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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee Magazine

Using Traditional Chinese Medicine to Transition Into Spring

Apr 01, 2022 12:00AM ● By Ayako Mizuno
After a long winter, spring is finally here. When the body, mind and spirit are entirely balanced, transitioning from one season to another goes smoothly without any problems. However, any imbalances affect the body’s ability to shift with the season’s strong transitioning energy. Learning about the season's unique energy will help one prepare and be more mindful.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we look at phenomena from the five elements point of view: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element is associated with a specific season, organ, emotion, taste, climate and color.

Element: wood
Spring is associated with new beginnings, regeneration, birth and renewal of spirit.

Climate: windy
Because spring is the windy season, people during this time tend to get seasonal allergies such as sinus congestion, red and itchy eyes, headaches and sneezes.

Organs: liver and gallbladder
The liver is responsible for planning for the future, and the gallbladder is associated with making decisions and judging wisely and promptly. The liver and gallbladder are most affected during this time of year, especially by wind, which stirs up the liver’s energy and can cause flareups.

Emotions: anger, irritability and timidity
If liver energy stagnates, one’s emotions become angry, irritated, stressed or frustrated. If it is left untreated, it may lead to depression and anxiety. The main physical symptoms are a tight neck and shoulders, digestive problems, chest tightness and pain, headaches, insomnia, menstrual problems and hypochondriac pain.

Taste: sour
Foods and drinks with a sour taste stimulate the liver's energy to flow smoothly. Squeeze fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into room temperature or hot water, and drink it every morning. Add honey if desired. It will aid stress and irritability.

Color: green
Green-colored foods are very beneficial for regulating the liver’s energy flow, detoxifying and supporting emotional healing. Add more fresh greens to the daily diet. Leafy greens, broccoli, young sprouts and green beans are excellent sources of green foods.

When experiencing feelings of anxiety, anger, irritability, physical pain or seasonal allergy flare-up, acupuncture can help with these symptoms. Regular acupuncture treats the symptoms and keeps the liver’s energy flowing smoothly to prevent stagnation. Acupuncture also works as a preventive medicine, which provides harmony throughout every season of the year. To maintain health and wellness all year long, consult with a licensed TCM practitioner to learn which season most influences you. This will be helpful in treating current issues as well as preventing future ones.


Ayako Mizuno is a licensed acupuncturist and the owner of PLUMERIA ACUPUNCTURE AND HOLISTIC WELLNESS CENTER, LLC, located at 2500 N. Mayfair Rd., Ste. 410, Wauwatosa. For more information, call 414-687-0087 or visit