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Macrobiotics: Pursuing A Healthy Path

"Macrobiotics draws us gently back to our centers, where we can regain spiritual and physical balance, and this path helps to provide sustenance our bodies need to live in this demanding world. A macrobiotic path is tender, yet deeply strengthening journey, where reverence towards oneself and the world around us becomes one and the same."

 -Jampa Williams 

According to the information on the Kushi Institute, The term "macrobiotics" comes has it roots in the Greek language -"macro" meaning "large" or "long" , and "bios" meaning "life"- It was first used by Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. Its recent development stems from Michio Kushi who was inspired by philosopher-writer George Ohsawa, who published numerous works in many languages, combining the western traditions of macrobiotics with ancient traditional oriental medicine dating back nearly 5,000 years. 

Basic macrobiotics traditionally practiced includes recommendations on not only what to eat, but how to eat and how to develop a healthy attitude toward food and nourishment for your body. Start by eating more whole grains, beans, and fresh vegetables. Also, Increase the variety in your food selections and vary traditional cooking methods. Eating regularly and have less food and chewing more. All of this attention to the physical part of eating can lead to maintaining a positive outlook mentally and ability to have an active healthy life.

Macrobiotics is based on the premise that "every food has a different quality"-although each food contains both yin and yang- it is believed that primarily one or the other dominates each food. Yin qualities expand, while yang contracts. These qualities sometimes work in harmony and balance of the bodies own yin and yang qualities.

The principles of macrobiotics are used to "address environmental, dietary and lifestyle influences" and have been claimed to prolong individual lives by contributing to the recovery from a wide range of illnesses. Some of the illnesses that are reported to have cleared through the macrobiotic approach are heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Health recovery can be used along with conventional and alternative medical treatment and intervention and is compatible with all forms of religion and adaptable to traditional cultural practices.

These qualities are seen as neither "inherently good" nor "bad", but rather the goal is to "bring into balance." Imbalance causes upset in the body's functions and the result is unhealthy conditions and disease that manifest themselves as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and many more such ailments. These unhealthy conditions can be serious or simply bothersome, but all are recognized by experienced macrobiotic practitioners who pay attention. If you are paying attention, then you will recognize symptoms and your body will respond in predictable ways.

"Macrobiotics simply looks more closely at the particular qualities of all the foods we choose", states Jampa Williams in a recent article. We ultimately "choose the foods that are most healthful and life-giving" and do so as individuals and as part of a larger society. He goes on to say, that we also look at diet in terms of our environment. A food one doesn't need because of climate may be essential to someone in another hemisphere and climate.

Community Comments:
Macrobiotics means Large and Healthy life. It comes from Macro i.e. large and Bios i.e. life. It is a complete study of what to eat, how to eat and how to develop a healthy attitude towards food and nourishment for our body. It insists on variety of food and use of different cooking methods. The basic mantra of “Macrobiotics Diet” is “Eat Regular but Less food and Chew more.
All the food, present with nature, has a nourishment count. Macrobiotics helps in the ailment of wide range of illnesses and also prevents one from them. Imbalance of food causes upsetting of our internal system but if there is awareness then it is easy to recognize symptoms and then cure them. It is always better to go for Health then Taste and opt for climatic food.

This article was originally published in Sacred Pathways Magazine

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