Symptoms mean that our body is adjusting and trying to maintain or return to health and balance. Before going into the specific types of symptoms that occur and how they manifest outwardly, it is important to understand our relationship with nature. When nature changes, our body adjusts to maintain balance. For example, on bright, sunny days, we find ourselves more thirsty. And on cloudy, rainy days, we tend to urinate more.
When discussing the relationship with nature, we can look at the most common ways our bodies adjust to nature to create a balance. These include urination, bowel movement, breathing, sweating, activity, thinking, and expression. We don’t question these things in our daily lives as they all seem perfectly healthy. But, when they become excessive because we need to eliminate more to maintain balance, then we begin to question and wonder if everything is okay. For example, if you can’t stop urinating or sweating, you may begin thinking that something is wrong. Whereas these things are a stronger attempt to release excess to maintain, and return to health.
When we cannot eliminate efficiently through the normal, daily, and excessive eliminations, we then tend to create more specific, or acute, symptoms. The most common symptoms include: body aches, fevers, chills, coughing, sneezing, colds, and flus. When your body is trying to clean itself, we have little energy for activity because most of our energy is going to cleaning, repair, and maintenance. The question is, are these actual illnesses, or are they simply our body’s attempt to detoxify and maintain balance?
Symptoms: The Western and Eastern Perspectives
In Western medicine, the focus tends to be on eliminating sickness rather than the root cause without the intention to improve health. In practical terms, this means that there is a focus on medications, surgeries, or radiation, which eliminate or mask symptoms temporarily. However, this is unfortunate because every time that sickness is destroyed in this way, there is also a part of our health being destroyed. For example, antibiotics do not discriminate between healthy and unhealthy bacteria, often compromising our microbiome.
This is not to say that the Western approach is all bad; it excels in certain areas. Two areas that they really excel in are: trauma (quickly relieving acute symptoms that can be potentially life-threatening), and diagnosis. In Eastern (or macrobiotic) diagnosis, we have the ability to observe problems long before they manifest. This offers time to adjust and avoid these potential problems.
In macrobiotics, the goal is to understand and eliminate the root cause. This is a more sustainable approach to create health physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. This means that by increasing health, we naturally decrease sickness. These are practical things that everyone can learn and begin to implement to improve their health. To help visualize this concept of moving toward health, imagine as we move further into Spring, the less we think about Winter.
A big deterrent with macrobiotic practice is that it takes effort, time, and attention. The greatest benefit is that anyone can improve their health if that is their intention. You must want to be healthy! So, although it may be a more natural way to improve health, in a modern society of instant-gratification, personal health can be very rushed and overlooked. For this reason, many people feel this is a foreign approach that is not practical for them.
Possibly the most important point here is that these two approaches are not exclusive to each other. Macrobiotic practice makes medical treatments more effective and greatly reduces healing time and pain. There are certainly times where either of these philosophies may seem more valuable, but in tandem can achieve the best personal health results.
The Body is a Self-Healing Mechanism
Modern education teaches that sickness is inevitable. However, our bodies want to be healthy, and they know how to make it happen. Your body is always trying to move towards health – every second of your life. But modern diet and lifestyle interfere with that process. So, we often lose sight of that. When we return to a healthy diet and lifestyle, our body does remember what to do and moves towards health on its own. Our body also has the great ability of compensation and can often do what is considered medically impossible. It is important to develop understanding and confidence that a healthy diet and lifestyle can reawaken our natural healing abilities.
When Do We Produce Symptoms?
The confusion is that we produce the same symptoms when we create sickness and when we are recovering. Symptoms are simply an indicator of change, but they do not tell us in which direction. So, it’s important to look at our diet and lifestyle to determine if we are moving toward sickness or health. We produce symptoms in times of change, such as change in seasons, change in diet, change in activity, and in times of stress or unexpected events. For example, when you exercise, your muscles get sore. It really is that simple.
If you change your diet and start to feel bad, then this means that you are eliminating the unhealthy foods from before. This is a positive thing, showing that you are moving towards health. So, when you think of what a symptom means going forward, don’t naturally equate it with a negative thing that must be quickly remedied by medicine.
Take an SHI Macrobiotics Course Today!
Do you have questions about the SHI Macrobiotic Courses?
Call Us Now: (215) 238-9212