Everything You Should Know About the Chinese Medicine Clock

3 minute read | 07.01.2023

Learn about the Chinese Medicine Clock, a traditional way of understanding how the body's organs function at different times of the day.
Learn about the Chinese Medicine Clock, a traditional way of understanding how the body's organs function at different times of the day.

By: Madison Clarke

The Chinese Body clock is rooted and based on Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine. The clock is based on a 24-hour period - this helps us optimize our energy by matching tasks to certain times of the day. It is said that Qi moves through the organ system every 2 hours and is a helpful tool used to discover any imbalances we may be experiencing within the body. Every Zang and Fu organ in the body gets a 2-hour time window where Qi is most concentrated, and every element gets a 4-hour window where the Qi is most concentrated.

F´╗┐unction of the Chinese Organ Body Clock

If someone were following the Chinese clock this is what an ideal day would look like:

  • 3 am - 5 am is associated with the Lung - this is a time when we are usually sleeping and when our breathing should be soft and natural. Note: If you're out of balance or experencing grief than this may be a time you wake up.
  • 5 am - 7 am is the time of the large intestine - this time is ideal for any bowel movements to allow the body to cleanse and release toxins. It's also a great time to drink warm water to replenish your body after a night's sleep and aid in detoxification. Be sure to do gentle exercises during this time such as going on a walk or taking a shower to help with stagnation in the morning.
  • 7 am - 9 am is the time of the stomach - This is the most important meal of the day and the best time to eat nourishing foods to help give you energy for the day.
  • 9 am - 11 am is the time of the spleen - during this time your spleen is busy transforming your food into usable energy. This is a time that you are able to focus mentally, which for most is when school or work begins. This can also be the time where you perform activities that take most of your energy.
  • 11 am - 1 pm is the time of the heart - be sure to refresh yourself by eating a light lunch or having a warm cup of tea. This duration of the day is great to get together and socialize or even take a nap!
  • 1 pm - 3 pm is the time of the small intestine - your body is bust processing your second meal and abosrbing nutrients. During this hour, it's great to communicate with family and friends or even take on meetings at work.
  • 3 pm - 5 pm is the time of the bladder - if you're big on snacking this is your time to help with the detoxification process. Salty snacks, water, or tea is great during this time. It's also when metabolic waste moves into the kidney filtration system.
  • 5 pm - 7 pm is the time of the kidneys - this is a time when we begin to wind down for the night. It's a perfect time to have supper, go for a walk or do a gentle stretch. This is a time to replenish vital energy.
  • 7 pm - 9 pm is the time of circulation when nutrients are carried around the body - this is a perfect time to relax and read, focus on self-care or spend time with loved ones.
  • 9 pm - 11 pm is the time of the endocrine system - during this time, enzymes are replenished and the body comes back to homeostasis. It's recommended to go to bed around this time
  • 11 pm - 1 am is the time of the gall bladder - this is the time your body should be asleep as regeneration and healing happen.
  • 1 am - 3 am is the time of the liver - this is when toxins are released from the body, fresh is made and it's a time for deep sleep and dreaming

Following a consistent daily routine and getting enough sleep can help to improve energy levels, focus, and overall well-being. Aligning your body's natural rhythms with your daily schedule may also help to improve productivity and reduce the risk of certain health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition, paying attention to your body's natural rhythms can help you to better understand your own needs and habits, which can be a valuable tool for self-improvement. Overall, living according to the Chinese body clock can be a simple but effective way to promote better health and well-being and can enhance your acupuncture experince!

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