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At the beginning of 20th century, medical scientists made a surprising discovery: that we are built not just of flesh and blood but also of time. They were able to demonstrate that we all have an internal “body clock” which regulates the rise and fall of our body energies, making us different from one day to next. These forces became known as biorhythms; they create the “highs” and “lows” in our everyday life.

The idea of an internal “body clock” should not be too surprising, since the lives of most living things are dominated by the 24-hour night-and day cycle. The most obvious feature of this cycle is the way we feel tired and fall asleep at night and become awake and alert during the day. If the 24-hour rhythm is interrupted, most people experience unpleasant side effects. For example, international aeroplane travellers often experience “jet lag” when travelling across time zones. People who are not used to shift work can find that lack of sleep affects their work performance.

As well as the daily rhythm of sleeping and waking, we also have other rhythms which last longer than one day and which influence wide areas of our lives. Most of us would agree that we feel good on some days and not so good on others. Sometimes we are all fingers and thumbs but on other days we appear to be accident-prone, or when our temper seems to be on a short fuse. Isn’t it also strange how ideas seem to flow on some days but at other times are apparently non-existent? Musicians, painters and writers often talk about “dry spells”.

Scientists have identified the following three biorhythmic cycles: physical, emotional and intellectual. Each cycle lasts approximately 28 days and each is divided into a high energy period and a low energy period of equal length. During the high energy period of a physical biorhythm we are more resistant to illness, better coordinated and more energetic; during the low energy period we are less resistant, less well coordinated and tire more easily. The low period puts energy into our “batteries” for the next high period.

The “critical” or weakest time is the time of changeover from the high energy period to the low energy period, or vice versa. This “critical” time usually lasts a day. On the critical day of a physical biorhythm, there is a greater chance of accident and illness. All biorhythms can be represented by the following typical cycle:



Human experience is always individual and we each have our own biorhythmic experiences. Some people experience such enormous physical turbulence on their “physically critical” days that they have to go to bed. Accidents appear to happen so frequently during turbulent biorhythms that some car insurance companies in Japan have issued biorhythms forecasts to policyholders in order to cut down the number of costly incidents.



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