Chinese Body clock

Following nature’s rhythms for better health.

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How can you get more out of every day? By following the natural rhythms and cycles of our body. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teaches that all organs have a ‘favoured’ time of day.

Hot and protected.
7pm-9pm: Pericardium; 9pm-11pm: Triple Warmer.
Even though they are not ‘technically’ organs, they play an important role in protection and body regulation. The pericardium protects the heart and the triple warmer is a TCM concept believed to be responsible for regulating energy, water and temperature.

It’s not a good idea to have a huge meal at this time as your body needs to concentrate on sorting out all the other ‘stuff’ that has happened in the day. It’s also pretty hard to sleep when your body is having to digest a large meal.

Going to bed at around 9pm, when the triple warmer kicks in, ensures a better quality of sleep.

In Western medicine, 9pm – 1am is when cortisol (one of your stress hormones) gets replenished. Every hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two after!

Liver little
11pm -1am Gallbladder; 1am-3am: Liver.

Ever wondered why you wake up around 2.30am for no reason? It may be a sign that your liver needs some lovin’. A poor diet, too much ‘booze’ and deep fried items may create stagnation in the liver.

Don’t get disheartened – it’s actually pretty common in our society. Our fast-paced, congested environment, constant exposure to toxins and pollutants all directly target the liver. Muscle cramps and muscle injuries may also indicate an imbalance.

On an emotional level, frustration and feeling ‘stuck’ are associated with unbalanced liver ‘qi’.

Feeling organised, motivated and holding a vision of where you are going are all signs of a contented liver. Hmmm.

Want to strengthen it? Practice assertiveness (grrr) and take responsibility for your actions (I think I’d just rather blame someone else some days).

Let’s not forget the gallbladder – if you are experiencing pain in the tummy at this time of the night, it could be the gallbladder. Rage is associated with the gallbladder (every time I get in my car).

Are you a good decision maker? This indicates a healthy gallbladder.

Love you Lung time

To finish off our 24 hours are the lovely lungs. Many cultures believe this is a good time to rise and practice breathing and meditation exercises (I’ll give that some thought…).

If you wake with shortness of breath, coughing or with asthmatic symptoms, you may need to pay some attention to your lungs.

The emotional and spiritual aspect involve the capacity to ‘let go’. Being flexible, non-judgemental and tolerant are all signs of balanced lung ‘qi’. Being in the present and learning to follow the breath are ways to strengthen the ‘qi’.

In conclusion.
Why not structure a day around the body clock and see how it goes? Something like this.
5.30-6am. Get up and exercise.
7am-9am A hearty brekky.
11am A nutritious snack.
Lunch Connect with people (you like of course).
If you set up the mornings well, you should see the reward of renewed energy in the arvo.
Finish the day with a light meal and a reasonable bed-time (9-10pm).

In health,