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Chinese Body Clock

Do you often awaken from a dead sleep at 2:22 AM after a late-night dinner with a few glasses of wine? According to the Chinese body clock, a tool used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is in power-cleansing mode from 1 to 3 AM.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is an ancient system of health and wellness that’s been being practiced for thousands of years. Western medicine tends to focus on treating symptoms as a response to disease, whereas TCM focuses on your entire well-being. So according to TCM, the body has a strict schedule of self-care, self-regulating various organs within the body at specific times of day and night.

Think of it like this, do you have trouble sleeping at a specific time? Or do you get tired and want to sleep at a specific time each day? The Chinese body clock is an amazing tool to use to begin deciphering the meaning behind our imbalances. Since certain hours of the day correspond to certain organs in your body, it is important to follow the natural rhythm of your own body to enhance your overall health. Going against the natural rhythm of your own body decreases your health.

There are 14 major meridians or “chi” (‘qi’ or flows of energy), which sustain life and sit within the 24-hour cycle. Each of these have a 2-hour period where they’re the primary meridian and are linked to specific parts of the body, thoughts, emotions, and other spiritual aspects. They’re also partnered together with Yin (receiving energy) and Yang (expressing energy) of an element. (Earth, Water, Wood, Fire & Metal)

From a Chinese perspective, blocked energy or a decrease in the flow of chi throughout your body is the cause of pain and disease. Exercising allows the free flow of energy and chi through to all parts of your body thus increasing your health on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level.

This table shows which organs correlate to the 2-hour intervals of the Chinese body clock.

What Do Traditional Doctors Think of TCM?

They'll say there isn't enough sufficient evidence to validate the efficacy of TCM and they'll want to see proof that something is safe and works well before they suggest you try it, which is often why they don't recommend TCM. But on the whole, it has been being practiced for thousands of years and has proven to be more effective than Western medicine, most of the time.

So all in all, keep your natural body rhythms supported and balanced and eat foods that support your organs, providing fuel for replenishment and increasing your vital life force.

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