Differences in a Macrobiotic Approach Versus Functional, Lifestyle and Integrative Medicine
When I look at helping people reverse disease, I look at different modalities in helping me out to help people get to their goals. Lifestyle is very closely linked to chronic disease. For example, smoking may cause lung cancer, a lifestyle that only relies on fast food as main meals may result in chronic obesity or metabolic disorders.
A Macrobiotics approach also uses ‘Lifestyle Medicine’ which uses nutrition, physical activity, minimize social and environmental exposures and manage stress to prevent, reverse and treat lifestyle diseases and their progression. Lifestyle medicine brings together scientific evidence in varied of health fields to assist someone like me or any health practitioner not only use food to treat ailments, but also use lifestyle-related aspects that include food to transmute the ailment.
So in addition to a sound diet plan adding many other components to combat the ailment you are facing is always something that a good practitioner would incorporate. The approach then becomes all-encompassing.
What are the tools we could perhaps use to regain our health in lifestyle medicine? It could be as simple as the following:
- Sleep on time and for 8 hours
- Exercise daily for an hour
- Quit smoking and alcohol (if in excess)
- Eat the first meal of the day i.e., your breakfast
- Manage your stress
- Stretch if you work at a desk
- Get outdoors, instead of being copped at home
- Stay hydrated
- Brush your teeth, use dental floss
- Meditate, do yoga, indulge in breathing techniques
- Get in some form of bodywork like acupressure, craniosacral therapy
- Speak to a psychologist
- Sit out in the sun
Health practitioners who take an integrative approach like me, expand the canvas when we treat your ailment; hence the approach is richer. This makes a Macrobiotic approach similar to a functional medicine and also integrative medicine approach, as it integrates a lot of all the factors in arriving at your unique diet plan. A functional medicine approach focuses on the underlying cause of the ailment and uses testing to come to a conclusion. They use the GOTOIT framework which stands for — Gather, Organize, Order, Initiate and Track. While integrative medicine, understands that there are many parts to a disease, they use a combination of therapies including bodywork to provide treatment.
Macrobiotics encompasses all the USPs of functional medicine, integrative medicine and lifestyle medicine, with many other USPs these are –
- It uses the Oriental facial and meridian diagnosis to make sense of your ailment using the organs as a framework. Looking for the cause of the ailment, and how to treat it.
- It uses the ‘energetics’ of food to make a food plan that suits your ailment. For example what particular vegetables and in what format would benefit a lung disorders versus a colon cancer?
- It uses the ‘energetics’ of cooking styles to make balance.
The approach I use with Macrobiotics at its foundation, has also been married to Ayurvedic principles of food, diet and herbs. Hence lifestyle medicine becomes a part and parcel of this plan taking the healing journey of a client to another level all-together.