The Chinese Body Clock
The Chinese Body Clock or Organ Clock is part of the larger philosophy and practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The Body Clock encourages us to match our actions to the most appropriate energetic times. It’s about adaptation, balance, rest, and recovery.
The clock is based on a 24-hour time period, and each organ corresponds to a two-hour interval. The most important aspect of the body clock is its ability to explain how the body functions at particular times of the day to maintain our health and fight disease. The TCM Body Clock tells us when it is best to eat, sleep and exercise and much more. Specific emotions in TCM are naturally associated with organs, which are also linked to the time of day.
Working style of the Chinese body clock:
5-7am is the time of the Large Intestine making it a perfect time to have a bowel movement and remove toxins from the day before. It is also the ideal time to wash your body and comb your hair.
7-9am is the time of the Stomach so it is important to eat the biggest meal of the day here to optimize digestion and absorption. Warm meals that are high in nutrition are best in the morning.
9-11am is the time of the Pancreas and Spleen, where enzymes are released to help digest food and release energy for the day ahead. This is the ideal time to exercise and work. Do your most taxing tasks of the day at this time.
11am-1pm is the time of the Heart which will work to pump nutrients around the body to help provide you with energy and nutrition. This is also a good time to eat lunch and it is recommended to have a light, cooked meal. Having a one hour nap or a cup of tea is also recommended during this time.
1-3pm is the time of the Small Intestine and is when food eaten earlier will complete its digestion and assimilation. This is also a good time to go about daily tasks or exercise.
3-5pm is the time of the Bladder when metabolic wastes move into the kidney’s filtration system. This is the perfect time to study or complete brain-challenging work. Another cup of tea is advised as is drinking a lot of water to help aid detoxification processes.
5-7pm is the time of the Kidneys when the blood is filtered, and the kidneys work to maintain proper chemical balance. This is the perfect time to have dinner and to activate your circulation either by walking, having a massage or stretching.
7-9pm is the time of Circulation when nutrients are carried to the capillaries and to each cell. This is the perfect time to read. Avoid doing mental activities at this time.
9-11pm is the time of Triple Heater or endocrine system where the body’s homeostasis is adjusted, and enzymes are replenished. It is recommended to sleep at this time so the body can conserve energy for the following day.
11pm-1am is the time of the Gall Bladder and in order to wake feeling energized the body should be at rest. In Chinese medicine, this period of time is when yin energy fades ad yang energy begins to grow. Yang energy helps you to keep active during the day and is stored when you are asleep.
1-3am is the time of the Liver and a time when the body should be asleep. During this time, toxins are released from the body and fresh new blood is made. If you find yourself waking during this time, you could have too much yang energy or problems with your liver or detoxification pathways.
3-5am the time of the Lungs and again, this is the time where the body should be asleep. If woken at this time, nerve soothing exercises are recommended such as breathing exercises. The body should be kept warm at this time too to help the lungs replenish the body with oxygen.