Getting the Most Out of Your Sleep

Posted on by Denny Waxman

When I was reading the New York Times the other day I came across this question and I have a slightly different opinion than the printed response. We eat and drink during the day for activity. At night we utilize the foods we consumed during the day to maintain and rebuild our bodies. While we are sleeping our bodies are cleaning, maintaining and repairing themselves and gathering physical and energetic excess to be eliminated in the morning when we rise. Most people have their morning routine which usually consists of going to the bathroom, washing, brushing our teeth, doing a body rub and stretching. All of these practices help eliminate the excess we gathered during the night.

Our organs, brain and nervous system also recharge at night during sleep. Our need for sleep is determined by how efficiently our bodies can clean, repair, recharge and eliminate. The length of our sleep also determines how refreshed we feel from our sleep. We get the deepest and most refreshing sleep between midnight and 4 am. Going to sleep before midnight is important so that we can be in a deep sleep during these hours. It is hard to feel refreshed the next day when we go to sleep after midnight.

A healthy person generally needs between five and eight hours of sleep per night. Stimulants like coffee or alcohol as well as eating before sleep can increase our need for sleep. Through adjusting our daily habits, diet and activity we can get the deepest, most refreshing sleep in the shortest amount of time.

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health

Regulating Thyroid Issues Naturally

Posted on by Denny Waxman

A recent article in the New York Times discusses a link between psychiatric troubles and imbalances in thyroid hormones. Quite often subtle imbalances in thyroid hormones can create depression, anxiety and other psychiatric problems.

From a macrobiotic or energetic point of view, the thyroid is the balancing point between the pituitary and adrenal glands or, you could say, mind and body. The pituitary gland at the base of the brain is the major endocrine gland that regulates all others. The adrenal glands, just above the kidneys, help regulate vitality, metabolism, and help us deal with stress. The thyroid shows an overall balance between mind and body. Problems in the throat region can also be related to difficulty in expressing ourselves or in accepting situations.

Many of my clients express how much more positive, energetic and calm they feel, even after one visit. When we add balance into our diet, activity and lifestyle practices, our hormonal system including these major glands naturally rebalance themselves. The adrenals like beans and root vegetables and the thyroid likes leafy greens and the natural sweetness of vegetables such as onions, carrots and squash. Walking outside also helps all upper body problems.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Articles and Research, Exercise, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

The Cycles of Nature Support Us

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Everyone can align with nature. The sun doesn’t oversleep! It always gets up, always rises. The full moon is always there when it should be and spring always comes after winter. The only way the sun won’t rise, I believe, is if our planet is out of orbit. Otherwise the sun will rise everyday.

The stability of nature gives to everyone psychologically, if we are aware of the feeling that each day is new and fresh. Each day is an opportunity. Each day the sun will rise and each day it will set. Whatever we are doing, for good or for bad, comes to an end everyday, or at least to a pause or recess. In the morning we start again, refreshed and renewed. Or at least, we have the ability to do so.

These cycles start from the daily cycle and move out to larger and larger cycles in different aspects of our life. Then we have this ability to align with and be part of this order. This gives us the stability and the vitality to create our life, to create change or do what we want to do. I think we cannot overestimate how strong that power is. Unfortunately, many times we connect or align more with our individual family experience, which then blocks or interferes with our ability to really align with nature. Recently, excessive focus has been paid to our personal experiences. In other words, making them more significant, rather than looking at nature and then having our perspective changed.

The cycles of nature will support us if we let them!

1 Comment | Tags: 7 Steps, Mental Health

Emotions and Health

Posted on by Denny Waxman

If we get nervous or angry we influence our health! Happy and unhappy emotions have an effect of either improving or weakening the quality of our blood. The same dynamic exists between emotions and our organs. If we feel calm and peaceful, this nourishes the liver. This is the same kind of energy that creates the liver and returns it to balance. If we feel courage and security, this type of deep energy nourishes our kidneys. On the other hand, if you experience strong fear, that can weaken your kidneys. If you become very angry, the opposite of calm and peaceful, that harms your liver; weakens it. And the more you experience an emotion, the more your organs are damaged by that. The balance works in both directions.

Emotions exist to make balance. Emotions have a natural state. That natural state is something flowing and changing. Healthy emotions are constantly changing. Some days we feel a little bit more up, some days more down, more tense. It changes from day to day and this is a natural state. It is something like the weather, which changes from day to day. We can tell when there is a problem with our emotions when we experience the opposite; when our emotions start to surge; to become too strong, forceful or extreme, or stuck, rigid or one-sided.

There are many ways to read and influence our health.

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Mental Health, Uncategorized

Sports and Games by Yin and Yang

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Certain sports are played alone. Certain are played as part of a team. Weight lifting, for example, is usually done alone. Football, on the other hand, must be played as part of a team. It requires team coordination and the results depend on everybody either working or not working together. Team sports are more yang.

Then there is competition, either individual or group. Competition is yang, an expression of energy becoming more and more contracted or condensed. Yin activities are those in which energy moves out to the periphery. The game of solitaire is very yin! Then there are social card games, played with others for fun: those are more balanced. Serious gambling, with direct competition, is by far the most yang. A social card game is more harmonious, played just for fun, either won or lost. It is more yang than solitaire because it requires social interaction.

Any sport you do by yourself is yin and has a yinnizing effect. Anything you do in a group becomes more yang, whatever it is. If you add competition to that, it becomes even more yang.

I hope you choose a good activity for yourself today!

No Comments | Tags: Mental Health

Heat and Emotions

Posted on by Denny Waxman

The temperature has been high lately. When it is hot, it is more easy to be hot-blooded! If someone is feeling too emotional, we describe them as too hot, excited, off-balance, volatile or irrational. We can also think of that person as being too wet or wishy washy or overflowing. However we describe them, one thing is clear: for emotion, we need liquid! The liquid can be internal or external. If you want to have an emotional trip, you go to Venice or Niagara Falls or to the sea. You usually choose a place where there is liquid – some canals, water flowing, a lake, the seashore.

Another way to feel more emotional is to use temperature, to go to a warmer place. Finland is a great country but not associated with arias. For emotions we need a higher temperature. If someone is passionate we call them hot. That means they have a lot of temperature, a lot of heat. Similarly, fire is very romantic. It brings more heat and activity to the environment. An electric heater is not very romantic.

We also use fire. More fire in cooking activates emotions as well. Whether it is fire in cooking or in the environment, both have that effect. Stimulants like coffee are the same. In Southern countries they make espresso very well. Since it is roasted, there is a lot of fire energy there, and furthermore it is made under pressure. When you drink espresso, a lot of energy or emotion is produced!

I hope you have enjoyed this discussion and not become too heated up.

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Mental Health

Macrobiotics and Weight Loss

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Food is our strongest desire. No one can conquer his or her appetite. If you eat in an imbalanced way, your appetite always wins. For example, if you take something salty, you are forced to drink. You can’t escape because the salt needs the water to make balance. If you eat something dry, you have to drink. With the best modern packaging, we still can’t keep pretzels dry. It is impossible, because the dryness seeks moisture, seeks liquid. If you eat salty pretzels you seek liquid.

We can say, who is thirsty? Are you thirsty or are the pretzels thirsty?

When you eat the pretzels it is the same thing. There is no difference anymore.

If your condition is not balanced, then you can’t control your appetite. Even though you know what to do, you can’t do it. The secret is learning how to make a balance for your condition, so that you can naturally start to control your appetite. Everything changes to its opposite. The current approach to losing weight is restricting yourself. But when you restrict yourself, you want to eat. Of course to lose weight we have to have some restriction, but the overall approach has to be one of not restricting, of satisfying ourselves.

1 Comment | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Mental Health, Weight

Emotions and Blood Quality

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In macrobiotics we look at illness as a developmental progression. The first major stage, which is not really an illness itself in many cases, is our blood starting to become imbalanced. Our blood, which has hemoglobin, iron containing protein at the center, is important for maintaining our direction in life. When our blood quality is strong, it is easier to maintain a good direction. When our blood quality starts to become weaker, it is easier to lose our direction. Also, our sensitivity is affected. Once we have a disorder with our blood, which includes allergies and skin diseases, we become much more emotional than we were before and emotional sensitivity starts to change. We start to become more sensitive, overly sensitive, or start to lack sensitivity in certain areas. It can go from one extreme or the other.

From there, illness passes to the next level, emotional disorders. Here, emotional imbalances, which started on a previous level of blood, start to become more fixed or deeper. This then becomes our state of being, where we have free-floating fears or anxieties and become more depressive or angered. Our view of life or our approach to life starts at this point to be affected, in the area of so-called emotional disorders. Finally, from emotional disorders, we develop organ or gland problems. This is the area where most modern problems fall, heart disease as well as diabetes and chronic hypoglycemia. Intermittent hypoglycemia we can classify on the level of blood.

It is not by accident that emotions are between our blood quality and our organs or gland quality. Emotions play a kind of balancing or harmonizing role in our lives. We will look at this more next week.

2 Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Diabetes, Macrobiotic Diet, Macrobiotics, Mental Health

Fresh foods program lifts woman ‘from end of my rope’

Posted on by Denny Waxman

When a life of yo-yo dieting failures grew into a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs, Bridgette Kossor searched for answers. READ ARTICLE

No Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Articles and Research, Mental Health

The Macrobiotic Approach to Careers

Posted on by Denny Waxman

One of the observations I have had again and again in counseling is that so many people I see who have serious health problems have spent their lives doing what they didn’t want to be doing. And often, when that realization comes strongly enough, it is already a very serious situation. Our career means something like our course or plan of action through life. A lot of people think of career as what they do from nine to five and that the rest of the time is their life. However, career is like exercise, which must be a kind of activity that is part of our life, not separate from it. Career is the same. Our career and our life should be exactly the same.

When people ask me what I do, I don’t really know what to say. When I go to different countries and am asked my occupation, I don’t know what to say. Teacher? I don’t know. Macrobiotic person? Human being? That is my career. Basically, to understand careers we have to know about our basic nature, because whatever we do in life has to complement or build on our nature. But the real question is, what is the purpose of our career? What shall we look for in the first place in understanding our career? Of course we have practical considerations to make, we have to support ourselves, make a living. But that is the secondary or minor part. Really, a career means: How to realize our infinite nature. How to realize our endless nature. Day by day we should try to have different experiences which take us further toward our full potential in life, or our endless nature. You can say, to the realization of our oneness. In essence, if somebody is coming to macrobiotics because of health, then, if they are able to overcome a terminal illness, basically what they are doing is realizing their endless nature, their endless ability to create, not only sickness, but health.

Career should be the same thing, but in a much larger sense. Day by day, we should have this deepening realization of who we are and why we came here.

1 Comment | Tags: 7 Steps, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Macrobiotics, Mental Health