be the culprit, there may be a period the body starts to detox as it begins to work more efficiently. This is part of the withdrawal period that usually lasts about a week. During this period you can expect symptoms to progress before feeling relief, although some people may find instant results, and for some no reaction at all.
How to take the test:
These instructions are taken from the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) as part of the Foundations of Functional Nutrition Seminar Series.
1. Sit down and relax. This works better if your in a calm state (parasympathetic mode) so that your body is intuitive and receptive to the substance your about to expose it to.
2. Establish your baseline pulse by counting your heart beat for a full minute and record it.
3. Put a sample of a food or supplement to evaluate in your mouth (on your tongue). You may chew but refrain from swallowing. However, you do need to taste it for approximately one-half minute.
Note: The sensory information taste signals from your mouth will inform your central nervous system
(brain) as to the nature of the test substance. If the test substance (food or supplement) is stressful to the
body, you will have a brief reaction that causes your heart to beat faster. Test only one food at a time. Testing individual ingredients will yield specific information, compared with testing foods containing multiple ingredients. Testing a banana, for example, yields more specific and therefore more valuable information than testing banana bread.
4. Retake your pulse (the food or the supplement remains in your mouth). Write down your
Note: An increase of 4 or more is considered the result of a stressful reaction. For O Blood Type people an
increase of 3 or more is considered a positive reaction. The greater the degree of stressfulness or reactivity,
the higher the heart rate will be.
5. Discard the tested ingredient (do not swallow) and repeat the procedure to test other foods or supplements. Repeat the procedure as frequently as you like, as long as you always return to your normal pulse before testing the next food.
Note: If a reaction occurred, rinse your mouth out with some purified water and spit the water out. Wait
two minutes, then you can retest your pulse to see if it has returned to its baseline. If it hasn’t, wait a couple
of minutes more and retest, continue to retest until you have returned to your normal pulse. Once your
pulse has returned to its normal rate you can test the next food.
Looking for a more definite answer to your food sensitivities? Interested in getting a food sensitivity test done?
Schedule a complimentary 15 minute consult to see if this may be right for you.