COLORADO SERENITY – FEBRUARY 2004 (THE Chinese CLOCK)
Tracy Saraduke, RN, M.Ac. L.Ac.
3082 Evergreen Parkway, Suite 2
Evergreen, CO 80439
East and West have independently discovered repeating patterns of changes occurring in our bodies throughout the day. These are known as the Chinese Body-Clock and chronotherapy.
The Chinese Body-Clock is a system that describes how energy peaks in each meridian (or organ function) for two hours in every 24-hour period. This concept is also known as the Law of Midday-Midnight.
As an example, the Stomach meridian energy peaks from 7 am to 9 am, so this is the optimal time to take nourishment. Western Medicine also places importance on eating a good breakfast.
To help diagnosis and treatment planning, acupuncturists note the time of day when a symptom appears. If a patient wakes at a certain time, the practitioner may look at the corresponding meridian (line of energy that relates to organ function) to see if it is disturbed or blocked.
While the Chinese Body-Clock has been around for thousands of years, Western medicine recently developed the concept of Chronotherapy, using the same ideas. Chronotherapy is the concept of taking drugs at the time they are most needed by the body. Both the Chinese Body-Clock and chronotherapy fit a 24-hour body cycle called the circadian rhythm.
Western medicine reports that circadian changes are seen in normal lung function, which reaches a low point in the early morning hours. This dip is especially pronounced in people with asthma. Lung meridian time is 3am to 5am. Here again, East and West say the same thing.
Another time of interest is Large Intestine time (from 5am to 7am). It is recommended that if you have a problem with “elimination” that you use this time to establish a normal bowel pattern.
Not only does the Chinese Body-Clock have a parallel in Western Medicine and help acupuncturists in their practice, there are other applications. If you travel across multiple time zones, you can decrease the effects of jetlag. You use acupressure during travel to reset your personal “body clock” to match the new time zone. Upon arrival in the new location, your body more easily transitions to the new time.
This jetlag treatment is easy to do yourself. All you need is a Chinese Body-Clock chart, a diagram of point locations, and a pen to stimulate the appropriate acupoints. This can also be helpful in re-establishing a normal sleep cycle, even if you are not hopping time zones. For details, ask your acupuncturist or see my website.