When is the best time for Qigong/Taichi practice?

limin Post in Qigong Practice, Qigong Principles, Taichi Practice, Taichi Principles
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For both Qigong and Taichi practice, this is a question that I was asked often. Here is my short and long answer.


The first principle to follow is using your intuition, regardless the time. That means at any given possible moment, when you feel that your mind can be at peace and can focus on the practice, that is the very best time to do it, since the result of Qigong and Taichi practice is greatly related to how well your mind is focused during your practice. As for how should the mind be focusing, there are different ways in different teachings, and it can be talked about in a separate subject.

With the above said, if you have a pretty open schedule, and if you would like to explore settling into a regular practice schedule, you can use the information below as a reference.

The health impact that Qigong/Taichi has on our health is through the improvement of the Qi (energy) flow within the body. Qi flows following certain patterns. Depending on one’s specific interest, for example, if you want to improve the heart Qi more than others, you may choose to practice at the time when Qi the through heart meridian is the most active, which is 11am to 1pm. For corresponding meridians to the 12 different time range of a day, please see details below:

  1. Mao (5am – 7am) – Large intestines.   Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the large intestines meridian, helping with bowl movement.  Regular bowl movement is necessary to keep the body free of poison from the contents that are over staying within the large intestines.
  2. Chen (7am -9am) – Stomach.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the stomach.  Stomach meridian is more active, which helps digestion.  Breakfast eaten during this time is most easily digested and processed, providing energy from food for the rest of the day.}
  3. Si (9am – 11am) – Spleen.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the spleen.  Spleen meridian is more active during this time which is helpful for nutrition absorption and blood generating.  One should consider not eating food with too much dry heat (e.g. french fries) during this time range.
  4. Wu (11am -1pm) – Heart.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the heart.  The heart meridian is more active which benefits the blood circulation of the whole body.  Heart (fire, in five elements) Qi being strong helps stomach (earth) with the digestion job.  It is good for one to be in a more restful state of mind during this time.
  5. Wei (1pm – 3pm) -Small intestines.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the small intestines which benefits the process of nutrition being absorbed by the small intestines.
  6. Shen (3pm – 5pm) -  Bladder.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the bladder which helps the the unneeded water from the small intestines to be passed out of the system.  Extra heat is also passed out from the system in this process.
  7. You (5pm – 7pm) – Kidneys.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the kidneys which helps the system to store energy essence generaged throughout the day.  The kidneys are in charge of harmonizing our yin and yang energy in the body.  Kidneys have very close relationships with the other four organs: heart, liver, spleen and lungs.
  8. Xu (7pm – 9pm) – Heart wrapping meridian.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the heart wrapping meridian which helps the strength of the heart.
  9. Hai (9pm – 11pm) – Triple heater (San Jiao,the body is divided into three areas: upper Jiao, middle Jiao and lower Jiao) meridian.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the triple heater meridian which is connected with all the other meridians.  It is a good time to rest and sleep and let the system adjusts itself naturally.
  10. Zi (11pm -1am) – Gallbladder.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the gallbladder meridian which helps the process of further breaking down and absorbing food components.
  11. Chou (1am – 3am) – Liver.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the liver during this time.  The function of the liver is to store and disseminate blood and smooth its circulation in the whole body system.  Functionality of eyes is closely related to liver’s health status.
  12. Yan (3am – 5am) – Lungs.  Stronger flow of  Qi and blood is going through the lungs during this time.  Qi and blood turns into yang from yin now.  Through the lungs meridians, fresh blood and Qi is transported to the whole body and have it prepared for another new day.  To protect the lungs meridians from extreme temperatures is important.

Meridian system is one of the treasures passed on to us from traditional Chinese culture.   With the understanding of how the Qi is circulating in the body, we can choose our own preferred time for our practice.  The key thing  is following natural laws.  In both Qigong and Taichi training I share, taking the natural approach is being emphasized constantly.

Please post questions in the comment area below.


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