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What is the Chinese Medicine Clock? A Detailed Guide

Oct 14,2023 | YILING

What is the Chinese medicine clock? What should we know about it? How does it benefit us? This article attempts to make a full explanation of the Chinese medicine clock.



The Chinese medicine clock, also known as the Chinese body clock, is a vital part of the extensive philosophy and system of traditional Chinese medicine and has existed for thousands of years. By knowing the Chinese medicine clock, you will determine which organs are dominant at various times of the day and what to do at each hour. In this article, we will take a closer look at the concept, meaning, and benefits of the Chinese medicine clock.


What is the Chinese Medicine Clock?

Traditional Chinese medicine divides 24 hours into 12 two-hour intervals of the Qi (vital force) moving through the organ system, which is the origin of the Chinese Medicine clock. The Chinese medicine clock represents the time when each organ has the most energy and is operating at its best during a 24-hour cycle. Chinese medicine identifies a connection between our physical and emotional health. If an organ is out of balance, some physical and emotional symptoms will arise. Imbalances with the linked organ may be the cause of problems such as exhaustion, insomnia, or pain.


Therefore, the most important aspect of the Chinese medicine clock is its capacity to explain how the body functions at particular times of day and tells us when it is ideal to eat, sleep and exercise, in order to keep our health and battle sickness.


How can the Chinese Medicine Clock Work?

Here is a thorough description of organ systems with their related times, and the imbalances that may arise both physically and emotionally.


1 to 3 am: the time of the Liver. The liver's function is to store blood for periods and to keep us alive during the day. If you are not asleep at this time, you will become deficient. The liver is also associated with the emotions of anger, rage and frustration.


3 to 5 am: the time of the Lungs. The lungs are connected to replenish the body with oxygen and the emotions of sorrow and grief. Imbalances may occur as coughing, asthma, or wheezing. If you wake up at this time, you need to do some nerve-soothing exercises such as breathing exercises to fall asleep again.


5 to 7 am: the time of the Large Intestine. It is the ideal moment to go to the bathroom and eliminate toxins from the previous day. Additionally, now is the perfect time to brush your hair and bathe your body. It is believed that combing your hair releases mental energy. Defensive feelings or a sense of immobility may arise at this point.


7 to 9 am: the time of stomach. In order to maximize digestion and absorption, it is crucial to consume the largest meal of the day at this time. The best meals are those that are warm and packed with nourishment. Disgust or despair are likely to come to the surface at this point.


9 to 11am: the time of the Pancreas and Spleen. These two organs release enzymes to help digest food and release energy for the day ahead. Exercise and work are best done now. At this time, do the day's most strenuous duties. Low self-esteem and other emotions could be experienced during this time.


11 am to 1 pm: the time of the Heart. The organ works to pump nutrients throughout the body to help you get the nutrition and energy you need. It’s an excellent time to have lunch. It's also advised that you take a one-hour nap or drink some tea during this period. Extreme happiness or despair may also be felt at this time.


1 to 3 pm: the time of the Small Intestine. It's the time when previously ingested food will finish being absorbed and digested. Additionally, now is a great time to exercise or complete everyday tasks. Sometimes, during this period, vulnerable ideas or sentiments of abandonment may arise.


3 to 5 pm: the time of the Bladder. Metabolic wastes are now entering the kidney's filtering mechanism. This is the ideal time to study or finish mentally demanding tasks. To assist detoxification processes, drinking more tea and lots of water is advised. At this moment, you can also feel frustrated or timid.


5 to 7 pm: the time of the Kidneys. At this moment, the kidneys are working to maintain a healthy chemical balance while also filtering the blood. It is the ideal time for dinner to get your circulation going by walking, getting a massage, or stretching. Fear or terror-related subconscious thoughts may also be present at this moment.


7 to 9 pm: the time of Circulation. It is the period when nutrients are delivered to each cell and to the capillaries. This is the moment to read. At this time, refrain from thinking about anything. Although it may be difficult to express emotions, it is the ideal moment to have sex or conceive. 


9 to 11 pm: the time of Triple Heater. It is the organ that regulates the body's homeostasis and replenishes its supply of enzymes. It is advised to go to sleep at this time so that the body can save its energy for the next day. There may also be feelings of perplexity or paranoia.


11 pm to 1a m: the time of the Gall Bladder. According to Chinese medicine, this is the moment when yin energy diminishes, and yang energy starts to increase. Yang energy is used to keep you moving throughout the day and is stored while you sleep. During this moment, subconscious feelings of resentment may appear.



From this article, you have learned what is the Chinese medicine clock and have learned the repair or maintenance daily schedule of each organ to take care of yourself for better health and well-being. In addition, it enables you to pinpoint which organ system or emotion requires bolstering or resolving. Always use your symptoms and physical clues as a guide, and if you notice an imbalance mentioned above, don’t hesitate to look for help in Chinese medicine.