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The Horary Clock

Wall clock on blue wall
What in the world is the horary clock?

Qi flow is life. As long as we’re alive, our Qi is always flowing. When it stops, life stops with it. If you train Qigong, chances are you probably know at least a little about meridian theory, which describes the route of acupuncture channels in our bodies that transport energy to every corner of our being, sort of like a vital energy highway network.

But did you also know that Qi follows a regular circuit, and that it enters and exits meridians at the same time each day? This is what is called the Horary Clock. Think of it like the Chinese medicine explanation of circadian rhythms.

This is how Chinese medicine explains the best times of day to eat, to study, to sleep, or even to nap. For instance, Qi is active in the stomach meridian from 7-9am, which makes it an excellent time to eat, as your digestive system is best suited to break down your food into nutrients that help you build more Qi, blood, Yin, and Yang.

It's also very helpful for understanding where in the body something might not be working properly. Do you wake up a lot between 1-3am? This is when Qi is active in the liver meridian, which plays a vital role in sleep, and instructs a Chinese medicine practitioner to look here for imbalances when treating sleep issues.

Equally, understanding the Horary Clock also helps us understand when NOT to practice Qigong. Have you heard the instruction not to practice between the hours of 11am-1pm? Why not, since most of us our on our lunch breaks anyway?

Between the hours of 11am-1pm, Qi becomes active in the heart meridian. What’s more is that this is the most Yang time of day, and all of this active energy can, over time, over-stimulate you if you’re in the habit of practicing at this time of day. While cultivating energy at a very energetic time of day might sound like a great idea at first blush, the concept is somewhat akin to pouring gasoline on a fire, albeit not quite as extreme as that. So, we choose other times of day to practice instead. If you want to take advantage of the rising energy of the day, practicing just before dawn is an excellent way to do so, if you’re an early bird, that is.

The wisdom of Qigong and Chinese medicine help us to understand our energy and our bodies in relationship to the energy of the universe around us. Living in harmony with that energy helps us do the most with ours. Want to learn more about how to attune your energy with Cosmos Qigong? Head over here and check out our upcoming fall classes!

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