Organ Qi Clock in Chinese Medicine and Qigong

Chinese Medicine can help with our body clock

Chinese Medicine has a 24 hour Qi Organ Clock. There are 12 separated sections in the qi-clock over a two-hour interval. The Qi is a vital force moving through the organ system. 

During a 24-hour period, Qi moves in two-hour intervals through the organ systems. During sleep, Qi draws inward to restore the body. 

Chinese Medicine and Medical Qigong practitioners use The Qi Organ Clock to help them determine the organ responsible for imbalances, or even diseases. For example, if you find yourself waking up between the hours of 3-5 am each morning, you may have grief or sadness you have not released or you or you may have a condition in the lung area. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling angry or resentful towards someone? Check your clock as it can be strongest during the time of the Liver which is 1-3 am. Do you ever experience back pain at the end of your day between 5-7 pm? You could have pent-up emotions of fear, or possibly even Kidney issues.

The Qi-Organ Clock is the idea of cyclical ebb and flow of energy in Chinese Medicine. The phase cycle is active between 1 and 3 a.m. in the morning. This is when the liver cleanses the blood and performs a myriad of functions that set the stage for Qi moving outward again.

In the 12-hour period following the peak functioning of the liver—from 3 a.m. onward—energy cycles to the organs associated with daily activity, digestion, and elimination: the lungs, large intestine, stomach/pancreas, heart, small intestine. By mid-afternoon, energy again moves inward to support internal organs associated with restoring and maintaining the system. The purpose is to move fluids and heat, as well as to filter and cleanse—by the pericardium, triple burner (coordinates water functions and temperature), bladder/kidneys, and the liver.

Ideal Training times using Organ Qi-clock

5 am to 7 am is the time of the Large Intestine making it a perfect time to have a bowel movement and remove toxins from the day before. This is the best time to do Rabbit Springs Qigong. It is also the ideal time to wash your body and comb your hair. Ancient practitioners believed that combing your hair helps to clear out energy from the mind. Combing the hair helps the emotions of “defensiveness” or “feelings of being stuck” to be released as it is active during this time.

7-9 am is the time of the Stomach so it is important to 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. Negative emotions of disgust or despair are likely to be stirred during this time.

9-11 am is the time of the Pancreas and Spleen. It is during this time that our body secretes enzymes to help digest food and release energy for the day ahead. This is the ideal time to exercise and work. Do your most taxing tasks of the day at this time. Emotions such as low self-esteem are highly active at this time. Good exercises at this time of day are Separating Heaven & Earth, Serving Teacups, Dragon Ball since they massage the spleen.

11 am- 1 pm is the time the Heart works. It pumps blood and nutrients around the body to help provide you with energy and nutrition. This is also a good time to eat lunch. I recommend taking a nap or a cup of tea during this time. Feelings of extreme joy, despair, or sadness can also be experienced at this time. If you are going to train Qigong at this time these two forms should be best. The Separating Heaven and Earth and Spiral Palm. The movement loosens and expands the fascia that encapsulates the heart giving it vital breathing space.

1-3 pm is the time of the Small Intestine. If your lunch is eaten earlier then it completes its digestion and assimilation process. This is also a good time to go about daily tasks or Qigong. We recommend the Wave, Dragon Whips Its Tail, and Rabbit Springs as they will help with digestion. At this time you may have vulnerable thoughts or feelings of abandonment that subconsciously arise at this time.

3-5 pm is the time of the Bladder when metabolic wastes move into the kidney’s filtration system. This is the perfect time to study or complete brain-challenging work. Drinking a cup of tea or water at this time as drinking a lot of water helps aid detoxification processes. You might feel irritated or timid at this time.

5-7 pm is the time of the Kidneys. The time where our kidneys work actively to maintain proper chemical balance and our blood is filtered. This is the perfect time to have dinner and to activate your circulation. Walking or Qigong and some stretching like the Dao Yin practice at this time is good to do. This is a good time to practice Qigong exercises. It will massage the kidneys and lower back such as The Wave, Dragon Whips Its Tail and Serving Teacups. Light Dragon Ball is a great way to end the day. Subconscious or conscious thoughts of fear or past traumatic fears can come out at this time.

7-9 pm is the time of Circulation. The nutrients in the blood are carried to the capillaries to helping our body heal and recover. This is the perfect time to read. Avoid doing mental activities at this time. Expressing our personal emotions may be difficult during this time. This can be a perfect time to have sex or conceive. Although some people seem to be better in the late morning.

9-11 pm is the time of Triple Heater where the endocrine system is most active. During this time, our body is in homeostasis. Endocrine glands secrete hormones that regulate the body’s normal function. These hormones released into the bloodstream.

This is the recommended time to sleep at this time so the body can conserve energy for the following day. Feelings of “paranoia” or “confusion” are possibly be experienced during this time.

11 pm-1 am is the time of the Gall Bladder. It is a critical time where your body needs sleep. This will help you wake up feeling energized, then you should be sleeping at this time. In Chinese medicine, this period of time is when yin energy fades ad yang energy begins to grow. Yang energy helps you to keep active during the day. The Yang energy is stored in the body during your time of sleep. Feelings of resentment may appear during this time.

1-3 am is the time of the Liver and also a critical time to be asleep. Our body toxins are released from the body during this time and fresh new blood is produced. Are you always awake during this time? You could have excess yang energy or problems with your liver or detoxification pathways. This is also the time of anger, frustration, and rage. Do some of the Liver Healing Sounds “Shoo” loudly (but don’t wake the neighbors!)

3-5 am the time of the Lungs. These are also critical hours to be asleep. If you wake up this time, practice your Lung Qigong or Primordial Breath. The lungs related to the feeling of grief and sadness. I suggest trying the Lung Healing Sounds “Si”.

The 24-Hour Organ Qi Clock allows you to identify exactly which organ system or emotion needs strengthening/resolving.

During my studies with one master, I had a classmate who complained about no health improvement. He was taking Chinese Medicine and practicing Qigong every day, but his symptoms were not improving and were very unhealthy. My classmate said that he was getting eight hours of sleep per day. After some probing, it turned out that this student worked the night shift. My master explained. If you are not asleep between 11 pm-5 am you are not getting the critical and replenishing circulation and Qi to the organs right when you need it. This is going against the Tao which is against your nature. 

Always use your symptoms, emotions, and body cues as a guide. More importantly, if you make a connection with the situation mentioned above. Getting a good sleepy between 5-7 pm and don’t hesitate to do The Wave Qigong which massages the kidneys. This is a great solution for deficient kidneys. Doing The Wave Qigong very softly and gently focusing on a long inhalation phase.

Make sure to look at the emotional aspect too. If you’re sleepy during kidney time, do you have any fears holding you back from reaching your true potential? Are you afraid of rejection? Addressing this emotion will strengthen the organ and improve your physical health ten-fold

With the knowledge of the 24-Hour Organ Qi Clock, you can use the clock for any time of day.

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