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HomeWellness ›Macrobiotics
An Introduction to Macrobiotics For a Long and Healthy Life

People with serious medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS or diabetes usually seek proper medical care. Sometimes that care involves going on a special diet to cure or at least alleviate the symptoms of their disease and macrobiotics has became one choice for such a diet. Some believe that macrobiotics is only for sick people; we don't agree, and that's why we produce this article here.

What is Macrobiotics?

Macrobiotics is a philosophy that promotes well being and longevity. It's not only the macrobiotic diet that people have sometimes misunderstood; macrobiotics is, in fact, a way of life as well as eating.

The word “Macrobiotics” is from the ancient Greek; "macro" meaning large or long and "bios" meaning life. Macrobiotics is not something new. The earliest recorded use of the term is found in the writing of Hippocrates (the father of Western Medicine and he of the famous oath) who introduced the word to describe people who were healthy and long-lived.

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Macrobiotics Today
The ethos experienced a revival almost 100 years ago when George Ohsawa (1893 – 1966) was introduced to it. Born into a disadvantaged Samurai family in Japan, Ohsawa-san had an unhappy childhood and was diagnosed with tuberculosis at the age of 18. He discovered Shoku-yo, the Japanese version of macrobiotics as practiced by Sagen Ishizuka, and decided to try it. Ohsawa-san followed the diet of brown rice and vegetables cooked with small amounts of oil and salt, and soon found that his tuberculosis was clearing up. Very much impressed (and relieved) he continued to stick to that simple diet, joined a health club, and wrote a book on the subject. He became a teacher, took his teachings to Europe and North America, and macrobiotics was born into the modern age.

George Ohsawa’s philosophy is a simple formula to live a long and happy life by following a healthy diet consisting of wholesome food properly cooked, combined with an appropriate level of exercise. He also advocated positive thinking in all things together with an affinity for nature.

Macrobiotics in Thailand
Very few people in Thailand knew about macrobiotics until, in 2007, it was officially recognized by The Division of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine and drawn to the attention of the wider pubic.

The Macrobiotic Diet

The macrobiotic diet can be applied to any human being, but not always with the same content or quantity. Dr. Nongpanan Tephabutra, executive director of Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness in Phuket town advises: “I believe that the macrobiotic diet can be adapted to provide something for everyone. It is variable and adjustable to climate, environment, to body and mind condition, to gender, age and to lifestyle. Patients who are ill may need a restrictive diet but the normal healthy man in street may not, and applying a macrobiotic diet inappropriately might cause imbalance.”

Macrobiotic Diet Philosophy

The aim of the macrobiotic diet is to achieve a balance of the yin and yang elements through natural unprocessed foods, together with a complex of carbohydrates and vegetables which should be organically grown and eaten fresh. The lifestyle also governs how food should be prepared and it is recommended that cooking pots, utensils etc. be made only from certain materials. Glass, wood, stainless steel, ceramic, and enamel cookware all are considered acceptable but no microwave and electrical appliance should be used. Rice must be cooked in a pressure cooker.

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Dr. Nongpanan explains:

“The best way to cook food is with a natural flame, preferably by burning wood, but a gas stove is acceptable. The heat from a flame cooks slowly and brings out the flavor of the food, while the electrical power from microwaves introduces chaotic energy as it heats. It is said that a macrobiotic diet aims to synchronize eating habits with the cycles of nature. The diet uses the energy giving qualities of foods derived through special cooking procedures to restore and maintain balance.

“Macrobiotics requires us to leave the worries of life behind and to stay focused on preparing the food which is intended to provide strength and nourishment to self and loved ones. Also, it is recommended that foods should be eaten and chewed slowly, in a relaxed manner. ”

The Basic Diet

The standard macrobiotic diet consists of:

  • 50-60% whole grains
  • 20-30% seasonal vegetables, cooked or raw.
  • 5-10% protein foods - such as fish or legumes.
  • 5-10% soups

“This is just a general concept. For example, I would recommend children on the macrobiotic diet to also receive dairy products such as eggs to provide the missing nutritional components they require to provide a safer, more balanced regime for their successful development. Similarly, pregnant and breast-feeding women should supplement their macrobiotic fare, otherwise a serious deficiency in particular nutrients may occur,” States Dr. Nongpanan.

With a clearer understanding of macrobiotics one realizes that it can be applied, with appropriate skills, to anyone. Also that it is not a boring and tasteless regimen but a delightfully natural way of eating nutritious food that can be sour or sweet, high in energy giving content, and when prepared with care, varied and delicious. hopes this article help our readers to better understand macrobiotics and perhaps adopt it to improve their life. Very many thanks to Dr. Nongpanan for her kind advice and education. For any further information on macrobiotics, you will always be welcome at Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness.

Sukko Cultural Spa & Wellness
5/10 Moo 3, Vichit, Muang, Phuket, 83000 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 76 263 222
Fax: Fax: +66 (0) 76 264 533

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