Understanding Biorhythms

Have you ever had days when you could get every question right on an exam, but you kept tripping over things that weren’t even in your way? Or maybe you felt so emotional that even little things upset you, but you couldn’t think of a reason why. Well, people who work with biorhythms would probably have an explanation for you.

Biorhythm theory originated in Europe over 100 years ago, when a physician observed that his patients’ moods, dreams, and physical conditions seemed to go in cycles. Scientists soon added their own ideas. At first there were just two types of cycles identified – a physical cycle lasting 23 days and an emotional cycle of 28 days. Later an intellectual cycle of 33 days was added, and for a long time these were the only cycles believed to exist. In fact, many biorhythm charts plotted today include just these three.

However, as time went on other cycles were identified:
– an intuitive cycle of 38 days
– an esthetic cycle of 43 days
– a spiritual cycle of 53 days

Some people also believed that there were combination cycles, like the following:
– the mastery cycle, combining the physical and intellectual cycles
– the passion cycle, combining the physical and emotional
– the wisdom cycle, combining the emotional and intellectual

The waves in a biorhythm cycle start at 0 on the day a person is born. From that point on, they go up and down over the established length of the cycle. To be more specific – if you think of a cycle as starting at 0, it will then go up until it reaches its high point about a quarter of the way through the cycle; then it will start to go down, until it reaches 0 at the halfway point. It will continue on a downward trend until it reaches its low point about 3/4 of the way through, and then it will start going up again, reaching 0 again at the end of the cycle – which is also the beginning of the next cycle. As an example, the high point of the emotional cycle would occur at 7 days, the first 0 at 14 days, and the low point at 21 days, until it goes back to 0 at 28 days.

The high point of a cycle indicates a time of strength or more activity; the low point may indicate weakness or – more likely – that the cycle in question is more passive than active. 0 is considered a critical time because the quality of that cycle is progressing from high to low – or vice versa. For example, if you were following your biorhythm chart and came to a day when your intellectual cycle was at 0, you might want to use caution when doing anything that required a lot of thought. This is not to say that you would be completely unable to function intellectually on that day, only that it might be more difficult on that day than at other times.

Because each biorhythm cycle is a different length, it is rare for even two of them to be at the same point at the same time, and even more rare if you consider more than two. As a matter of fact, it takes more than 58 years for the three main cycles – physical, emotional, and intellectual – to reach 0 on the same day. But that is probably a good thing, since a high point of one cycle occurring with a low point of another can be very balancing.

It’s possible to figure your own biorhythm charts by hand, but it’s very time consuming, and not really necessary since there are many computer programs available now that can do it for you – and many of them are freely available online. There is just one caution, though: If you decide to print your own biorhythm charts, try not to take them too seriously and create your own “self-fulfilling prophecy” as a result. Biorhythm charts can be fun to track, but they should be used as guidelines only; we all have free will, and can successfully get through what we need to on any given day – regardless of where that cycle is on the chart.

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