Since 1981 sinusitis has been the most common chronic condition in the United States. The most recent survey by the National Center for Health Statistics, 40 million people Americans experience sinusitis periodically or permanently. Along with allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and asthma, there are more than 90 million - approximately 1 in 3 - experiencing a chronic respiratory condition.
Of course, this is very significant from a macrobiotic perspective as it reveals a great deal. If you are a student of macrobiotic philosophy, principles and practices, concepts and ideas, and are a frequent visitor to these pages, you will know that the lungs and respiratory organs are the paired complementary organ of the large intestines. Thus, sinusitis indicates that there is problems occurring in the large intestine and this is the organ we need to focus on in addition to the lungs.
We know from our studies of the Five Transformation Theory that the Lungs/Large Intestines are the expression of the Metal state of transformation of chi/etheric activity (See HEALING WITH THE SEASONS. for further study). Thus we need to use those foods - grains and vegetables - that are also expressions of Metal chi to strengthen the dynamic functioning of the Lungs/Large Intestines. We also need to stop eating all the usual suspects - meat and meat products, dairy foods of all descriptions, refined sugar and all foods and drinks containing glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, corn syrup etc. Just go to the GENERAL DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS. and eat those foods in the regular use column. Make sure to avoid the nightshades, fruits, and tofu and tofu products also.
Also, it is very important to do the Ginger Compress regimen on the abdomen.
Now, what if you have had chronic sinusitis for so long that you have this hardened chronic mucus build up in your sinuses such that the only recommended course is to have your cheek opened up and your sinuses excavated with a "hammer and chisel" - is there anything you can do to avoid this procedure?
Yes, there is, in addition to changing to the macrobiotic
dietary approach and doing the The Ginger
Compresse regimen, and it is called the Lotus Root Plaster.
The Lotus Root Plaster.
(The following is adapted from "Macrobiotic Home Remedies", ed. by Marc Van Cauwenberghe under the imprint of Michio Kushi, published by Japan Publications(1985), which I recommend.)
Ingredients and Utensils:
Fresh Lotus Root.
Grated Fresh Ginger.
Preparation and Application: Grate the fresh lotus. Mix it with 5% grated fresh ginger and 10-15% white flour. Spread this paste on a cotton cloth or a paper towel, approximately 1/2 inch thick, and apply the plaster with the paste directly on the skin.
Activity: The more yin quality of the of the lotus root, which is also a Metal plant, has the effect of dispersing and dissolving the more yin mucus (yin repelling yin).
1.) For dissolving mucus deposits in the throat or bronchi. Apply the plaster on the throat or the chest, after first applying the ginger compress for 10-15 minutes.
2.) Mucus deposits in the sinus, sinus congestion or sinus inflammation. To dissolve these deposits do ginger compress on the sinus regions for 10-15 minutes. Then apply a lotus root plaster above and next to the nose. If you want to sleep with the plaster on you can make a 'face mask' to hold the plaster in place while you sleep.
Cut two pieces of cheesecloth or cotton gauze approximately
one foot square. Then place these one on top of the other and
cut out a "pair of eyes", a "nose" and a "mouth"
in positions which will enable you to place the mask on your face
while being able to see, breath and drink.
Place one of these cloths on your kitchen table. Spread the lotus root plaster 1/2 inch thick on either side of nose of, this, the "bottom" cloth so that it will cover the entire sinus area on either side of the nose. Layer the other cloth on top of the lower cloth so it aligns with the bottom one and then sew the two together, or use safety pins to hold them together.
Then do the ginger compress for 10-15 minutes across the nose and sinus area. Put the "Lotus Mask" on and go to bed. It is probably a good idea to tie a bandana or scarf around the mask above the eyes or fashion some "tie strings" to tie it around the back of your head. The plaster should stay in place for several hours.
In the morning take it off and then rinse out your nose
using salty bancha tea (1 teaspoonful of seasalt in I cup of warm
bancha twig tea).
The plaster material can be re-used. Just cut the thread you used to sew it together or unhook the safety pins, peel the top cloth off and then soak the two in some warm water to get rid of the plaster, rinse them out and let them dry spread on a dry towel. Then repeat the procedure that night.
This has to be done for at least 7-10 days, and it may take
2-3 weeks of doing it every night, along with the change of dietary
habits to the macrobiotic way of eating and the ginger compress
regimen on the abdomen, for it to be effective.
Watery or thick mucus will begin to be discharged from the eyes or nose (mainly) - you will amazed at the amount of mucus that will come out!
I personally know of a person who was in the disagreeable position of having the prospect of having his cheekbones cut open on both sides of his face to have the hardened mucus in his sinuses excavated. He was told about how a macrobiotic approach would go about dealing with the problem and enthusiastically embraced it. His chronically hardened sinuses, which were causing him untold pain and misery, extremely depressing, completely cleared up in 8 weeks. He was so elated and grateful he retired early, got a "Golden Handshake" from the company he was working for and opened a macrobiotic store.
Top of Page
40 million Americans are chronically ill with various sleep disorders and an additional 20 to 30 million experience intermittent sleep-related problems. There is a dearth of information medically on what the nature of this problem is and the usual approach is medication. Few people are aware that sleep disorders exist at every age level from the sudden infant death syndrome to sundowning in the elderly. Children, adolescents, young adults, middle-aged adults, and especially the elderly are afflicted. So, almost the entire US population is affected.
From a macrobiotic perspective this condition is relatively easy to clear up. I personally experienced insomnia for the year or so before I started my macrobiotic practice, and a miserable experience it is too. I found myself unable to go to sleep until 5.00 in the morning, waking up groggy, depressed, irritable and tired. And within three weeks of starting my macrobiotic practice I was sleeping like a baby, a condition I have experienced ever since for 25 years.
So, what is the problem? Why do people have trouble sleeping? In essence it is a condition of blood toxicity caused by chronic poor digestion and the subsequent chronic overload on the liver . See the "Healing With The Day" page for insight into another reason why these organs are those underlying the problem of insomnia.
From a spiritual perspective it is interesting to know of what the condition of sleep consists. If you go and study the page, the Human Being you will discover the human being is constituted of three bodies and the 'ego'. In addition to the physical body, we have the etheric body and the astral body.
During the day, we are awake (and, accurately speaking, our condition of being awake is only true of our thinking/perceiving activity, we are dreaming in our feeling life and completely asleep in regard of the activities of our will) in our normal day consciousness due to the fact that the physical, etheric and astral bodies are in a particular configuration to one another.
The condition of sleep, that is getting tired, actually signifies we wish to enter into the spiritual world. What occurs when we sleep is our astral body and 'ego' leave the etheric and physical body lying on the bed.. Literally, when we see someone sleeping, they are not present in the room, only their physical and etheric bodies!
So, the inability to sleep properly means we are too materialistic, we are "weighed down' with our materialistic ideas, thoughts and attitudes, and we cannot leave our physical and etheric bodies.
This is due to the activity of Ahriman's forces being too strong in us. Conversely, if the Luciferic activity is too strong, we wish to sleep all the time, finding it difficult to 'rejoin' with our physical and etheric bodies.
Now, to further confirm that the gall bladder and liver lie behind the problem of insomnia, spiritually speaking, the gall bladder is that organ which gives us the ability to keep the Ahrimanic forces in check, so they do not overwhelm us. It is thus not too hard to see that if the gall bladder is overwhelmed in its activity by all those foods which cause it problems, we will have difficulty sleeping.
Thus, to heal ourselves of this debilitating condition we need to change our way of eating to that of a macrobiotic regimen and cease and desist from eating those foods which cause harm to the intestines and the liver/gall bladder. Go to the Healing With The Day link and from there you can easily access all the details of how to treat your liver kindly. And do not forget to do the Ginger Compress Regimen on your abdomen,
Top of Page
Healing the Eyes
The condition of the eyes reflect the condition of the liver and the kidneys. Of course there are many conditions of the eye, such as short-sightedness, far-sightedness, glaucoma, cataracts, retinal blastoma, detached retina, "floaters" etc., etc. So, by adopting a macrobiotic dietary practice and doing the ginger compress regimen these organs will gradually heal, and the eyes will heal.
However, a problem related particular to clarity of vision is that each eye has six intra-ocular muscles and these become "fixed" and rigid when eyeglasses or contacts are used over a protracted period of time. Therefore, while the liver and kidneys are healing, these muscles do not respond to the subtle "chi" changes influencing them as the organs heal, so vision doesn't improve. Thus, you have to do regular eye exercises to make these muscles flexible and responsive. There are many books out which show you how to do this. The method I know about is called the "Bates Method", so look for a book on natural vision improvement.
Essentially you do these exercises along with finger-pressing certain acupuncture points and doing a palm healing exercise. The acupuncture points you want to press firmly and rhythmically for about ten minutes each day are located as follows:
a) - in the upper inner corner of the eyes: locate these by placing your thumbs -one on each side- on the corner of the eyes by the nose. Then move the thumbs up and you will feel a "lump" - this is where the point is located.
b) - the other point is found under the cheek bone on each side of the face. There is an indentation in the cheek bone which you find by placing the thumb on the outside of the cheek below the temple. Then trace the cheek bone down and follow it toward the nose and you will come to this indentation - that is the place where the acupuncture point is.
The palm healing exercise is done as follows. Place your hands in the prayer position with the thumbs placed on your "voice -box". Then you breathe in deeply and while exhaling slowly make a suuuuuuuu chanting sound through the gap between your left and right hands while they are in the prayer position, Do this five times (this accelerates and charges the "chi" flow coming out of the center of the palms of the hand) and then place the palms on your eyes, with the eyes closed for ten minutes.
You can do these exercises as often as you wish but at least twice a day. You continue with them until you no longer have to do wear glasses or contacts.
Top of Page
Allergies are clearly a very common ailment in the United States, affecting well over a quarter of the population, noting that the overall prevalence statistic is from 1987, and with the health of the American clearly deteriorating in the past twelve years, obviously today's figures are a great deal higher. Allergies are also clearly a cash cow for the pharmaceutical companies judging by the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising their allergy drugs.
I found the following facts from the link below:
Overall prevalence: 40-50 million (estimate based on skin test survey) -1987.
Chronic sinusitis prevalence: 35 million - 1995.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) prevalence: 23.8 Million - nearly 9.3% of population (excludes those with asthma) - 1995.
Impact: Estimated loss of nearly $4 billion in workplace productivity - 1993.
Urticaria (hives) and angioedema (swelling of tissues) prevalence: 38 million -approximately 15% of population - 1992.
Allergic dermatitis (eczema) prevalence: Approximately 10% of children - 1992.
Allergic drug reactions prevalence: 2-3% of hospitalized patients - 1995..
Allergy Facts and Statistics
So, what exactly are allergies? Probably most of you reading this have experienced them at one time or another - constant runny nose, red and weeping eyes, sinus headaches, nasal drip, itchy skin and chronic tiredness are the most common symptoms and these can range from mild to incapacitating, and they can be episodic, to constant to seasonal. More serious symptoms can include stomach irritation, digestive system inflammation and swelling, chronic diarrhea, and systemic allergic reactions leading to death.
A more extreme form of allergies is environmental illness where the individual so affected cannot even venture outside of their home, which also has to be completely refurbished and stripped of all chemicals and paints so as to be a "environmentally clean" home. Such extremely "sensitized" individuals are completely incapacitated at the slightest hint of any synthetic substance in their environment, and can die swiftly from the overpowering allergic response of their highly sensitized condition to these synthetic substances - plastics, perfumes, paints, pesticides, dyes, herbicides, gas fumes, gasoline, etc., etc. In short, chemicals of any kind. Including, of course the foods that are produced using the artificial chemical and transgenic biotechnological methods so beloved by the great pillagers and rapists par extraordinaire of the earth (and by extension of humanity) - I speak of modern agribusiness.
And, of course, including all the artificial chemicals added to the foods so grown by modern agribusiness so beloved of another great destroyer of life on earth, our wonderful modern food industry - the artificial colorings, dyes, emulsifiers, preservatives, artificial vitamins, homogenizers etc., etc, ad nauseam.
As an aside here, it is clear the ordinary man and woman living in the United States cannot trust the FDA or the Department of Agriculture - these two institutes have become nothing more or less than trade organizations for, in the former case, the food (?) industry and pharmaceutical corporations and in the latter, chemical/biotechnological agribusiness. The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse are, "in truth, certainly and without a doubt", modern scientific medicine, the food industry, the pharmaceutical/biotechnological industry and modern agribusiness. And by all accounts, doing an outstanding job, ably aided and abetted by the US Government, which is, after all, merely the bought and paid for henchman of the aforesaid four beasts slouching across the landscape. To quote one of my counselees, "after all, we live in the United States, where we have the best government money can buy."
I must also point out that these four beasts have been created by us, so it is futile and pointless to rail and protest and engage in subversive acts against them. The most significant act to emancipate ourselves from them is by taking personal responsibility for our health and well-being and changing ourselves accordingly.
In viewing what allergies signify from a macrobiotic perspective, it is clear to me these symptoms indicate a humanity becoming alienated from nature. They are early symptoms of the human organism attempting to heal itself in a body occupied by a humanity which is subconsciously committed to the complete destruction of nature, torn out of any sense of connectedness with the great rhythms of the earth and the cosmos. Allergic responses are indicators of a human being who is essentially lonely, depressed and suicidal.
The verse from Rudolf Steiner's "Calendar of The Soul", for this week, (August 18-21) is singularly appropriate:
"I feel at last my life's reality
Which severed from the world's existence
Would in itself obliterate itself
And building on its own foundation
Would in itself bring death upon itself".
Outwardly , from a macrobiotic perspective, these symptoms of allergies are known as discharges, in that the symptoms described are those processes whereby the body is trying to rid itself of these artificial, alien substances. From the perspective of yin and yang, these are more yin discharges, which is not surprising since all chemicals are extremely yin relative to the human organism.
It also stands to reason, based on yin and yang, that more yin foods will be implicated in the manifestation of allergy symptoms so these will include the usual suspects. In addition to all those canned, frozen, synthesized, processed and devitalized foods found in the supermarkets if the country, these foods also those drinks with sugar added, dairy foods of any kind, all fruits, as well as the more yin vegetables. These include vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, fresh mushrooms, raw vegetables, lettuce. Also avoid all yin soybean products like soy milk, tempeh, tofu and soy cheese etc.
All the so-called 'triggers' of allergic reactions like cat fur and dog hair, pollen, mold etc., etc. are also all more yin.
The way to approach healing ourselves of the symptoms of allergies is clearly to go on a macrobiotic dietary regimen. However, a word of caution here. If you suffer from a highly acutely sensitive condition it is definitely in your interests to gradually ease your way in to the macrobiotic diet. This you do by beginning to include the cooked whole grains and vegetables on a daily basis while also eating your regular diet and as each week goes by, gradually reducing the foods of your regular diet as you move toward eating a hundred percent macrobiotic diet. In the case of the whole grains, it is a good idea to rotate these on a daily basis so you switch from short grain brown rice, to millet, to barley and then back to the brown rice. It is also important to emphasize the necessity of using organically grown grains and vegetables where possible.
From the perspective of which internal organs lie behind the manifestation of these symptoms, they are, in order of importance:
The Large Intestine.
It is also important to recognize that the symptoms your body will show when your body is healing itself of its allergic condition will, more than likely, be exactly the same as the allergic symptoms you experienced before you started your macrobiotic practice. It is thus a good idea to be in touch with a person who is a seasoned macrobiotic practitioner who can guide you through what can be a difficult time, especially emotionally, in the early stages of your macrobiotic life.
Finally, it is very important that you do the regimen of The Ginger Compresses on your abdomen. However, although I recommend you start right away, if you find your body reacting strongly after doing the ginger compress, then it is better to space them out. Thus, although you should still do the total of 64 compresses, do them twice a week instead of four times, and do them spaced apart 3 days each week in the beginning, and gradually work up to do doing them four times a week.
Top of Page