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

1 Comment | Tags: Macrobiotics, Uncategorized

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.

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Macrobiotics, A Re-definition

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Macrobiotics is not a diet. Macrobiotics is an orderly approach to diet and lifestyle. Through principles of harmony, balance and change we continually learn how to make healthier choices in our eating habits, diet, activity and lifestyle.

Macrobiotics is also based on the understanding that spiritual health, the development of endless appreciation for all of life, leads to mental, emotional and physical health. The healthy choices we each make on a daily basis also benefit society and the environment.

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Sitting Down to Eat and Natural Aging

Posted on by Denny Waxman

It is less and less common now to have undernutrition. Although overeating is damaging, some people think that the more simply they eat, the better their health will be. But simple is only good for a certain length of time. If we eat too simply and don’t take any oil, flour, fish and desserts for long enough, hardness is created. Our nutrition becomes inbalanced.

The proper amount of food can only be identified when we are seated. We don’t have normal sensation when our stomachs are elongated. We only have it when our stomachs are bent. Everyone has a point where they feel full but not stuffed. If you’ve had enough food, you feel satisfied, If you go beyond that point, you can eat endlessly. However, in order to find this point, we have to slow down and take time for a meal, sitting quietly and being with our food. This does not mean no dinner conversation but rather not eating in front of the television or while reading. When we are with our food and get to that point, we stop eating and do not overeat. It takes time to find this point because often times our digestive system has expanded from our past behavior.

Healthy digestion and cholesterol levels; freedom from weight problems and heart disease and numerous other ailments begin with proper nutrition. Proper nutrition begins with sitting down to receive nourishment, without doing other things, at lunch and dinner and for many people, breakfast. This gets us in touch with what we need. With this simple and practical tool, in the spirit of Strengthening Health Macrobiotics, we can realign ourselves with nature, helping ourselves and our world to age naturally.

No Comments | Tags: 7 Steps, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Uncategorized

Macrobiotics as a Spiritual Path and Social Act

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Macrobiotics has the reputation in some circles as being about food or health or curing cancer. In fact, it is not so much a diet or a cure as a spiritual path with practical applications.

Macrobiotics is really the teaching of Jesus, as expressed in the Gospel of Thomas, and of Buddha. Buddhism and Taoism and Macrobiotics are actually the same.

The founder of modern Macrobiotics, George Ohsawa, fashioned macrobiotic education on Lao-Tzu’s school. Lao-Tzu’s school had four parts:

1. Self Mastery: spiritual, physical and mental health, using the principles of yin and yang, or expansion and contraction, as a compass.
2. Order, peace and happiness in the family.
3. The creation of an orderly society. A social awareness that is not one-sided.
4. The formation of One Peaceful World.

George Ohsawa was interested in One Peaceful World, became a World Federalist and tried very hard to stop WWII. His favorite student was the first to use the word “ecology,” Ohsawa having used it in French.

Although Macrobiotics in general and Strengthening Health Macrobiotics in particular have had much success healing cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and many other health problems and is associated with the inception of the natural foods movement in America, the origins and spirit of macrobiotics are in the spirituality of Jesus, Lao-Tzu and Buddha, and also have a long history of social and political involvement. In addition to being a powerful way to heal the self and family, Macrobiotics aims to heal society and the world.

2 Comments | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Uncategorized

Pureed Sweet Vegetable Soup

Posted on by Denny Waxman


1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup diced leek
1/3 – 1/2 head of cauliflower
Sea salt
Parsley; finely diced for garnish


1. Place diced onions in a pot with water enough to cover onions by an inch.
2. Add a tiny pinch of salt and bring to a boil over medium flame, Continue to
cook onions for several minutes or until they become translucent.
3. Add leeks, cauliflower and additional water to cover vegetables by
approximately 1 to 2  inches.
4. Add an additional generous pinch of sea salt, cover and bring to a boil on a
medium to medium-high flame.
5. When water begins to boil, reduce the flame and simmer on medium-low for
approximately 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
6. Using a hand food mill, puree all the ingredients.
7. Return the pureed vegetables to the pot.
8. Season with a few drops of shoyu and simmer 5 7 minutes on a medium-low
9. Garnish with finely chopped parsley or scallion.


The consistency of this soup may be adjusted by the amount of vegetables and
water. If soup becomes too thick, add additional water until desired
consistency is reached.

1 Comment | Tags: Adjusting Your Diet, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Recipes, Uncategorized

Making Balance with Society

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Many aspects of life are speeding up and getting more intense. We can see this reflected in television shows which move faster than their early counterparts, in the weather, which doesn’t correspond to seasons as it once did; in technology which constantly outdates itself. Society has become more pressured, crowded and contracted in every way. Every open lot is built up, every road is more crowded, and people are getting more intense. Environmentally, seasons have become more erratic. There is pollution, Wi-Fi. Any type of radiation is drying, so with all the forms of radiation around us, society is becoming much more dry. There is no more natural circulation in society. Even many children don’t know how to play by themselves, and animals are penned up.

Regarding food quality, food is simply weaker and less nourishing than it was in the past.

Because of these three things—a more pressured world, a drier and more erratic environment, and weaker food quality, we need to adjust our way of eating.

We should eat brown rice, daily if possible, and if possible we should soak it before cooking for twelve or more hours. However, in addition to grain and to make balance with grain we can eat more vegetables, to make ourselves feel lighter and more connected to nature. We need more things that are light and refreshing than we did in the past. Salads, lightly blanched vegetables and pressed vegetables all help us adjust to a dry environment. We can add grated sour green apple, orange and tangerine to these. Please be sure they have a crunch and are bright in color! “Refreshing” is one of the most important nutrients! Hearts of Romaine lettuce, wedges of iceberg with slices of cucumber, served with a variety of dressings or simply vinegar—these are important now, as your health and condition allow.

Diseases such as cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure all can be helped by improved circulation, and fresh, bright vegetable dishes help our energy circulate. Strengthening Health Macrobiotics aims to help us align with nature for personal and planetary health. Please enjoy lightly cooked vegetables today!

No Comments | Tags: Cancer, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Uncategorized

Final Discounted Intensive of the Year!

Posted on by Denny Waxman

Wednesday, August 27th, 5:30 PM- Sunday August 31st, 2:00 PM

Dear Macrobiotic Community,

If you have been considering participating in the SHI Intensive, now is the
time to take action.

Sign up with a friend and ³Buy one, get one 1/2 off²–That is $581.25 each!
Or register individually, for the bargain price of $775.

Don¹t miss this special event!  Three delicious macrobiotic meals served
daily, fascinating lectures, informative cooking classes, and the spirit of a
joyful humanity.  You will walk away from this course with the necessary tools
to begin your macrobiotic path to vitality, or maintain your current practice
in a more informed, balanced, and sustainable way.

On behalf of Denny and Susan Waxman and the Strengthening Health Staff, we
would be honored to share this life-changing experience with you!

Please call or email to register today

(215) 238-9212

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Posted on by Denny Waxman

Allergies have now replaced the infectious diseases that claimed so many lives in the last century as one of our most pressing health problems. The once common infectious diseases including TB, diphtheria and scarlet fever have largely been eradicated through better hygiene and antibiotics. Yet, not much attention has been paid to the dietary and lifestyle causes of these problems.

Although, not often fatal, allergies represent a weakened blood quality and immune system that leave us vulnerable to a host of dangerous and potentially fatal infectious illnesses. The treatment of allergies can also be very costly in terms of doctors visits, medications, lost productivity and time from school or work. Their symptoms can also  make our lives and the lives of those around us miserable.

It is estimated that around 23 million Europeans suffer some kind of allergic, respiratory disorder. Asthma now affects as many as one in seven school children, according to the Dublin-based European Federation of Allergy.

Why have allergies increased so rapidly, especially since the end of W.W.II? Why do they respond so poorly to medical treatments? We have to look at the recent changes in diet and lifestyle to answer these questions.
Allergies are related to a weakened blood quality, which is caused by an overly rich diet or nutritionally imbalanced diet. A diet high in animal fats especially from cold dairy products and cheese raises blood fat and cholesterol levels. These foods include cold milk, ice cream, yogurt, various types of cheese and butter.
Sweets and fruits help to make the blood more fatty. Fructose found in fruits and honeys are worse for allergy sufferers’ in many ways than sucrose, white sugar. Fructose rapidly increases blood sugar in those who eat a high fat diet.

In my previous article, “A Brief History of Food,” I explained how the modern diet depletes our supply of minerals. A lack of minerals allows our blood to be more acidic and open to infections.

Over many years I have seen hundreds and even thousands of children and adults with various types of allergies. My observation is that the increased consumption of the combination of dairy products, fruits and honey has weakened and compromised our immune systems and make allergies possible.

Other animal foods especially chicken and eggs, tuna fish and shell fish, while sweets including chocolate and fruit sweetened pastries add to the problem.

A more sedentary lifestyle further contributes to the problem. Our circulatory system has its own pump. The heart constantly works to move blood around the body. The immune system does not have its own pump, it depends on daily activity rather than periodic intensive exercise to activate its circulation. Without a variety of activity such as walking, cleaning, gardening and carrying things, the immune system cannot function efficiently.

The immune system has the job of filtering our blood. When it is exposed to a chronic high-fat diet, it becomes overloaded and unable to clean our blood properly. It becomes tired and sluggish. At this point we need a stronger method to clean our immune system. This is an allergy.

An allergy is our body’s attempt to clean itself regularly. The common cold is prime evidence of an overworked and sluggish immune system. It is our body’s attempt to tell us to simplify our diet and to take a rest. In this way our lymph system can empty, filter our blood more effectively and return us to good health. Other allergic reactions tell us the same thing.

We must differentiate between the primary and secondary causes of allergies. Allergens, the substances that set off allergic reactions, have different effects on different people.

Common allergens include dusts, pollen, mold, smoke, perfumes, odors of plastics; various foods; chemicals, synthetics, heat, cold, light, pressure, animals and animal products, hair, wool, fur and feathers.
Increased sensitivity to allergens is the secondary cause. Imbalances in diet and activity, which cause the increased sensitivities are the primary causes.

A high fat diet makes our mucus membranes and skin weak, fatty and too sensitive. It is easy to irritate them and cause a reaction. However, it is important not to mistake the irritant for the cause.

Allergens can affect us in various ways and produce many different reactions. The most common are running nose, watery and sensitive eyes, sinus infections, migraines; various types of skin eruptions, rashes and itching; bronchial asthma; digestive disturbances; and extreme fatigue and weakness.

Recent progress in the study of psychoneuroimmunology has shown the connection between mind, emotions, immunity and health. These systems parallel each other.

When the immune system functions well it efficiently and effectively neutralizes toxins and antigens. It then excretes them from the body before they can cause damage.

It is the same in our daily life when we are in good shape and can easily handle the various problems and tasks that come our way each day. We can handle our work or problems quickly and efficiently before things can pile up.

If the immune system becomes tired and sluggish it becomes insensitive or indifferent to these antigens and they accumulate in the body. They are just waiting to cause problems in the future. This is the transitional stage to an unhealthy immune system.

When we feel run down or overloaded in our daily life with too much work or responsibility it is easy to not notice or ignore things. We let things pile up and many projects or responsibilities do not get taken care of. Sometimes we miss important signals or possibilities. This is the transitional stage to problems in life, work or relationships.

In the third stage the immune system starts to overreact or react inappropriately. It produces reactions that are often too extreme, things that others do not react to cause a reaction in us. Exposure to dust, smoke, pollen or the cold or sun may set off an extreme asthma attack or a migraine.

These are allergies. Our weakened immune system tries too hard to help us return to a normal healthy condition.

In life it is again the same. When we really feel overloaded and stressed it is easy to overreact. It is easy to work hard and not produce much or to react in a way that creates even more problems. Sometimes we misinterpret our boss or even friends and loved one’s intentions.

Allergies are the disease of modern society. They have physical, emotional and mental symptoms, yet they are not really a disease. Allergies are a sign to make some basic changes in our life.

The first changes are dietary. Add whole cereal grains and a variety of cooked vegetables into your diet. Please see “What’s Cooking” for some ideas in this area. Be careful of potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and mushrooms. These often contribute to allergies due to their acidifying affect on our blood.
Try to rely more on white meat fish, unless you are allergic to it, than other forms of animal or dairy foods. If you are adventurous you can try adding some sea vegetables to your diet. These foods used in small quantities help to strengthen immunity.

After you have added more healthy foods into your diet think about reducing the foods that are the primary causes of allergies. If any healthy foods cause an allergic reaction leave them out for a month and try adding them again.

Try to take a half hour walk every day and walk up stairs when you can. Scrubbing your skin with a hot damp towel daily for about 15 minutes also strengthens immunity.

Keeping your home well cleaned, orderly and well ventilated will also help. Natural materials especially cotton and untreated woods are a good idea.

You can make a drink from simmering equal parts of finely chopped onions, carrots, cabbage and pumpkin in four parts water for about 20 minutes in a covered pot. There is no seasoning in this mildly sweet drink. Strain the vegetables and drink it hot. You can drink one or two cups daily for a month and then occasionally after that. This natural sweetness helps to strengthen immunity.

Sweetness in life also helps. Work on developing nourishing and supportive relationships. Spend time with children and friends. Sing happy songs and see funny movies. And of course laugh more, the happy times chase the allergies away.

No Comments | Tags: Allergies, Immune System, Macrobiotic Philosophy, Uncategorized