What You Should Know About the Chinese Clock

The concept of the Chinese Clock is a valuable and simple tool for maximizing your health.  For example, it tells you what time of day is best for eating your main meal.

As with our own clock, the Chinese clock is based on 24 hours.  Each two-hour period is governed by one of the 12 primary meridian systems.  This means that the qi, or energy, of a meridian/organ system is most available during the time it governs.  Conversely, that same system is at it’s lowest level of energy availability 12 hours before or after it’s ascendant.

Take the Stomach meridian, for example.  Most powerful between 7 and 9 a.m., it is least powerful between 7 and 9 p.m.  So, it is recommended that you eat your largest meal of the day between 7 and 9 a.m.  and that you avoid eating, or eat very lightly, between 7 and 9 p.m.  Obviously, this follows the traditional Western notion that breakfast should be the main meal of the day, with a smaller meal at lunch and the most modest meal in the evening.

If you do not already eat this way, try it.  You may be suprised by the improvement this schedule can make in your sleep, digestion, and overall energy level.  It tends also to curb cravings and snacking between meals.


1-3am:  Liver – Sleeping at this time allows the liver to detoxify most effectively, and the Hun, spirit of the Liver, to dream which assists our inner vision, or insight.

3-5 am:  Lung – the time yogis recommend for breathing practice, and many traditions utilize for prayer.

5-7am: Large Intestine – first bowel movement of the day.

7-9 am:  Stomach – digesting the main meal of the days.

9-11 am:  Spleen – the capacity to take in and digest information, blood is well-circulated in the muscles for vigorous physical acvitity.

11am-1pm:  Heart – mental clarity is at it’s peak.

1-3pm:  Small Intestine – sorting and prioritizing information, communicating.

3-5pm: Bladder – storing energy.  Physical energy begins to drop.  This is the lowest time of day for Lung Qi – deep or vigorous breathing at this time will increase the energy.

5-7pm: Kidney – Deep reserves of physical energy; the energy turns inward as the sun goes down.

7-9pm: Heart Protector – intimacy and time with family.

9-11pm:  Triple Heater – often associated with the endocrine system.

11pm-1am:  Gall Bladder – Sleeping now assists decision-making and planning during the day.