Remembering Aveline Kushi

Posted on by Denny Waxman

I first met Aveline in 1969 when she accompanied Michio to Philadelphia for a lecture. It was a great joy for me to read Ed’s article about Aveline and it brought up many memories for me. As Ed says in his blog post, Aveline was among the greatest of women. Her wisdom, grace and adventurous spirit always kept me in awe. In addition to everything she accomplished socially, Aveline was a major force in my life personally. I considered her my spiritual mother. She encouraged me every step of the way in my personal development and in the creation of many macrobiotic projects. In her later years it was always a great joy for us to meet and spend some time together. Our last meeting was when Aveline again accompanied Michio to Philadelphia for a lecture. It was a wonderful and very sad meeting as I knew it was the last time I would see her. Aveline is always close to my heart.

Read more about Aveline here

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Concerns Surrounding Recent Events in Japan

Posted on by Denny Waxman

We at the SHI, including my wife, Susan and all of the staff, wish to extend our most sincere prayers of health and healing to the Japanese people, the land and the ocean that has been effected by the devastation of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima power plants.

With regard to the effect of the tragedy on imported macrobiotic staples, namely the quality of present and future Japanese miso, umeboshi, shoyu, wakame and other seaweeds, here are my thoughts. As of the earthquake on March 11th and the subsequent tsunami, nuclear meltdown and radiation release in Northeastern Japan, the most recent shipment of Japanese macrobiotic foods was already at sea before the earthquake hit, according to the suppliers of the SHI. The coming shipment is untainted but as far as future supplies are concerned, seaweed will be most effected by radiation fallout. If you have further concerns, please speak to your favored macrobiotic foods importer.

Shoyu is made in Sendai, as are some misos, such as Onozaki, and they take a long time to make. It takes eighteen months to make shoyu and two years for miso. Hatcho miso comes from Okazaki, nine hours southwest from Fukushima. Ryujin umeboshi plums come from Wakayama Prefecture in south-central Japan and so should remain unaffected. In the end, a big part of the quality of the product depends on the ingredients: wheat, soy beans, salt and waters, as well as the environment in which they are made. We will have to wait and see how the radiation settles, but for now, this might be a good time to start exploring American macrobiotic products, e.g. South River Miso, Miso Master Miso, Maine Coast Seaweed and California-made Umeboshi.

As for the plume of radiation headed for the west-coast of the United States, the radiation levels are very low and most likely will have dispersed to a non-threatening level, according to Scientific American on March 16, 2011. Maintaining a diet that includes brown rice, miso soup, moderate amounts of seaweed and adzuki beans are especially important for keeping blood quality strong. Seaweed also has the unique ability to bind with heavy metals, such as cesium, one of pollutants found in radioactive fallout. However, over-consumption of seaweed creates a mineral imbalance and could lead to thyroid problems and extreme weight loss, due to the high mineral content of sea vegetables.

I recommend an increase in sea vegetable consumption only in a case of heavy exposure to radioactive metals, and not otherwise. The current levels of radiation on the west-coast to not warrant increased seaweed.

In the case of heavy exposure to radioactive metals, foods to avoid include sugar, soft drinks, fruit, juices, chocolate and highly processed foods. It is also important to avoid extreme yang foods such as meat, chicken and eggs. Someone in Sendai or someone who has been exposed to the meltdown in or near Fukushima needs a simple diet of brown rice, adzuki beans, strong miso soup and a bit more seaweed, well cooked vegetables, such as nishimi and kinpira, and drink small amounts of kukicha tea as a beverage. It would also be imperative that all sugar, excess liquids and all extreme yin or yang be avoided.

People living on the west-coast of the United States should maintain a standard macrobiotic practice, making sure to include brown rice, miso soup, adzuki beans and a normal amount of sea vegetables, no more than usual, along with the usual variety of foods. I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

With continued prayers for Japan,

DennyWaxman

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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.

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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.

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Bonsai Dreams

Posted on by Denny Waxman

From Phiya Kushi’s Blog: Musings on life and macrobiotics

Below are a list of ideas that have come to me and have remained undeveloped until now. They will be removed when it is discovered that either someone has already done it or it deserves to be in the dustbin and forgotten.

1. Supermarkets With No Packaging
Here, I envision a grocery store where everything (and I mean absolutely EVERYTHING) is sold in bulk and where you bring your own containers, or you can buy recyclable ones on the premises. There would be no presence of any packaging anywhere; no brand names, no colorful designs, and no sensational words to entice you. Each food section would have their own wait staff who would take your containers and fill them up with the desired amount of product and then give you a ticket which you would then take up to the cashier. What this idea does is eliminate the excessive expense of creating, marketing and distributing all those packages that one sees the moment one enters a supermarket which is wasteful (look at what’s in your kitchen garbage) and can be deceptive. Food marketing should be based on integrity and transparency and not flash, “bling”, and other gimmicks, that are intended to mask or hide what’s really behind or in the products. (Where advertising expense could go is in future food product “descriptions” which would be online.) If successful, this idea could also eliminate the heavy environmental burden involved in repackaging and transporting goods in “throw-away” packaging (which never really go away, anyways). It also prevents customer spillage and potential fraud at bulk areas as well adds a new desirable level of customer service. If we are to truly go environmental friendly then supermarkets will have to go this way.

Read article

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Alejandro Aguilera – Controlling HIV with Macrobiotics

Posted on by Denny Waxman

“I am HIV positive. Macrobiotics chose me to follow its Path and not the other way around. I was diagnosed in May 2006, two days after my birthday. I was devastated. Fortunately macrobiotics found me, and I have never had to take anti-retroviral medications.” – Alejandro Aguilera

Alejandro’s HIV symptoms began while on a trip to Turin during the 2006 Winter Olympics. It started as night sweats and a viral rash. Shortly after returning to the US, he caught a cold which kept getting worse. He had to change his shirt at least five times in one night because he was soaked in sweat. As symptoms progressed and being knowledgeable of HIV, he feared the worse. He wept. He had doctors test for everything else and went to three anonymous testing centers. Finally, he was running out of options and while waiting for the anonymous results, he agreed to be tested by my doctors twice. He had no insurance at the time. Out of the five tests, three came back positive for HIV. He then decided to accept the virus now living in my body. He contacted his attorney and closest friends to share the diagnosis. Eventually, in time, he would contact his family.

Alejandro recalled a young Minneapolis bartender suggesting macrobiotics. The bartender had tried it with much success in regards to his condition but had given it up. He also mentioned a homeopath and a bookstore in South Minneapolis.

Alejandro’s soul sister in Minneapolis, Daniella took him that weekend to see the homeopath. It was at “Present Moment” bookstore that Daniella bought his first macrobiotic text for his birthday: Michio Kushi and Alex Jack’s “The Macrobiotic Path to Total Health”. He went home and devoured the entire section on AIDS and found himself agreeing with the precepts and principles. He proceeded to empty his pantry into brown grocery paper bags, and recycled his teflon and aluminum cookware. The next day, he returned unused groceries back to the neighborhood convenience store and then went to Target to buy stainless steel cookware. His next stop was the Wedge Community Coop to buy “MACRO” food. The cashier turned out to be macro and this was the beginning of a mentoring relationship. She would give him first pressure cooker and his first Le Creuset pot. She would eventually take him to Philadelphia to see renowned, Macrobiotic Counselor, Denny Waxman.

Alejandro witnessed his viral load diminish from over 300,000 copies per milliliter of blood down to a bit over 9,000 copies per milliliter. He also has a fluctuating immune system, CD4 count that keeps him in very good health. He has only had the flu once since becoming macrobiotic, and the only symptom which reminds him of his condition (and his humble existence) is the hairy oral leukoplakia on his tongue.

Emotionally and spiritually, Alejandro moved from anger and punching walls, to fear and endless tears, to a place of peace, light, service and redemption. He now suggests to others that: “If you want to LIVE and fully embrace your purpose in Life, then give macrobiotics a chance to change your point of view. It did that for me.”

Listen to Controlling HIV with Macrobiotics

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Phiya Kushi

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Everyone has a unique life and mine happens to involve macrobiotics. Phiya Kushi has spent his entire working life involved in macrobiotic endeavors ranging from food businesses, restaurants, bookstores, educational organizations and teaching and counseling. He owes this unique life path to his parents, Michio and Aveline Kushi, whose mission in life has been to create one peaceful world based on a macrobiotic foundation of healthy, happy and peaceful people eating and living in harmony with their environment.

Please visit the official website

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Therapist prescribes music to soothe the senses

Posted on by Denny Waxman

In the world of occupational therapy, prescriptive music for sound therapy is considered a medically reputable and viable treatment for some neurological disorders. Now with so many mainstream occupational therapy clinics prescribing sound therapy, it is no longer considered an alternative form of treatment. However, it has yet to become widely accepted across other areas of medicine. READ ARTICLE

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Takashi Yoshikawa Memorial

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Denny Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

Denny Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa


Takashi Yoshikawa passed away recently just before his 82nd birthday. Many of you may not know of him since he never practiced macrobiotics. However, he had a significant impact on our community as a personal advisor to, and teacher of, many people who actively practice macrobiotics. He is, perhaps, best known for his role over the years as the advisor to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Boy George and Barry Manilow.

Mr. Yoshikawa had a profound impact on my life. He was my teacher, my mentor and my personal friend. He was like a father to me and very caring about my children. To my lasting happiness, he honored my marriage to Susan by attending our wedding. Susan’s grandmother, his senior by 11 years, referred to him as her guru. Whenever we saw her she asked how her guru was doing. Mr. Yoshikawa commanded admiration and respect from everyone with whom he crossed paths.

Takashi Yoshikawa was the world’s foremost authority on what he re-named 9 Ki or The Ki, as opposed to 9 Star Ki. He insisted that there were no stars, only stages of energy. He believed that 9 Star Ki and Four Pillars Chinese Astrology were unnecessarily complicated and set out on a quest to simplify and adapt these teachings to modern life without sacrificing either their wisdom or their meaning.

I first met Mr. Yoshikawa—I continued to use the formal mode of address even after many years of close friendship—around 1990. At that meeting I was as impressed by his appearance, stature, impeccable manners and social graces as I was by his penetrating insights into The Ki. I knew at once that I had met an extraordinary man. Over the years he guided me to an understanding of my own nature; he pointed me toward what I needed in order to develop further; he gave me invaluable and creative insights into the essential nature of each of my children, their strengths and weaknesses. With his help, I was able to be a better father.

He was an unusual advisor in that he would not give advice unless he felt he could guarantee the results. Often his advice was brutally honest and, of course, some clients were unhappy with what he told them. When I questioned him on the subject, he said, “I can’t lie. I have to tell my clients what I see and I recommend that you do the same.”

He told me once that, according to Four Pillars Chinese Astrology, he should not have had a good life. However, by studying and practicing The Ki, that is, by continuously gathering positive energy through good timing and movement, he was able to create a uniquely satisfying life. The few times that I was privileged to travel with him I was amazed to observe that everything went his way from the moment he arrived until the moment he left. For instance, on the second night of his visit to Portugal, he received an invitation to dinner at the home of Amalia Rodrigues, the most famous singer of Fado, the traditional Portuguese music. It was on a par with having dinner with the head of state of Portugal.

We were good friends almost from the beginning. In the first few years, he would often speak to me in Japanese. Though I could understand what he was saying, I had to explain to him that I couldn’t find the words to answer him in Japanese. He would then graciously revert to English.

Around that time, I asked if he would be willing to teach me his approach. He said that he was not a good teacher, but that if I asked him a specific question he would try to answer it. In the beginning he was very open and laid out this incredible framework for me. It turned out that my approach to macrobiotic counseling and to my recommendations was similar to his approach to the Ki. We both looked at things from a number of different angles. He told me he believed this to be the key to penetration and accuracy.

As time passed, there were questions he wouldn’t answer yet, at other times, he would tell me things I had never thought to ask about but that always added another dimension to my understanding. Certain things he refused to tell me. He said that his teacher had refused to tell him and he, in turn, wouldn’t tell me, but often he would point me in a direction to discover the answer. He said that it was because his teacher wouldn’t answer some of his most important questions that he was able to develop his own approach and unique interpretation of 9 Ki. He encouraged me to develop my own interpretation as well. When I asked him about my new discoveries he usually said no, that’s not right, thus forcing me to try to penetrate the Ki even more deeply!

In all the years I knew him, I disagreed with his advice only once. A friend came to see me about someone she had met. She was not completely sure of his date of birth. I told her that without knowing it I couldn’t really advise her but I had a strong feeling that he was not the one for her and I told her to be careful. Later, having learned his date of birth, she went to see Mr. Yoshikawa. He told her that this man was the one for her, that they were a perfect combination. The next time I saw Mr. Yoshikawa he said to me, “Don’t tell people your feelings, just analyze the numbers.” He told me that when he was young he had indeed used his intuition but that now he just analyzed the numbers. I didn’t completely believe him because, on many occasions, I had experienced his powerful intuition. I learned later that the relationship hadn’t worked out, that, in fact, the man had lied about his birthday to my friend.

Even though a couple of months have passed since he left us, I find it hard to believe that Mr. Yoshikawa is gone. He now seems bigger than life. Takashi Yoshikawa was one of those vivid people who inspired awe and wonder about the nature of life itself. I know he will live on in the hearts of all of us who loved him.

Susan Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

Susan Waxman and Takashi Yoshikawa

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What is Macrobiotics?

Posted on by Denny Waxman

“Macrobiotics” comes from makro bios, the Greek words for “Long Life” or “Great Life.”

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, coined the term, and in the modern era it has been developed by Michio Kushi and other educators in Japan, America, Europe, and around the world. By creating our bodies and minds from natural foods in a spirit of thankfulness, we can contribute to personal health, social well being, and planetary health and peace.
READ ARTICLE

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