Food and its effects on body and soul according to Georges Ohsawa’s theories. The Macrobiotics lifestyle is based on the balance of opposite and complementary forces that according to ancient Chinese theories govern the Universe. Japanese philosopher Nyoiti Sakurazawa, real name of Georges Ohsawa, had the merit of popularizing these Far Eastern theories, first in Japan and then in the West.
Macrobiotics were described by Ohsawa as “A 5000 year old dialectical conception of the Infinite Universe, which shows the path to happiness through good health”, with reference to the ancient Chinese theories of the Yin and the Yang. Ohsawa based his teachings on both ancient Chinese Masters, such as Lao-Tsu, Song-Tsu e Confucio, and Indian ones, such as Budda, Mahavira e Nagarjuna.
Microbiotics (from the Greek macros=big and bios=life) was according to Ohsawa the application of the principles of Oriental philosophy to everyday life. The key to achieve physical, mental and spiritual health is therefore to find a balance in one’s lifestyle in accordance with the principles of the Yin and Yang. These opposite and complementary forces form the unifying principles, which are the “key to eternal happiness and absolute justice”.
According to these theories health and illness are both direct consequence of the behaviour of individuals, and the way they respect or violate the Universal Order.
One’s own diet has a fundamental role in this objective, as it’s capable of modifying the physical body, as well as strictly interacting with the mind and spirit.
Therefore the quality and quantity of food intake are both very important for macrobiotics, as well as the way the food eaten: for instance it should be thoroughly chewed before being swallowed.
Yin and Yang are at the base of the interpretation of the cosmos.
The Yin is characterized by the centrifugal force and produces cold, darkness, calm, expansion and silence; the Yang is instead a centripetal force and produces sound, heat, light and contraction.
According to Ohsawa food is also characterized by both properties, in which one is always dominating. Food with Yang quality is compact, thick, heavy and warm, while the Yin ones are light, cold and diffuse.
The approach to modern macrobiotics recommends low-processed food for beneficial effects on one’s health, mind and happiness.
Japanese macrobiotics strongly underlines the importance of locally produced wholemeal flour, cereals and legumes, fermented soy-based products, vegetables, fruit combined in meals according to the balance principle of Yin and Yang.