Theory and Practice of the Dietary
By Michio Kushi
Dietary Approaches to Cancer Prevention and Treatment
I and my associates have been working for the healthcare field in America, Europe, and other areas of the world for the past 40 years, educating about a proper lifestyle and dietary approach. This education and approach have been known among intellectuals and the public in the name of "Macrobiotics."' The name of "Macrobiotics" was derived from the words "Macro Bios." It was used in Ancient Greece by many philosophers, including Hippocrates. The word appears in the Greek edition of the Old Testament. The concept of "Macro Bios" has been confirmed and reconfirmed by Naturalists, including medical leaders, such as Christolph W. Hufeland, in the 19th Century. The word of Macrobiotics is, however, the most appropriate word expressing the Traditional Oriental Way of philosophy and traditional and natural lifestyle.
This Oriental way of life, including dietary practice, has been expressed since several thousand years ago, in the lifestyle of the Jomon Period in Japan, in the I Ching (Book of Change), the Chou Dynasty, Confucianism, Taoism, and many other traditional ways of life. Comprehensively, it can be expressed as the Tao interpreted in Taoism; in the Do in many arts, including flower arrangement (Ka-Do), Tea Ceremony (Sa-Do), Calligraphy (Sho-Do); and Martial Arts like Ju-Do, Aiki-Do, Ken-Do,etc. Furthermore, it is pronounced also "Michi," such as in the Way of God (Kami no Michi, or Shin-To).
In this philosophy, commonly based on the human universal intelligence and traditional living experiences, Macrobiotics includes an understanding of the Order of the Universe, and the Laws of Change. This holds that every phenomenon is constantly changing between two antagonistic/complementary tendencies: Centrifugality and Centripetality, Expansion and Contraction, Upward Motion and Downward Motion, the Invisible Vibrational World and the Visible, Physicalized World; as well as the Heavenly Descending Force and the Earthly Ascending Force. All of these are comprehensively called "Yin" and "Yang." This thought, therefore, recognizes that every phenomenon has its cause, and there are certain orderly processes; and change from one phenomenon to another phenomenon is constant.
Applying this to the understanding of human life, life proceeds from the infinite, beginningless, endless movement which produced the phenomenal, vibrational world, a part of which is this Universe. From this vibrational, moving world, pre-atomic particles are formed in spirals, which further create, by spirallic gathering, the world of elements, which is so-called "Nature." Planetary nature further creates with various spirallic motion, and mainly with upward energy, all the botanical world; which further creates, mainly using the heavenly condensed force, animal life, and lately, human beings on this planet.
From this state, human life dissolves its form and proceeds further, returning to the vibrational domain, which has been often called the "World of Spirit" or "Life After Death."
All human behavior and physical, mental, and spiritual phenomena are caused by movement of environmental conditions, and by what we have been taking in from the environment. Among these absorbed environmental factors are cosmic forces, solar radiation, and galactic influences; atmosphere, water, and food; as well as various kinds of social influences, such as family, school, organizations, and community experiences. Only one factor is what we choose by entirely exercised free-will: the kind of quality, how much, and how and when we absorb it are left entirely up to our own judgement. This is our daily food and drink.
If this food intake is exercised properly, in harmony with the changing environment - including its quality, volume, and cooking - then human life is in accordance with the environment, and it not only maintains its health, vitality, and happiness; but also a peaceful mind, and higher spirit.
The cause of cancer is not excluded from this universal rule. As all other physical, mental, and spiritual human affairs, human sickness and health fundamentally depend on our daily dietary practice.
During the 20th Century, the human diet has been drastically changed: there has been higher consumption of animal protein and fat, refined sugar, mass-produced artificialized food; together with unnaturally chemicalized agriculture. These changes have produced the complex and diversified phenomena of human sickness in modem, civilized society. Sickness includes physical, mental, spiritual, and social sickness. Among them, cancer is one of the most representative of chronic conditions.
When we continuously consume food beyond our daily capacity to eliminate it in the form of physical and mental activities, the excessive dietary components accumulate, and eventually produce excessive, abnormal increase and division of the cells. This is what we call cancer.
While human beings are consuming food properly, of natural quality and eaten in traditional proportions, and with a proper way of cooking, such cancer phenomena do not happen. For this reason, and for the purpose of securing human health, psychological and spiritual well-being, we have been educating about dietary practice, along with the proper way of life, under the name of "Macrobiotics."' The average, or Standard Macrobiotic Diet, for temperate climactic regions, is described in a separate handout "Great Life Pyramid." By the practice of this diet, uncountable numbers of people have gained their health and wellbeing. Some cases could be reinforced by additional, supplemental Home Remedies, which are all made of combinations of daily food. This approach has contributed to the recovery of patients with all types of cancer conditions: some examples will be presented in the two afternoon Break-out Sessions #205 and #404: "The Potential Benefits of Macrobiotics as a Therapy for Cancer."
The dietary causes of major cancers are the following, which are, of course, only briefly summarized here:
The Standard Macrobiotic Diet can prevent these cancers naturally, if it is properly prepared. But it can not only prevent, but it can also relieve these conditions. It may take 2 months to 2 years, depending upon how deeply undesirable foods have accumulated in the body. For some cases, it is helpful to supply for a few weeks to a few months some Home Remedies, prepared from grains, beans, vegetables, and sea vegetables, which are serving to neutralize and eliminate undesirable accumulations.
Furthermore, Way of Life Suggestions helpful for preventing and recovering from cancer include:
These dietary and way of life approaches have been demonstrated as effective ways to recover from cancer, with or without the application of any other methods, such as conventional medical treatments,, herbal treatments, the use of supplements, and acupuncture, moxibustion, special exercises, and other therapeutic approaches. These recoveries include terminal cases suffering from many kinds of cancers, medically classified as Stage 3 or 4.
The Macrobiotic approach does not negate any other useful approaches. However, diet and lifestyle are fundamental factors of human life. We trust this approach is essential for all cancers and other sicknesses, though other proper treatments can be added as supplements, according to the desire of the patient.
The relation and oneness of Body-Mind-Spirit, the relation of Chakras and Meridians, and the approach for some major cancers, including Home Remedies, will be explained in the afternoon breakout sessions today and tomorrow.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.
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