Clean your House, Cleanse your Ki Energy: Lessons from George Ohsawa

George Ohsawa cleaning house
George Ohsawa cleaning house
George Ohsawa

One of the most influential Japanese authors on healthcare philosophy, partly attributed his robust health to his love of cleaning.

George Ohsawa was the founder of Macrobiotics – a healthcare philosophy based on Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts such as Yin and Yang and Ki-energy

George Ohsawa travelled and lectured all around the World. He promoted the health benefits of the Macrobiotic Eating plan – Miso soup, vegetables, Japanese pickles and brown rice.

George Ohsawa Loved Cleaning

However, few people are aware that George Ohsawa also had a passion for cleaning. It was a passion that kept him lean, fit and strong. Here is an example from the book – Macrobiotics: Yesterday and Today (1985)

Ohsawa took particular delight in cleaning, dusting and mopping with a vigor that gave him a good daily workout. As a result of this activity and his generally spartan diet of rice and vegetable, Ohsawa was lean and strong.

Once he did a few sessions of judo at a dojo. The teacher, impressed with his leg and lower body strength, asked him how long he had been practicing the martial arts. “Only since I have been coming here” was the reply.

Macrobiotics: Yesterday and Today

Dirt and Clutter causes stagnation

Dirt and clutter stagnates, and can breed negative feelings in whoever lives in a dirty house. This is feng shui at its most basic – the art of spatially arranging objects, furniture, structures or buildings in a way to harmonize the flow of energy around you.

Judging a book by it’s cover

If you take a step into a person’s house or car, the condition it is in tells you far more about its inhabitants than words can do. For example, driving past someone’s house and seeing a broken-down washing machine or toilet in the front yard and an unkempt garden tells us a lot about the inhabitants without even having to knock on the door to meet them. Some people collect clutter over many years.

Hoarding reflects a stagnation of mind

At its most extreme level, some people become hoarders, who collect piles of newspapers and various other things over many years which fill every space inside and out. This creates an extreme stagnation of energy. It is the external manifestation of an internal stagnation.

I saw one of these houses in Japan and occasionally saw reports on TV programs about people who collect so much rubbish that it upsets the neighbours and local council because of the risk to public health. All that garbage attracted rats and cockroaches. Clearly these people have some mental health problems.

Not letting go

Yet, even for people with minimal tendencies towards hoarding – a desire to collect things, to store away, or even to buy the same thing over and over again can indicate that the person is struggling with letting something go – perhaps an emotional hurt.

These people may also suffer from constipation, a physical malady that matches the emotional malady of holding on and not being able to let go.

Reality TV shows about cleaning

These days, there are a lot of reality TV shows in the UK. Some of them are about people who suffer from obesity or with unemployment and life on benefits and in some of the homes of these people, they are often unclean and untidy.

They also suffer from the maladies of lack of motivation, low energy and boredom. I believe that if these people were to start with cleaning their home environment regularly, positive changes will gradually improve their bodies and even their fortunes.

The benefits of daily housework

Housework involves the exercising of your body in ways that mirror going to the gym. To tidy things away, clean windows, vacuum and mop the floor involves bending and straightening up, lifting objects and stretching. For some people, it can really improve the circulation and bring out a sweat. After you finish, it is mentally satisfying to sit and relax with a cup of tea in a clean home and a sense of satisfaction.

So if you don’t have time to go to the gym or you want to save your money – try cleaning instead, just like George Ohsawa enjoyed doing. You will cleanse your external and internal energy. And get a good workout whilst doing it.

The Genki Self-Health Guide

This article contains extracts from my book – The Genki Self Health Guide: Improve your Body and Mind with the Principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Available on Amazon

ying yang genki health book japanese 9

Next Post

A Good Sweat: Physical Exercise and a Long Life


Related Posts


Macrobiotics: Yesterday and Today.  RE Kotzsch, Ph.D. Japan Publications, Inc. 1985, Tokyo and New York

Picture Accreditation

Woman in kitchen –


This content includes referral or affiliated links to products or services. Visit my disclosure page for more information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s