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The Law of Mid-Day Mid-Night
Have you ever noticed that your vitality drops suddenly in the mid-afternoon or found yourself waking up consistently in the early morning? According to Chinese medicine, these changes do not occur arbitrarily, but according to a definite law or principle of nature, the law of Mid-day Mid-night.
According to this law our vital energy or chi flows in a precise pattern during the day and night. The twenty-fours of the day are divided into twelve, two-hour periods. Each two-hour period is associated with one of the ten organs, such as the Liver, Heart, Kidney, etc. plus the two functions: the Three Heater and the Heart Protector. Each meridian has a specific two hour time during which the chi flows most fully, and also a two hour period when the chi is at it's lowest. This constant change of energy can be likened to ebb and flow of the ocean tides. For the Liver the time is from 1:00 3 A.M. In Chinese medicine the Liver is responsible for planning, so it's interesting to note that it is between these hours many people who suffer from insomnia find that they wake up, their minds active with plans for the future. Another example of how the changing flow of energy affects us is with asthma. Many asthma attacks occur in the early morning hours, from 3:00 A.M. to 5:00 A.M. which in the Law of Mid-day Mid-night is the time for the lungs. The times for each meridian is as follows:
Element Meridian Time
Fire Heart
Small Intestine
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Water Bladder
3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Fire Heart Protector
Three Heater
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Wood Gall Bladder
11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Metal Lung
3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Earth Stomach
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Diagnosis & Treatment
We use this natural law when we are making our diagnosis and also as we treat our patients. One aspect of making a diagnosis asking the time of day a patient notices a change in their symptoms or when they feel that there is a marked shift in their general level of vitality and well being. When there is a significant imbalance in the chi the change from one time of the day to another will often be quite pronounced. As the balance in the chi is restored, these differences will usually be less pronounced, or cease altogether.
When we are treating, one of the ways we use the Law of Mid-day Mid-night is to give a treatment at a particular time of the day. Since each meridian has a time peak time of energy, by selecting specific points and treating at a specific time, the treatment is often particularly effective.
Daily Living
Acupuncture is based on laws of nature. It aims to help maintain as well as restore health. One way you can help this process is to work with nature and live within the natural laws. By understanding and taking advantage of the changing flow of energy during the day you can help yourself maintain your health. For example the peak time for the colon meridian is 5 A.M. to 7 A.M. This is the best time of the day to evacuate the bowels, to cleanse your system before taking the first meal of the day. The stomach meridian has the fullest amount of energy from 7 A.M. to 9 A.M. At this time it is easier for us to absorb and digest food so that we have the energy we need during the day. How often do we ignore this? In fact many of us eat our main meal of the day at the opposite time of the day between 7 P.M. and 9 P.M. when the stomach energy is at its lowest.

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