If you’ve ever wanted to feel fantastic, look gorgeous and sparkle with vitality then simply look down… at your plate. These days, with muffins, cappuccinos and microwave dinners making up our daily dining table, we’re eating in a way that weakens our bodies and minds over time. But before you dive into the self-help section of your local bookshop or recline into the therapy couch, pull up a kitchen stool and listen to Yuko Ozawa, a macrobiotic shiatsu practitioner and health advisor in Doha.
Yuko once suffered from emotional and physical conditions before discovering macrobiotics and Shiatsu. ‘Even if you are in good health, you can try this out. You don’t need to make major changes too quickly – I didn’t. You’ll see that macro foods can be delicious and satisfying with so many other benefits. Also being able to identify your body’s energy (Qi) and how they can be shifted will allow you to be more positive internally and externally,’ Yuko explains.
What are macrobiotics?
They are a combination of different healing modalities (for example diet, emotion, lifestyle, bodywork), based on expanding-contracting energetic principles. Macrobiotic philosophy comes down to explaining everything through the lens of yin and yang.
Yuko clearly goes through the philosophy of yang force, which creates contracting and inward movement while yin force creates expansion and outward movement. From these fundamental forces we get everything: light and dark, speed and slowness, hot and cold, hard and soft, etc. All dualities can be seen through this lens. ‘It is believed that if we eat foods that are whole, local and in season, our bodies get the perfect yin and yang balance needed for the natural environment in which we live. When we harmonise with nature, we experience strength, flexibility, freedom and happiness,’ Yuko explains.
The macrobiotic approach to diet is based on whole grains and fresh vegetables. For the most part it avoids meat, dairy foods, and processed foods. The goal is to provide the body with essential nutrients so that it can function efficiently without loading it with toxins or excesses that must be eliminated or stored. The idea is to balance the effects of foods eaten with other influences on the body, largely through diet, and to adjust to changes in a controlled and peaceful manner.
How does it work?
Yuko’s diagnosis starts with a series of questions that cover your diet, exercise, sleep patterns, as well as your relationships and general state of mind. ‘The surface of the body tells a lot about someone. In my initial consultation I give a facial, hands and feet reading that adds to my final diagnosis. Every client is different, therefore the advice given is tailor made.’
She uses a combination of Shiatsu, dietary coaching and macrobiotic plans for each client. A macrobiotic practice encourages the body’s natural ability to heal itself. If the body is not burdened by toxins and excesses, it can function better. Anybody who begins macrobiotics goes through a period of healing, beginning with the elimination of accumulated toxins.
Yuko goes on to say that most of the time everyone is aware of what their body needs and what it is telling them. ‘I am just there to confirm their intuition and guide them with some health tips and eating advice or plan.’ ‘Addictions and cravings are from the chemicals in processed foods but sometimes it’s also a lack of vitamins that your body is communicating it needs.’
Yuko performs Shiatsu, which is a noninvasive treatment, mainly using fingertips and palms. Like a massage (but with clothes), it involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to release tension and realign the body’s natural energy. It’s a form of therapy of Japanese origin, based on the same principles as acupuncture, in which pressure is applied to certain points on the body using the hands.
It is becoming increasingly clear that it is not possible to separate the body from the mind. How we are physically in our body affects how we feel. ‘When we experience strong emotions, they may remain with us for a while and then get stuck in the body; unless you work hard to realise where they are and release them, which takes a lot more effort and, for some people, a lot of pain reliving the bad experience,’ Yuko explains. ‘Applying pressure to the body allows me to see where it is sore, where the energy is stuck and where the emotions are hiding’.
So if you are looking at acute or chronic health issues such as weight control, hormone imbalance, sleep problems, skin problems, cravings or addictions to name a few, then Yuko Ozawa is who you call.
Both macrobiotics and Shiatsu work to support the body and can work alongside other approaches (if you are on medication) to assist you to have a physical and emotional balance.
Get the treatment
Yuko, together with Six Senses Spa at Sharq Village & Spa, are holding macrobiotic workshops in specified topics throughout November and December. These include yin and yang, respiratory, shin, digestive and weight management, as well as a new one on ‘how to select your perfect cup of tea.’ The workshop is a tea making demonstration and tasting on how to select your perfect tea according to your yin and yang balance, mood, health conditions and lifestyle.
To book your treatment or workshop, call the Six Senses Spa at Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6999) or email@example.com.