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Chinese Organ Body Clock

Chinese Medicine Organ Clock

Have you ever wondered why you wake at the same time each night? Or why your energy levels fluctuate during the day?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that each organ functions at its optimum capacity at certain times of day. This helps us to understand when it’s best to exercise, eat, work, rest and sleep.  If we work against the natural rhythms of our body we can find ourselves in a state of dis-ease.

Chinese Medicine practitioners use this clock to help determine the organ responsible for disease. For example, if you find yourself waking up between the hours of 3-5am (Lung time), you may have an underlying emotion of grief or sadness that is bothering you or you may have a condition associated to the lung area.

Have you ever noticed yourself waking up between the hours of 1-3am regularly? This time relates to the Liver where symptoms of liver imbalances include irregular menstruation, anaemia, chronic fatigue, and headache. The Liver is also emotionally connected to anger and so, if there are repressed feelings of anger or resentment, this could also be affecting your sleep during this time.

The organ clock not only demonstrates when the organs are working at their optimum, but also when they are at theirweakest. For example, the Kidneys are working at their prime between 5-7pm and function at their weakest at 5-7am. The Kidney energy is responsible for providing the energy and heat source for the entire body. The Spleen depends on the Kidney Yang or Heat energy for proper digestive peristalsis. When there is a deficiency, the intestines lose their contractile strength and daybreak diarrhoea can occur between  the hours of 5-7am.

Below is a more detailed explanation of the 24 hour body clock.  Perhaps your day may need a little tweaking in order to fully conserve and maximise your energy input and output.

5 am to 7 am – Large Intestine


Rising, Release bowels & Meditate

  • Perfect time to remove toxins from the day before and have a bowel movement.
  • Drinking plenty of water at this time keeps you from getting constipated, gaining weight, looking and feeling older and improves your overall health.
  • Emotions of defensiveness or feelings of being stuck could be evoked. 
7-9am –Stomach


Healthy Eating& Good concentration

  • Eat the biggest meal of the day here to optimize digestion and absorption.
  • Warm meals that are high in nutrition are best in the morning.
  • Emotions that are likely to be stirred at this time include disgust or despair.
9-11am –Spleen


Clear thinking & Working

  • The Pancreas and Spleen are working at their optimum to release enzymes to help digest food and release energy for the day ahead.
  • The ideal time to exercise and work.
  • Do your most taxing tasks of the day at this time.
  • Emotions such as low self-esteem may be felt at this time.
11am- 1pm –Heart


High energy, Meeting, Talking & Eating

  • Nutrients are being pumped around the body to help provide you with energy and nutrition.
  • A good time to eat a light cooked lunch.
  • Having a one hour nap or a cup of tea is also recommended during this time.
  • Feelings of extreme joy or sadness can also be experienced at this time.
1-3pm –Small Intestine


Sorting, Organising, Lower energy

  • The time where food eaten earlier will complete its digestion and assimilation.
  • Good time to exercise
  • Feelings of abandonment may arise
3-5pm –Bladder


Storing & Reserving

  • This is the perfect time to study or complete brain-challenging work.
  • Another cup of tea is advised as is drinking a lot of water to help aid detoxification processes.
  • Feeling irritated or timid may also occur at this time.
5-7pm –Kidneys


Store Nutrients, Build bone marrow, Light supper

  • Blood is filtered and the kidneys work to maintain proper chemical balance
  • This is the perfect time to have dinner and to activate your circulation either by walking, having a massage or stretching.
  • When the Kidneys are healthy and working properly, you will feel energetic at this time and not tired
  • Early morning, from 5-7 am, is when kidney energy is weakest—a reason that people with depleted kidney energy often have trouble waking up to a new day.
7-9pm –Circulation



Socialising & Flirting

  • Nutrients are carried to the capillaries and to each cell.
  • Intense cravings for sweets or processed carbohydrates at this time? The reason is because the Kidneys regulate the Pancreas, and if you do consume sweets during that period, you may notice lower back pain, which is a kidney symptom. The kidneys, bladder and pancreas are all parts of the same whole
  • If you need a nap early in the evening it is just your pancreas putting you out so it can do its repairs.
9-11pm –Triple heater or Endocrine system


Relaxing & Chilling


  • This is where the body’s homeostasis is adjusted and enzymes are replenished.
  • Best time to sleep so the body can conserve energy for the following day.
  • If you get headaches, feel abnormally tired or weak, this means that the blood vessels are in heavy repair.
11pm-1am – Gall Bladder



Sleeping & Regenerating


  • Best time to rest in order to wake feeling rejuvenated
  • This is the period of time is when yin energy fades and yang energy begins to grow. Yang energy helps you to keep active during the day and is stored when you are asleep.
  • Subconscious feelings of resentment may appear during this time.

1-3am –Liver


Deep resting & Dreaming




  • The body should be in deep sleep.
  • During this time, toxins are released from the body and fresh new blood is made.
  • If you find yourself waking during this time, you could have too much yang energy or problems with your liver or detoxification pathways.
  • Waking at this time could be attributed to repressed anger or frustration
3-5am -Lungs



Deep sleep dreams & memories

  • Toxic waste from your lungs becomes loosened between 3 to 5 am
  • If you are coughing in the morning, this indicates that your diet and lifestyle needs tweaking in order to reduce mucus and toxicity. Waking at this time may be an indication of deep grief that must be dealt with.