This week I was beckoned back to Melbourne and as I sit in the house in which I used to live, I find myself admiring the Spring light glancing through the newly budding trees and the warmth of the wind sweeping across the leaves. It is a beautiful scene that brings much relief.
It is with this feelings that I realise that I have had this feeling a few times before. In fact three times. One for each of the years I have lived here.
This thought triggers me to delve into the idea of the natural movements of the Universe, the Earth and Nature. These large motions are quite difficult to conceive and research so as these thoughts boiled down the topic begins to revolve around the Circadian Rhythm or the Horary Clock as it is referred to in Chinese medical texts.
Circadian Rhythms were first described in the 4th century upon the observation of diurnal movments of the leaves of the Tamarind tree. In the 13th century the diurnal movements of humans were noted in medicals texts in China.
Circadian rhythms refer to the behaviour of plants and animals due to the movements of the nature surrounding them, ultimately determined by the Earth, light and dark being the most prominent stimuli.
Chinese medicine developed this concept even further when it comes to our own rhythm. The Horary Clock refers to the hourly movement of Qi, Blood and Body Fluids through the organs of the body, each organ will be at its optimal performance due to these substances residing predominantly within one of the organs for a period of 2 hours.
Okay, so even I was wondering how this is helpful…
Well, by tracking certain movements in your own body, the health of your organs can be determined. For example; say I notice that everyday around 1-2.30pm I suffer an energy low. I feel tired, I want to go to sleep, I usually battle through and eventually the tiredness resides and I feel fine and sometimes even energised after the spell has passed.
In this theory the Small Intestine would be the organ I would want to look at with a little more depth. It’s optimum hours are between 1 and 3pm and as I regularly feel low at these times, I could conclude that there is an imbalance within the Small Intestine.
The theory doesn’t necessarily have to deal in how your energy levels are. Perhaps I get a rash everyday on my cheek at about 8am, or I feel nauseated or unable to focus at 10.30am, perhaps I feel sad at 5pm or wake every night without fail at 3am. Maybe I just want to use the clock to stave off imbalance by adhering to its schedule.
To take this theory to the experiential level I decided to track my energy, hunger, sleep and emotions on a graph for a week.
This is what it looked like:
The graph represents the highs and lows of my energy during the day. Included also are when I ate, the activities I did, my moods and when I woke and slept.
This particular week was spent working as a circus teacher, 3 workshops a day with a load out and in everyday. Quite an intense week! It’s quite telling to see the decline in energy each day as the week goes on and the moods change from happy to anxious and sad. I’ve also coloured in blue when I felt it was easy to keep my morale and energy up, purple showing where I struggled and had to put extra energy into remaining happy and helpful.
There is a general slump in energy around 5pm and 10pm. The Kidneys time is between 5pm and 7pm. The regularity of the low I experienced at this time would have us taking a look into other signs of Kidney imbalance. These might include frequent urination, prolapse, tinnitus, depression, period pain, memory loss, just to name a few. If I were diagnosing a person just like me the Kidney meridian and any necessary Kidney points would definitely be incorporated into the treatment.
Alternatively, I can note that the Qi Gong and meditation seemed to boost my energy and that in the future I may want to continue these practices despite how I feel upon waking as the positive effects will help my energy throughout the day.
I’ve found the Horary clock quite a handy tool in helping me pay attention and understand what might be happening within my body. To add to this, the effect that my daily or weekly schedule has upon my mind and spirit, with any luck I can make some informed decisions about the future of my health.
If you’re up for the challenge perhaps you’d like to chart your days in a similar way. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like a little bit of help with creating your own daily chart.