Emma Cunis is interviewed by Trish Dent
Emma, Thank you for joining us today.
How did you first hear about Macrobiotics?
“It was my mother! My mother became a vegetarian and macrobiotic in the 1980s. She had gone to see a macrobiotic counsellor and her health improved significantly after following the diet. At the time, I thought some of the recipes my mother had been given were bizarre.”
Then, when Emma was living and working in New York, her mother sent her Michio’s book, The Cancer Prevention Diet. “I found the book interesting, and then I started to notice information about the Kushi Institute in Massachusetts.
A ‘holiday’ at the Kushi Institute
“I wanted to take a holiday: I could either go to the beach or take a course at the Institute for a week. I chose the latter, and it turned out to be revelationary. I had had IBS for years, but after two days at KI, it went. I was blown away by that and by the facial diagnosis. When I got home I threw out the contents of my kitchen cupboards and, adopting the new diet, I lost weight, my hayfever disappeared and the IBS never returned.”
About a year later Emma returned to the UK, to a job in London. Back in the UK, Emma suffered from Laryngitis and went on to develop ME. “In reality I think I had suffered low thyroid for some time. I started studying at the International Macrobiotic School in Devon, not because I felt ill, but because I was interested, particularly in oriental diagnosis; how could someone discover all that information by simply looking at a face? However, the positive side of studying at the school and following a macrobiotic lifestyle was that I had more energy, my mood was more even and I felt happier.
Since qualifying as a counsellor I have studied further with macrobiotic teachers in Spain and London. I listened to a lot of counsellors as I believe that it’s fundamental to my understanding and has helped me shape my own voice, my own approach as a counsellor. I studied macrobiotics for self-development but eventually I set up a counselling practice as people were requesting consultations with me. I believe that we manifest illness when we are not living in alignment with life, with our passions and skills.” As well as being a macrobiotic counsellor, Emma teaches short courses at the International Macrobiotic School.
“I moved back to Devon, where I grew up, about 7 years ago. I wanted to be closer to nature and to live a gentler and simpler life. Aspects of ME can still challenge me, but it has taught me to stop and listen and to connect with what I love, with nature.
I’ve also developed a business offering guided walks and connecting with nature on Dartmoor. My grandfather was a guide on the moors in the 1950s. When I was out walking on Dartmoor I would hear the phrase: ‘Dartmoor’s grand-daughter’ and ‘Bring people here’.” And so, Emma took a training to become a hill and walking guide and her walking and nature-connection business, Dartmoor’s Daughter, was born.
Emma continues to work as a macrobiotic counsellor: “one of my greatest hopes is that people realise what they want to do or follow in life before they hit a health crisis.
I find that my macrobiotic journey is ever evolving, my needs in terms of sustenance don’t stay the same; as my body changes, so will its needs, and I have to listen to what I need now. And once I’ve learnt something, naturally I want to share it with others, especially women!”
Counselling: Visit her website here
Walking and nature: dartmoorsdaughter.com