Incurables Television Show
features Marisa Marinelli
sharing how macrobiotics
helped her recover from ulcerative colitis
Incurables TV series first aired in 2007, I received a call from Jake Wachtel,
producer of the show at the time. Jake told me that he had called many people
and organizations looking for stories for the show, which was documenting people
that had used alternative methods to support recovery from illnesses deemed "incurable"
by medical doctors. He said nearly everyone he had talked to told him to call
Kushi Institute because we had the most amazing "miracle" recoveries.
I was happy to hear Kushi Institute was so well-recognized,
and excited that this national show (now available around the globe) could introduce
viewers to macrobiotics and how it can help support health improvement and healing.
I gave Jake some recommendations, and the show chose
several for their recovery documentaries, including Kushi Institute teacher and
MacKenney (4th stage non-Hodgkin's lymphoma), and Meghan
Pagnum (lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis).
Over the years this popular TV series continues
to produce great shows on remarkable recoveries, including many whose help came
from macrobiotics. Last year, The Incurables once again contacted us for recommendations.
Kushi Institute registration staff Nancy Segal had previously met Marisa Marinelli,
when she and Marisa were both working the registration desk at our annual Kushi
Institute Summer Conference. It
was there that Nancy first learned about Marisa's many struggles with ulcerative
colitis, and how attending our Way
to Health week-long program had helped her recover her health. Nancy felt
Marisa's inspiring story of healing, along with her strength and courage, would
make her a great candidate for the TV documentary. The Incurables producers interviewed
Marisa and agreed.
Marisa's episode was chosen for The Incurables 2012
season premiere, which aired on January 19. Popular singer-songwriter Jewel is
the new host for the series. Actress Alicia Silverstone, who recommends macrobiotics,
helped spread Marisa's wonderful story by announcing The Incurables show on her
blog. Since the show aired we've been
receiving calls from people -- most of them facing serious illnesses -- inspired
by Marisa and the role Kushi Institute played in her successful recovery.
If you did not see the show, each episode is repeated,
so if you or someone you know has the Veria Channel you can see it in the future.
Veria is available on DirectTV, Dish Network,
Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Charter Communications, and others.
If you don't have access to Veria, you can still
hear Marisa's story by listening to her 2010 interview with Phiya Kushi on his
website - to go to the page click
Our great appreciation and
thanks go out to Marisa and the many others who have been sharing their personal
recovery stories. The hope they give to those facing serious illness, and inspiration
to explore the natural macrobiotic approach to health and healing, are priceless.
I just wanted to thank everyone there for their part in healing
my bladder cancer!
I had a
large, aggressive cancerous bladder tumor. It was crossing boundaries and out
of control. I was advised to have my bladder removed.
I attended Kushi
to Health class in Nov. 2012. I really got on the diet, changed my attitude
with affirmations, and visualized a perfect bladder with white cells carrying
off all the cancer cells.
Had a urine
analysis that showed everything normal.
Just received resultsfrom a CT scan that showed NO CANCER !!!!!!!!!
Thank you and God bless you."
with brain cancer
To see Kevin's testimonial on video click
I was diagnosed with brain cancer (oligodendroglioma) in 2004 I knew nothing about
cancer treatment options and had never even heard of macrobiotics. I knew that
some people got cancer and got better with treatment, some died with or without
treatment. I decided right away to be one of those who got better with treatment.
I was convinced that surgery was my only option.
Possibly radiation, and, or chemotherapy depending on how the surgery turned out.
I had surgery followed by 6 weeks of radiation therapy.
Since I was determined to recover quickly I had
asked my doctor if it would be a good idea to change some of my eating habits.
I described my standard American diet (SAD) consisting of equal parts animal protein,
refined sugar products such as donuts, ice cream, plenty of coffee and baked goods,
etc. I was told not to worry about my diet, just eat whatever you feel like
eating, you really dont need to be concerned with your diet at a stressful
time like this. So on my doctors advice I returned to my previous
dietary habits and within 6 months a routine checkup revealed that my cancer had
returned with a vengeance.
encouraged to, start chemotherapy immediately. Feeling that there
must be some other way to heal myself I began researching alternative healing
and diet. I had the good fortune to stumble across a copy of The Cancer
Prevention Diet book by Michio Kushi, among many other alternative dietary
approaches to healing. Of all the books I read it was the only one that seemed
to make some fundamental sense to me. Healing with food.
I knew after one round of chemotherapy that it was not for me. My wife and I enrolled
in the Way
to Health program at Kushi Institute. Once we arrived and had attended
the orientation on what to expect during our stay, I was convinced that we had
made the right choice. As I said, I had never even heard the term macrobiotic
before. However, in the time I spent at the Kushi Institute, I was able to learn
enough about the basics to return home and begin to practice daily preparation
of healing nutritious foods. Within six months of beginning my macrobiotic approach
my doctors were shocked to proclaim that there was no evidence of
cancer and not sure what youve been doing, but keep doing it.
It has been 8 years now since I discovered macrobiotics.
I am still practicing and still cancer free. I do not believe I would be alive
today if I had not discovered macrobiotics when I did. And now I have a wonderful
gift to share with the world.
you all so very much,
After Stomach Cancer
Born in Japan,
Kit was 51 and working for the United Nations in New York when he started having
health issues, including trouble sleeping, feeling lethargic, waning appetite,
and a persistent sore on his tongue. Seeking medical help, he was diagnosed with
a peptic ulcer, but medications did not relieve any of the symptoms.
1983 during an endoscopy, doctors discovered a huge ulcer with a tumor in its
center. Within days an operation was performed and three quarters of Kit's stomach
was removed. The tumor had not penetrated the stomach wall, which led the doctors
to feel optimistic for Kit's full recovery. After spending some time in the hospital
recovering from the operation, right before his discharge date biopsy results
showed the cancer had metastasized throughout his lymph system. His doctors now
considered his condition terminal.
home Kit started chemotherapy, but this soon had to be discontinued because his
white blood cell count stayed at a very low level. His oncologist determined that
Kit's bone marrow had stopped producing blood, which he said was very unusual
under Kit's circumstances.There was no other treatment the doctors could offer.
this trying period, Kit and his wife Akiko attended a social event, where he encountered
Joyce, a former colleague from the UN. Joyce had been struggling with cancer the
last time he had seen her. "She looked like a ghost then, her hair was gone,
and we thought for sure we would be losing her shortly," Kit recalls. Yet
she now looked radiant and wonderful, prompting Kit's curiosity. Joyce explained
how macrobiotics had helped her recover.
by Joyce's story, Kit purchased books on macrobiotics and found a macrobiotic
counselor who periodically came to New York. A few months later Kit and Akiko
went to Boston for a consultation for Kit with Michio Kushi, during which they
were astounded when Michio turned to Akiko and, without any prior knowledge of
Akiko's condition, accurately described health issues she was having. After the
consultation Michio and Kit spent some time discussing the United Nations and
their favorite topic: world peace. That was the start of their long friendship.
Following Michio's advice Kit started
improving, and within three years Kit's doctor announced Kit had been totally
free of cancer long enough that the doctor considered him cured, and Kit no longer
needed to come back for follow-up visits.
fully returned health Kit went back to work for the UN, first choosing a field
assignment in Burma as a UN Resident Representative. His work for the UN culminated
with serving as UNDP Resident Representative in Myanmar (1986-1990) and Assistant
Secretary-General/Deputy Executive Director, UN Population Fund (1990-1993). In
1993 he retired from the UN, and from that time until 2000 Kit served as Senior
Advisor to UNDP.
In 1994, Kit established
"2050," an NGO (non-governmental organization) dedicated to making the
world a better place by promoting awareness among the Japanese public of such
global issues as the environment, population and poverty. 2050 also focuses on
enhancing the status of women in developing countries through education and revenue
Kit is also a member
of the Advisory Committee of the Foundation for Global Environment and Peace.
He actively participates in international meetings and delivers speeches on global
issues all over Japan as well as countries across the world.
the time Kit recovered from cancer he has actively shared his story of the role
macrobiotics played in his recovery, and how it continues to support his good
health. While working for the UN he established a United Nations Macrobiotic Society,
where health-oriented people working at the UN can regularly meet and discuss
macrobiotic principles and practice.
Kushi Institute helped me with Diverticulitis, Depression, Arthritis, Obesity,
Tinnitus, Vertigo, Vision Problems, and Depression
O'Neill - June 2012
of my life I had a very unhealthy diet consisting mainly of fast food, soda, and
high fat, low fiber food. Finally my diet caught up with me.
late April, 2012, I came to Kushi Institute as a very sick woman with a long list
of symptoms including diverticulitis and other digestive problems, vertigo, vision
problems, tinnitus, many disabling menstrual problems, obesity, arthritis, and
depression. In the prior four years I had gone through three hospitalizations
and two surgeries. One of the surgeries was an emergency - a life-saving colostomy
that resulted from a perforated intestine. The operation was a success, but even
six months later I was left suffering from major depression.
went to Kushi Institute because my older sister was coming for the Way to Health
program and she invited me along. Although I did not have much hope at the time,
I wanted to see if macrobiotics would help remedy my ongoing health problems.
It turns out it was the best decision I ever made.
stayed at Kushi Institute for two weeks, first attending Way to Health, then continuing
on another week for the Way to Health PLUS program. By the time my stay was over,
I had already lost nine pounds and was less depressed than I had been in years.
I write this only a few weeks
after returning home, and even in this short time, my weight loss has continued,
and I am no longer depressed. In fact, I am happy and excited about my future.
My body feels stronger. I also have no more diverticulitis and I go to the bathroom
with no problems. It is amazing to me, because for years I always had problems
going to the bathroom, I was either constipated or had diarrhea. The vertigo and
tinnitus are gone. The menstrual problems are gone. I have much less arthritic
pain and I feel it will eventually go away after I get down to my ideal body weight.
At Kushi Institute I also realized gluten was a part of my health problems and
am now eating gluten-free.
so grateful to my sister for getting me to Kushi Institute, and also grateful
to the staff at Kushi Institute, who were wonderful, supportive and great examples
of how life can be if you eat a macrobiotic diet. I keep in touch with the people
that went through the programs with me. It is great to have friends now who are
working on the same macrobiotic lifestyle. We share a lot of cooking and shopping
I can't wait to see how
good I will feel in another year! Now, instead of worrying about my future, I
am eager to see how my future unfolds.
I was at Kushi Institute, Larry and Judy MacKenney, two of our wonderful instructors,
would have us get into a circle at the end of class and say, "Every day in
every way I am getting better and better and better." I continue to say this
to myself and for me it has been true - every day in every way I AM getting better
and better and better! Thank you Kushi Institute for such a wonderful gift. You've
given me the gift of health.
Institute Student Sept. 2010
about fifteen years of chasing symptoms, going from doctor to doctor with no diagnosis
other than that I was "very sensitive and had many allergies" I was
diagnosed with Chronic Lyme disease. The symptoms were neuralgic pain, joint pain,
short term memory loss, skin rashes, hormonal imbalance (irregular bleeding and
unexplained prolactin production), profound fatigue, and food and chemical sensitivities.
I went to a specialist and decided to manage my symptoms through diet and herbal
remedies. I was eating close to a macrobiotic diet, without even knowing it...I
then traveled abroad and found a macrobiotic co-op where I was able to eat and
not worry about shopping, cooking, etc. I noticed such a huge improvement in my
health that I decided to go and spend four weeks taking the Level 1 Macrobiotic
Leadership Program at the Kushi Institute. The course taught me so much; mostly
why eating this way works to change your blood, balance hormones, reduce inflammation
and consequently heal your body. I also learned many new recipes to keep the food
interesting and tasty, and energy balancing techniques to practice daily. In addition,
I had a consultation while studying at the Kushi Institute , which helped guide
me regarding the remedies I needed to add to help me heal even more.
I have found that when I maintain a macrobiotic diet/lifestyle my symptoms seem
to dissipate greatly, and sometimes disappear. When I do not eat this way, the
symptoms flare up and wreak havoc on my life. While I was studying at the Kushi
Institute my symptoms flared up initially, due to discharge, but once I was on
the diet for a few weeks my body/mind became more balanced and the symptoms began
to disappear. I have never had a passion for cooking, so I have been using the
recipes that I was taught during the course and have been feeling so much better,
emotionally and physically. I would encourage anyone, whether they are healthy
or not, to try the macrobiotic approach. It will make you feel and look fantastic.
I am certain that a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle is healing my condition and
getting to the root of the imbalances in my system. I feel better than I have
in a very long time.
Type 1 Diabetes
had always liked sweets, and I had a problem with bedwetting since I was four,
but I never had any real problems with my health until October 1972 when I was
eight years old. I remember the night of my cousin's bar mitzvah. I hadn't eaten
all day, and I was so hungry by the end of the evening that I binged on as much
cake as I could eat. The next morning I threw up and began to feel really fatigued.
My mother took me to a pediatrician and the diagnosis was Type 1 diabetes; I was
put on one shot of insulin per day.
I lacked the willpower to stay on the structured
diet plan I was given. By the time I was eleven another doctor put me on two shots
of insulin a day in an effort to better control my blood sugar, since I wasn't
eating as carefully as I was supposed to. From the start, I was always a very
undisciplined eater and drinker, and very poor at following any doctor's instructions;
in fact, developing the ability to be orderly and disciplined in my approach to
taking care of myself has been one of the biggest changes I have experienced now
in my year of practicing macrobiotics. I recall always being angry in the first
few years. I had cut sugar out of my diet, but I was still eating plenty of meat.
1980 my father discovered macrobiotics in Philadelphia through the East West Foundation.
Although my father began eating macrobiotically, I didn't begin until I came to
Boston in June 1983, where I had my first macrobiotic consultation and was given
a completely different way to eat right away. At this time I was taking 65 units
of insulin a day. Marc Cauwenberghe, the consultant I saw, told me I could possibly
be taking as little as 5 or 10 units of insulin by the end of the summer, and
I was sure he was crazy! After about ten days of eating macrobiotically, I was
able to decrease my insulin dosage, dropping by 10 percent increments, from 65
units to 46 units. By June 20th it was down to 35 or 40 units, and some time in
July it went down to 30. Early in August, an experienced macrobiotic cook moved
into the apartment where my father and I were staying, and after a short period
of eating her cooking, my insulin suddenly took another leap downwards.
addition to the decrease in my insulin intake, I soon noticed a number of other
changes. My acne diminished to a few small, dull bumps on my cheeks, and my complexion
was brighter; my shoulders were suddenly straighter; and my energy calm and consistent
from 8 a.m. to midnight. As the weeks became months these changes were
accentuated, and more deep-seated transformations became apparent as well. Most
importantly, it became clear that one old, deeply ingrained assumption of mine
was no longer true. This was the assumption that I would not live past the age
of thirty-five. With the constant feeling of my vitality ebbing away, every year
and every month, this was a constant background in my awareness and approach to
life. Now my daily insulin dosage is down to about 15 units, my vitality is ever
increasing, and I am enjoying every minute of it, since I know that all my dreams,
all my potential will be realized. If I can change this much in a year, anybody
else can change too!
About the 2009
In 2009 Kushi Institute successfully conducted a week-long
Diabetes Project, designed to explore the positive effects of a macrobiotic diet
and llifestyle for people on medication for Type 2 diabetes.
Results of the
project were remarkable,with many participants being able to dramatically reduce
their medication, and some even eliminating medication by the end of the week!
Additional benefits included experiencing greater vitality, mobility,and feelings
I attended the Kushi Institute's Diabetes Project and lost 22
pounds and my blood sugar level is almost normal. My doctor supports my decision
to stop my medication saying that I'm doing as well or even better off the medicine.
Five weeks after attending your program I'm continuing to do great. Thank you
Kushi Institute. David Woodin
the video of the 2009 Diabetes Project click here
Cancer, Weightloss, Increased Energy
When I was
in my early forties, I suffered severe blockage of the urinary tract which necessitated
a transurethral operation on my enlarged prostate. Subsequent multiple adhesions
required reaming, stretching, and splitting of the tube. This apparently caused
the tumor to develop. By the time I reached my sixties this growth had become
malignant. My urologist, believing he had caught it soon enough to hold it in
abeyance by the use of hormones, instead of a major operation, placed me on a
regimen of rather heavy doses of stilbesterol, a female hormone. This was at about
age sixty-three. Stilbesterol is one drug that so-called "female impersonators"
use to change their physique, eliminate body hair, and develop full breasts. The
side effects are pretty awful for a man who wants to remain masculine.
of the more depressing transformations are breast and nipple enlargement with
extreme tenderness, fluid retention throughout the body - the legs in particular
- with resulting inconvenience of hourly toilet trips, both day and night. Also,
loss of fingernail substance results in painful split and torn nails. There are
many other less obvious effects which are equally annoying.
After many visits
to the urologist, with constant reminders to take my daily dosage for the rest
of my life, I finally inveighed him to reduce the hormone strength by half. However,
this didn't help appreciably.
As I approached age sixty-eight, with the tumor
still testing malignant, a good friend and neighbor was diagnosed as having cancer
of the prostate. His wife, a novelist, was given a copy of Recalled By Life by
her publisher. After reading it, they pursued the macrobiotic diet. Once read,
the book was given to me. As I entered my seventieth year this book offered a
possible solution to my discomfort. A meeting with a macrobiotic teacher at the
Kushi Institute provided me with specific guidelines for my condition. After one
month I felt more alive and much less depressed. I stopped taking all medications
and vitamins and made monthly visits to the Kushi Institute for dietary adjustments.
I also lost sixty-five pounds of old fat from all over my body.
macrobiotic months later, I returned to my doctor to report on what I had accomplished.
Very upset, he advised me that "If the results of the tests showed any signs
of cancer, you must immediately start major curative measures (chemotherapy).
If the tests showed no cancer, then just keep on doing whatever you're doing".
He had no knowledge of or desire to learn about, macrobiotics. All tests came
back negative. To be certain, I checked into the Dana Farber Cancer Research Center.
After many tests and a complete bone scan, I was assured that I was "clean".
you have no medical reason to consider macrobiotics, but would like a rewarding
old age with health and happiness, you can gradually adopt a new way of eating.
Your body will accept the change graciously. If medically necessary, first make
certain that you have a support at home, then seek out qualified help. Attend
a program such as the Macrobiotic Residential Seminar presented at the Kushi Institute
in the Berkshires that offers a peaceful and happy atmosphere while you are learning
to cook and live the macrobiotic way. Bring your family support person with you,
if possible, for a week or so of cooking instruction and practice. Follow the
diet carefully when you return home and keep in contact with a macrobiotic teacher
for fine-tuning and adjustments. At all times keep a positive mental attitude
and use mental imagery to overcome your illness.
Those of you who can accept
a change in lifestyle will find many rewards in an exciting and beautiful future.
If you can't accept changes, at least reduce your consumption of red meats, chemically
contaminated poultry, sugar, refined table salt, and junk foods. Remember that
basically no diet will cure; it can only cleanse the body of toxins and fats.
Then mental attitude and imagery can work together to awaken the body's immune
system to overcome the disease. The combination of these two factors in a relaxing
environment almost invariable leads to better health.
As of November 1990,
I am almost seventy-seven years old. I am still "clean" with almost
unlimited energy. I can eat all I want without gaining weight, and look forward
to another twenty or thirty years of excitement and happiness.
Macrobiotic Experience, newsletter published by Herb and Virginia Walley, Newton
Massachusetts, November, 1990.
I was in 7th grade I had my first petite mal seizure. About one year later I had
another. By this time I had had exams and EEG testing and put on dilantin capsules
3x per day. This never sat well with me and beside that always made me sleepy.
I had also experienced vertigo for quite a while.
When I discovered macrobiotics
my wife and I began to practice on our own. I discovered George Osawa's books
and began to read them and try to apply the teaching and philosophy. We would
binge widely at that time due to lack of understanding and experience.
later we had moved to Massachusetts and began studying macrobiotics with Michio
and Aveline Kushi. I learned that my condition was caused by too much liquid in
general and extremely yin (expansive) foods and drinks such as: fruits, juices,
liquid, alcohol, sugar, spices and other expansive items. I began eating a more
balanced diet of whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables and other supplemental
foods. As my condition improved the vertigo disappeared and I never had another
seizure. I began to feel stronger and more balanced with a sense of improved overall
health. As more time passed other aspects of my physical, mental, emotional and
spiritual condition improved as well. I realized that I was healing my whole body
and mind and not just a symptom. Today I'm always trying to improve and grow while
enjoying my hobbies, work and interest.
Scleroderma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis
As a child,
I was always in nonstop motion, bubbly, laughing, athletic, considered a fireball,
always on the go. As a student with a type-A personality I was always very involved
with sports, taking on after school activities and also working part-time. I was
always burning the candle at both ends.
When my body first began to signal
something was wrong I was too distracted to notice. After ignoring early symptoms,
my condition began to spiral rapidly. My pointer finger swelled, puffed up like
a sausage. I was overworking and didn't think anything of it. Next I was having
inflammation in my hands, all my fingers were swollen, and then my feet swelled.
As a waitress, I walked with a little bit of a limp. I woke up one morning in
March and I couldn't walk. I was in so much pain: my hands were crooked. I was
losing weight, and my skin color was off.
I went to a Rheumatologist and everything
came back negative. He told me I had an autoimmune disease. Doctors wanted to
give me very strong drugs which I was fearful of so I declined all the immunosuppressants.
Because I was nonfunctional, I agreed to go on an anti-inflammatory, called Mobic.
Mobic helped for a little while and then my health began to decline again. The
drugs are worse than the symptoms of the disease. I was sick all the time. I was
exhausted. I was so anemic I could barely stand. I realized very quickly that
medication is not the answer for me.
I was given a book by a doctor which
talked about the Raw Food Diet and fasting. I decided to give it a try. Basically
it was a diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and nuts, raw juices, a lot of
pea soup, a lot of bean soup, every single day. The doctor also wanted to wean
me off the anti-inflammatory medication, which kept my swelling down and pain
in check but the medication was interfering with the healing from raw food diet.
I did the Raw Foods diet for 6 months. Initially, I credit it for saving my life.
I feel I would have died if I had not started the Raw Food diet. My body was just
that far gone at that point. But then I started being in pain again and having
no energy again. The Raw Food diet and fasting kept many of my symptoms at bay
but the relief was short lived. One by one the horrible symptoms began creeping
back into my life and leading a normal existence was not possible.
this point I dropped out of college; my kidneys and my liver were not doing well.
My spleen was gigantic. I had internal bleeding, severe anemia, respiratory problems,
heart palpitations, and beginning to lose my hair. My whole body was covered with
redness and sores. The medical treatments were not helping. My first dermatologist
misdiagnosed my symptoms as acne, and gave me acne medication. It turned out later
to be psoriasis.
Dealing with psoriasis
was very difficult for me. It was the beginning of the disfiguring. I'd look in
the mirror and say, "Who is this," "How could I have come this
far?" Red marks covered 50 percent of my body, it was incredibly painful.
It looked like a contagious infection and it wasn't. My skin would crack and bleed
and ooze. It was itchy. My own reflection frightened me. I realized the Raw Foods
diet was not going to work for me. My body needed to heal and the raw food diet
didn't provide the nutrition my organs needed. I lost all hope at this point.
According to my doctor the blood tests explained nothing.
What allowed me
to get up in the morning was the faith I had that God wasn't going to allow this
to go on and it was going to come to an end. I kept exploring alternative medicine,
even though the Raw Food diet had failed me. I went to see Dr Scunziano, who said
"You've got to go to the Kushi Institute." The doctor explained the
concept of the Raw Food diet. If a body is sick or diseased, it has an even harder
time absorbing the raw food. Macrobiotics applies heat to most of the food. In
June 2005 I flew to the Kushi Institute, in Becket, MA. After taking the orientation
class of the Way To Health Program, I felt that this was going to work and help
heal my body.
I was at Kushi, I had a private Macrobiotic counseling session with Luci Baranda.
She sat down and walked me though my symptoms. The first thing she noticed was
that my kidney's and intestines were weak. She could tell I was anemic by looking
at the white of my eyes. When your kidneys are not functioning properly your body
secretes toxins through the skin, which is what caused the psoriasis. In Macrobiotics,
you eat foods that have a neutral effect on the body. And therefore allows your
body to heal. In Macrobiotics, you eat balanced foods and that has a healing affect
on all the organs of the body.
I stayed at the Kushi Institute for 1 week
and after 1 week I understood the healing power of food. I learned I needed to
change my behavior by eliminating stress and eat food that is healing. I was put
on a very specific healing diet that was tailored to my exact symptoms. When I
started to eat better food my blood quality improved. The skin spots started to
disappear little by little. I began to notice a difference immediately from the
first day I was at Kushi -- more energy because the medications had really drained
When I left Kushi, I looked brighter and felt more optimistic and was
filled with hope. When I returned home from Kushi, I was well enough to prepare
my own foods and went shopping to the health food store and shopped for udon noodles,
whole grains, vegetables, beans, sea vegetables and miso soup. I immediately started
cooking healthy delicious meals. The only thing differently I did was to change
my diet. Modern medicine could not provide the answers that I needed and I had
the strength to take matters into my own hands.
My search for answers paid
off when I found the Kushi Institute. Macrobiotics healed my kidneys and stopped
the anemia, my hair and skin fully recovered. Macrobiotics has helped free me
to lead a normal life. I continue to do Macrobiotics and in December 2005 I was
able to come off all of the steroids. I graduated from college with a bachelor's
degree. I started working full time in January 2006. A change in diet can save
your life. Macrobiotics has helped me to slow down and take more time with things,
not rush through things, and to lead a more balanced life.
Pagnum's recovery story is aired frequently on the Veria Television Network on
the The Incurables television show. A free copy of the DVD is available by calling
the Kushi Institute at 1-800-975-8744. The Way To Health Program is held monthly
at the Kushi Institute. Tuition Assistance is available for folks with a health
condition who have financial difficulties. www.kushiinstitute.org
Atkinson - September 2011
back on my childhood growing up in Southern California, I think of all the magic
in my life. Of how much I loved singing every song in my Dad's CD collection,
acting in plays, dancing, performing on stage, writing, reading and learning languages
like French and Latin. Of cooking with my mom and riding on my Dad's Harley, then
coming home to eat ice cream with him. I loved school and was considered a healthy
and beautiful child. One of my mom's friends always said I was like a wise old
soul in a child's body.
Then In my teens, everything changed when I went to
a doctor for a routine checkup. At the time I was experiencing what I thought
were simply cold symptoms. He took one look at my neck and said, "Wow, your
thyroid is really swollen." I had no idea what a thyroid was and was not
sure what was wrong. He sent me to an endocrinologist, and I was diagnosed with
Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disease where antibodies damage the thyroid
cells, interfering with their ability to make thyroid hormones. The parathyroid
and the thyroid gland swell up to an abnormal size, having many lumps and nodules
within the glands. In my case, it was also sticking to my surrounding vocal chords.
Being an autoimmune disease, my body was attacking itself. I had no idea
why, and the many doctor's I saw just made it more confusing for me - all of them
had differing opinions on what was going on, why it happened, and what should
be done. Some said it was hyperthyroidism, some said hypothyroidism, while others
thought what was going on was "normal". I had also heard from them it
was very strange for a girl my age to have Hashimoto's, as mostly women in their
30s or late 40s get it. I was only 14.
After my initial diagnosis I soon
developed other, worse symptoms, ranging from depression, fatigue, cold hands
and feet, shaking muscles and hands, inability to focus and think, hypoglycemia,
weight fluctuation, painful periods, and symptoms resembling irritable bowel syndrome.
I was told I would be infertile, my symptoms would never go away, and that I would
be lucky to live a fulfilled life.
was put on a variety of synthetic medicines, given no advice on diet and nutrition,
and was told many things would keep getting worse now that I had this disease.
There were many tests done, including X-rays and scans, frequent blood tests,
and even draining the glands of excess liquid. I was poked and prodded.
Despite all I was put through and the medications, there were no change in results.
It was very draining to keep on this way and not feel any better, while trying
to find balance, not only with my T3 and T4 levels (thyroid hormone indicators)
but also within myself and my life.
The doctors suggested chemotherapy,
more medications, radiation, or even to have the thyroid gland completely removed.
They never discussed my eating habits, or other forms of treatment such as acupuncture
or Chinese herbs.
When I inquired about the recommended surgery, I was
told it would take 4 hours at UCLA Medical Center, and entailed completely removing
the thyroid gland and parathyroids, and this would mean taking a hormone replacement
every day for the rest of my life. During the operation they would have to scrape
the sticky gland off my vocal chords, possibly damaging them, and I was warned
after the operation my voice might not ever be the same. Because I loved singing,
possibly not being able to sing again was a very discouraging prospect. The doctors
said even after the operation the various problematic symptoms I had been experiencing
most likely wouldn't get better.
I had to make a decision on how to proceed
with medical options. I knew I didn't want radiation, and the drugs I had been
taking weren't working. After 3 years of drugs, tests, and suffering I couldn't
keep going this way. I had to do something, and thinking the advice I was being
given by my doctors were my only options, I had to make a choice based on their
Therefore, at 17 I underwent the surgery to have the glands removed
and the vocal chords were scraped. It was a very difficult surgery and recovery
I went on two daily synthetic hormone replacement medicines,
and as I had been told might happen, my depression and other symptoms did not
get better. As my hormones went all over the place I developed new problems: I
gained 30-40 pounds, my bra jumped 3 sizes and my skin broke out constantly. I
had anxiety, fainting (which I found out later was from the hypoglycemia), and
either loss of appetite or a feeling of hunger that could not be satisfied. My
eyesight was also becoming worse and I had to get glasses. My voice was recovering,
yet it was very hard for me to enjoy singing because I felt self conscious about
the way I sounded after the surgery. Because of my excessive weight, a year later,
I had a breast reduction surgery, and then the following year, laser eye surgery.
Being only in my teens, it felt like my life had become a constant in
and out of doctors offices, with no answers or reassurance, and no relief in symptoms
- I was feeling there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
I also felt
isolated from my peers as they seemed to be completely healthy and could do as
they pleased. I just wanted to be a 'normal' kid and enjoy my life.
22, I had a "spiritual awakening", as some may call it. Even though
I was young, I was so unhealthy. I looked at my life and decided I needed to make
a change or else I was not going to last much longer. I had addictions to fast
food, alcohol, drugs and sugar; I had a complete lack of self worth and esteem,
and no motivation or drive. I didn't want to wake up or do anything, I stopped
dancing, singing, writing, enjoying my life. I hadn't become the person of worth
I once believed myself to be: smart, talented, goal-oriented, and happy. I had
become a complete stranger to myself and my loved ones.
I just wanted to feel like everyone else, I wasn't taking into account my health
differences, and before long the many signs calling me to pay attention became
very apparent. I became aware of how highly sensitive I am to anything I consume,
and once I realized I needed to detox to get healthy, I moved to North Carolina
where my parents lived.
What I ate and put in my body became crucial
because if I wanted to recover from my illnesses and not relapse back into drugs
and alcohol, I had to be wise in my choices. I couldn't eat like other people
could. While other people could enjoy a cheeseburger or chicken salad, I got sick
instantly. My body was giving me very careful signs that I finally had to surrender
and listen to.
Reluctant to the idea of rehab or a detox center, I again
went to the doctor and was told to take more drugs, such as antidepressants, pain
medications, and so forth. This surprised me; I am trying to get healthy and get
off drugs and yet the solution was to be given more drugs. For me, personally,
I had to go a different way and take a more natural approach, or else it would
only continue the cycle of illness.
started looking up natural remedies, healing teas, vegan recipes and started to
see an acupuncturist multiple times a week. I meditated for my mind, and practiced
yoga for my body. I started to attend dance classes again as well - just being
on the floor at all was a huge difference and I realized I left smiling for the
first time in a while. If I wanted better health and a longer life, I had to get
sober, and give up meat, dairy, gluten, sugar and eggs, and I kept that elimination
diet for a few months before realizing I still needed guidance.
told me it was a shame I didn't have a session when I was 14, because I could
have saved my thyroid gland with just a few simple acupuncture sessions and a
change in diet. I had lost a good amount of weight from eliminating all those
toxic foods, but I still did not know how to eat properly for health recovery.
I was trying to be a gluten-free vegan, so my diet basically consisted of a lot
of sugary products and
fruit, and was completely out of balance. She told me how these food choices (which
I thought were beneficial), were making my hypoglycemia worse. She then told me
about macrobiotics and the Kushi Institute in Becket. She encouraged me to not
only take a visit to the beautiful campus, but also to "go for the gold"
and attend the Macrobiotic Leadership Program (also known as the Levels), with
the goal of becoming a macrobiotic counselor. Macrobiotics had to be a better
answer than what I was doing, and I was ready for anything that could bring peace
into my life.
Looking at the calendar, I had to make a fast choice. The
program started in a week, and it was either go to Kushi Institute right away
and push through the three months of the Macrobiotic Leadership Program (also
known as the Levels,) or go for a short visit to check it out first, and then
decide if I liked it and wanted to attend later. I decided a short visit was a
waste of time and money, so I signed up to do the complete program.
I could not have been happier with that choice. As soon
as I stepped on the Kushi Institute campus, the energy and beauty enveloped my
whole being, and brought a feeling of peace, relief and rejuvenation. The beauty
of the Kushi Institute is not only in the lovely natural surroundings of rolling
wooded hills, but also the delightful teachers and the nourishing food. There
is constantly something new to learn, which invigorates and surprises the mind,
body and soul. The food could not be more delicious because of the positive energy
put into every step of preparation- the chefs and volunteers keep it lively by
singing and laughing, helping each other, and having a genuine appreciation for
the meal. I feel this light then shines through the people who come to take a
program; they actually feel that loving energy in the food, and then they feel
better and better everyday.
At Kushi Institute I discovered so much about
myself, and so many new things I can now enjoy throughout my day. I am also so
thankful to have met all the wonderful people there from all over the world. I
learned that macrobiotics is not about restriction or focusing on what you can't
have - it's about finding balance in all aspects of your life, and finding peace
within yourself. I don't feel deprived when I think of how I used to eat steak,
junk food, chicken caesar salads and lots of cake, because I feel more fulfilled
with my delicious healthy food now than I did with those other foods
importantly, my symptoms have lightened, leaving me with a feeling of awe. I feel
better now than I ever did growing up. As I write this I have been at Kushi Institute
for 5 months (having become a volunteer after 13 weeks in the Levels.) I have
been sober for almost 2 years now and I am able to manage my blood sugar levels,
my hands and body don't shake anymore, I can tolerate the cold or heat easier,
my weight is at a normal range for my body type, and I have more energy than I
did when I was a kid. I jump out of bed now, my mind is clear so my thoughts are
too, the dosage of the natural thyroid hormone I take daily to replace the missing
gland is lower than it was, and I know from a fertility test than one day I will
be able to have a family of my own. I also hold endless appreciation in my heart
every day. After everything I had been warned about, I am healing myself of with
the power of a plant-based, organic, whole foods, macrobiotic diet and lifestyle.
I am thrilled I'm able to continue to teach ballroom dance, and practice
all other forms of dancing I love, like belly dancing, salsa dancing, and ballet.
I sing as much as possible and also enjoy chanting for meditation. My voice has
never sounded stronger or more passionate as since I've been at Kushi Institute.
I hope to take what I've learned and teach and cook for many people all over the
world, and plant the seed of macrobiotics everywhere I travel. Once I have completed
Level 4 (which takes two years), I plan on having a practice as a macrobiotic
counselor for individuals and families.
Greek Philosopher Hippocrates said, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy
medicine be thy food." Now I know what my body is telling me I need, and
I listen to it, and sometimes it's simply a bowl of brown rice.
Business Performance, Weight Loss and More
The Kushi story
for me starts not with my health but about growing my business. I own an ecommerce
company in China and I have been looking to grow it - grow it big.
that quest, I have looked to find a mentor to guide me in this endeavor. Ten months
ago, I met an amazing Italian gentleman by the name of Pecce - a man that has
done what I am looking to do.
Now in his
70s, Pecce was the chairman and CEO of Wall Street English China - a company that
provided English language training to Chinese students. At age of 68, his company
sold for $125 million dollars. He grew the business from 0 to 125 million in less
than a decade.
agreed to be my mentor - and that is how my Kushi story begins.
our first session, I asked Pecce a simple question. He gave me an answer I didn't
think I was looking for. My question was, "What is the next step I need to
Pecce's answer was - "go
to the Kushi Institute". As you can imagine, going to the Kushi Institute,
which deals with food, health and eating - wasn't exactly what I was looking for.
I was looking for strategy, hiring guidelines, funding options, etc. But food?
was scheduled to go for a trek to the Everest Basecamp the next month - and Pecce
gently said - "Cancel it. Kushi instead." So, perhaps it wasn't so gentle,
but the message was clear - The first step to success is Kushi. I checked out
the information about Kushi, and challenged Pecce on it - "Pecce, this place
is so cheap, are you sure it's good?" Pecce said - "Yes. Go."
fact, he actually didn't want to talk to me about 'business' until after Kushi
- until then he said, my mind and thoughts wouldn't be clear enough to make good
Hmm, I thought I was doing pretty
good. But one of the rules of mentorship is that if a mentor tells you to do something,
you better do it. And what was the harm?
I canceled my Everest trip and instead rebooked myself for a month long trip to
The results -
now been four months since I have come back from the Kushi Insitute. I have now
thanked Pecce probably over a dozen times for insisting I go there. Why?
you are in an executive position - be it a CEO or a CMO (Chief Mom Office) - the
utmost importance is "clear mind, strong energy and good health."
didn't realize how much of those things I didn't have. The years of building my
business to what it was today have taken a great toll. I didn't quite see it,
but Pecce did.
-I gained weight and was
- I was fatigued most of the time.
I was stressed about even the smallest things.
how does food and eating help with this? Well, it turns out, that it's everything.
- After 4 months, I dropped a lot of weight
- over 30lbs. Weight loss was NOT any of my goals, but it was a very nice benefit
of eating the Kushi way.
- My energy levels
have increased 10x or maybe 20! Whereas I would get up in the morning before and
start my day at 11AM - with a few cups of coffee to help me get started, I start
my days now at around 7AM. Coffee is gone and green tea is there instead.
My stress levels have reduced - and the small things now are just that - small
things. Even as I write this, I'm facing challenges that in the past would have
seen my stress levels go through the roof - but I now process them in a calm and
- My restless leg syndrome
that was affecting my sleep for the last 15 years has improved by a great deal.
I sleep better now than I have in the past.
My allergy to gluten has much improved. If I had gluten in the food I ate before
Kushi, even a bit, I would be 'out' the next day. Now, if somehow gluten gets
into my diet - I can feel it - but I'm still good to go.
mom had tried to teach me about food for years but I didn't listen. It wasn't
till Kushi that I truly EXPERIENCED the difference food makes.
now, if I go out to dinner and eat something that is not Macrobiotic, I pretty
much know that tomorrow I will not be in my optimal condition. I expect that I
will be a bit slower, a bit more sluggish and probably a little less sharp. And,
being an engineer, I have proven this. If I eat the macrobiotic way, I am in top
shape, and if I divert, I can FEEL the difference.
this bit of knowledge, I still go out sometimes, but when I do, I know that what
I put in my body today will have impact on my performance tomorrow.
story and my results so far have been added by some things I did to re-organize
my life around macrobiotic (Kushi) way.
When I left Kushi, I had one of the counselors prepare a very detailed, 2 week
menu and recipes for me. This is one of the best things I did. Although, Kushi
teaches you how to plan your own menu, I found that having it done for you is
tremendously helpful and makes the macrobiotic diet that much more accessible.
I am lucky to have a cook in Beijing that cooks all my meals for me. I had those
recipes translated into Chinese, all the ingredients sourced, and a schedule established.
-I work close to my home, so my lunch (and if I work late,dinner) gets brought
over to my office from home.
BUT, my story
is not about, whether someone can pull it off. I know that for me personally,
without a cook, and what I have in my daily life, eating the macrobiotic way would
have been rather difficult. But, I also know that in North America, most people
are accustomed to cooking for themselves. And, for those times when I cook for
myself, making a macrobiotic meal is actually easier and faster that a western
The point, however, is that
in my experience, the macrobiotic way works and works well.The results are incredible
and the performance gains I got from the new way is something I could never imagine.
Pecce and I are now going to start talking about business - balance sheets,
P&L, strategy, etc. But, when we do, I will keep macrobiotic eating in the
forefront because I understand now that I can't run if I don't learn how to eat!
graph of my weight is attached. Remember though, weight loss was not my goal,
but the weight loss matched the improvement in my performance.
marketer at heart, Paul has managed to overcome the challenges of linear thinking
from his Electrical Engineering background, to blend technology, sales and marketing
into one. With focus on 'getting things done', Paul has held a varied number of
positions, all bound by the common thread of selling and marketing. Paul is currently
the CEO and Co-founder of PearlsOnly.com and RedStores.com-ecommerce company started
- 8 years ago. Now with nearly 100,000 customers in the US, UK and over $12MM
in sales to date -organically grown with an initial investment of $2000 - Paul
has proven that there is no limit to what one can do.
Prior to PearlsOnly,
Paul held a number of varied positions, notably, as a Senior Account Executive
at Telvant, in Calgary, Canada. Focusing on long term, long lead sales, over the
period of 4 years; Paul was directly responsible for the strategy, pursuit, proposal
and negotiation of over 15 large scale pipeline automation projects - with the
combined value of over $40MM USD. Assembling multi discipline teams from within
Telvant ranging from R&D staff, to C level executives, Paul would relentlessly
battle against competitors - constantly crisscrossing the US - often waking up
and not remembering what city he was in on a given day.
While at Telvant, Paul
was recruited by ABB and relocated to Manheim, Germany - to take up the post of
Director, Global Pipeline Solution Unit. At ABB Paul was responsible for looking
after the marketing and sales of ABB's Pipelines solutions globally, directing
a team of professionals across the globe, including a Chinese section. Relocating
to Europe was an amazing experience, and exploring Europe from within Europe was
a highlight - especially the ability to cruise on the Autobahn at 250km without
the threat of a ticket. However, professionally, shortly after arriving in Germany,
Paul has come to realize that climbing the corporate ladder, in Germany, although
financially rewarding, wasn't very good for the soul. When an opportunity presented
itself to relocate to ABB in China - Paul took the leap. However despite the move,
the strong desire to hold ones destiny in ones hand persisted, and when the opportunity
presented itself, Paul resigned his position with ABB to start PearlsOnly.
holds a B.SC in Engineering with Computer Minor, and has completed a number of
in digital filter theory. In his spare time, Paul's like to play with the latest
and greatest electronic gadgets, likes to read marketing, psychology and business
books - and enjoys reading science fiction novels.
By Margarita Lupi 2012
I left Kushi Institute after the Way To Health and Way To Health Plus programs
in 2011, I had lost 12 pounds already!
With macrobiotics, I can eat as
much food as I want! It is now February of 2012, nine months since I first started
macrobiotics, and I have lost 48 pounds thus far! I began at 186 pounds, and am
now at 138 pounds!".
I was a real
go-getter! I became successful at an early age by using my admittedly type-A personality
to acquire several businesses and even co-invent and patent a product. I pursued
a very productive and dynamic lifestyle. While living in the fast lane, I had
to have breast re-constructive surgery in 1985 followed by silicone breast implants.
Afterwards, I was plagues with colds and flu that would not go away, extreme fatigue,
headaches and sleeplessness. These immune deficiencies were the first signs that
something was not right.
body continued to deteriorate. The doctors could not figure it out. My hair started
to fall out, I lost my eyebrows and most of my eyelashes and my sight began to
deteriorate. I lost my sense of smell and taste and started to gain weight at
alarming rates unrelated to my caloric intake. My memory lapsed, night sweats
and insomnia were commonplace and muscle fatigue started to set in. Over the next
few years, I became a candidate for the person with the most symptoms in the Guinness
Book of World Records. They included chronic fatigue, bowel problems, urinary
and bladder problems, irregular heartbeat, depression, neuromuscular, and finally
breast lumps that let to tumors. My whole body was breaking down.
At the end
of the seven and a half years, I deteriorated to the point that I was confined
to a wheelchair. I lost the use of my left arm, then left leg, right leg, and
finally most of my right arm. Medical testing found damage to the left lobe of
my brain and my thinking process was impaired. Like a stroke patient, I could
understand what people said to me but could not communicate back. For a talker
like me, this was torture.
Medication didn't seem to be able to touch the pain.
My connective tissue was on fire, an extreme form of fibromyalgia and migraine
headaches lasted until I almost passed out. Certain areas of my skin felt like
a burn victim's and I couldn't tolerate even light cloth. A frame was built over
my bed to lay the covers so I wouldn't scream in pain with the pressure of the
blankets on my overly sensitive skin.
I could find no relief. I could not
find my spirit. I prayed for the only relief I could imagine: to pass away peacefully,
quickly. I was dying a slow, agonizing death.
my sickness multiplied, I lost or sold all my businesses, investments, homes and
possessions. The doctors did the best they could, but were really at a loss. I
learned of the problems of breast implants and had them removed, but this time
my body was already too far gone. The doctors finally told me I might have two
to three weeks left and that I should start to plan my funeral. I'll never forget
that judgment, but I was ready and wanted to die at home. I went home, planned
my funeral, and waited for the end to come. Among the few personal items left
were my books. My bed was surrounded by reading material - books on healing, cancer
and every illness imaginable. There were medical books, self-help books, herbal
books and books on prayer and meditation. My nurse thought I was crazy. Although
I was virtually blind, unable to communicate, and could hardly turn a page, some
primitive impulse to survive remained. My fiancé was a scientist and had
taught me the value of research.
One day I was lying there, crying in pain
and using one of my good arms to slowly turn the pages of a book on alternative
health care, the words "Macrobiotic" and "natural healing"
suddenly came into focus. That instant is vividly engraved in my mind to this
day. Something about those unfamiliar words made me place my hand on the page
and wait for my fiancé to come home. He picked the book up, started reading,
and then I heard my first miracle - a scientist snapping his fingers and exclaiming,
"That's it! It makes sense".
Over the next few weeks we continued
to read up on macrobiotics - the miracle of "great life." My helpers
cooked for me, plastered ginger compress, massaged and body-scrubbed me and sang
silly songs to lift my spirits. Three weeks later, I stood up from the wheel chair!
We were stunned, then elated, crazed with relief.
the next few weeks and months, my body continued to rejuvenate with healthful
foods: brown rice and other whole grains, miso soup, beans and bean products such
as tofu and tempeh, fresh garden vegetables, and small daily amounts of sea vegetables.
hair started growing back, overall pain lessened, and my eyesight returned. Soon
the seizures stopped and the ability to talk returned. (You can't shut me up now!).
Thinking processes normalized, all bodily functions strengthened and the tumors
naturally melted away.
I got up from my deathbed (and the wheelchair) in 1994
and have not stopped since. My macrobiotic practice has gone forwards, backwards
and even upside down. But I continue to make progress and keep healing. I have
gone through many physical and emotional discharges, especially to release the
old animal food, dairy, sugar, and chemicals that, from the macrobiotic view,
were the underlying cause of my manifold ills.
I have seen and felt many miraculous
things on my macrobiotic journey; moments of pain, strength, fear, and surrender.
But most of all, as my health returned, I experienced more moments of unbridled
joy than I can count!
Jenny Sockey Story
Got Her Life Back!
Jenny Sockey, a resident
of Washington State, suffered from MS symptoms for decades.
first experienced MS symptoms when she was 19, but because she was told by her
doctor that it was "all in her head", she did not return to a doctor
for diagnosis until she was in her early thirties. At that time, she was diagnosed
with remissive MS. After spending many years bouncing in and out of debilitating
symptoms, Jenny noticed a change in 2006. Her symptoms were lasting longer and
getting worse, and she realized she had entered into the progressive phase of
MS. Her doctor confirmed her suspicions a couple of years later and she was told
to be prepared to be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Her doctor also
suggested she sign up to be part of an experimental stem cell transplant.
to be in the best health possible for the surgery, and having learned about macrobiotics
through her mother-in-law, Jenny contacted her sister-in-law Paula Laurin, and
asked Paula to help her implement a macrobiotic plan. Paula had gone through the
Kushi Institute's Macrobiotic Leadership Certificate Program back in 2000, and
had worked for many years at Kushi Institute as the Program Manager.
helped Jenny to contact Judy MacKenney (a Kushi Institute teacher and counselor)
for a consultation. Judy laid out a dietary plan for Jenny to follow in April
of 2011. Paula, who lives near Kushi Institute in Massachusetts, traveled to Washington
to help Jenny cook and show her how to accurately follow Judy's instructions.
results were incredible - within the first week Jenny was able to lift 20 lbs
with her leg where she was not able to lift anything the week before. After about
3 weeks, she went to see the experimental stem cell doctor who was amazed at her
improvement and ability to walk quickly, and without her crutches! Jenny had improved
so much so that the doctor told Jenny she was no longer qualified for the experimental
program. The doctor was shocked at the degree of improvement for someone with
progressive MS, and said if she had not seen it with her own eyes; she would not
have believed it! She had never seen this in her practice before.
is back to doing most of the activities she loves, and feeling great. Her overjoyed
husband said that he had seen Jenny have bouts of improvement now and then, but
she always lapsed back. He had never seen any of her improvements last this long.
Jenny will be joining us at Kushi Institute
from October 9 to 15 for our Way to Health PLUS program. She asked us to announce
that, while she is here, she is happy to talk with program participants and people
from the local community about her MS history and wonderful results with macrobiotics.
If you are interested in attending the Way to Health PLUS program, or finding
out when she is speaking during the week, give us a call at 1-800-975-8744, or
email us at email@example.com
am from Malta, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
I am 40 years
old and have had lupus for 10 years. All this time I have had pain, plus my organs
were weakened by medications and steroids. My body (chest, hands, feet and back)
all have red marks from a combination of the lupus and the medications.
came to Kushi Institute this June after seeing the recovery story of Meghan Pagnam
on the TV show The Incurables that aired in Malta. Meghan had very similar symptoms
to mine, and she tells on the show how much Kushi Institute helped her. Following
what she learned at Kushi Institute her skin lesions disappeared and she was able
to get off all medications, and live a life pain free and a life full of energy.
So this gave me great hope that I could do the same.
When I arrived for
Kushi Institute's Way To Health Program, I immediately started following a whole
foods, plant-based diet. I had a private Macrobiotic Consultation and the counselor
recommended certain foods and remedies that would help my body heal the quickest.
In the program I learned all about the power of healing foods and which foods
I need to avoid for health recovery. After only 4 days of being at Kushi Institute
the pain I suffered for the last 10 years was gone!
Some people with Lupus
are told by their medical doctors they will need to be taking medications all
their lives. I am now choosing to make Food my medicine and chose the Kushi Institute
to help guide me.
I received so much support from Kushi Institute teachers,
visitors and other students, learning everyday what I need to do to help regain
my health. Even in the short time I've been here, because of macrobiotics my body
is getting stronger and stronger. I have a 10 year old son that is so proud of
me for having the strength to research alternative health. My only wish is to
live a happy, vibrant, life full of LIFE.
I am leaving Kushi Institute on July
17th after staying here for 3 full weeks. I have the patience and perseverance
to continue macrobiotics back home until I am fully recovered. Please email me
if you have any questions about lupus or my path to recovery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
the end of March, 1989, after several months of noticeable decreasing strength
and loss of weight, I was diagnosed by my doctor in Ghana as having uterine tumors
around the cervical and fallopian areas. I had suffered menstrual difficulties
and infections and was terrified by this abnormal situation. I told the gynecologist
that I was psychologically upset and emotionally unstable. "Whatever you
find, I want you to tell me," I insisted. He agreed and recognized that I
am the kind of person who must know the score to feel in control, or at least
understand the situation. He kept his word.
view of how the tumor was beginning to block the entrance from the vulva, I was
in danger of starving. The doctors hoped to remove the tumor surgically, but this
was not possible because it was associated with major vital organs. The surgeon/gynecologist
and pathologist rerouted the abdominal and lower G.I. tract around the tumors
to allow me to absorb food. He emphasized that this was not a cure. He indicated
softly and gently that I would not survive and also informed my husband that I
had only had a few weeks or months to live.
only Savior was God. The average survival time after diagnosis of uterine cancer
is four to six months. So when I came home it was to die.
one day my husband and Dr. Ofei brought home a newsletter called One Peaceful
World dedicated to "Macrobiotics for Personal and Planetary Health."
There was much information and inspiration on how to recover from any form of
disease--how to maintain hope and use food as medicine. Dr. Ofei told me much
about the macrobiotic diet and how he uses it to help his former clients overcome
lots of life failures. My husband and I went to his home office- the Macrobiotic
Center of Legon -where he counseled us. There were so many people there including
young ones and breast-feeding mothers. We were initially disbelieving, but a similar
close associate had been helped in a case of profuse bleeding. Our attitude was
that it would be better to do something than nothing.
Ofei recommended a restricted diet tailored to my needs and later, after a couple
of months, increased the number of foods I could eat. The diet suited me very
well, particularly in giving me strength through brown rice and greens. I found
the cereal I had every morning for breakfast sustaining. Eventually eleven months
after the operation, I was able once again to rejoin my group and do more exercises.
physicians and other paramedical were amazed that I have survived now for five
years and am in good health. This is not what the medical textbooks indicate.
They say that the survival rate for all forms of undetected uterine cancer is
I am very much
indebted and grateful to Michio Kushi, Alex Jack, and Dr. Ofei and think that
because of the macrobiotic diet, my general health has been so good that my own
system has managed to prevent any secondary appearing in the bowels.
members of the village communities in my country ask me how I would eat if I were
totally healed tomorrow. My only answer is that Father God works through One Peaceful
World, Michio Kushi, Alex Jack, and Dr. Ofei. I tell them I will continue to eat
macrobiotically because, having learned to cook in this way, I find it delicious
as well as health-giving.
the time of writing this report to you, our members have gone to a camp meeting
and all greet you from my church at Jasmen.
months, I had felt the desire to have my breasts checked for possible cysts or
tumors, but not wanting to expose myself to radiation, I was reluctant to undergo
a standard mammogram. In January 1995, after returning from a spiritually oriented
trip to India, my intuition continued to tell me that I needed a medical checkup.
this occasion, a local naturopath offered me the opportunity of undergoing a thermogram,
a heat sensing technique which detects densities within the body such as tumors
and cysts. This process is regarded by many clinicians as superior to the mammogram
due to its capacity for detecting growths at very early stages.
thermogram indicated a cyst in my left breast and two others forming in my right
breast. The naturopath who performed the process was particularly concerned with
the growth on the left breast, which appeared to be a serious health problem.
I am in my late-30s and like most women my age worried about cancer. Although
he recommended a treatment based on herbal supplements, I decided to investigate
other forms of healing. A close friend suggested a local doctor of Oriental medicine
who had success treating cancer patients. His confidence and gentleness with me
during a telephone interview assured me that he was the right person to help me
On my initial visit
to Dr. Takamatsu, he mentioned that I needed to remove all dairy products from
my diet. He stood quietly and looked at me squarely in the eyes as if to see if
I could or would reconcile this change in my lifestyle. Since I became a vegetarian,
most of my protein was derived from dairy products. I was particularly fond of
yogurt and cheese. My desire was to heal, and without hesitation I replied, "Yes."
Then almost in the same breath, I asked, "What about sugar?" Don't ask
me what possessed me to ask that question, especially since at this point I had
no notion of macrobiotics.
"No, sugar," he replied. On the treatment sheet he provided an explanation
of the macrobiotic diet and a strong encouragement to follow this regime in order
to hasten the healing process.
seemed to take me under her wing, for within a few days I discovered The Cancer
Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi and a local macrobiotic restaurant. Several weeks
later, I met Edward Esko, a teacher and counselor at the Kushi Institute in Becket,
Mass., who was giving a lecture at this same restaurant and I arranged with him
for a private consultation.
are many factors involved in healing. I decided to approach my healing process
holistically, and thus actively involve mind, body, and spirit in the recovery
process. Already I had an established background in practicing contemplation and
meditation. For several months, I had learned and practiced pranayamas, or yogic
breathing exercises, which oxygenate and detoxify the cells in the body. My experience
with massage therapy (I'm a certified massage therapist) had exposed me to both
physical de-stressing techniques, as well as various energy techniques such as
Network Chiropractic, Reiki, and Cranio-Sacral. I continued acupuncture treatments
with Dr. Takamatsu. My weak spots were my past diet and lack of exercise, so I
began yoga classes and strictly followed Edward Esko's macrobiotic recommendations.
I initially lost a great deal of weight, my energy did not appear to suffer. Not
once since starting a macrobiotic diet have I been ill with a cold or flu, or
any other ailment. Despite my apparent good health, I felt the need to be reassured
about the development of the cysts. Four and a half months after seeking alternatives
and beginning to eat macrobiotic, I had a mammogram done (as the thermogram machine
was not available). The mammogram revealed fibrocystic tissue, but showed no signs
of cysts on either breast.
I am very grateful for my cysts because the experience has exposed me to a healthier
way of eating and living. The situation impacted me to the core and has resulted
in transformations much greater than are visible in a mammogram. I know of no
device yet that can measure the progress of the soul. And yet I can tell you confidently,
this form of balanced eating has become an integral part of my soul's evolutionary
Marlene Barrera lives
in Plano, Texas, and directs a Spanish ministry program at a local church. She
may be contacted at 2105 Brugge Court, Plano, TX 75025.
article originally appeared in the One Peaceful World Journal, Winter 1996. ©
One Peaceful World, all rights reserved.
Doug Blampied Story
summer of 1982 was a typical one for Doug Blampied, an insurance executive from
Concord, N.H. There was only a slight hint of being a bit more tired and run down
than usual. Doug's end of summer plans were capped off with a sailing trip around
Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Nancy. The trip was enjoyable,
and Doug felt rested and refreshed. When he returned home, however, he couldn't
quite get his energy level back. Coming down with what he thought was a flu or
virus, he went on with work as usual. But his fever wouldn't go down, so he finally
decided to see a doctor. After a routine checkup, he got dressed and returned
home to bed.
Six hours later
the phone rang. It was the doctor's office, and the message was urgent - get to
the hospital immediately! With questions and fears racing through their minds,
Doug and Nancy quickly packed and headed for the hospital, where a battery of
tests was performed, including a painful bone marrow extraction.
tests showed that Doug had acute myologenous leukemia. Cancer of the spinal fluid
was also discovered. Soon afterward, he started chemotherapy. A Hickman catheter
was implanted into his chest. It consisted of a plastic tube that was inserted
into a vein leading to the heart. It allowed the chemotherapy to be administered
and blood to be withdrawn without repeated injections.
chemotherapy caused a variety of side effects. Doug would wake up in the morning
nauseated. When he tried to eat, he would usually vomit, sometimes as much as
five times a day. He forced himself out of bed to bathe and use the toilet, only
to fall back to bed sick and exhausted. He lost his hair, became very thin, and
was listless and weak. He was unable to do much for himself except eat, sleep,
and get out of bed once a day with assistance.
his chances for recovery were slight, Doug never lost the will to live. Several
times his condition became so tenuous that the doctors told Nancy to make preparations
for his death. Doug recalls, "Even though I felt unbelievably horrible, I
didn't succumb to the idea of quitting. I had too much to do and wasn't finished
with living yet. I would look at my wife and children and know I hadn't done all
the things with them I wanted to do. I made up my mind to overcome this whatever
After a month
and a half in the hospital, he began to show some improvement and was sent home.
Over the next eight months, he received chemotherapy at home and continued to
experience severe reactions, including high fevers. He returned to work early
in 1983, and monthly checkups showed his cancer was in remission.
April, 1983, Doug underwent a bone marrow harvest. At that time only a few hospitals
in the U.S. performed the procedure. The first step in this painful process was
the extraction of bone marrow from the spine. A hole was drilled into the bone
and the marrow was extracted with a special instrument. The marrow was then treated
with antibodies, frozen, and stored. A team of doctors arrived from Johns Hopkins
University to perform the procedure and to train the doctors at the hospital in
At the time of Doug's
illness, it was rare for a patient to survive a second remission for longer than
six months. In June, a checkup revealed that Doug's cancer count was rising again.
Doug and Nancy were devastated. The doctor suggested going ahead with the bone
marrow transplant and advised against further chemotherapy since Doug was already
in a weakened condition. He told Doug that even with chemotherapy, he would probably
live only six months.
bone marrow transplant also offered little hope. Doug and Nancy researched the
success rate and found that out of the 50 or so patients treated with the procedure
at a leading medical center, only a handful were still alive. With little hope
from either treatment, Doug and Nancy agonized over their decision. After much
deliberation, they decided to forego the transplant.
a support group meeting, Doug was introduced to a copy of Recalled by Life. Encouraged
by the possibility that macrobiotics
might improve Doug's condition, the Blampieds journeyed to Brookline where they
met with a macrobiotic counselor and heard Michio Kushi speak. Upon returning
home, the Blampieds made some radical changes in their diet and lifestyle. "We
decided to go for it," Nancy recalls. "We got rid of the electric stove,
replaced it with a gas one; cleaned out the cupboards of the foods that weren't
good for Doug; and supplied ourselves with a complete macrobiotic kitchen."
A short while later they attended the Kushi Institute's Macrobiotic Way of Life
Seminar and studied macrobiotic cooking with a teacher in New Hampshire.
a macrobiotic way of life has been fairly easy for Doug, since he saw immediate
results from changing his diet. "My cancer count dropped almost immediately,
and stayed down. That was a pretty good incentive to learn to like the food."
his cancer in remission, Doug feels that he is in better health than he has ever
been. Now, eight years after being diagnosed with leukemia, Doug believes that
getting sick actually changed his life in many positive ways. "I am a stronger,
better person now. I see myself as more sensitive and understanding, and less
directed at unimportant things. I spend more time with my children. I hug them
regularly, and let them know that I love them and how much they mean to me."
Chronic Fatigue with Diet
I was always healthy, and my teenage years were filled with soccer, cross country
ski racing, dance, gymnastics, and outdoor exercise. When after starting college
six years ago, I could barely make it through my daily dance classes without exhaustion,
I knew my health had seriously deteriorated. Even with my will to push my body
as hard as I could, it took a supreme effort to keep myself from fainting or collapsing
on the floor from weakness, dizziness, and a chronic fever and sore throat.
symptoms had been slowly emerging. While still in high school, I developed swollen
lymph glands in my neck which didn't recede no matter how much vitamin C I took.
And my bouts of sore throats, fever, and general low energy had been increasing.
I had visited a homeopath and a chiropractor with some degree of improvement,
but still was steadily declining. But nothing could have prepared me for the total
loss of health I experienced in January, 1990.
a week at college for a new semester, I physically couldn't get up in the morning.
I had to drop out of school immediately. I had severe night sweats and a chronic
fever. When I was able to get up around 11:00 A.M., I was barely able to cook
for myself. I visited my physician who suggested that there was nothing physically
wrong with me, as I wasn't in a wheelchair. I should accept that I had no energy
to function. The only treatment he could suggest was to remove my swollen lymph
glands. However, in a later conversation, he suggested that I had Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome, and might benefit from alternative medicine.
of the alternative health care providers I consulted performed "live blood
cell analysis" on a drop of fresh blood extracted from my finger. Apparently
this is a popular test in Japan and is useful in getting a complete picture of
the functioning of the blood and overall health. As we saw the cells come into
focus on the video monitor hooked up the microscope, the practitioner turned to
me and exclaimed, "I don't know how you're sitting here. You're going on
will power alone." My white blood cell count was low, and the cells were
poorly formed and were dying almost as soon as they were born. They were so overloaded
trying to escort toxins out of the immune system that they would break and spill
their load right back into the blood sample we were watching.
we examined the red blood cells. They were small and poorly formed also. Furthermore,
there were huge clumps of candidias yeast drifting through them. My blood wasn't
able to do its job, and my immune system was incredibly weak.
left with images of my weakened T-cells and poorly shaped red blood cells fresh
in my mind and armed to the gills with all sorts of symptomatic remedies to boost
my immune system and strengthen my blood cells. These included Chinese herbs,
shark liver oil, and homeopathic remedies for radiation and environmental toxins.
This was to be my inspiration and gave me the visual imagery I needed to heal.
about two weeks earlier, my boyfriend's mother had given us a Christmas/Hanukah
gift of a consultation with a macrobiotic counselor. This proved to be the catalyst
toward health and my saving grace. As we drove to Massachusetts, my intuition
told me this was my chance to get a piece of the big picture. I also knew that
if this didn't hold the key, I might never know how to regain my health. Symptomatic
cures were no longer effective; I needed to go to the heart of my illness, the
roots and causes and address them.
counselor patiently answered "no" as I asked him if all my favorite
foods were included in the daily macrobiotic diet. I learned that no tomato sauce,
soy cheese, brewer's yeast, chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, or grilled cheese
sandwiches were included. As we were going out the door, I felt my energy fading
rapidly and accepted a simple looking fresh rice ball as a snack. Although desperate,
I wouldn't usually have settled for a plain snack. A chocolate bar or cookies
were what my hands reached for, even as my intuition lodged a quiet protest. Imagine
my surprise when I felt my energy come slowly, steadily, and evenly back.
arrived home filled with curiosity about this new diet and cooked my first macro
meal of chickpeas, short grain brown rice with umeboshi paste as a condiment,
and boiled broccoli. As I was eating, I felt some energy clear around my head,
as if coming out of a dense fog. I wouldn't have paid attention, except that my
boyfriend said, "Lucy, this may sound weird, but I just felt all this energy
clear around my head as if a fog lifted."
umeboshi! Well, the experience of this meal spoke to something deep inside me,
and I realized then and there from the inner recesses of my soul that I was going
to be macrobiotic the rest of my life. Since I had the rest of my life, I decided
to allow myself to transition slowly and gently. For breakfast and lunch, I enjoyed
eating very plain, very boiled macro meals, while for dinner I pulled out all
the stops. I was working evenings in a four-star restaurant where I ate widely,
including sugary fruit tarts, mocha butter cream cakes, rabbit in cream sauce,
and macaroni and cheeses. When I completely crashed three weeks later, I had already
begun to transition onto a path and diet which were to be my lifeline, sustaining
my body and thus my soul.
took the approach that healing from this debilitating illness was the most important
thing in my life and had to be my total focus. Now that I knew what to do to make
myself feel better and regain my health, I would do whatever I had to heal. I
didn't have anyone to pay my rent, so practically speaking, my decision was one
of necessity. I quit sugar (one of the hardest things I've ever done, but that's
a whole other discussion!) and ate boiled rice, tofu, vegetables, and beans for
three months. In the beginning, after I'd quit sugar and was experiencing daily
the benefits of more energy, I would have intense cravings for cookies, ice cream,
or a blueberry muffin. I would make a conscious choice to not eat the sugar, as
I so clearly connected the fact that if I did, I wouldn't be able to get out of
bed or function the next day. And I treasured having this new energy to get up.
Sometimes I would stand there and cry, as I had not yet learned how to cook healthier
sweets for myself at home.
about two months, I remember feeling 20 minutes of real wellness and health coursing
through my body and mind! I was out cross-country skiing with two friends, trying
to be a good sport as I dragged myself along, unsure if I could go another 20
feet. All of a sudden, a wave of well being hit me, emanating from deep within.
I stopped in exclamation and shared my experience, relishing each moment of exhilaration.
After all the depression, despair, and monotony of helpless, hopeless feelings
engendered by not being able to function physically, this feeling surprised and
totally inspired me. I imagined feeling that way all the time! And today I do.
was an arduous road at first, and the key was macrobiotics. As I got tired of
boiled rice, boiled broccoli, and boiled tofu, I took cooking classes and bought
cookbooks. The food became new, exciting, and creative. My health improved slowly
with many dips and curves along the way.
I took the complete approach of including my mental, emotional, and spiritual
health, I also visited my chiropractor, therapist, and energetic bodyworker regularly
for support. I took responsibility for myself on all these levels and found they
all complemented and enhanced the other levels. But the foundation of my new attitude
and lifestyle was macrobiotics.
I see macrobiotics as a lifestyle which includes all the energy I take in from
the environment, not just food. I'm deeply grateful and happy to have been able
to create dynamic health in my life through macrobiotics.
Burdo studied at the Kushi Institute and is now writing a cookbook in Putney,
Ver. where she lives.
article originally appeared in the One Peaceful World Journal, Spring, 1996. ©
One Peaceful World, all rights reserved.
Doctor Heals Himself of Terminal Illness
Hugh Faulkner was 74 when he was diagnosed as having terminal cancer of the pancreas
and was given three months to live. As a last resort, he turned to macrobiotics
and made a miraculous recovery. Today Dr. Faulkner is 79 and feels as fit and
healthy as he did in his youth. In Physician Heal Thyself, Dr. Faulkner and his
wife, Marian, a nurse, recount his dramatic recovery.
radiologist seemed rather bored with yet another routine, probably unnecessary,
ultrasound scan. Suddenly he stopped and concentrated on one area of my abdomen.
He didn't tell me what he had found but got up and left the room. When he came
back, he asked me to go back and see my doctor immediately. We learned from the
doctor that the radiologist had seen a mass in the region of my pancreas, a mass
which was almost certainly cancerous. He advised an immediate operation. I knew
that I could expect to live only a few months, with or without the operation.
My surgeon performed the operation himself. He found a tumor "the size of
a cricket ball" in the head of the pancreas.
to die, Dr. Faulkner prepared to check into a hospice outside of London when a
shiatsu practitioner encouraged him to try macrobiotics.
most people, I was used to a diet of a little red meat, chicken, plenty of eggs,
vegetables, white pasta, brown bread, regular use of sugar, chocolates, sweets
and several cups of coffee a day.
initial macrobiotic diet included pressure-cooked brown rice, rice with barley
and boiled millet, steamed, boiled or stewed vegetables, beans cooked with vegetables
until soft as in a thick casserole or soup: and vegetable soups seasoned with
wakame seaweed and miso, a thick salty paste.
also ate other seaweeds, a salty, sour, pickled plum called umeboshi, tofu, whole
wheat noodles, and stewed fruit twice a week. There was a wide range of seasonings
and condiments. We drank mainly spring water or bancha tea which is brewed from
twigs. I was advised not to have any meat, chicken, dairy food, eggs, sugar, alcohol,
spices, biscuits, or refined foods.
didn't find the transition to a macrobiotic diet very difficult. Cooking has been
a hobby of mine for the past fifteen years or so, and, from the first, I saw the
macrobiotic cuisine as a new and interesting challenge.
had both decided to follow the macrobiotic diet and way of life as seriously and
completely as we could. This decision was clearly influenced by my death sentence.
If there was any possibility that macrobiotics could help my body to resist the
cancer, I was determined to give it every chance to do so. In the early days I
was far from convinced about the effectiveness of macrobiotics; therefore, Marian's
determination and willingness to follow macrobiotic advice was enormously important.
probably the most important fact was that I began to feel much better and energetic
than I had for years after only two or three weeks on the diet.
son, Tim, a radiologist in Norway, arrived and expressed his concern about me.
Trained in orthodox Western medicine, he accepted the official prognosis. Though
he agreed with our decision to try macrobiotics,
he obviously regarded it as "clutching at straws."
all this activity, the most important single element was the sensation that I
was regaining control of my own body and taking personal action which could possible
- however improbable from the point of view of orthodox medicine -help my body
to overcome cancer.
south of France, we heard Michio Kushi lecture for the first time. He has great
charm and charisma, and discourages any attempts to make him a guru or some kind
of saint. Aveline, his wife, gave cooking demonstrations. She is very small and
delightful, in her sixties now, but looks far younger than her age.
and I met with Michio. He listened to my brief history--it was exactly two months
since my diagnosis. He looked very carefully at my face and eyes, and examined
my abdomen. I asked him if macrobiotics
could help me become free of cancer. He said, "No, but your body can."
then gave us a set of dietary instructions, which his assistant recorded as Michio
talked about my particular diet in greater detail. Most of this can be found in
Michio's book, The Cancer Prevention Diet. The diet basically consists of 50 to
60 percent of whole brown rice or other whole grains, well cooked pulses, and
fresh lightly cooked vegetables in season (preferably local and organically grown).
Michio also stressed the importance of chewing every mouthful very well, of regular
exercise, fresh air, pure water, and weekly shiatsu massage.
Heal Thyself and other macrobiotic books are available through the Kushi
Institute Store at 1-800-645-8744.
don't you give it a name?" my friend suggested. Of course, I thought, this
tumor has come to me as a teacher and we'll get along better as partners than
as adversaries. From that day on, the tumor in my brain became Maud.
caught my attention through blind spots in my vision. At its worst, the entire
right side of my sight was gone. I was passed along from my optometrist to an
ophthalmologist to a radiologist and finally a neurosurgeon who ordered an MRI
(Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. The MRI is a non-invasive procedure that highlights
the soft tissue with pictures similar to an x ray.
results showed the tumor clearly resting on the optic track deep in the left lobe
of my brain. My doctor labeled her an astrocytoma and his only solution was radiation.
But I clearly felt that attack only leads to stronger defenses, and this tumor
was not something to battle with or wage war against. I had no desire for my brain
and body to be under siege.
chose the different, less traveled path, and my world expanded as I turned the
singular focus from my tumor to the broader view of my life. I saw illness not
as a punishment or sinister plot against me, but simply as an attention getter.
Illness is a voice calling out "Stop, something is out of sync and changes
need to be made." I had ignored earlier hints and nudges to take stock of
my life, but now my attention was riveted, and I thought it prudent to listen
Yes, I was scared
and confused. With supportive family and friends I cried and screamed, punched
pillows, and asked "Why me?" I let my fears run wild with gruesome scenarios.
I knew these feelings had to be expressed and released. The flood of energy and
calm that followed these "sessions" was magnificently soothing. With
these emotions more or less out of the way, Maud's guiding voice became stronger,
and I learned to trust it.
next step was to reclaim my power and take responsibility for my own healing.
I had grown up on the coast of Maine, the youngest of a hard working family that
placed emphasis on accomplishment and putting others first. To avoid confrontation
or conflict, either within the family or workplace, I accommodated as necessary
to keep things smooth. The idea of standing up for myself or saying "No"
or "I'll do it my way" was an alien concept. Also, our society has cultivated
a dependency upon authority figures. We look for someone else to take care of
us and to fix us right now so we won't be late for our next appointment. To say
"No, I don't want radiation and I want to pursue alternative methods,"
to my doctor was a difficult but key step. When I hung up the phone, my body was
shaking, but a new strength was surging through.
job was next. Realizing that I was not indispensable, nor responsible for the
make or break of the entire organization, I quit a stressful and emotionally draining
job. Healing became my full time occupation, and now macrobiotics
took the stage.
I had a better
than average dietary rearing with awareness of "healthy" foods with
homemade whole grain bread and lots of fresh vegetables from our garden, but the
consciousness still revolved around meat and dairy with a hefty sweet tooth to
top it off. After leaving my parents' home, I evolved easily toward a vegetarian
diet, but the amount of cheese, butter, eggs and yogurt I consumed was astounding.
My roommate once remarked that I was a bovine delight. I used to tease with a
friend that we could cook up anything with butter and love. We had half of the
I had known
of macrobiotics for several years and now the time was ripe. Here was a very tangible
arena for me to work in-and I loved it! The idea of letting my body heal itself
by getting out of my own way appealed to me immensely. I had always loved to cook,
and now the concept of food and healing fascinated me. I had an interview with
a macrobiotic counselor and with a direction to go in, I easily spent 75 percent
of my time dealing with food-planning, preparing, and chewing.
became easier for me to chew (once my jaw muscles got in shape) when I acknowledged
that once I sat down at the table I knew I would be there for the next hour. It
became part of my routine and released me from a sense of urgency and impatience
that eating was taking so long. I really enjoyed just settling in and chewing.
other aspect that made a tremendous difference was attending a weekly cooking
class. The support, information, and inspiration received from human contact was
so much more valuable than trying to memorize from a book. My Wednesday nights
became sacred-and still are!
the first three months on the healing diet I was exhausted, often constipated
and lost 20 pounds, looking emaciated and frightening to my family and friends
who bravely continued to support me.
to understanding the all encompassing effect of food in my life I watched my emotions
shift with confusion. I had very little patience, became easily frustrated and
intolerant of others. With tears of frustration I complained, "I don't know
what's happening to me." My husband gently said, "I think it's your
diet." Wow, the notion of food effecting my feelings was staggering. I had
was an important aspect of my life, and I found that the movement and meditation
was very soothing and relaxing to my body and wound-up emotions.
I learned more and felt comfortable working with the food, to stop and really
think about what activities made me happy was new. I had spent my entire life
focusing on others. Another key to healing and health became clear. I needed to
stop taking care of the rest of the world and neglecting myself. I had to figure
out how to take care of myself, and I had to allow others to take care of me.
This last aspect continues to be the hardest as it flies in the face of all my
"It's OK. I can do it myself" upbringing which is terribly isolating
and not very helpful.
autumn progressed, and my stamina slowly returned and then surpassed previous
levels. I was still painfully thin (literally taking a pillow everywhere I went
to sit on), but I felt great!
wanted to give myself time before I had another (my fourth) MRI scan for feedback.
My counselor had said that I could possibly go through a period of tumor enlargement
as it attracted all the toxins my body was releasing. But in December 1990, six
months after starting my healing macrobiotic diet, my doctor, my husband, and
I were pouring over the picture of my brain taken that morning, and no one said
a word. I finally broke the silence, "I don't see anything." After a
pause and with sincere confusion my doctor said, "I don't either. Just where
had the tumor been?" Maud was gone.
two years later, I know that the essence of Maud has never left me. Her voice
continues to guide me to doors that keep opening deeper into the worlds of macrobiotics,
of yoga, and of self-reflection. Trusting this inner voice is the greatest gift
Maud has given me and I am eternally grateful.
1987, when I was thirty-four, I was traveling through South India with my partner,
Toru, for two weeks just after the monsoon season. The temperature in daytime
was around 99 to 100 F. (37-38 C.). It was hot and hard to travel. In Tokyo the
temperature was normally around 86 F. (30 C.), even in midsummer.
already had practiced macrobiotics
for seven years, but not strictly. I had eaten some dairy food and refined bread
for breakfast and occasionally ordinary food outside because there were few macrobiotic
restaurants in Tokyo. Nevertheless, I had confidence in my health, as this was
our fourth trip to India, and we often took umeboshi plums during the journey.
the red-hot sun, we turned to tropical fruits, chai (hot tea with milk and sugar),
and sugar cane juice with ice, which was made by vendors who put sugar cane through
a wringer. It tasted like nectar. Needless to say, many flies swarmed around us,
but I didn't care, as I believed I would never get sick.
several days passed, I began to feel quite tired. I lost my appetite and experienced
some diarrhea. I craved liquid, and whenever I found a vendor of sugar cane juice,
I bought some. I could barely follow Toru on the rest of the trip. I went from
115 pounds to 110.
returning home, I had no appetite, preferred to drink juice, and felt disoriented.
This went on for a month. At the end of September, the weather cooled drastically
and I got a slight fever. I thought it was a cold.
October 3, I felt very sick and had no energy. Even looking at food made me nauseated.
I vomited milk tea at noon which I had drunk in the morning. The condition persisted.
At the hospital, doctors took tests and gave me an I.V. I took medicine for three
days to be able to eat brown rice again. I ate rice carefully, chewing 100 times
and sangoso powder, or glaswort, which grows by the seaside and is high in minerals.
My body seemed to be recovering, but jaundice set in. In a medical book, I read
that Hepatitis Type A is contracted by ingestive infection through food or drinks.
I thought about my trip to South Asia. I realized I had Hepatitis A and resigned
myself to be hospitalized.
I awaited my test results, Tastunori Murakoshi, a macrobiotic friend, called.
I told him my story and he reminded me, "There isn't any illness that cannot
be relieved by food." I decided to follow his advice.
blood tests indicated liver imbalance. It was acute hepatitis. Naturally, the
doctor wanted to hospitalize me immediately. When I tried to leave, saying I would
discuss it with my family, he said there was no time. When I persisted, he became
irritated, ordered a nurse to bring a medical book, and showed me the section
that said if my condition changed to Fulminate Hepatitis I would probably be dead
within a week. Also a nurse told me she had never seen such high liver-function
levels before. My GOT was 4190 (normal is 8 to 35), and my GPT was 3130 (normal
3 to 30). She had never seen anyone's over 2000. The doctor told me that he would
treat me with steroids.
I managed to leave, and at home started to practice a strict macrobiotic diet.
I ate brown rice, gomashio, miso soup with seaweed, cooked konnyaku (dried gourd),
some other simple dishes, sangoso powder and chewed my food more than 100 times.
At that time, my urine's color was coffee-like. Kan Tomoi, another macrobiotic
friend, came to see me and told me I had to eat humbly and exercise well to improve
my jaundice progressed and my weight decreased, I started to feel better day by
day. In the process, I missed my period and experienced painful stomach convulsions
for the first time in my life. With Toru's help, I treated them with loquat leaf
and boiled konnyaku. I was able to go to the library but didn't go to work.
Oct. 20, I returned to the hospital. A different doctor greeted me, but his face
turned grim when he saw my chart and heard the explanation of my own therapy.
"I won't perform your blood test today," he said. "Such an unnutritious
diet doesn't work." Finally, he agreed to give me a blood test. The results
were: GOT 82; GPT 84; and ALP 1040 (normal is 100 to 280).
urine had returned to a natural color. By the end of October, I returned to work.
In the middle of November, I was examined again and the results were almost normal.
Later I had a blood test at my company's health checkup, and I tested negative
for Hepatitis B antigens. This suggested I had Type A as I thought.
though one doctor couldn't believe my subsequent blood test levels, I have some
evidence, as a kind of sequelae, which shows that my story of dietary recovery
is true. My ZTT and TTT, also liver-function tests, are a bit higher than normal
range even now. The figure, however, is decreasing gradually each time. When I
first received the results that showed my liver function was abnormal, I was shocked.
But now I find that they are very precious in helping me stay with the macrobiotic
way of life.
This article originally appeared in
the One Peaceful World Journal. © One Peaceful World, all rights reserved.
To become a member of One Peaceful World and receive a quarterly newsletter, please
Top of page
the cook at Mother Nature's Restaurant in Fairfield, Connecticut, took one look
at the curly-haired woman behind the counter and knew she was ill. Offering to
help, she suggested she come back for a macrobiotic consultation the next day.
Masters was so sick that she could no longer work or walk. During the last six
months, she had undergone many x-rays, blood tests, and other medical procedures.
She was diagnosed with hypoglycemia, kidney failure, congestive heart failure,
and allergies. The doctors gave her drugs, but she did not get better. She found
that red meat made her feel sick so she quit eating it and started going to a
local vegetarian restaurant.
had an appointment with her doctor at noon, but she decided to see Kim earlier
in the day at 9 am. She had been praying for a miracle. As she later looked back,
perhaps it was no coincidence that Kim, the founder of MECCA, the Macrobiotic
Education Committee of Connecticut Association, happened to be cooking that night.
told her that she appeared to have cancer of the female organs and a large tumor
in her right lung. She outlined a healing diet emphasizing whole grains. "I
felt relieved to know that I had been properly diagnosed," Elizabeth recalls.
"I intuitively knew from my green color that I had cancer. The diet made
sense to me, so I was anxious to start."
that day, however, at the doctor's office she received another shock. When further
tests and probing showed nothing, Elizabeth and her husband got upset and mentioned
that they had seen another "doctor" who suspected cancer. "They
scurried around, looked at the tests and x-rays again, and discovered their error,"
Elizabeth recounts. "Their diagnosis was cancer of the female organs, intestines,
and a large tumor in the lower lobe of the right lung. They told me I had only
two weeks to live."
rather than staying in New Haven and having radical surgery and medical treatment
at Yale University hospital, Elizabeth decided to return home to Maine. "Over
their objections, I decided to give the diet a try. I could see food had created
my illness, so I wanted to give my body a chance to heal itself with the proper
way of eating. I went home to live or die."
her forty plus years, Elizabeth had experienced many difficulties. Born in Missouri
to parents who were unable to care for her, she grew up at her grandmother's.
As a child, she suffered from swollen adenoids and tonsils, and a local physician
removed them by holding a rusty tin can filled with cotton over her nose and giving
her ether. When she awoke, she was offered ice cream but chose hot dogs and sauerkraut
instead. She had come to like the fresh meats, eggs, and dairy food of the countryside.
up in an atmosphere of abuse and neglect, Elizabeth was thrown out of the house
at age 15 by her mother and found a friend to live with. In high school an appendix
ruptured and ovarian cysts were removed. After that her menstrual cycle was very
difficult - often coming only every other month, and with the passing of heavy
clots. Elizabeth married at 20 and gave birth to her first child at 21. He was
allergic to sugary Karo syrup which was part of the infant formula recommended
at that time. He also had a hernia which put added stress on the already shaky
relationship with her husband.
marriage lasted five years. Elizabeth didn't really know what was wrong - just
felt she had to get out and went to work and began fitting in with the coffee-and-doughnut-for-breakfast,
hamburger-for-lunch, and ice cream-for- supper crowd.
25 she married again and had her second child. She worked at a very stressful
job in the aircraft industry, ran a cattle ranch, and continued to eat a diet
high in animal food. This marriage lasted 15 years though her health problems
continued - losing weight, gaining weight, extended stomach, emotional outburst,
an enlarged pancreas - for which she took various medical drugs including Librium,
Valium, antibodies, and allergy shots. When this marriage failed, she took a job
which required a lot of traveling.
noticed changes in herself which she didn't like to see - low self-esteem (which
showed itself in poor personal grooming, excessive weight, compulsive overeating,
and excessive alcohol consumption). She lived life in the fast lane. She would
eat excessively, then miss three days of work - sleeping all the time - to let
her body recover. Again, excessive menstruation, along with diarrhea, low energy
and extreme pain caught up with her. This was when she sought medical help and
became more vegetarian.
two weeks eating macrobiotically, Elizabeth was still alive. During this time,
she had an out-of-body experience in which she saw her soul leave the body. "I
received a very clear message from the universe that I was here for a purpose
and was now on the right track." Able to get out of bed and walk for the
first time, she returned to work. But after a few months, it became apparent that
she was not really getting better, and she went to see Michio Kushi. Michio asked
if she could quit work and cook for herself. She wasn't sure she'd have the courage
to quit, but when she returned to work, her boss came in and told her the company
had lost the contract it was working on and could no longer keep her as an employee.
With the decision made for her, she began to take macrobiotic cooking classes
and concentrate solely on her recovery.
was seven years ago. Today, Elizabeth is in good health and lives with her husband
in Maine. She has completed Level II of the Kushi Institute, opened a macrobiotic
bed and breakfast in Maine, and started M.A.I.N.E., the Macrobiotic Association
In New England. She is a living testament to the power of food, faith in the universe,
and the body and mind's amazing ability to heal itself.
and Takayasu Arthritis
the many diseases considered incurable by modern science are Crohn's disease and
Takayasu arthritis. In this moving case history, Virginia Harper, a wife and mother
from Tennessee describes how she overcame these two, often fatal, afflictions
"You can turn this
around. You can change this," are the words I'll never forget. After eight
years of living with Takayasu arthritis and Crohn's disease and seeing only a
dim future ahead, these words filled me with hope.
age 14 I started having strong symptoms of discomfort and pain on the right side
of my abdomen. At 15 they removed my appendix but discovered it was normal. From
15 to 23, I was in and out of hospitals at least twice a year with the symptoms
getting more severe. I had not only the increasing abdominal problems but I started
to develop fainting spells, dizziness, weakness in my right shoulder and arm down
to my hand. At age 19 I discovered a lump on my neck. I was away at college in
Tennessee and the school doctor decided it was a benign cyst and could be easily
removed during the Thanksgiving holidays.
undergoing an arteriogram at home in Connecticut, I suffered a stroke. When I
awoke, I was temporarily paralyzed on my right side and had lost my ability to
speak. The test showed a blockage on my right carotid artery. In April of that
next year, I was sent to Mass General Hospital in Boston to undergo bypass surgery
and a biopsy and it was determined that I had a very rare blood condition. Takayasu
arthritis is an autoimmune deficiency where the blood passing through the arteries
causes them to act as if they are damaged so they start repairing themselves and
this creates blockages. Takayasu has no known cause and no known cure. The main
arteries were so dramatically affected that my blood flow was distressed. I was
told to stop all my sports activities and "to take it easy." But the
real devastating news was that I should not plan on having children.
was put on an anti-inflammatory drug called prednisone, a steroid, and an aspirin
a day to help with my blood flow. The next few years I learned to live within
the confines of Takayasu and I suffered from the side effects from the drug more
than the disease itself. I would awaken ravished with headaches, swollen aching
joints, ringing in my ears, upset stomach, low energy and feeling depressed. And,
when I was on high doses, I would be so hyper I would work to exhaustion and still
only need three or four hours of sleep before I was ready to go again.
top of all this, my abdominal symptoms began to get worse as the years went by.
The pain became paralyzing, along with constant headaches, bloody diarrhea, constipation
and weight loss. At times I would lose so much blood that I would go to the emergency
room completely debilitated. The X-rays showed nothing. Eight years of different
doctors, specialists, tests, and drugs, yet the cause and cure were still a mystery.
when I was 22, I had a severe attack which landed me back in the emergency room.
But this time, the technicians were finally able to detect something on the X-rays.
The doctors diagnosed Crohn's disease. I was so relieved to have a name for what
I had gone through all those years. Crohn's disease has no known cause and no
known cure. It causes a slow deterioration of the intestinal wall, the lining
become inflamed and irritated, and loses its elasticity resulting in impaired
digestion and absorption. Crohn's can manifest anywhere in the digestive tract.
drugs and/or surgery were the only recourse. Surgery can remove the affected area;
however, Crohn's usually spreads again in three years or less and you will face
more surgery. It didn't take me long to realize that if I lived to be 30, I would
not have any intestines left.
"good news" was that I was already taking the anti-inflammatory drug
used to treat it. When I inquired how I could develop something so severe when
I was already on the drug that supposedly helped it, I got no response. And so,
I learned to live within the confines of Crohn's and Prednisone.
complicate matters, that same year I became pregnant while using the IUD. Instead
of this being a happy time for my husband and me, it was quite traumatic. The
doctors thought I would lose the baby when they removed the IUD. However, the
pregnancy continued and went smoothly while the doctors watched me very closely
and I stayed in bed most of the time. Being as determined as I am, our beautiful
daughter was born.
later, the Takayasu and the Crohn's both flared up again and so did my trips back
to the hospital and doctors for more tests and different drugs, except this time
nothing seemed to work for very long. My parents and I, being open to alternative
methods, started searching for real cures. I tried megavitamin therapy, reflexology,
herbs, and hospital-based nutritional approaches. It was during this search that
my father heard about macrobiotics.
He cried as he told me what would work this time and shared what little he knew.
He flew me to Connecticut to see a macrobiotic teacher. I was ready to deal with
this doctor, too. I took all my X-rays, files, and paperwork to show him, but
the experience was totally different.
wanted to know specific details of my symptoms and my lifestyle. There was no
prodding, poking, sticking, undressing, or cold intrusive instruments to deal
with. He used Oriental diagnosis to evaluate my condition by observing my eyes,
tongue, hands, and feet. Finally, he told me what I had longed to hear, "You
can turn this around."
macrobiotic teacher proceeded to explain that there were certain foods that weakened
my body and it was struggling to get rid of excess. All my body needed were the
correct tools to naturally heal itself. The main foods that aggravated my condition
were dairy food and sugars. For maximum health, he explained the importance of
keeping the body alkaline by eating neutral or balanced foods. These include whole
grains, beans, land and sea vegetables, and some fruit, seeds, and nuts.
grew up with my grandmother and she strongly believed that God's abundance provides
everything one needs to naturally heal. All I heard finally was making sense.
I did not recognize half of the foods he mentioned because after all, I was a
fast-food, junk-food, pre-prepared, vegetable-come-in-a-can baby-boomer.
had answers and most of all, for the first time, I had hope. My teacher told me
that one day I would appreciate and be thankful for my illness. I thought, "This
guy has been eating too much seaweed he just doesn't realize all I've been
Now, 15 years
later, I continue to live a symptom-free, drug-free, pain-free, doctor-free life.
Full of energy, I anticipate a health-filled future with my two children and family.
I truly understand those prophetic words. I do appreciate my illness and all I
went through. My experience led me to macrobiotics
and that led me to the path of healing physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
And that quality of healing you can never get from a pill.
article originally appeared in the One Peaceful World Journal, Spring, 1995 ©
One Peaceful World, all rights reserved. To become a membership to One Peaceful
World and receive a quarterly newsletter, please call 413-623-5741.
Glen E. Coffman
Institute Diet Helped Me Recover From Kidney Cancer
will never forget the day my urologist called and asked me to come in and bring
my wife. Instead of putting me in an examination room he led us to his office.
Dr. Shapiro looked at us and then said the most feared words I have ever heard,
"Mr. Coffman, you have Renal Cancer". It was a gut wrenching moment
that turned my world upside down.
Shapiro explained that Renal Cancer is slow growing and difficult to treat because
it does not respond to Radiation or Chemotherapy. He said to operate and remove
the mass was the ONLY cure. This would mean removing the kidney as well, and since
both kidneys were weak, I most likely would be forced into dialysis for the rest
of my life.
I had a friend
who had suffered from a brain cancer and fully recovered after attending a program
at Kushi Institute in Massachusetts. I contacted the Institute, explained my situation,
and was told the best way to proceed would be that I attend their one-week long,
Way to Health Program, to learn the fundamentals of macrobiotic cooking and receive
a dietary plan adjusted for my particular condition.
the time I arrived on Sunday, March 25, 2007, I had extreme problems with bladder
control and considerable pain in my kidney. Monday morning the classes started
and I began my adventure toward regaining my health. Every day consisted of morning
exercise, eating especially prepared meals, and classes on the principles of macrobiotics
and food preparation. I learned how to choose and prepare many healthy foods that
were new to me, including some vegetables, whole grains, and sea vegetables, and
so much more. For me, the macrobiotic diet required a complete change in eating
Monday through Friday,
my days started at 7:30 AM and usually ended around 8:30 PM. Each day was packed
with classes and included three meals and between 2 to 3 hours of break time.
I was given a thick three ring binder full of information and we covered it all
in the five days. It was intense. The program is definitely designed for those
serious about health improvement.
class had fourteen members suffering from various illnesses. Most of our teachers
were people who had recovered from illness so they understood our needs and concerns.
Personal attention was always available when needed.
for my health, by Wednesday, only three days after I had arrived, my bladder problem
had almost disappeared. My pain became less severe. I had lost weight and had
more energy. Each day I felt my health improving. I found it hard to believe that
the Kushi Institute program could work so fast but it did. On Saturday I left
for home with my specific dietary plan, which had been designed for me in a private
session with one of the Kushi Institute counselors. I was enthused to get on with
my program at home.
of us with terminal illnesses, there is a great motivation. You have a choice!
Follow the program and get well or die. It is as simple as that.
urologist kept calling me demanding to let him remove the cancer. There was no
chance, in his mind, that I had long to live without his services. My prayers
told me to stay with Kushi.
kept feeling better as time went on and, after five months, I went in the hospital
for a biopsy. I was overjoyed when the doctor came in my room and announced I
was cancer free. CANCER FREE!
still follow what I learned at the Kushi Institute program, even though I consider
myself cured. Once I recovered I could broaden out the diet a bit, even eat other
foods once in a while like a slice of pizza, as long as I stay close to the Kushi
Institute program most of the time.
people at church have borrowed my Kushi cookbooks and instruction books and have
found improvements in their health.
am sure if it were not for the Kushi Institute's "Way to Health Program",
I would have died months ago. It is unfortunate that the doctors have so little
training and understanding of what God has given us. For every illness there is
a cure. It is up to us to have faith in programs like Way to Health, to use the
natural cures God has given us, and apply the knowledge given us to get well.
October 1994, when I awoke in the morning my right hand was "asleep",
and I could not "wake" it up. This was the beginning of a very painful
year. Within one week, both hands were numb, and becoming increasingly painful.
By Christmas, the pain was so bad at night that I had to get up every hour and
soak my hands in ice water to stop the pain. By then, both hands were stiff, and
I could no longer make a grip with my fists. In March 1995, my ankles began to
stiffen, and I began to experience pain when walking. This stiffness quickly progressed
to my feet, knees, hips, elbows, and shoulders and by summer, I could not get
out of bed without help. My knees would not straighten. I relied on hot showers
to "wake-up" my body, but I became very weak, and unable to work more
than several hours in the morning.
early July, I met with a client from London, and went to dinner at a fancy local
seaside restaurant to discuss a project in Mexico City. I ordered stuffed eggplant
with riccotta and mozzarella, with a cream sauce, new potatoes, a glass of red
wine. I followed this with a flaming dessert of caramelized bananas with chocolate
sauce. We talked for several hours at our table. After the bill was paid, I pushed
my chair back and quickly realized that my legs would not support my weight. I
told everyone that my legs had "fallen asleep", and to walk on ahead
of me. It took ten minutes before I could stand and walk slowly to the parking
lot. I attributed my problem to sitting for such a long period.
weeks later, again I went out to dinner. This time I ordered a pizza with onions,
eggplant, and garlic with double cheese, a bottle of beer, followed by a large
slice of chocolate cake. After dinner, again my legs would not support me. This
second experience was enough for me to finally make the connection between the
food and my condition.
August 1, I decided to eliminate sugar, dairy, and nightshade vegetables from
my diet. I had been a vegetarian for five years, and frequently ate nightshades
two or three times a day. Immediately, I began to lose weight, and did not have
any more shocking after dinner experiences, although I continued to lose flexibility.
in September 1995, I gave in to taking the recommended drugs, as I was diagnosed
with rheumatoid arthritis by a rheumatologist. I was prescribed one of about two
hundred possible types of NSAIDS. If these were not strong enough, there were
various stronger levels of drugs ranging from sulfa sulfates to cortisone, and
even radiation therapy which could eventually be available to me should I need
more relief in the future. My control over my condition was to become my choice
of how many pills I required to relieve my condition.
The NSAIDS relieved the
pain in my ankles, and I could walk more easily, but I still continued to loose
my overall flexibility, and strength. I could work about four hours before collapsing
on the sofa for the rest of the day and evening. I got a boost at 6pm when I popped
the second pill. The rheumatologist had explained that the drugs would relieve
the pain, but not prevent my condition from deteriorating further. I was skeptical
about taking drugs in the first place, and suspicious about the connection of
food because of my direct experiences. The literature of the Arthritis Foundation
states that there is no scientific evidence of a connection between diet and arthritis,
although some people have noticed effects from eating certain foods.
decided to take a short vacation at Nags Head before leaving for a two-week project
in Mexico City in the end of September. I made a business phone call to Maine,
and an old friend picked up the phone. She mentioned the Kushi Institute after
hearing that I was experimenting with my diet. I immediately called and signed
up for the Kushi Institute's Way to Health program on October 15, even though
I was basically unfamiliar with macrobiotics. I had to explore a food-related
solution out of intuition and desperation.
On October 11, I had an appointment
with my rheumatologist. She prescribed the next level of drugs, sulfa sulfates.
I should take seven pills every day. I could eventually experiment with the dosage
based on my needs. I somehow knew I would never fill the subscription.
week later, at the Kushi Institute, I quickly realized that I was in the right
healing place. The teachers immediately confirmed my suspicion that my condition
was related to my diet. The teachers emphasized the relationship of lifestyle
as a big factor as well. After several days, I already felt the energy of the
delicious balanced macrobiotic meals. I stopped taking the NSAIDS. I tried to
absorb as much knowledge as possible in this concentrated week of study, cooking,
exercise, and healing. Sharing experiences with other students and faculty was
also a vital part of the week. I realized that I was beginning a new way of thinking
and living, but I never grasped how powerful and uplifting the process would become,
and how it would begin to transform my daily life.
my arthritis began to change. My joints started making cracking sounds, and became
gradually more flexible. I utilized frequent ginger compresses on my ankles and
knees. The swelling eventually subsided almost completely. Initially, doing hot
towel rubs in the morning and evening was physically difficult, but after three
months became easier to perform, and has been very effective in increasing my
vitality and circulation, as well as increasing flexibility and eliminating pain
and stiffness in my shoulders and knees. Daily Do-In exercises have also added
strength and flexibility, as well as weekly Tai-chi classes. After three months
of a macrobiotic diet, the exercises became more effective than in the beginning.
I discovered that chewing the food has a direct relationship to the stiffness
in my joints, so I am now more focused on chewing every mouthful. Learning itself
is a process, and takes patience. It was not possible to prepare every meal perfectly
in the beginning, but gradually I overcame obstacles. Now I am pretty proficient
at getting breakfast prepared well, with rice, greens, and miso. It took effort
and time to establish a consistent yet flexible process for preparing breakfast.
Now, I am trying to improve my preparation of dinner.
In February, I turned
forty years old. I have been practicing macrobiotics for four months. I still
have good and bad days, but I am moving rapidly towards healing and balance. Once
the arthritis is behind me, I can move on to a continuous and ongoing process
of healing, transformation, and changes in my diet and lifestyle, and in my relationship
to other people and the world, and with myself. I look forward to returning to
the Kushi Institute in Becket to continue to educate myself about macrobiotics
and receive the support of others committed to health and healing.