Organ Clock

Black spa stone with set of acupuncture needles on tray



Do you or someone you know wake up around the same time every night and have difficulty falling back asleep?  This is a pretty common type of insomnia seen in the practice.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help you understand why this is happening.

According to this ancient school of thought, the rhythm of our bodies are based on the 24 hour TCM clock.  The TCM clock is divided into 2 hour section in which each section corresponds to a specific organ. This is the time when that particular organ and its related meridians are the strongest and rules over the functions of the body, affecting everything from your emotions to your productivity.  The mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected.  When they are in balance, the blood and qi flows freely within the meridians to nourish organs, resulting in harmony and health.  The daily dips and spikes in energy and emotions can give us valuable information about your hidden health issues and imbalances.

Therefore, if you’re waking up at the same time of the night, you can use the TCM organ clock to help you understand yourphysical and emotional health.

If you wake up during the hours between 11PM and 1AM, that is the time of the gallbladder.  The gallbladder is an organ in the digestive system and stores bile produced by the liver for fat digestion.  Your gallbladder might be taxed and you may need to reduce your fat intake or consume healthier fats in your diet.  On an emotional level, you may be holding on to feelings of bitterness and resentment.  Try reflecting on your relationships and release the negativity that is holding you back.

If you wake up during the hours between 1AM and 3AM, that is the time of the liver.  The liver is responsible for detoxifying your body and processing your emotions.  People who are under high levels of stress and frustration often wake up during this time.  Perhaps you have some unhealthy habits to manage your emotions- drinking alcohol, unhealthy diet?  Try to clean up your diet, reduce alcohol intake, find ways to deal with your stress in a healthy way!  Exercise would be a great way to relieve stress!

If you wake up during the hours between 3AM and 5AM, that is the time of the lung.  It could be due to an imbalance in your lungs that’s affecting your breathing.  The emotion that is associated with the lung is grief.  Are you dealing with a loss or perhaps you haven’t properly addressed your grief?  Take some time to reflect and practice deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga to strengthen your lungs and let go of the sadness.

If you wake up during the hours between 5AM and 7AM, that is the time of the large intestine.  The large intestine is responsible for releasing digestive waste from your body.  Are you properly hydrating and getting enough fiber in your diet?  Perhaps you’re feeling “stuck” and holding onto a person, emotion, situation that is no longer serving your highest good?  Try to figure out what it is that is holding you back so you could move forward.

Acupuncture is a great way to balance the qi in the body and restore your mental, physical and emotional health.

Posted in: Acupuncture

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