Ever since the likes of Charlie Chan, early television’s detective extraordinaire, –and Bruce Lee who kicked his way across our movie screens, America has been increasingly fascinated by the ways of a mysterious Far East.
From kung fu to acupuncture, to the austere spirituality of Zen Buddhism, these cultural imports were adopted by many a Westerner looking for something fresh, and something new.
One Asian tradition that continues to make inroads is its approach to health –including healthy hair. Unlike Western medicine’s concern with the treatment of illness and disease, Eastern medicine focuses on prevention. Health is seen as a body’s natural state throughout the duration of one’s entire life. Disease is not seen as something to be fought –but instead, disease is seen as a symptom of a person’s lack of harmony, either within the body or with the environment.
Harmony In Our Diet For Healthy Hair
Of course one must ask: what does ‘harmony’ mean? The answer lies in the fact that the healing arts are not seen as a specific separate field, but rather as part of a larger interconnected philosophy. Finding health and harmony becomes something of a balancing act. A Japanese version of this philosophy of balance made its way to America under the moniker of ‘macrobiotics’. It’s very name meaning great or large (macro) way of life (biotic), indicates its philosophical scope –but it is most commonly viewed as a strict form of dietary practice derived from Zen Buddhism.
The perceived strictness of macrobiotics led to mixed reviews in its early attempts to find a foothold in America, ranging from fanatical enthusiasm to dangerous fringe diet labels. It quickly proved its adaptability however, and before long it developed a healthy following.
Authors and teachers like George Oshawa, Michio Kushi and Herman Aihara travel worldwide to share their message, playing a significant role in the development of the natural foods and alternative healing movements. Macrobiotics, as an all-encompassing philosophy is beyond the scope of just a few pages. However, a brief examination of some of its basic ideas will allow the reader to see how it applies to hair health, and even hair loss prevention.