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Chinese Medicine Clock

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

The Chinese Medicine Clock shows the order of 2 hour periods where each organ system is the most active during a 24 hour cycle. Issues with fatigue, insomnia, or pain at the same time every day can relate to imbalances with the related organ. Chinese Medicine views our physical and emotional health as interconnected. When organs are stressed either physically or emotionally, it can effect the other.

Get in tune with your body's natural rhythm.

3:00- 5:00 am / Lungs

Physical functions: Regulates breathing, supports immunity. Also includes the nose and sinuses (sense of smell) and regulates the skin and sweat glands.

Emotional component: With good lung health there is clear thinking, openness to new ideas, and the ability to let go of emotions that don't serve you.

Imbalances: Sadness and grief are emotions that affect and weaken the lungs. Physically, shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, fatigue, and rashes show weak Lung energy.

Awake at this time? We should be sleeping and refreshing Lung function during this time. If you find yourself awake at this time if could be connected to weak Lung function, illness, or unprocessed grief and sadness.


5:00-7:00 am / Large Intestine: The large intestine is responsible for physically and emotionally being able to let go. Perfect time for a bowel movement.

7:00-9:00 am / Stomach: This is the peak of Stomach energy and a great time for a hearty breakfast.


9:00-11:00 am / Spleen

Physical functions: The Spleen works to transform our food and liquid in to usable energy resources for our body. It also helps with concentration and memory.

Emotion: compassion, nurturing, productivity

Imbalances: gas, bloating, repetitive worrying, pensiveness, giving too much to others, craving sweets, foggy headed, fatigue.

Need another cup of coffee? This should be a good time for being productive and energized. Sluggishness in this time period could show Spleen function needs a boost.


11:00-1:00 pm / Heart

The Heart is responsible for moving blood throughout the body as well as emotional health.

Imbalances: Cardiovascular concerns, circulatory issues (varicose veins, hemorrhoids) mouth or tongue sores, anxiety, insomnia, emotionally volatile.

This is a great time to reduce stress and pursue activities that inspire joy.

1:00-3:00 pm / Small Intestine

The small intestine helps with absorbing nutrients and elimination of waste. As the SI is working to process lunch, this is a natural time of day for lower energy and beneficial to rest.

3:00-5:00 pm / Bladder

The Bladder services the same function in eastern medicine as western. It is paired with the Kidney organ and they are connected to the salty flavor. Try a slightly salty snack (seaweed, miso, tamari) at this time.


Kidney / 5:00-7:00 pm

Physical functions: In Chinese Medicine the Kidneys are responsible for growth, development, and reproduction.

Emotions: Determined, adaptable, self-sufficient, quiet, reflective.

Imbalances: Fear, phobias, panic attacks. Restless sleep, night sweats, sore joints, ear problems, poor stamina.

This time is best for gentle movement and nurturing activities, not intense physical activity.


7:00- 9:00 pm / Pericardium Protects the Heart physically and emotionally. Wind down during this time and connect with those you care about.

9:00-11 pm / Triple Burner This isn't an actual organ, but a system that helps with fluid metabolism and immune functions (think lymph and endocrine). This is a time to sleep and relax. This system may need support if you fall asleep during this time, then wake up anxious.

11:00-1:00 am / Gallbladder The Gallbladder partners with Liver and helps with detox, decision making, focus. Difficulty making decisions can keep you awake during this time and shows this organ system needs support.


1:00-3:00 am / Liver

Physical functions: The Liver is responsible for the easy movement of blood, fluids, and nourishment throughout the body.

Emotions: Clarity, ability to grow and change

Imbalances: Irritability, frustration, suppressed emotions, high blood pressure, menstrual issues, migraines, tight muscles, eye problems.

Waking up during this time? Repeated waking during this time shows the Liver is stressed either from excess emotions or physically working hard to detox your body.

Encourage liver function by getting enough physical activity, eating leafy greens and sour foods, and expressing your emotions.


Try acupuncture to get in sync with your body's natural rhythm and maintain optimal health and well-being.

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