“The word Macrobiotics originates from ancient Greek, meaning Macro (large, long, great, whole, universal), Bios (life) and Tics (practice, way, path, journey, art, science of, study of, technique).”
At the heart of macrobiotics is a quest for a great life, a motivation by an altruistic love and respect for all beings and things, and a wish to help them in practical ways. Macrobiotic views and the ideas shared for developing our way of life are an expression of concern towards fellow human beings and the practical steps by which they might lead healthier, happier, more independent lives.
The term macrobiotics derives from ancient Greek and it is said to be coined by Hippocrates nearly 2500 years ago to refer to health and longevity. Hippocrates is known as the father of Western medicine and along with other Greek philosophers introduced the idea that our health, life and wellbeing depend upon our relation with nature. Hippocrates defined health as coming into balance with the natural world, and the most fundamental way to harmonize with nature was through our daily way of eating. His principal teaching was “Let food be thy medicine.”
A similar notion has been woven for centuries into the fabric of daily life in Japan, China, Korea and other Oriental countries. In Japan the concept has sometimes been referred as “Ishoku Dogen”（医食同源） interpreted as “food is medicine” or “eating well to maintain optimal health”. A widely-held belief that not just the food but how it is prepared and consumed has a direct influence on health.
“Macrobiotics enhances our ability to make sound choices, including food selection and lifestyle preferences, for health maintenance, increase the quality of life, enjoyment and helping realize dreams and aspirations”
Macrobiotics today continues to place an emphasis on the importance of our daily food, including the way it is grown, quality, source, preparation, proportion of food groups, and way of eating, as the foundation for enhancing health and improving quality of life. In addition to food, macrobiotics includes other simple lifestyle practices aimed at achieving balance and leading better lives.
However, health is not the only goal of macrobiotics. Health is only a step in our search towards fulfilling a greater life. How to develop ourselves as human beings and lead more harmonious lives, be truly content, play, enjoy life more fully, and realize our dreams and aspirations is also the aim of macrobiotics.
Macrobiotics can be very broad and is not limited to food or cooking only. It is a holistic approach to living based on a unique synthesis of Eastern and Western influences that also embraces and integrates the variety and richness of the entire world's ways of life including the various teachings, ideas, individual experiences and thoughts, lifestyles, traditions, and cultures in order to further develop humanity in a harmonious way.
Macrobiotics sensibly merges traditional wisdom with modern knowledge and contemporary findings to help attain a ‘macro’ view, or what may also be interpreted as a wider, more whole-listic view of life. When we apply this newly acquired understanding in practical ways to our daily life it can lead not only to personal health or wellbeing within the family but also tangible improvements at environmental and social levels as well. This is commonly referred as ‘the macrobiotic way of life’ or ‘macrobiotic journey’.