Understanding the Horary Cycle of Healing
Treating the body based on the Horary Cycle or Circadian Rhythm is a concept that is thousands of years old. Little did they know back then that they would be providing effective therapy for a mode of travel they couldn’t even imagine — jets and jet lag! There is no denying that the Chinese have been practicing medicine longer than most other cultures on this planet. There are many beliefs and philosophies of Chinese medicine that has been proven time and time again in applications over thousands of years. One of these ideas is treating symptoms based on the Horary Cycle of Energy.
In Chinese medicine, the body is believed to go through a 24 hour energy cycle where each energy center peaks during a particular period of time. In 24 hours, you will spend two hours in each of the twelve meridians and end up where you started. So each meridian has a two hour peak time and twelve hours later a two hour low point. This is called the Horary Cycle or more familiarly circadian rhythm. This is based on the fact that we are on a rotating body in space, and that axial rotation is the movement that powers this rhythm. By checking the energy of the individual during the horary cycle, it may be possible to relate restlessness during a particular two hour sleep period or fatigue during a particular two hour waking period, as an imbalance in the corresponding meridian.
There are many imbalances that can be effectively addressed by evaluating the horary cycle. For instance if someone consistently wakes up at 3:00 AM, then there may be a problem with the Liver or Lung meridian and the corresponding organs. In fact, many breathing issues are actually liver issues, perhaps because of the proximity of their energy patterns in circadian rhythm. This type of energetic disruption in the circadian rhythm can account for issues with an infant and mother’s sleep patterns, jet lag, swing shift problems, and insomnia.
In order to effectively treat these disturbances, the appropriate horary points must be stimulated. This can even be done for someone who is planning to travel through various time zones. Stimulating the horary points can really get your sleep cycle on track and make it possible for the body to acclimate itself quickly to its destination.
In order to balance your horary cycle, first track the periods of time when you are fatigued when you shouldn’t be, and when you are awake when you shouldn’t be. Than compare it to the horary cycle:
Lung Meridian 3-5 AM
Large Intestines Meridian 5-7 AM
Stomach Meridian 7-9 AM
Spleen Meridian 9-11 AM
Heart Meridian 11AM - 1PM
Small Intestines Meridian 1-3 PM
Bladder Meridian 3-5 PM
Kidney Meridian 5-7 PM
Pericardiam Meridian 7-9 PM
Triple Energizer Meridian 9-11 PM
Gallbladder Meridian 11PM - 1AM
Liver Meridian 1-3 AM
Once you have identified the target meridians, you would locate the horary point for that meridian. You can use the tip of any blunt item, or simply rub the point with your finger. Stimulation of the point is usually for 20-30 seconds on both sides of the body. The points may be tender, and this can indicate that you indeed need some work on that point.
If you are traveling and want to adjust quickly to your destination’s time zone, simply begin as you board your flight. If you are leaving on a 6:00PM flight in Boston to arrive in London the next morning, then you begin by determining that the current time in London upon your departure in Boston is actually 11:00PM. So in Boston you are in kidney meridian, but in London you should be beginning gallbladder meridian. So stimulate the gallbladder meridian as you depart. Then every two hours, stimulate the point that you should be in London, so the next point after two hours of flying time would be the liver meridian horary point, and so on until you land. Then as you land, you stimulate the point of your landing time, which is 5:30AM in London and that would be large intestines meridian. Then your body clock is adjusted to the current time.
This may explain why taking melatonin doesn’t seem to help many people with insomnia, nor with jet lag. Melatonin is based on the idea that the problem is with the pineal gland, when in fact the person may be simply experiencing a disturbance in one of the body organs that are cycling through their peak energy time. Restoring normal sleeping and waking patterns is important because all of our restoration and healing takes place while we sleep. This is a crucial health concern, because the only way we can heal is by sleeping.
This may explain some of the issues with fibromyalgia, where sleep is non-restorative and so every day activities simply drain the body of energy that cannot be easily replaced. The differences in the horary cycle also explain different types of insomnia. If someone has difficulty falling asleep, tossing and turning for hours, their liver or gallbladder may be the problem, while if they go right to sleep, but awaken a few hours later, then the spleen or heart need to be addressed.
Acupuncture, reflexology, shiatsu and acupressure all can be great therapies to reorient your horary cycle, and to balance the points of your essential meridians. But horary cycle points can be a great way to treat your body on your own with not only great results, but a more thorough understanding of the effects of energy on your body. The Chinese really knew what they were talking about!