Holistic assessment takes many sources of information towards understanding the energetic imbalance at the source of certain illnesses, or in the case of prevention the goal is to understand an individual's constitutional tendencies. We have been referring to Bob Flaws' pulse quality definitions as described in The Secret of Chinese Pulse Diagnosis (see earlier posts: Pulse Assessment & Diagnosis by Pulse ). Soon we will begin comparing Flaws' with descriptions of other texts.
One thing we have come to realize is that the study of pulse assessment begins with feeling pulses. As Flaws suggests, the study begins also with memorization of the definitions (of the pulse qualities - see above links), but in order to gain any understanding of the definitions, one must also feel many differing pulses.