Macrobiotics is a holistic philosophy of life and healing, embraced by Steve Jobs when he was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, according to his biographer. Exactly what is involved in practicing macrobiotics? Macrobiotics advises a balanced diet primarily of whole grains, vegetables and soy products such as miso, individualized according to a person’s constitution and condition. It has helped many people heal themselves from a variety of diseases, including cancer.
However, in the case of Steve Jobs, he may have been better served by taking advantage of surgery as soon as he was diagnosed, in addition to following the macrobiotic way of life. The problem with alternative healing methods, such as macrobiotics, is that they may delay a person from taking advantage of the latest technological diagnostic methods and surgery, when called for.
Unfortunately, in the last ten years, many esteemed macrobiotic teachers and counselors themselves have died of cancer. Is it because they didn’t get early diagnosis? Or because they didn’t take advantage of surgery to remove the tumor and then use macrobiotics or other holistic approaches to remove the cause and the potential spread of their cancer?
The great macrobiotic teacher, Herman Aihara, a student of the founder of macrobiotics, George Ohsawa, was a small, humble man who empowered many to heal through a whole foods diet and home remedies. Aihara often told cancer patients to have their tumors removed first, and then to come back for macrobiotic counseling to learn how to change their lives – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and naturally starve out cancer cells and prevent a recurrence. He cared more about each person’s life than about proving that his philosophy alone was the right one.
Alternative healing methods work best when combined with conventional medical diagnosis and treatment. The hope for the future is “complementary medicine,” which combines the best of both worlds. I see hope with major medical centers including meditation and Healing Touch to their repertoire of treatments.
The Chakra Diaries, novel life stories of people on a healing journey, includes the story of Julie, an alternative healer who did not take advantage of allopathic medicine and was therefore not diagnosed with melanoma until she was in Stage 4 and there was little intervention available. It is a dramatized version of a true story – not the same as Steve Jobs’ story, but with the same end result. And the same moral… take advantage of both alternative wisdom and medical technology. Combine the best of all that is available.