Love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time (DST) is here upon us. However, as critics point out, there seems to be some evidence that this sudden change in time can create various health problems associated with a disruption and stress to our natural circadian rhythm, including fatigue, sleeping difficulties, mood changes, and even an increase in traffic accidents.
Long before the western scientific discovery of circadian rhythm, did you know that Traditional Chinese Medicine also described a 24-hour cycle in the human body?
The following table lists the windows of time in which the various organs and their corresponding meridian pathways are the most active according to time acupuncture theory:
- 3 am – 5 am Lung
- 5 am – 7 am Large Intestine
- 7 am – 9 am Stomach
- 9 am – 11 am Spleen-Pancreas
- 11 am – 1 pm Heart
- 1 pm – 3 pm Small Intestine
- 3 pm – 5 pm Bladder
- 5 pm – 7 pm Kidney
- 7 pm – 9 pm Pericardium
- 9 pm – 11 pm Triple Burner
- 11 pm – 1 am Gallbladder
- 1 am – 3 am Liver
This information can be clinically valuable. For example, if someone is suffering from insomnia and tends to wake up at 3am every morning, often acupuncture points related to the Lung and Liver meridians can be useful for treatment.
For others, sometimes they experience an aggravation of symptoms at a specific time of day, such as always getting a headache late in the afternoon. Again, acupuncture points on the corresponding meridian pathways associated with that particular time of day can be used during acupuncture treatment to help the body regain balance and experience an improvement in symptoms.
Western medicine is becoming more aware of the influence that time of day has on various biological processes, something that Traditional Chinese Medicine has recognized for thousands of years.