Tag Archives: traditional chinese medicine time theory

The Body Clock: Channel Theory and our Daily Energetic Cycle

“Everything turns in circles and spirals with the cosmic heart until infinity. ” – Suzy Kassem

Do you always wake at the same time of night or notice energy peaks and dips at certain times of day? In Chinese Medicine theory our body has a daily cycle, dominated in time blocks by each organ system. By observing our energy at these times, we can identify aspects of ourselves that are out of balance and calling for our attention. In the same respect, by aligning our activities with our body’s natural energy cycle, we can optimize our strengths and perform at our peak. The body clock is broken down as follows:

3-5am – Lung – recipient of vital force; master of order and reduction; controls the rhythm of our existence through the breath. The lung is our connection between the self and outside world and between the body and mind. It helps us discriminate, purify, clear internal clutter, and create space for inspiration. Pathology: grief.

5-7am – Large Intestine – eliminator of waste and turbidity. The large intestine helps us to discern what to keep and what we can discard. By letting go of the unnecessary, it aids the lung by making space for what we truly want and need.

7-9am – Stomach – converter of food to fuel; source of sustenance and care. The stomach receives and ripens our food and fluids and aids the spleen in transforming raw material into nourishment.

9-11am – Spleen – processor, transformer, transporter; digestion of food and information; houses intellect, thought, and concentration. The spleen converts and distributes vital energy to our body, provides our mental focus, and allows us to interpret, evaluate and retain information. Pathology: worry, over-thinking.

11am-1pm – Heart – house of our spirit; seat of our consciousness; origin of our capacity for understanding one another. The heart does not force connections or will what it feels – it acknowledges what is and shines a light on personal truth. All mental distress is mediated through the heart. Pathology: over-excitability, mania.

1pm-3pm – Small Intestine – separator of pure from impure; provider of transparency and lucidity. The small intestine aids the heart by clearing agitation so we may differentiate right from wrong, distinguish relevant from irrelevant, and act with unclouded judgment.

3pm-5pm – Urinary Bladder – filtration and elimination of waste. The urinary bladder aids the kidney in our spiritual evolution by helping us to release harassing thoughts, let go of past traumas, and go with the flow.

5pm-7pm – Kidney – wellspring of life; source of reproduction and growth; foundation of all the body’s energy from birth to old age. The kidney houses our ability to perceive our personal destiny and our willpower to see it through. It is about what came before us and what we’ll leave behind. Pathology: fear.

7pm-9pm – Pericardium – protector of the heart; regulator of all the other forces of the body; first line of defense against external aggression. The pericardium receives and buffers disruption to our system, shielding us from emotional turbulence and spiritual unrest.

9pm-11pm – San Jiao – metabolic regulator; responsible for homeostasis, equilibrium and system integration. The san jiao connects all the organ systems of the body, making sure our energy is evenly distributed and we remain oriented and balanced.

11pm-1am – Gall Bladder – promotes good judgment and foresight; responsible for our grit, decisiveness and initiative. The gall bladder allows us to make confident, measured decisions so that we may act with poise, conviction and courage.

1am-3pm – Liver – reservoir of stamina; commander of action, movement, and steady disposition; The liver provides us with a clear vision for the future and the motivation, energy and even temperament to see it through. Pathology: depression, anger.