Virginia Harper (SHA Wellness Clinic)

Virginia HarperVirginia Harper

Virginia Harper is an expert counsellor in natural health at SHA Wellness Clinic, the world's first macrobiotic wellness retreat. She is a teacher, author and researcher with over 30 years of Macrobiotic experience who approached natural medicine and macrobiotics, after a grieving diagnosis at an early age. By observing the results that natural therapies had, healing her completely, she decided to study them and share her knowledge with others. In 2002 Virginia wrote Controlling Crohn's Disease the Natural Way, a best seller in its category.  She has contributed with writings for American health papers and various magazines.

Interview with a Macrobiotic Expert

What is a macrobiotic diet?

Macrobiotics and a macrobiotic diet are two different components of the same idea. Macrobiotics refers to the philosophy of learning to live in harmony with the natural laws of nature and our personal environment in order to experience a full life, as the word means. A macrobiotic diet refers to the adjustments of personalized nutrition to balance symptoms. The considerations are: eat what grows, eat what grows in your environment, eat what grows without contamination and eat according to your body´s needs.

What are the benefits of a macrobiotic diet?

The benefit of a macrobiotic dietary program is in the immediate change that the body experiences once supporting its basic nutritional needs. This program is both preventative and curative.

What duration should you be on a macrobiotic diet for to achieve optimum results?

The results are immediate. The duration depends on the optimum goal. Since macrobiotics is a philosophy of a lifestyle, its possibility is lifelong. The requirements change as your body changes and therefore the eating protocol changes as you improve. You may start eating with a strict protocol and then relax into a maintenance protocol.

Who specifically would you recommend a macrobiotic diet to?

Everyone. Because everyone needs a lesson on how their body functions nutritionally in order to manage it properly.

What holistic activities and treatments complement a macrobiotic diet?

Exercise and body therapies complement a macrobiotic diet. Exercise stimulates circulation. As the blood quality changes through proper eating, the exercise promotes deeper detoxification and better nutritional absorption at the cellular level. I always recommend both cardio to promote sweating and yoga or stretching to promote flexibility and deeper breathing. Body therapies also support a macrobiotic program in particular shiatsu massage, reiki and lymphatic drainage for example. All which aids in the efficiency of ridding excess liquids, soft fats (cellulite) by relaxing the nervous system and balancing energy channels.

Celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and Madonna are big macrobiotic fans. Are you finding that more celebs are taking to the macrobiotic diet and are seeing the real benefits?

Yes celebrities have a chaotic life on many levels. Macrobiotics offers a stabilising program physically and mentally. The common feedback is that it improves their energy levels and slows down the aging process.

What tips can you recommend for guests who want to take the macrobiotic diet back home and implement this in their everyday lifestyle?

Here at SHA Wellness Clinic, we provide an extensive information packet that is individualised. The step by step protocol helps the guest feel confident and well prepared to continue at home as they create a macrobiotic lifestyle.

What is your favourite food and why?

My favourite food within the macrobiotic spectrum is definitely brown rice and miso soup. They both have such flexibility in preparation and you cannot deny how incredible you feel after eating them.

What are your top tips in order to stay healthy?

Eat with intention and slowly. What I mean is know the reason you are choosing the foods...for focus and stamina or relaxation and fun; for healing and prevention or maintaining health. Eat slowly savouring every bite, chewing profoundly until it is liquid before you swallow. The greatest gift we have is the choice of what we eat, the wisest decision we can make is how to manage that to create a full life.


For more details about the world's first macrobiotic resort in Spain, see SHA Wellness Clinic.
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