It is no secret in Chinese Medicine circles, that Qi (energy) and blood, flow in channels in the body.  Energy and blood, flow from one organ to the next, staying for two hours in one organ, which is considered “peak time.”  This “peak time” occurs in the body before moving onto the next organ in a cyclical fashion.  The entire cycle throughout the body takes 24 hours at which time it repeats.

The high time or “peak-time” for each organ is when the blood is in that particular organ.  The low time is when it is in the opposite time of that organ.  For example; the peak time for the heart is 11:00 am to 1:00 pm while its low time is from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Following this school of thought, you would get better fitness results doing certain activities at specific times throughout the day, when the blood is in the high or “peak time” designated area.

We’ve listed below some best times and examples of activities you can do at each organ’s “peak-time”:

  • 3:00 am -5:00 am = Lung breathing exercise, Qi Kung, Yoga, meditation
  • 5:00 am -7:00 am = Large Intestine bowel movement
  • 7:00 am -9:00 am = Stomach – breakfast
  • 9:00 -11:00 am = Spleen think and/or  study
  • 11:00 am-1:00 pm = Heart emotional balance (thinking, meditation time or great time to work out)
  • 1:00 pm -3:00 pm = Small Intestine important decisions can be focused on here –  filter what is/isn’t important
  • 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm = Bladder Increase Yin (calming, slowing) type activities to calm the mind/body
  • 5:00 pm -7:00 pm = Kidney same as above
  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm = Pericardium best time for emotional connections, connect with loved ones, emotional, romantic
  • 9:00 pm-11:00 pm = San Jaio Regulate body temperature, heart beat and body fluids best time for lying down
  • 11:00 pm-1:00 am = Gall Bladder Sleep, storing blood and purifying
  • 1:00 am -3:00 am = Liver Sleep, storing blood and purifying of blood

It doesn’t stop there.  Attune to these times as well as the seasons, elements and even emotions.

Below is a rough breakdown of some factors that coincide with each organ:

  • Lung/Large intestine metal element, season is autumn, associated with the nose and the emotion of grief negatively impacts these areas.
  • Stomach/Spleen earth element, season is late summer, associated with the mouth and the emotion of worry negatively impacts these areas.
  • Heart/Small Intestine fire element, season is summer, associated with the tongue and the emotion of joy or being overjoyed actually.  The heart is also is where your “Shen” or spirit resides so if you have trouble emotionally or connecting with others, this could be something you need to connect more to.
  • Bladder/Kidney water element, season is winter, associated with the ears and the emotion of fear negatively impacts these areas.
  • Pericardium/Triple Warmer or San Jaio these are more in Chinese Medicine versus Western, but also are the fire element, season of summer, associated with the tongue and the emotion of overjoy.
  • Gallbladder/Liver wood element, season is spring, associated with the eyes and the emotion is anger negatively impacts these areas.  In fact, it is said the anger severely impacts the liver and that anger turned inwards can result in depression.

The point to all of this?  The body is a fascinating machine that can be synchronized with the environment, seasons and even the time of day.

At DCC, we suggest the following in order to perform specific tasks optimally:

  • Eat foods that coincide with the seasons as this can actually strengthen the organs.
  • Pay attention to and let go of bottled up emotions that negatively impact each individual organ.
  • Supplement and eat foods that strengthen the Qi (energy) and blood of these organs.
  • Pay attention to your body clock, especially when choosing a time of day to exercise.  This will help you take advantage of better blood flow, improved oxygen uptake and stronger muscular movements.

During certain times of the day you can learn and think better.  Clearing your mind and achieving peacefulness can also come easier and more efficiently at certain points in the day.

Pay attention to your body’s clock.  Can you pinpoint different times of the day when you preform certain tasks better than others?

*This blog is in response to Sue Shellenbarger’s article titled “The Peak Time for Everything” featured in The Wall Street Journal.

Although this article refers to paying attention to the body’s internal clocks and rhythms’ at different times of the day, this type of productivity research and body clock rhythms are not new.  The earliest recorded account of circadian processes was in fourth century B.C.  The circadian clock began to surface in Chinese medical texts around the 13th century