IN THE BEGINNING…
The old Chinese proverb says that "Disease enters through the mouth." Intuitively, we can say the same for our health. Ancient civilizations revered food as the sacred energy that held the power of life and death. This is why these “in-tuned” civilizations usually ascribed godly images and properties to the crops and natural phenomena. Through long-term observations and experiments, our ancestors developed a higher understanding of the laws of the universe and balanced living. To master the energy flow, means to be in balance – and to be in balance means to be a master of life.
This philosophy of balance is applicable to any relative field of study from physics to metaphysics. At the end of the 19th century, a Japanese army doctor named Sagen Ishizuka expanded these ancient Oriental philosophies and teachings of energetic transformations and combined them with the Western scientific observations. This resulted in a creation of a more-inclusive, conscious approach to nutrition and medicine called Shoku-Yo. When Shoku-Yo was brought to the West, it had to be adjusted and translated as Macrobiotic. The word Macrobiotics has Greek roots - “macro” meaning “large”, and “bios” meaning “life”. Therefore, Macrobiotics stands for a “greater view on life” and implies that a more conscious and mindful approach to experiences will provide us with a truly realized life.
MASTERING THE ENERGY:
Within the universe, we can classify two primordial energy forms which are interdependent and mutually attracting. The first one is expanding energy, which ancient Chinese called Yin ▼ [ˈyin]. The second one, which has constricting tendencies, is labeled and pronounced as Yang ▲ [ˈyäŋ, ˈyaŋ].
Transformations in energy affect our overall condition, such as season change, the shift between day and night and many others. In Macrobiotics, there are five base energies that transform into each other and are completely interdependent. These energies are represented through metaphors and analogies of their related naturally occuring forms – wood, fire, earth, metal and water (Graph 1- Five elements). Each of these elements are interwoven throughout the universe and can be related to seasons throughout the year (and everything else as well).