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Organ Clock in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Do you always wake up at the same time in the middle of the night? Do you always get fatigued and headache in the afternoon around the same time? If your symptoms arise in the same time of the day for more than three days, your body is giving you a time signal.


The ancient Chinese divides a day into 12 segments. In each segment, one organ network is in peak flow. This organ clock represents the flow of energy in the 12 channels throughout the day.



- 3-5 AM is Lung time. If one wakes up during this time consistently. one may have excess heat or cold in the Lung channel. Grief and sadness are corresponding emotions.

- 5-7 AM is Large Intestine time. Ideally this is the time to have a satisfying bowel movement right after waking up.

- 7-9 AM is Stomach time. This is the perfect time for breakfast as your Stomach channel is at its peak to receive the first nourishment of the day.

- 9-11 AM is Spleen time. Many people experience fatigue during this time. This is a sign of Spleen qi deficiency. People may also experience low appetite, poor digestion and low self-esteem.

- 11-1 PM is Heart time. It's a great time to have a heart-to-heart lunch with coworkers and friends to create deeper and more meaningful relationships.

- 1-3 PM is Small Intestine time. Taking a nap during this time of the day can help you digest lunch better and prevent energy dip at 3 PM.

- 3-5 PM is Bladder time. Many people experience fatigue and headache during this time. This can be a signal for excess cold in the Bladder channel.

- 5-7 PM is Kidney time. Fear is the associated emotion.

- 7-9 PM is Pericardium time. Pericardium is the Heart protector in Chinese medicine that governs joy and happiness in relationships. This is the perfect time for a romantic dinner with your loved ones.

-9-11 PM is Triple Warmer, or San Jiao time. San Jiao represents the interstitium, the space in between. Common symptoms during this time include tinnitus and temporal headache.

- 11-1 AM is Gallbladder time. It is advised to go to bed before 11 PM, especially for those who are working on building blood.

- 1-3 AM is Liver time. Waking up during this time is often a signal of Liver Qi Stagnation. People may experiences symptoms such as anxiety, frustration, and anger.


Before any disease has settled, our body gives us many signals. If we pay attention to these small signals and treat accordingly, we can prevent serious illnesses. With this organ clock in mind, we can start caring for our own bodies by massaging the corresponding channels during their time. In the next few blogs, I will show you the most common areas where each channel becomes stagnated, and how you can unblock these stagnations on your own. Yes! Self care!




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