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Chinese Medicine Body Clock

There are twelve energy pathways, or meridians, in the human body that connect to specific organs in the body. Chinese medicine believes that each organ has a two hour time period when the Qi is at its peak in that meridian. The Qi flows cyclically in a clockwise rotation like a wave through the meridians.

We always pay attention to symptoms that occur repeatedly at specific times because this may be an indication of the organ that is out of balance. For example, waking every night between 1 and 3 a.m. almost always is indicative of a Liver imbalance. This chart shows the order of the flow.


Dr. Richard Tan uses Chinese clock relationships in his Balance Method theory. Organs next to each other on the Chinese clock will balance each other. Organs opposite each other on the Chinese clock will balance each other. The time of the actual treatment is not significant in Dr. Tan's Balance method when using these relationships.

There are some treatment protocols where the actual time of the treatment may be enhanced by coordinating the treatment with the flow of Qi according to the clock, but this is not always practical.

About the Author:
Joyce Marley is a licensed acupuncturist with a practice in New Hartford, NY. She writes alternative health articles about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

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Basic Theory > Chinese Medicine Diagnosis > Chinese Medicine Body Clock

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