“As long as we continue to take in excessive nutrients, chemicals, and other factors that serve no purpose in the body, they must continue to accumulate somewhere in order to continue our normal living functions. If we don’t allow them to accumulate in limited areas and form tumors, they will spread throughout the body, resulting in a total collapse of our vital functions and death by toxemia. Cancer is only the terminal stage of a long process. Cancer is the body’s healthy attempt to isolate toxins ingested and accumulated through years of eating the modern unnatural diet and living in an artificial environment.”
- Michio Kushi, The Cancer Prevention Diet
1. What is the basic macrobiotic approach to cancer?
Through eating a balanced, diet centered around whole grains and predominantly vegetable-quality foods, as well as a lifestyle in harmony with the order of nature, cancer can generally be prevented and sometimes relieved. In addition to dietary guidelines and way of life suggestions, including proper exercise and self-reflection, some compresses or other home remedies are sometimes recommended.
2. How do I begin?
Macrobiotic books are available online at Kushi Store or from your local bookseller. You should also consider attending The Way to Health program (see question 4). You can come to our campus for macrobiotic counseling or private session.
3. What books can you recommend to get started?
• The Cancer-Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi and Alex Jack is a useful resource. This comprehensive book includes theoretical sections, chapters on the 20 most common types of cancer, case histories, medical research, recipes and menus. Although the title of this book includes prevention this book primarily addresses the macrobiotic approach to support recovery from cancer.
• For friends or family who you wish to introduce macrobiotics to, we often recommend Physician Heal Thyself by Dr. Hugh Faulkner, a British doctor who had healed his own terminal cancer with the help of his wife, a nurse. This small book can be quite inspiring.
• There are also concise books, The Macrobiotic Approach to Cancer by Michio Kushi and The Cancer Prevention Cookbook by Aveline Kushi and Wendy Esko.
4. What seminar, program, or classes do you recommend?
The Way to Health Program is specially designed for cancer patients and their families. It is a 6-day residential seminar at the Kushi Institute in Becket, Mass. and includes daily cooking classes, as well as theory classes, simple exercise and massage classes.
5. How do I arrange a consultation?
Personal macrobiotic counseling may be arranged during the Way to Health Program or at any time at the Kushi Institute.
6. Should I continue or discontinue my current medical treatment when I start macrobiotics?
This is a personal decision and one we cannot make for you. Many times conventional treatments are unnecessary, costly, and dangerous. However, in any given case, they may be necessary and beneficial. Thus we encourage you to consult with your physician and other medical professional to ensure the best possible care.
7. Is there any scientific evidence that macrobiotics works?
Medical researchers at Tulane University reported that pancreatic cancer patients who observed a macrobiotic diet lived two to three times longer than usual and experienced a higher quality of life.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a research grant to the University of Minnesota to study the macrobiotic approach to cancer in cooperation with Michio Kushi and the Kushi Institute.
8. Are cooking classes necessary?
No matter how well trained you are in another type of food preparation, macrobiotic cooking is an art that often requires experience. To have a proper standard against which to judge your own cooking, it is helpful to take introductory cooking classes and sample the food from other experienced cooks. To receive the full healing benefits of the food, it is best if the food is prepared properly.
9. Where do I get the foods I will need to begin?
Most of the foods used in daily macrobiotic cooking can be obtained at any natural foods store. Increasingly, shopping markets are offering natural and organic produce. There are also many mail-order sources, such as the Kushi Institute Store Catalog, which you can order from directly.
10. The doctor has said I have only a few months to live. Is it still worthwhile to start macrobiotics?
We have seen many so-called terminal cases completely healed. In other more advanced individuals, the person began macrobiotics, experienced benefits such as reduced suffering, prolonged life, and eventually passed peacefully at home.
We cannot guarantee that macrobiotics will work for you, but the body has amazing recuperative powers, and no one can really predict with certainty how long any of us will live.
As Michio Kushi says in The Cancer Prevention Diet, “Medically terminally is macrobiotically hopeful.” By aligning ourselves with nature and trusting in the order of the universe, there is always a way.