Chinese Medicine Clock – Organ Horary Times

The Chinese Medicine Clock shows the times when, traditionally, the different organs are most active. It can be a pointer to an organ being ‘out of balance’.

Each organ has a  two hour period every day when its energy is enhanced. That doesn’t mean it works better then! In fact it could produce more symptoms, not less!

And always consider the organ the Chinese medicine clock times of which are 12 hours away.

For example, the horary time for the Lungs is 0300-0500. But the Lungs have a relationship with the Bladder 1500 – 1700.

So when Lungs are ‘up’, Bladder is ‘down’. Sometimes you get a problem due at least in part to the organ 12 hours away. Ideally they should complement or support one another.


OrganChinese name of OrganHorary Start timeHorary Finish time
HeartArm shao-yin11001300
Small intestineArm tai-yang13001500
BladderLeg tai-yang15001700
KidneyLeg shao-yin17001900
PericardiumArm hsueh-yin19002100
Three HeaterArm shao-yang21002300
GallbladderLeg shao-yang23000100
LiverLeg hsueh-yin01000300
LungsArm tai-yin03000500
Large IntestineArm yang-ming05000700
StomachLeg yang-ming07000900
SpleenLeg tai-yin09001100


Sometimes the link between two organs gets blocked. If so, using the exit and entry points may clear the blockage.

Element Points and their Chinese Medicine clock times

Some acupuncture traditions consider that treating an organ’s element point during the organ’s clock time makes the point more effective.

For example, your Lungs come under the Metal element or phase. So treating Lung 8, which is the Lung channel’s Metal point, would make it work more effectively if treated between 0300 and 0500. Of course, there hasn’t been a lot of research on this particular point in that regard because most acupuncturists are asleep then.

Find out more under Element Acupuncture Points.


Well – there are a number! But research was done in Japan by Dr Yoshio Manaka on the Chinese medicine clock times and described in his book ‘Chasing the Dragon’s Tail‘.

A frequent objection comes from countries where twice a year the clock times are altered to ‘save daylight’.

At these times, all the clock times alter by one hour which you would think would throw off the Chinese medicine clock times.

However, in my experience, our bodies adapt fairly quickly, but it does mean that for a few days the times become fuzzy. For more on this, at least for Britain, see time and

brown wooden framed analog clock

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