Ikigai Bio-Hacking is a biohacking method Sachiaki Takamiya developed based on Japanese natural health and modern scientific discoveries in the field of wellness and longevity.
It consists of five areas.
5. Planetary Health
It will help you extend your health span. It focuses on your health span more than lifespan. It doesn't aim to help you live till 150, but stay vital and sick-free until you reach 100 or 120. We accept death as a natural phenomenon and don't try to change it by altering our genes.
This is because we also aim to grow spiritually, and altering our natural destiny may have some consequences.
We are interested in holistic growth, which means optimizing body, mind, and spirit altogether. What we value the most is our Ikigai, which we interpret to be life missions, and we maximize our capacity to fulfill our missions, not necessarily to live longer. If we need a longer life to carry out our tasks, so be it, but if that is not necessary, our attention is on improving the quality of our life, not the length.
We try to keep a balance between traditional natural health approaches and modern scientific discoveries. In Japan, we have a long tradition of natural health practices such as Shiatsu, Seitai, Aikido, ancient Japanese martial arts, Zen, Shojin Diet, Genmai Saishoku Diet, and Shugendo. Many of them have a holistic understanding of our wellness, and our harmonious culture represented in the character 和 is influenced by them. Their approaches are useful for our health and longevity because they are proven to work by many Japanese centenarians.
Yet, they lack scientific evidence, and we don't know why they work. Now, thanks to many scientists, we have new evidence-supported theories explaining the mechanisms of these traditional approaches. Fasting is a good example. It has been practiced in Japan for over 1000 years, and people like Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, the 2016 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine by discovering the mechanism of autophagy, can explain that fasting can trigger autophagy, a cellular regenerating function. We now know that many ingredients in Washoku, our custom of having a bath every night, and hiking up to a mountain top for pilgrimages can all activate autophagy.
Science alone is limited in the sense that it can experiment on an incident in a controlled narrow environment. You look at a particular age group with a particular lifestyle for a period of 6 months to a few years measuring a particular figure such as the elevation of your blood sugar level. The experiment is conducted by experts in that particular field who don't know things outside their field. It lacks the holistic understanding that traditional natural health philosophies had.
Therefore, the balance between the two is critical and Ikigai Bio-Hacking has selected the methods from traditional approaches that coincided with scientific discoveries.
Sachiaki Takamiya is the founder of the Ikigai Diet and Ikigai Bio-Hacking. He developed these two health methods based on centenarians in Japanese blue zones and Shizenha people, Japanese naturalists who live in the countryside leading organic lifestyles. He won the outstanding performance award of the Next Publishing Award in March 2022 with his book, The Ikigai Diet.
In his early 20s, he lived in England, where he studied Shiatsu and macrobiotics at the British School of Shiatsu, studied different kinds of psychotherapies at the Center for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education, and at the School of Hypnosis and Advanced Psychotherapy.
After returning to Japan, he gave workshops on holistic transformation based on his studies of both physical and psychological approaches.
He now lives in a small rural town called Hino town in Shiga Prefecture, one of Japan's longest-lived prefectures. He practices a Satoyama lifestyle there, growing vegetables and making fermented foods. Although he is 60 years old, he has had no problems at medical check-ups so far, and he was diagnosed that his vascular age was 21 years younger.