Apart from the fact that Macrobiotics makes the tall claim of changing your blood condition with the food you eat in 4 months and change cellular condition in 2 years, a couple of things set it apart from being just a diet and putting it on the mantle of an ‘approach for life’. Just as Eastern philosophy believes that every living thing has ‘life force’ or ‘prana’. A Macrobiotic view also believes that this ‘life force’ or ‘qui’ translates into two polarities ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. These two energetic processes can be extended to foods, cooking styles, diagnosing health conditions, looking at a person’s nature, physical activity, body organs, just about everything. So when balance has to be made for a person with an ailment the Macrobiotic practitioner will analyze everything using these two aspects to make balance.
A simple example would explain this: while animal food is yang (contracted) vegetables compared to animal food is yin (expansive) or while baking is yang (contacted), boiling compared to baking is yin(expansive). This is a very simplistic example of what constitutes yin versus yang. Similarly if looked upon a larger canvas, how would the diet of someone living in a tropical climate (like India) very ‘yin’ in let’s say a Mumbai be any different from someone living in a temperate climate like the Berkshires in the US – very yang? Also, constitutionally how yang or yin are people, the foods they consume and also the way they lead their lives.
Yin and Yang defined:
Yin is dark, passive, downward, cold, contracting, and weak.
Yang is bright, active, upward, hot, expanding, and strong.
Yang Foods : Heavy, hard, dense – Grow downwards – Meaty, salty, keeps longer – Dry cool, vegetables that have slow growth patterns.
Yin Foods : Light – Grow upwards – Wet, cool, raw – Spicy, sweet, juicy, oily, perishes faster – Thick, rapidly growing vegetables.
Macrobiotics Counsellors use the Traditional Chinese Medicine framework and are also trained to analyse how organs function within the body, by using facial diagnostic techniques and touch meridian analysis. These diagnostic tools are used to arrive at a diet that is optimum given a person’s health condition.So very simply, yang seeks yin and yin seeks yang to balance one out. An example: It’s the dead of summer and you go out for a swim. When you get back home you find yourself gulping down bottles of water because your body fluids have dried up. If you don’t drink enough, you’ll find yourself dehydrated, and possibly with dry skin the next day (ever noticed how your heels tend to crack during the summer months?). This will soon lead to a contracted condition, resulting in a dry digestive system, which may lead to constipation. This is termed as a yang condition. You will need fluids, yin, to balance you out. Yin here being water.
Macrobiotics Counsellors use the Traditional Chinese Medicine framework and are also trained to analyse how organs function within the body, by using facial diagnostic techniques and touch meridian analysis. These diagnostic tools are used to arrive at a diet that is optimum given a person’s health condition.