Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

Did you know that your organs have their own ‘clock’ or rhythm during the day? This is also known as the organ clock. Your organs are each most active at a different time and rest 12 hours later. When an organ is active, the emotions and moods associated with this organ are also present. This way you can read from your body what is not in balance and get started with it. Liesbeth Kamerling tells you about the organ clock in this article.

Emotions and organs

Our emotions are connected to certain body parts. Many expressions are also based on that – they don’t come out of the blue!

Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

  • Good health starts in the gut.
  • Spitting your bile on someone.
  • That is heavy on my stomach.
  • That’s a load off my heart.
  • I worked on it with my heart and soul.
  • She is an optimist at heart.
  • What’s on your liver?

The organ clock

Emotions are stored in our organs. According to Taoism and Chinese Medicine, we have 12 main meridians or organ systems. Each of those 12 organ systems has 2 hours to be active and 2 hours to be at rest. There are exactly 12 hours between the period of being active and being at rest, so exactly 12 hours after the active period, the organ is at rest. This alternation can be compared with ebb and flow.

This scheme is your biorhythm, energetic clock, or organ clock:

050-07.00 Large intestine | resting phase of your kidneys

Your large intestine absorbs the remaining fluid. As a result, you often wake up during these hours to urinate. The meridians of your colon and your lungs work together to clear up the mess.

Emotion: guilt. The large intestine literally and figuratively stands for letting go: letting go of what you no longer need. If your bowel movements do not go well, you are probably holding onto something, for example out of fear. What can you let go of now? It seems that you are letting go of old patterns when you have diarrhea at unexpected times. If you meditate after going to the toilet, you are doing everything Chinese medicine advises you to do.

07.00-09.00 Stomach | resting phase of your circulation

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a nobleman, and dinner like a beggar–eat most at breakfast, a little less at lunch, and little at dinner. Your stomach is now active; that means that your food is now properly processed. Exactly 12 hours later, your stomach is in the resting phase, so it is better to have a light meal.

Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

Emotion: disgust. Because of this emotion, you can’t be hungry at all in the morning. Then try to build up slowly; eat something more and more for breakfast, so that in a while you will eat like a king. Your stomach then gets what you need to restore the balance in that meridian.

09.00-11.00 Spleen and pancreas | rest phase of your heater

Your spleen and pancreas ensure that all nutrients are absorbed by your body. When your spleen is active, you can make the best use of your intelligence. You can think clearly. In these hours it is advisable to do the most difficult thinking, study or finish a complicated job. It’s much better now than at other times. And if you don’t have all that, doing sports during these hours is also a tip. You benefit from this all day long.

Emotion: jealousy, worry, and low self-confidence.

11.00-13.00 Heart | resting phase of your gallbladder

When your heart is active, your blood is pumped around with all its nutrients. Your heart is slightly warmer and it is now perfect to have a nice time, drink coffee or have lunch with someone you love. Eat healthily, otherwise, you run the risk of an afternoon dip. Your concentration is a bit less now, so it’s a good time for a break.

Emotion: pleasure. You can really feel that in these hours when the sun is at its highest. But if you do feel hurt, be kind to yourself and meet up with a friend.

13.00-15.00 Small intestine | resting phase of your liver

Your small intestine ensures that your food is digested and that the important nutrients are absorbed into your body. All remaining nutrients are still used. In these hours you can do daily tasks, do the housework, clean up, answer emails and apps, go for a walk, exercise, drop off a package, take out the garbage, and repot plants. Not too difficult things, but be in motion.

Emotion: uncertainty. If this meridian is out of balance, you may not feel like moving. Still, it’s good to go outside for a while.

15.00-17.00 Blow | resting phase of your lungs

Your bladder is now active. Make sure you drink enough or check whether you have had enough. You could drink a soup now and work your way through. If you’re experiencing an afternoon slump right now, you probably haven’t had enough to drink. Have a large glass of tea or water and continue what you are doing. You can also take an afternoon nap if you are really too tired.

Emotion: irritation. If this meridian is out of balance, the smallest things can annoy you during these hours. To top it up with some soup.

17.00-19.00 Kidneys | resting phase of your colon

This is the most active time of the kidneys. Your kidneys will filter your blood during these hours, which costs energy. Bone marrow is built up and nutrients are stored. If you have the flu, it is good to take these hours of rest. If you’re under stress right now, it can exhaust your adrenal glands. So you better stop working. Your body can use a light evening meal now. You need the energy for your active kidneys. The meal is the best to light, as your colon is in its resting phase.

Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

Emotion: fear. If you’re experiencing anxiety or stress right now, it’s good to think about it for a while and see why you feel this way.

19.00-21.00 Circulation | resting phase of your stomach

Now all the nutrients are brought to those places in your body where they need to be. Your heart is most active. Your active circulatory system provides heat to all your cells. The best thing you can do during these hours makes love, meditate, read a book, do yoga or watch a good movie.

You can also chill out really well and be with a friend because your heart is a little warmer now – it’s time for gentle, loving activities. It is better not to get too active with your body or mind. Rather not eat too much; this is the resting phase of your stomach. I often brush my teeth half an hour after dinner. Then I am not so easily tempted to snack in the evening.

Emotion: Ignoring your emotions. If things aren’t going well during these hours, you may have trouble experiencing or sharing your emotions. It seems like you are a bit locked up. When emotions arise, it is good to make room for them and pay attention to them, even if only to wonder where this feeling comes from or to share your emotions with a friend. Be kind to yourself.

21.00-23.00 Heater | resting phase of your spleen

The heater is an energetic system that is now active. It regulates the balance between the hormone system and your metabolism. If an organ is too active, the heater restores the balance between the organs. It also ensures the right temperature, blood formation and metabolism. So in the end the heater gives or maintains the balance in your whole body.

Because your spleen is now in a resting phase, you will not be as active on your own; you get sleepy. In these hours you can relax, get ready for the night, tidy up a bit, think of nice things, write down your gratitude and unwind.

Emotion: despondency. If you’re feeling sad, despondent or worried right now, it’s because the heater is having trouble balancing your body. Then you better take extra good care of yourself – what do you need? Eat extra healthy the next few days, and for now: go to bed and sleep!

23:00-01:00 Gallbladder | resting phase of your heart

During these hours, the gallbladder ensures that fats are broken down in your small intestine. The gallbladder clears your common bile duct and repairs cells. You relax, the secretion of the substance cortisol decreases and your bile goes to the duodenum to break down fats. When your gallbladder is active, it changes your ability to make choices. Your gallbladder works best when you sleep. So it is important to sleep during these hours. If you normally go to bed later, maybe twice a week make sure you get to sleep before 11 am.

Chinese medicine & the organ clock: follow the rhythm of your body and emotions

Emotion: feeling bitter or indifferent. Mentally, the gallbladder represents choice and confidence, and emotionally, bitterness. If your gallbladder has been able to do its job well, you will be more confident the next day and it will be easier to make choices. Low gallbladder energy can lead to feeling exhausted, indifferent, and even depressed. Excessively high gallbladder energy causes feelings of anger and annoyance.

01.00-03.00 Liver | resting phase of your small intestine

Now you are detoxing physically and emotionally. Your blood is detoxified. This is a rest and recovery phase. It is important to be deeply asleep now. Your liver can then work all kinds of toxins out of your body optimally. You can better process emotions such as anger and frustration.

If you go to sleep at 1 a.m., you will feel lighter the next day. If you have a party and you sleep around this time, you will also suffer less from a hangover. If the party lasts longer and you are still awake, you work against your liver. You may not notice it right away, but the frustration or anger in you is not processed and it piles up. This manifests itself in weak moments. If you sleep restlessly, it could mean that your liver energy is disrupted.

Emotion: anger, rage, and frustration. Pay attention to unprocessed emotions, only then can you dissolve the feelings of anger.

03.00-05.00 Lungs | resting phase of your bladder

Lungs stand for breathing and connection with all that is. That is why many people get up to meditate right now. Mountaineers now get up because they now have more oxygen. In these hours you can have dreams – your experiences are processed.

Emotion: sadness. If you suffer from painful lungs, from your breathing, or if you wake up with a sad feeling, it means that you have not yet processed your grief. Feel what you are sad about or where the gloomy feeling comes from, then you get movement in it. You can also talk about it with a friend or therapist. Apparently, grief doesn’t just dissolve, and then eventually your system stagnates.


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