History & Philosophy

What is Macrobiotics?

Macrobiotics is much much more than just a "diet." Yes, it has some dietary guidelines, but the overall heart & soul of Macrobiotics, in my humble opinion, is a set of tools that enable one to find true balance & ease in life. The term macrobiotics itself, when broken down, means long life. When the body, mind, and breath (oh! sounds a bit like yoga!) are steady and calm, life naturally flows. The positive and negatives roll in and we're ready for it!

Studying macrobiotics has given me the skills to work towards balance within my life. I am learning how and when to choose which foods and why to choose them on that particular day (on a deeper level in involving the concepts of yin & yang, but also within a more modern framework). I am learning how to slow down and express gratitude for the simple things that I truly love (tea by a sunny window!). I feel more confident in my choices: from choosing higher quality ingredients to cultivating what I want in life. All of these things allow me to nourish the deepest part of myself so that I can nourish & inspire others.


This could be a whole page in itself. But for right now, my apologies: we'll keep it to some simple names & dates, and a summary from what I remember from my books and the help of wikipedia. The term Macrobiotic itself was first used by the Ancient Greeks. The concept of healing & prolonging life with natural foods was noted later on by a German physician, Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, and in the late 1800s by Sagen Ishizuka in Japan. But, I feel that George Ohsawa was the most famous Macrobiotic theorist. In the early 1900s he used the concepts of yin & yang and his knowledge of Ishizuka's works to save himself from tuberculosis. After this, he dove straight in to studying and sharing this knowledge (most often much more in depth than simply about diet---Ohsawa's studies, from what I can tell, are very philosophical in nature). His students spread his teachings to the West, lucky for us! Some of the most known among these are: Michio & Aveline Kushi, Noburo Muramoto, & Herman & Cornelia Aihara. Many Macrobiotic centres for studies are open today, such as the original  Kushi Institute in Massachusetts. So that's it! A very very very vague history of this mysterious thing called Macrobiotics. Please check back again as I will gradually update this section.