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What time does it hurt?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Have you ever wondered why you get a headache, a food craving, a cramp in your legs, sudden fatigue or some other health challenge at the same time every day?  When I was in college, I noticed myself becoming exhausted every day after lunch.  Not being a caffeine drinker - not coffee nor cola drinks - I have to admit that I used to be envious of my fellow students who, with a large Starbucks in hand, stayed perky through the most boring lecture while I dozed in the corner.  As a stay at home mother, I found myself craving chocolate every afternoon between 4 and 5 pm and kept a chocolate stash in the back of my cupboard to appease my sweet tooth.

What I did not understand then but am grateful I understand now is that these warning lights - the fatigue and the food cravings - were my body's way of telling me that I was out of balance.  I did not recognize these signals for what they were:  an opportunity to help myself find a healthier way to bring my body into balance.  

Dr. Nan Lu explains it this way in his book Traditional Chinese Medicine -  A Natural Guide to Weight Loss that Lasts:  "TCM theory states that Universal Qi changes every two hours.  The Qi in your organs also changes every two hours.  Like a giant gear, if your body's Qi cannot match or mesh with Universal Qi changes, then many different kinds of physical discomforts will develop.  TCM recognizes these conditions as biorhythm disorders.  For example, Qi changes start with the lung, which is "on duty" or in charge of the body, from 3 - 5 am.  If your lung's Qi has a prob em, then you might find yourself waking up during this two-hour window.  Or, you might wake up with a physical problem like  a cough during these hours."  (p. 71) 
These are the two-hour blocks of time when each organ's Qi is in charge.

Lung                           3 - 5 am
Large Intestine          5 - 7am
Stomach                    7 - 9am
Spleen                       9 - 11 am
Heart                          11 am - 1 pm
Small Intestine          1 - 3 pm
Bladder                      3 - 5 pm
Kidney                        5 - 7 pm
Pericardium               7 - 9 pm
Triple Burner              9 - 11 pm
Gall Bladder               11 pm - 1 am
Liver                           1 - 3 am

Now that I know this, I understand why I am sleepy after lunch.   Instead of having an afternoon nap, I realize my body needs Qi to feel balanced and my time would be better spent practicing Qigong.  I can also do the same when I feel a food craving hit me.   I realize now that the signal my body is sending me is to increase my Qi.  Whenever I do, I feel so much better. I am not fatigued and I don't crave anything.   What a great change this is for me!! I love Qigong.  


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