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Just like clockwork
By Zhang Qian

A HEALTHY body can get rid of waste and toxins in most cases, but adjusting daily habits according to the TCM schedule may help discharge toxins in different organs more effectively, according to Dr Jiang.

There are 12 main meridians carrying energy in the human body. As TCM theory suggests, a different meridian “turns on” every two hours. Extra blood and energy flow to the meridian at this time to keep it active, making it the best time for the organ related to it to dispel toxins.



5am-7am — large intestine

The large intestine meridian becomes active from 5am to 7am. Of course, a bowel movement is the only way for the large intestine to dispel toxins.

Try to move the bowels within this period. Eating more foods rich in fiber may help relieve constipation. Massaging the large intestine meridian, which travels through the outer arms, will also help.


7am-11am — stomach and spleen

Breakfast can be digested better if it is eaten between 7am and 9am, when the stomach meridian is on duty.

Sufficient energy in the meridian will help digest all food and send nutrients to the spleen meridian, which takes over at 9am. The spleen then turns all the digested food into energy. As a result, no extra food will be left over to form fat if it’s sent to the right “production line” on time.

Practicing abdominal breathing in a kneeling position in the morning can help accelerate blood and energy circulation in the stomach, and thus improve the metabolism and digestion.

Foods like honey, peanuts, carrots and apples are good for the stomach.



11am-1pm — heart

Avoiding intense physical exercise from 11am to 1pm is important as it is the best time for the heart to dispel toxins.

Foods like longan and jujubes eaten at lunch can help provide the blood-pumping organ with the proper nutrients. Having a nap at this time will help the heart dispel toxins and function better.

However, napping immediately after lunch may cause stomach discomfort, so TCM practitioners advise doing a 15-minute walk before going to sleep.

Naps of an hour or less are recommended to avoid causing sleeplessness at night.


1pm-5pm — small intestine and bladder

After lunch and a nap, it is time for the small intestine and bladder to punch the clock and start working. The function of the small intestine is to separate and distribute digested nutrients.

It sends fluid to the bladder, waste to the large intestine and essence to the spleen where it forms blood and energy. The small intestine is the key to nutrition absorption. That’s why TCM strongly advises a good nutritious lunch that is easily absorbed.

The bladder meridian is the most important when it comes to discharging toxins. All toxins dispelled by other meridians go to the bladder and are passed in urine.

Doing a simple exercise like kicking the legs while at your desk can help activate the small intestine meridian and help it work better.

Drinking more water at this time can help promote detoxification through urination.


5pm-7pm — kidneys

Accumulated toxins in the kidneys are often accompanied with edema. Jogging or walking briskly sometime between 5pm and 7pm can help the kidneys dispel toxins. Foods good for the kidneys include fungus and kelp and TCM practitioners recommend eating them at dinner.


7pm-9pm — pericardium

The pericardium is the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the heart and the roots of the great blood vessels. It contains channels of blood and energy. When it is activated from 7pm to 9pm, it dispels the pathogenic energy around the heart to protect it.

People may suffer sleeplessness or tightness in the chest when the pericardium fails to dispel toxins effectively.

Flapping the pericardium meridian that travels through the inner arms can help accelerate blood flow and energy circulation in the heart and boost the discharge of toxins.


11pm-5am — gall bladder, liver and lungs

The gall bladder, liver and lungs meridians become active in turns from 11pm to 5am.

Toxins are dispelled most efficiently for all three organs when people are in a deep sleep. Therefore, it is advised to go to bed before 11pm.

Foods like oatmeal, walnuts or warm milk before sleep can help improve sleep quality.

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