MACROBIOTIC DIET’S HISTORY
A Macrobiotic Diet is a natural approach to health and healing. Although it is manily known as a balanced diet, it is actually a way of life that involves every area of human activity in the search of personal growth, and body, mind and spirit transformation, because the food we eat not only sustains life, but also underlies our health and happiness.
Sagen Ishizuka, a japanese army doctor that lived around the end of the last century was who first establiched a theory of nutrition and medicine based on the traditional oriental diet.
He was a sick man that suffered from kidney and skin desease, so in order to restore his health he sudied extensively both western and eastern medicine, and compiled his lifelong study conclutions in two books: “Chemical Theory of Longevity” (published in 1896) and “Diet for Health” (published in 1898)
He cured thousands of patiens by having them eat a traditional diet based on brown rice, and a variety of land and sea vegetables, and his healing technique was based on the recognition of the following five principles:
Foods are the foundation of health and happines
Sodium and potassium are the primary antagonistic and complementary elements in food, and they most strongly determine ist character or “ying yang” quality
Grain is the staple food of man
Food should be unrefined, whole and natural
Food should be grown locally and eaten in season
Macrobiotic diets in its modern form was first spread through the world by Mr. George Ohwasa (1897 – 1966), that after becoming acquainted with this way of thinking (he learned it from two of Mr Ishizuka’s disciples: Manabu Nishibata and Shojiro Goto) at the age of eighteen in several months cured himself of a number “incurable” sickness, including a terminal tuberculosis.
When Mr Ohwasa established his own organization, he devoted himself more to the teaching of the yina and yang philosophy rather than the direct treatment of the sick.
MACROBIOTIC DIETS AND HEALTH
In Greek, macro means: “big or great” and biotic means: “concerning life” so the word refers to the big view of life, and it invites us to learn the underlying unity of nature.
The macrobiotic diet approach to healing simply involves providing the proper material and allowing the body to heal itself, though it is not parimarily a diet for curing sichnes or a new fad, it is a way of life based on the understanding of the rhythm, the ebb and flow of nature, it is a way of living towards happiness.
A macrobiotic diet can be used as a method of dealing with symptomatic health problems, or it can become your way of eating. As a matter of fact many of the macrobiotic diet healing methods are only effective if you change your way of eating to a macrobiotic diet.
However, some of the macrobiotic diet’s healing methods are so powerful that anyone can be helped with them (although only temporarily). But if you start eating macrobiotically you will stop needing the symptomatic treatements, because your daily way of eating will gradually eliminate the toxins and excesses from your body (although you can use the symptomatic treatements to speed up the healing process).
Oriental doctors have used herbs, acupuncture, homeopatic preparations and related techniques for thousands of years to deal with symptoms and sickness, and they always considered the daily diet as the basic tool to approach health problems.
The modern medicine and dieatary principles is changing every year. New techniques and new medications are introduced every year while others are abandoned in an endless dance where many of those medicaments have found to have side effects (or even produce new sickness) and year after year they become more and more expensive.
But the main difference between traditional and modern medicine, is that modern medicine looks for the active chemical ingredients that might be used to produce tablets, but do not consider the nutritional ingredients (such as vitamins or protein contents) or the acids and enzymes, as part of the healing properties of natural products.
MACROBIOTIC DIETS AND KI
When a food item is considered as a possible medication, an oriental doctor will always consider the energy of that food (also called KI), and this energy can be different in two foods that are chemically identical and for example they have a different shape.
KI in Japan, CHI in China or GEE in Korea, could be translated as “electromagnetic charge” or “vibration” and oriental doctors have studied for centuries what kind of ki each food item is made of, and what kind of ki-energy produce in our body when we consume them.
Following the same line of thought, they tried to understand symptoms and sickness as ki patterns, and developed ways to influence it through the use of shiatsu, moxibustion, energy healing, acupuncture, herbal medicine and so on. Oriental cultures, sciences, medicines, philosophies and religions, know since thousands of years ago that everything that exists is ki. Everything is energy, waves, vibration. And the difference between the material world and the spiritual world is only a difference in the ki density.
Written by Dr. Roberto A. Bonomi