Personal Testimonials

Transforming people's health and quality of life
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Arthritis (Nancy O’Neill)

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Cancer – Bladder

Gary Dickson

“Hey Kushi Institute,

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 Institute’s Way 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.”
April 2013

Cancer – Brain (Melissa Hatch)

by Melissa Hatch

“Why 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.

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.

The 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.

I 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 carefully.

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.

The 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.

My 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 equation right!

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.

It 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.

The 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!

For 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.

Prior 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 become “tight!”

Yoga 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.

As 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.

The 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!

I 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.

Now, 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.

Cancer – Brain – Recurrent (Kevin Raymond)

Click here to watch this 2013 interview with Kevin Raymond telling how he recovered from recurrent brain cancer after implementing what he learned at Kushi Institute’s week-long Way to Health program, and has stayed cancer free for 8 years.

Cancer – Kidney

By Glen E. Coffman

Kushi Institute Diet Helped Me Recover From Kidney Cancer

I 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.

Dr. 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.

By 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 habits.

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.

My 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.

As 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.

For those 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.

My 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.

I 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!

I 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.

Several people at church have borrowed my Kushi cookbooks and instruction books and have found improvements in their health.

I 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.

Cancer – Leukemia

The Doug Blampied Story

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Although 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 it took.”

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.

In 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 Hanover.

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.

The 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.

At 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.

Maintaining 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.”

With 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.”

Cancer – Lung (Janet Vitt)

Janet Vitt is the nurse who was discussed in The Moss Reports Newsletter (see sidebar: Noted Ph.D. Reports on CAPCAM Meeting). In 1995, Janet was diagnosed with small cell adenocarcenoma of the lung, metastasized to the liver, pancreas, abdomen and lymph. Despite medical efforts her condition severely declined to the point where she was bedridden and on oxygen. Hospice had been called in and she met with her family to sign the “do-not-resuscitate” papers. At this point, her primary care physician did something for which Janet says she will forever be thankful–he suggested she try macrobiotics–and with family and friends supporting her in the preparation of meals, she recovered full, cancer-free health. She is currently still in excellent health–seven years after a prognosis of certain death.

Cancer – Lung (Elizabeth Masters)

Elizabeth Masters’ Recovery from Lung Cancer

by Gale Jack

Kim Bright, 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.

Elizabeth 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.

Elizabeth 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.

Kim 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.”

Later 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.”

But 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.”

In 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.

Growing 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.

This 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.

At 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.

Elizabeth 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.

After 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.

That 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.

Cancer – Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Judy MacKenney was also present to give personal testimony to the CAPCAM panel. She was diagnosed in 1991 with metastatic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and informed by her doctors that this type of cancer was inoperable and incurable. She underwent chemotherapy, which put her into what the doctors considered temporary remission, but which left her extremely weak and with many painful symptoms from chemotherapy side-effects. She then began a macrobiotic practice, and within two weeks all her symptoms began to regress. She remains cancer-free, eleven years later at this point. Her case showed that the effect of macrobiotics is fairly quick in some cases.

Cancer – Pancreatic (Norman Arnold)

Pancreatic Cancer

In 1982, while undergoing a routine gallbladder surgery, it was found that Norman Arnold had a large primary cancer at the head of his pancreas, a smaller tumor in a lymph node, and three cancerous lesions on his liver. The biopsy showed a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma, a highly aggressive form of cancer. He was told by his doctors that there was no cure and no hope of recovery. Even to this day, patients with pancreatic cancer are not expected to live long following diagnosis. He underwent chemotherapy, but with devastating effects, and the doctors could not say that the chemotherapy would even prolong his life. He commenced a macrobiotic practice and soon noticed improvement in how he felt on many levels, physically and mentally. Nine months after his diagnosis, a CT scan showed clear indication of tumor reduction.
Six months later, there was no trace of cancer. On his sixtieth birthday in January 1990, Norman climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He remains in excellent health 20 years after being diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Cancer – Prostate

By Herb Walley

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.
Some 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.
Ten 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”.
If 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.
Source: The Macrobiotic Experience, newsletter published by Herb and Virginia Walley, Newton Massachusetts, November, 1990.

Cancer – Uterine

by Gladys Abeashie

At 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.

In 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.

The 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.

Then 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.

Dr. 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.

My 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 0.8 percent.

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.

Sometimes 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.

At 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.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Lucy Burdo

Growing up 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.

These 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.

After 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.

One 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.

Next 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.

I 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.

Fortunately, 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.

The 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.

I 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.”

Hello 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.

I 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.

After 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.

It 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.

Since 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.

Today 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.

Lucy Burdo studied at the Kushi Institute and is now writing a cookbook in Putney, Ver. where she lives.

This article originally appeared in the One Peaceful World Journal, Spring, 1996. © One Peaceful World, all rights reserved.

Crohn’s Disease and Takayasu’s Arteritis

by Virginia Harper

“Among the many diseases considered incurable by modern science are Crohn’s disease and Takayasu’s arteritis. In this moving case history, Virginia Harper, a wife and mother from Tennessee describes how she overcame these two, often fatal, afflictions with macrobiotics.” -Ed.

“You can turn this around. You can change this,” are the words I’ll never forget. After eight years of living with Takayasu’s arteritis and Crohn’s disease and seeing only a dim future ahead, these words filled me with hope.

At 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.

While 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 arteritis 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.

I 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.

On 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.

Finally, 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.

Anti-inflammatory 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.

The “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.

To 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.

Nine months 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.

He 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.”

The 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.

I 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.

I 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 through!”

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.

This 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.

Cyst – Breast

by Marlene Barrera

For several 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.

On 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.

The 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 heal.

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.

Nature 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.

There 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.

Although 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.

Actually 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 process.

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.

This article originally appeared in the One Peaceful World Journal, Winter 1996. © One Peaceful World, all rights reserved.

Depression

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Diabetes – Type 1

Larry Bogoslaw

I 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.
In 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.
In 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!

Diabetes – Type 2

In 2009 Kushi Institute brought together a medical doctor, videographer, researcher, and 13 people diagnosed with and on medication for type 2 diabetes. This week was designed to explore the positive effects of a macrobiotic diet and llifestyle on 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 of wellbeing.

“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

Click here to watch a video of the Diabetes Project and interviews with other participants, plus a 3 month follow-up interview with Joe Niezelski – one of the participants who was able achieve normal blood sugar levels.

Diverticulitis

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Enhanced Business Performance

By Paul Lepa

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.

In 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.

Pecce agreed to be my mentor – and that is how my Kushi story begins.

During 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 take?”

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?

I 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.”

In 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 decisions.

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?

So, I canceled my Everest trip and instead rebooked myself for a month long trip to Kushi.

The results -

It’s 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?

When 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.”

I 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 sluggish.

- I was fatigued most of the time.

- I was stressed about even the smallest things.

Now, 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 relaxed way.

- 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.

My 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.

Even 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.

With 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.

My 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 type meal.

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!

My graph of my weight is attached. Remember though, weight loss was not my goal, but the weight loss matched the improvement in my performance.

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About Paul Lepa

Paul_Lepa

A 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.

Paul holds a B.SC in Engineering with Computer Minor, and has completed a number of post-graduate

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courses 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.

Epilepsy

Joe Avoli

When 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.
Sometime 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.

Fibromyalgia

By Lizzz Klein

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.
My 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.
As 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.
Over 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.
My 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!

Hashimoto’s Disease

Janine Atkinson – September 2011

Looking 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.

I 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 advice.

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 thereafter.

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.

At 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.

Although 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.

I 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.

The acupuncturist 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

Very 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.

The 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.

Hepatitis A

by Yuko Horio

In August, 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.

I 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.

Under 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.

After 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.

Even after 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.

On 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.

As 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.

My 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.

Finally, 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 metabolism.

Even though 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.

On 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).

The 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.

Incidentally, 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 call 413-623-5741.

Lupus (Doreen Saliba)

My name is Doreen Saliba, and I 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 chest, hands, feet and back have had red marks from a combination of the lupus and the medications. 

I came to Kushi Institute this June, after seeing the recovery story of Meghan Pagnam on the TV show The Incurables when it aired in Malta.  Meghan had very similar symptoms to mine, and she tells on the show how much Kushi Institute helped her achieve her full recovery. 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 macrobiotic diet, which is primarily whole foods and plant-based. I had a private Macrobiotic Consultation and the counselor recommended certain foods and remedies that would help my body heal the quickest.

In the Way to Health 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 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 I am feeling 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 d_saliba@maltanet.net.

Lupus (Meghan Pagnam)

By Meghan Pagnam

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.
At 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.
While 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 me.
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.

Megan 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

Lyme disease

Kushi Institute Student Sept. 2010

After 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.
Overall, 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.

Multiple Sclerosis

The Jenny Sockey Story

She’s Got Her Life Back!

Jenny Sockey, a resident of Washington State, suffered from MS symptoms for decades.

Jenny 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.

Wanting 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.

Paula 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.

The 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.

Jenny 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 programs@kushiinstitute.org

Psoriasis

By Meghan Pagnam

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.
At 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.
While 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 me.
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.

Megan 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

Rheumatoid Arthritis (Charles Duvall)

by Charles Duvall

In 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.

In 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.

On 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.

Finally, 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.

I 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.

One 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.
Slowly, 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.

Recently, 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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (Meghan Pagnam)

By Meghan Pagnam

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.
At 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.
While 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 me.
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.

Megan 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

Scleroderma

By Meghan Pagnam

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.
At 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.
While 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 me.
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.

Megan 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

Takayasu’s Arteritis

by Virginia Harper

“Among the many diseases considered incurable by modern science are Crohn’s disease and Takayasu’s arteritis. In this moving case history, Virginia Harper, a wife and mother from Tennessee describes how she overcame these two, often fatal, afflictions with macrobiotics.” -Ed.

“You can turn this around. You can change this,” are the words I’ll never forget. After eight years of living with Takayasu’s arteritis and Crohn’s disease and seeing only a dim future ahead, these words filled me with hope.

At 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.

While 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 arteritis 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.

I 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.

On 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.

Finally, 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.

Anti-inflammatory 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.

The “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.

To 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.

Nine months 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.

He 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.”

The 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.

I 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.

I 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 through!”

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.

This 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.

Tinnitus

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Ulcerative Colitis (Marisa Marinelli)

 
Featured story on THE INCURABLES on the Veria Network
 
Making A Choice To Heal:
Recovering from Ulcerative Colitis
By: Marisa Marinelli
 
Halfway through class I begin to struggle. I walk away from the ballet barre and sit down in the corner, no longer able to ignore the unease and discomfort in my stomach. My Advanced Ballet III professor approaches me after class, concerned about my behavior. “This might sound weird,” I say to him, “but I feel like I can’t feel my stomach, like it’s numb.” With a look of skepticism and obvious condescendence he replies with minimal sensitivity. “Well, I just think you have a weak center.”
 
That memory has always stuck with me; my professor, even with his hint of arrogance, was correct about my weak center. I was a 19-year-old college student, training to become a professional dancer, when I was diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the numbness I had been feeling was the beginnings of severe inflammation of the colon.
 
I have actually been told I’m lucky. It only took two colonoscopies for my doctor to say, “Good news! You don’t have Crohn’s Disease, it’s only Ulcerative Colitis.” If that’s “luck,” I wonder what winning the lottery is like. Having never heard of either disease, at that time I couldn’t understand how my life would never be the same.
 
It’s been a seven year journey of struggles and success, but today I finally understand that my health was not a matter of “luck”- it was a matter of choice. I was fortunate enough to have learned about macrobiotics; to have the option to choose an alternative healing path, I chose to heal.
 
After my diagnosis I suffered immensely for several years. Flare-ups would come and go monthly and I’d find myself in the hospital for weeks at a time. Severe diarrhea and vomiting caused me to loose so much weight and muscle mass. I had difficulty walking, let alone dancing. I never knew what to eat and I was always in pain. My doctors would treat me with powerful, harsh anti-inflammatory drugs to ease my bouts of illness.
 
I wouldn’t offer a dose of prednisone to even my worst enemy. The side effects are torturous. I sacrificed whatever healthy organs I had left to prednisone. One year after my diagnosis I learned, in addition to the ulcerative colitis, I was one the 5% of all IBD patients in the world to develop a secondary reaction to the disease called Pyoderma Gangrenosum. In this rare instance, inflammation is no longer contained in the colon; it is systemic.
 
Ulcers can begin to develop on my limbs. If ulceration grows into the bones, the doctors would have no choice but to amputate that limb. Being that my case was so rare, my doctor had never treated or met a patient with these conditions. Confused, he believed that I was the worst case of ulcerative colitis he had ever seen.
 
Extreme high dosages of prednisone seemed to be necessary to put me into a temporary remission. Because I had a strong, dancer’s body, I survived the first huge flare with all my limbs and no surgery. However, a few months after I was off the drug, I would relapse into the same cycle and find myself back in the hospital.
 
I feared that this drug-dependent life was the only choice I had.
 
Surgery was never an option for me. Call me superficial, but I wasn’t willing to part with any of my body parts. Drugs were not the answer; they would only weaken my immune system and that’s not something I’m willing to sacrifice. And, who wants to take 20 pills a day for the rest of their life? Doctors could not offer me any other hope, so I began to look for alternative options. Macrobiotics was my answer.
 
I became friends with a young girl, who also suffered with ulcerative colitis.  She gave me a book to read called “Controlling Crohn’s Disease The Natural Way.” The book is written by Virginia Harper, a woman who healed her Crohn’s disease through a macrobiotic-based diet and lifestyle. I read the book, cover to cover, in 2 days. “This makes sense,” I thought. “I have nothing left to loose, so I might as well give it a try.” I never imagined my body being “off balance.” Can sea vegetables and brown rice really make a difference to my body? I found Virginia’s Web site and contacted her for a consultation as soon as possible. Macrobiotics provided a new hope for me, and a new life.
 
Hope is great, but I needed more hands-on guidance.
 
Although Virginia Harper became my “guru” of digestive diseases, she was located geographically too far for me to travel at that time.  I decided to go to the source of macrobiotics, the Kushi Institute in Becket, MA.  You’re talking to a girl who didn’t even know how to boil rice, let along know what the word “blanching” meant.  I needed some drastic help on my understanding of cooking and philosophy.  I signed up for the Way To Health Program in February 2006.  There’s no understatement here, this program completely changed my life.  After 10 days of living in the Berkshires, I returned to NYC a different person, AND my symptoms were going away!  I learned about a plant-based diet, yin and yang theory, how to cut vegetables, and most important, WHY any of this information is important to our health and well-being.  With the information I was given from Kushi Institute’s program, I had the motivation to set myself on a strict “healing program” for myself. It’s more than just dietary changes that need to take place.  I needed to learn that if I was patient with myself, every day, in every way, I will get better and better.
 
Nobody says change is easy.
 
Being from a first-generation Italian family, food is a huge part of our culture. We love it and can’t get enough of it. Pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce were my main food groups. If you didn’t lick your plate clean, Nonna (or “grandmother,” in Italian) would chase you around the kitchen with that last bite on her spoon. I never thought about how food affected my body because I was always very thin and fit. When I told my family I was changing my diet drastically, they had no idea how big of change I intended.
 
With family and friends, I suddenly became the “weird girl” who didn’t eat meat or dairy. I’ll never forget the time I went to the beach and a friend jokingly asked if ” I was going to eat the seaweed for lunch?”  For someone who didn’t want to change her diet in the first place, it was very difficult to find motivation to keep on this path. Not only were the comments, and sometimes jokes, hurtful; I didn’t know how to cook! The first time I had to make brown rice I asked my mom, “How does it cook?” I couldn’t pronounce any of the foreign foods, or find them at my local supermarket. An ume-what plum? But the biggest boost of confidence and motivation was that IT WORKED!
 
Within the first month of committing to whole grain, beans and vegetables, my symptoms were gone and I was jumping out of bed in the morning. After a few more months on a macrobiotic approach, I saw a huge difference in myself; more energy, calmer moods, better sleep and I was happy! I was able to return to dance and enjoy it more than ever.
 
My story doesn’t end there.
 
Making the change to a macrobiotic diet and lifestyle was, and still is, one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. Even after seven years there are continuous ups and downs. Thankfully, however, it gets easier. The great new is, I have the rest of my life ahead of me to live fully. There was a time of my life where I thought life wasn’t worth living if you couldn’t enjoy some macaroni and cheese; I was wrong. Honestly, today, I can say I don’t miss it.
 
The rewards of eating good food push me through the hardest of times. Don’t forget your support group. People come into (and leave) your life for a reason. I have learned to take every experience for what it is, and then let go. Stay close to those that are truly supportive. Family is forever, but it’s okay to disagree when it comes to what’s best for you.
 
It’s during the most challenging parts of life that a person needs to be the strongest and make the wisest, and often most difficult, of choices. I chose to be thankful for my disease. I wanted to heal myself: mind, body and soul. I made the decision to do whatever it took to find a way to heal myself because I was NOT going to spend any more of my life being ill. I was, and still am, a young adult with lots of ambition and dreams. My body was weak; my will power was not.
 
I’ve witness many people, faced with a serious health issue, turn away from hope. “This isn’t an option for me” or “It’s too hard.” We all have a choice in our life to create our own destiny and it’s up to us to decide what we want that to be.
 
I’ve made the choice to heal and hope to inspire others to do the same. I’ve chosen food and life over doctors, drugs and surgeries. I’ve learned at a young age that if you don’t have your health, you really don’t have anything at all.
To those who are lucky enough to come across my story, please know for life and health, you always have a choice.
 
About Marisa
 
Marisa now counsel, coaches, teaches cooking, and inspires others as they transition their lives and regain their health. She is currently the head of Marketing, Promotions, and Summer Conference living in the Berkshires.  She’s a Kushi Institute Level’s graduated, and a junior counselor.  In 2008 she spent three months interning with Virginia Harper in Franklin, TN.  In 2010 she completely Christina Pirello’s 6-month whole foods cooking program.  Currently she is enrolled in David Briscoe’s Macrobiotic Counselor Course with Macrobiotics America.  In Fall 2015 she has plans to enter a graduate program for her Master’s in Nutrition.  It’s only the beginning for her as she continues her path to becoming a macrobiotic counselor and an alternative health nutritionist.
 
Marisa’s personal website:  www.macromarinelli.com

Vertigo

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Weight Loss (Paul Lepa)

By Paul Lepa

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.

In 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.

Pecce agreed to be my mentor – and that is how my Kushi story begins.

During 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 take?”

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?

I 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.”

In 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 decisions.

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?

So, I canceled my Everest trip and instead rebooked myself for a month long trip to Kushi.

The results -

It’s 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?

When 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.”

I 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 sluggish.

- I was fatigued most of the time.

- I was stressed about even the smallest things.

Now, 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 relaxed way.

- 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.

My 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.

Even 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.

With 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.

My 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 type meal.

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!

My graph of my weight is attached. Remember though, weight loss was not my goal, but the weight loss matched the improvement in my performance.

clip_image002

About Paul Lepa

Paul_Lepa

A 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.

Paul holds a B.SC in Engineering with Computer Minor, and has completed a number of post-graduate

Paul_Lepa_2

courses 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.

Weight Loss (Dennis Iodice)

“I came to Kushi Institute as a volunteer, hoping to lose weight. I lost over 110 lbs in eleven months! NO calorie counting, just good, wholesome food.”

       – Dennis Iodice

Weight Loss (Margarita Lupi)

By Margarita Lupi 2012

“When 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!”.

Weight Loss (Nancy O’Neill)

Nancy O’Neill – June 2012

Most 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.

In 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.

I 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.

I 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.

I am 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 tips.

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.

When 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.

Weight Loss (Nancy Segal)

“Five years ago I attended a week-long program at Kushi Institute, and by practicing what I learned about diet and lifestyle I lost 30 pounds.

At Kushi Institute, along with learning about food, I learned how to increase my activity with do-in (a form of self-acupressure), yoga, and exercises that target the stomach.

I feel younger and healthier now than I did when I was in my 30′s and 40′s!”

Nancy Segal

Weight Loss (Rick Villalobos)

“My wife and I attended a Kushi Institute week-long program to support her successful health recovery. I was overweight, and after returning from the program and following what we learned, I lost 65 lbs in six months!” 

        – Rick Villalobos

Weight Loss (Leanne Yinger)

” I had a back injury which made me immobile. After a year and half of pain medication I said no more and stopped all of it. I opted for a surgery that resulted in another 6 months where I couldn’t lift. During this time I gained 25 lbs. I came to a Kushi Institute program in September of 2012, with the intention of simply getting healthier and stronger – not to lose weight -  and weight loss was a great ‘bonus’. In the 9 months since starting macrobiotics I have lost 25 lbs, I am feeling stronger and healthier than I have in a very long time. I don’t feel restricted or limited at all in what I eat. And I love the food!!”

Leanne Yinger

 

Cancer – Leukemia (Christina Pirello)

Three to six months to live. That’s what doctors told Christina Hayes Pirello in 1983 when she was 26 years old. Her diagnosis: acute myelocytic leukemia. They recommended aggressive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. “When I asked how much time it would give me, their response wasn’t encouraging – three months without treatment, six months to a year with it,” she recalls. “The only guarantee I could get was that I would lose my hair and feel lousy for the time I had left. I decided they were out of their minds. I decided to go to Italy, which I loved, do nothing and wait for the cancer to take me. Why put myself through torture?” Before she left, friends urged her to see this guy who ate weird stuff and said it prevented cancer. “I figured I had nothing to lose,” she says.  That guy was Robert Pirello, who is now Christina’s husband, and that weird stuff he ate was a macrobiotic diet. Pirello gave Christina a copy of The Cancer Prevention Diet by Michio Kushi. Intuitively, she felt it would work for her, so she followed the book’s recommendations.  “Within three months, the doctors saw changes in my blood work they called regression or remission,” she recalls. “Thirteen months later they said, your blood is clear; you’re free of disease. You must never have had cancer in the first place.” Today, 31 years later, she’s still free of cancer.

Cancer – Breast (Gayle Stolove)

Gayle Stolove discovered a prominent lump in the upper and outer portion of her left breast in 1994 and didn’t have it checked. She was 37 years old. Her grandmother died of breast cancer at a young age so when she first felt the lump she knew what it was. Consumed by fear, she so desperately wanted for it not to be cancer and subsequently lived in denial for two years. Finally, by July of 1996, when she could no longer face seeing the skin around the lump on her breast start to pucker and wrinkle anymore, she went to see a surgeon.

Right away the surgeon announced that she had “very advanced breast cancer”, and recommended immediate bilateral mastectomy. The tumor was so large and the skin changes so obvious that he did not need to confirm what he saw in order to know what needed to be done. A biopsy later verified his diagnosis. Gayle walked out of that Doctors office terrified yet on her way to becoming a changed person.

Instead of the recommended double-mastectomy Gayle opted for a lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection in order to spare her breast. The surgery revealed that the cancer had spread to 12 axillary lymph nodes, which resulted in the grim prognosis that she had only six months to one year to live and that she needed a stem cell transplant immediately. She chose not to have the stem cell transplant and instead underwent nine months of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, and a reduced amount of Tamoxifen.

During this time Gayle also fully embraced the macrobiotic approach. In the past she met two individuals who healed their cancers with macrobiotics. She made a mental note that if she ever got cancer she would do the same and so, on the day of her cancer diagnosis, she committed to follow macrobiotics. Gayle switched to eating whole and natural macrobiotic foods and it changed her completely. Her mind became clearer, her body began to heal and everyone said she looked “great”. Now at 54 years old, she is totally cancer free and on no medications at all. Gayle has never felt better in her life, both physically and emotionally. She still, and always will, embrace the macrobiotic diet and lifestyle.

Gayle Stolove holds a Bachelor of Science degree, is a Registered Nurse, Licensed Massage Therapist, Natural Foods Chef, macrobiotic teacher and counselor. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and spends her days, (and nights, weekends, and holidays), teaching others how to shop, cook, eat, and live, the macrobiotic way. 

She owns and operates Wholly Macro, a natural food and lifestyle company, offering macrobiotic based meal delivery programs, private chef services, cooking classes, natural lifestyle health consultations based on the ancient art of oriental diagnosis, and catering for all occasions. She is a cancer specialist.  

She has lectured at various Universities, appeared on the local broadcast of ABC news HealthWatch, cooked privately for visiting macrobiotic celebrities, has taught natural foods cooking classes at various cancer research and support centers on a volunteer basis, and presented macrobiotic cooking classes and lectures for various companies including Whole Foods Market. 

She is the South Florida hostess for visiting macrobiotic counselors. She also holds macrobiotic seminars and programs designed to enlighten and inspire others to live healthier macrobiotic lives.

Ulcerative Colitis (Sara)

Sara’s Full Testimonial

“After yet another long ordeal in the emergency room, my physician gave me his expert opinion. ‘More prednisone,’ he said. This was my second course in recent months and I felt awful, trapped, and desperate.”
“However, my luck was not all bad. Less than three years before this recent bout of suffering, my husband and I bought our home in Becket, Massachusetts, not quite two miles down the road from the Kushi Institute. We knew nothing about Macrobiotics, so we attended an open house at Kushi Institute in order to explore non-medical options. I met some wonderful people that day and I decided to have a consultation with one of Kushi Institute’s macrobiotic counselors. My counselor told me that my physician was misinformed when he told me that “colitis is not diet related,” and assured me that I would not necessarily have to be on medication for the rest of my life. I felt so relieved that I started the counselor’s dietary recommendations right away.”
“Now I would love to tell you that the story ends here and I lived happily ever after. However, life never seems to go that smoothly. The “healing diet” phase was a hard pill for me to swallow because it can be very restrictive at first. I had the feeling that it could work, and it made perfect sense to me, but add that to the incredibly demanding job I had at that time, and a husband who was not entirely on-board, needless to say I fell off the wagon pretty quickly. Because I was not following my counselor’s recommendations strictly, my condition continued to worsen during the next year. I was bleeding almost constantly for over eight months. An increased dosage of Mesalamine and steroids did not do much other than effect me emotionally. It got to the point where my physician decided that I was no longer responsive to my current medications and we would have to explore other options such as biologics and other immunosuppressant medications, which he likened to chemo-therapy. As soon as I heard the term chemotherapy I knew I only had one last opportunity at freedom from illness and steadied myself for another serious attempt at a macrobiotic healing diet.”
“Since day six I have been symptom free, and as I write this it has been almost one year!”
“There have been a few ‘hiccups’ along the way which have helped teach me which foods I am not yet ready to re-introduce. I am beginning to realize that macrobiotics is not a diet to be followed, but a journey to be lived.”
“Thanks to macrobiotics and the support and guidance I have gotten from the Kushi Institute, my thirteen years of suffering are at an end. I have a new lease on life. If you want to be healthy, you have to eat healthy because we truly are what we eat!”

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