Understanding The Traditional Chinese Organ Clock



In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there is an organ clock


It characterizes the time of the day when each organ has the most energy. There are 12 organ systems and 2 accessory systems signified by this clock. If the organs are out of balance there are physical and emotional systems that arise.


Here are the organ systems with their corresponding times and what imbalances in these systems could arise.

3-5am Lung


The lung is responsible for moving the qi (energy) through the meridians and to the entire body. It is also responsible for providing protection for your immune system. The lung corresponds with the emotion of grief. You may discover that you wake up during this time if you're struggling with grief or sorrow. Imbalances that may occur if the lung is imbalanced is wheezing, coughing, asthma, and getting sick easily.


5-7am Large Intestine This is the best time to release a bowel movement. The large intestine is responsible for letting go, both physically and emotionally. Imbalances consist of constipation, dry stools, skin rash, and feeling emotionally stuck.


7-9am Stomach The stomach is responsible for digestion and the breakdown of foods. Therefore this is the best time to eat a healthy breakfast. Imbalances include acid reflux, stomach ulcer, and bad breath.


9-11am Spleen The spleen is responsible for extracting nutrients from food and transforming it into energy. Once transformed, the spleen also transports these nutrients to other organ systems. A warm cup of tea will support the spleen during this time as well as a light snack. You can also support your spleen by consuming foods like cinnamon, yam, dates, and lentils. If out of balance, you may feel bloated, craving sweets, and have low energy.


11am-1pm Heart To support the heart, take time to relax and enjoy lunch or take a siesta during these hours. The heart dislikes heat both emotionally and physically. Try and avoid caffeine, stress, intensive exercise, or anything that raises your blood pressure. Imbalances consist of palpitations, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet, and insomnia.



1-3pm Small Intestine The small intestine is responsible for separating the clear and turbid fluids and transporting these to the urinary bladder and large intestine. You are most likely to feel dehydrated during this time if you haven't drunken enough water throughout the day. Symptoms of imbalances are duodenal ulcer, bloating, vomiting, and gas.


3-5pm Urinary Bladder This is the time of day you may feel a dip in energy levels, especially if you're dehydrated. The urinary bladder stores and secretes urine. It is nourished by salty foods like having bowling of brothy soup. When out of balance, you could feel a burning sensation while urinating, experience a yeast infection, or urinary incontinence.


5-7pm Kidney The kidney is responsible for healthy reproduction, development, and growth. Having a healthy meal with a little salt for flavoring supports your kidneys. Systems of imbalances include sexual difficulties, low back pain, or premature graying of hair.


7-9pm Pericardium The pericardium is one of the accessory organs systems. This is the time to do something gentle to help you ease into a good night's sleep, such as meditation, reading, or light stretching.


9-11pm San Jiao (triple Burner) This is the second accessory organ system. During this time it's best to think about going to sleep. It's best to have an earlier bedtime in the winter and stay up a little later in the summer months.


11pm-1am Gall Bladder The gallbladder is responsible for storing and excreting bile. But, emotionally it is responsible for self-esteem and decision-making. If you're not asleep by this time, you are depleting your gall bladders energy stores. This can lead to poor self-esteem, poor judgment, of difficulty digesting fats.


Good to Read: You Are What You Eat - Foods That Look Like Your Body Organs


1-3am Liver The liver is responsible for storing blood for menstruation and to get us through the day. If you're having trouble sleeping at this time, you can quickly become deficient. The liver corresponds to the emotion of anger. So you may find that you will wake up during this time if you're dealing with anger or long-standing resentment. Systems of imbalances are irregular menstruation, anemia, chronic fatigue, and a headache.


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