Ever noticed considerable fluctuations in your energy levels? Experiencing frequent mood swings? The explanation for these behaviors is tied to what one eat, as well as chemical hormonal chemical fluctuations. The body energy clock has been discovered by early scholars of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It illustrates the energy flow and the cyclical ebb across the body. During a 24-hour period, qi (energy) is moving at at two-hour intervals throughout the body and takes on various qualities.
1 to 3am – The liver
When one is sleeping, During 1am and 3am, the liver is considerably active, and it cleanses the blood. The numerous functions performed by the liver during this period also allow for energy to be exuded outwards. Frustration and anger are some of the emotions that are associated with the liver. As a result, it may be worthwhile to vent them out should you frequently wake during the said period. The liver also performs at its peak where the period between the last meal intake is relatively longer which essentially explains why most people prefer having their last meal way before they go to bed.
3 to 5am – The lung
The period between 3am and 5am is considered to be the lung time. The main emotions associated with the lung are sadness and grief. According to TCM, regular deep breaths are certain to release grief; the same effect is obtained through breath meditations. Damaged lung energy may result in lung yin deficiency (too dry, not enough moisture), lung qi deficiency (not enough energy), and a contraction of a cold (affecting the respiratory tract) may reduce the functionality of the lungs considerably.
5 to 7am – the large intestine
TCM associates defensiveness and guilt to the phase between 5am-7am. The organ that is at its peak is the large intestine. You may have heard that it is important to drink lemon water first thing in the morning. Ideally, this aids in the elimination of toxins and aids is the elimination of sluggishness and fatigue (it also alkalizes the body). A properly formed bowel movement is one of the signs that one’s large intestines are working accordingly. Proper functionality may also be aided by relaxation of both body and mind.
7 to 9am – the stomach
Stomach qi disharmony is mainly characterized by mental anxiety. The stomach’s performance is greatly heightened between 7am-9am. Empathy and hypersensitivity are some of the emotions associated with the stomach. In a bid to prevent yourself from negative energy, TCM recommends one to have reserves of positivity that are enough to send outwards.
9 to 11am – the spleen
Between 9 – 11am, the spleen’s performance is at its optimum. The body’s intentions and thoughts are all housed by the spleen. Trust and honesty are some of the main virtues associated with a proper functioning spleen. Soft bowel movements indicate a weakness of the spleen qi. Taking a bath, reading poetry, and listening to music are some of the activities that are recommended during this period in a bid to reduce activity in the mind. The spleen is responsible for nutrient absorption food digestion; it also aids in energy and blood formation. These are vital body processes; hence TCM recommends that one takes all the necessary steps towards ensuring spleen balance.
11am to 1pm – the heart
Since the heart houses one’s spirit, insight, joy, love, and peace are some of the emotions that are connected with the heart. Between 11am and 1pm, the heart’s performance is at its peak. Some of the major signs of an imbalanced heart qi include paleness, unusual beads of sweat, and talking too much. Soaking in the sun also helps in warming the heart, as one shares in the sun’s energy. Heart fire and heart yin deficiency are some of the most common heart conditions.
1 – 3pm – the small intestine
The small intestine is the yang (active) component to the yin heart and facilitates good judgment and discernment. The small intestine performs more between 1pm-3pm. As appealing as cold and carbonated drinks may appear, it is important to avoid them since they only work to inhibit the digestive system’s performance. During this period, TCM recommends the intake of a nutritious snack.
3 – 5pm – the urinary bladder
If the period between 3pm-5pm is one of the most depressing periods of the day, you might need to review the functionality of your bladder. The bladder is at its peak during this time and it’s the optimal time to drink water. A compromised bladder qi is mainly characterized by bladder infections and infrequent urination. To further cleanse the bladder, TCM recommends the intake of lemon water (as seen before, it alkalizes). Should you note that you are having a difficult time dealing with your emotions, it might be timely to have a conversation with your trusted health professional.
5 – 7pm – the kidney
According to the 24-hour organ clock, the phase between 5pm-7pm represents the period when the kidney’s performance is at its peak. The kidney is one of the most important organs in the body and is associated with functions like growth and development, maturation, and reproduction. Some of the clearest signs of a proper-functioning kidney include a healthy libido, self-awareness, endurance, and strength. Kidney yang (energy) deficiency and kidney yin (substance) deficiency are the main kidney conditions.
7 – 9pm – the pericardium
The pericardium protects the heart. Its performance is at its optimum between 7pm-9pm. The pericardium may be kept healthy by engaging in meaningful sex. Emotional and physical illnesses may be avoided by having a proper functioning pericardium as it shields the heart from grief from the lungs, fear from the kidneys, and anger from the liver. TCM also recommends that expressing yourself creatively assists in maintaining a proper functionality of the organ.
9 – 11pm – the triple burner (san jiao)
The triple burner, composed of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis is increasingly active between 9pm-11pm. A feeling of balance, benevolence, and joy are some of the signs that these three components are working properly. The thorax is responsible for controlling intake, the abdomen keeps transformations in check, whereas the pelvis controls the body’s elimination. A functioning triple burner works to transform depression into joy essentially bringing about a sense of wellbeing and peace. The triple burner is not an organ as such but more a pathway for transportation between the different parts of the body.
11 – 1pm – the gallbladder
Resentment and anger are some of the main emotions associated with the gallbladder. High cholesterol and stagnant bile hinder the performance of the gallbladder. Between 11p-1pm, the performance is at its peak. One should avoid hydrogenated oils and focus on oil from fish, hemp oil, and olive oil (unsaturated oils). One of the best ways to confirm whether or not one’s gall bladder is functioning accordingly is by examining the feelings you are dealing with during this time. If they are inclined towards frustration and anger towards yourself and others, it might be a good time to strive to achieve having a gall bladder that functions accordingly. The gallbladder also represents our ability to make decisions, if its hard for you to decide, it might be because your gallbladder needs a (TCM) check up!
Pathways for Health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://pathways4health.org/2010/03/04/the-chinese-body-clock-energy-patterns-through-24-hours/
TCM – 24-hour Organ Qi Cycle. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://www.astrodreamadvisor.com/Qi-Cycle.html#
The Link Between Emotions and Physical Health. (n.d.). Retrieved October 29, 2015, from http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/anxietydepression/a/EmotionsTCM.htm