Photo by Susan Waxman

The overall emphasis of the courses at SHI is on personal and family health. This is because a doctor does not need to be healthy to be a doctor. They offer protocol. In macrobiotics however, we offer health. We guide people to change their condition, balance, and overall health. Macrobiotic counselors must have the ability to create a healthy and balanced condition for themselves before guiding others.

A good counselor is a good cook. You can’t make dietary recommendations to others without having a detailed, in-depth understanding of the preparation of dishes and meals. Our education is also geared towards learning how to create personal health and balance as well as creating delicious, healthy, and balanced meals.

The 4-day Strengthening Health Intensive provides the key points for starting to create personal and family health. One of the most consistent comments and encouragements we receive is how the education provided during the Strengthening Health Intensive helps people become more confident with creating healthy meals for themselves and their families.

The second level is combining the Strengthening Health Intensive with the first two modules from the Master Your Health (MYH) course. These courses together provide the basis for a healthy, satisfying, and lasting macrobiotic practice. The ideas in these courses share the core understandings that guide the Strengthening Health Approach to macrobiotic practice: approach to cooking, diet and lifestyle practices, diagnosis, shiatsu, and healthcare. The other modules of the Master Your Health course go into finer detail about important aspects of macrobiotic practice. Combining the Strengthening Health Intensive with the first two modules of the Master Your Health course sets the strongest foundation for our unique approach to macrobiotic practice.

The year-long MYH online with two onsite modules expands cooking, philosophy, diagnosis, shiatsu, and healthcare. After completion of these courses, a student is qualified to guide people with the most common, non-life-threatening health issues such as allergies, high blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and digestive issues, raising happy families, to name a few.

We also introduced the Macro-Life Mentorship Program in 2016, which is not a professional training program. It is a program designed to help a student in their personal development and applying macrobiotic principles in their life and work. This program helps people understand how to practice macrobiotics in every way. During this program, the student creates a project to apply macrobiotic principles to broaden and deepen their understanding that focuses on serving others. It is amazing to see how each student’s health and cooking progress throughout the year. We are planning to run this program again starting in June 2017. The Macro-Life Mentorship Program is a perfect complement to the MYH.

The Strengthening Health Institute has endeavored to adapt macrobiotic practice and cooking to present day conditions for contemporary students. All of our courses, whether personal or for career training, are focused on keeping students up to date on the most efficient and practical styles of macrobiotic practice and cooking. All of the courses are constantly being improved and updated to keep them current with the changing needs and concerns of people as well as the changing food climate. Our intention is to introduce more directed career-training courses over time. An online and onsite coach training course is still in the early planning stages.

I began this series of entries expressing concern about some programs promising training for macrobiotic counselors in short periods of time. For a refresher the first two entries of this series can be read here and here. I hope it becomes apparent through these three entries, that to embrace macrobiotic practice as a practitioner, coach, or counselor is a life long journey. Dedicating the personal time and energy to learn and grow with macrobiotic practice is more rewarding over time for serving oneself and others.