Course Directors, Teachers and Staff

This three year training has been designed and is largely taught by Oliver Cowmeadow and Marijke De Coninck, with a team other teachers, and in the later stages of the training a variety of the most experienced international macrobiotic counsellors.

The Directors

Oliver Cowmeadow B.Sc, PGCE, MRSS(T)

Oliver began studying macrobiotics and shiatsu at the Kushi Institute in London in 1980, and then studied extensively in Europe and America. In 1984 he moved to the south west of England where he has been teaching and practising ever since. In 1985 he established the Devon School of Shiatsu, which has been running a three year training since 1990 and has trained many shiatsu practitioners. Due to his own emotional struggles he began rebirthing, counselling and past life healing in the early 1990’s, and later did trainings in these therapies. In 2003 he founded the Holistic Cooking School, which offered introductory courses in healing with food, cooking, and emotional work, and in 2006 together with Marijke established the International Macrobiotic School and its three year training programme.  The Holistic Cooking merged with its sister school in 2011 and is now also known as the International Macrobiotic School.

See a video interview with Oliver:

Marijke De Coninck

Marijke came to macrobiotics due to illness and she used macrobiotics and yoga for her healing.  She is the mother of 4 grown up children and 3 grandchildren.  She has an enormous insight and knowledge and has been an inspiration to many people.




The Teachers

Jean Netherway MRSS(T)

All my working life I have been involved with improving people’s health, originally within the NHS as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer. Having become dissatisfied with the limitations of orthodox medicine I studied Shiatsu to be able to work with individuals with a holistic approach. After more than ten years as a successful Shiatsu practitioner and teacher I recognized that food and lifestyle may need to be addressed to rectify chronic imbalances. Having followed a macrobiotic way of eating myself I deepened this understanding with study at the Holistic Cooking School and International Macrobiotic School, and use these studies within my practice.

Changing our diets can bring up many emotional challenges and I have added Emotional Freedom Techniques to my skills to be able to empower my clients and students to make the necessary changes to their belief systems to make long-term health improvements.

Keith Belliss MRSS

Keith teaches all the western anatomy, physiology and pathology on our courses. He first trained in Sport Science, and has been working at a physical rehabilitation centre since 1990. Keith studied Shiatsu at the Devon School of Shiatsu, and now has a private practice, as well as introducing shiatsu to the Nuffield Hospital Exeter. His teaching is renowned for being lively and easily understood, especially for those with little prior study of this subject.



Jon Guest

Jon’s passion for all things foody started at a young age. At 16, he entered Gloucestershire College of Art and Technology in Cheltenham, and trained to be a professional chef. After becoming Head Chef of a 4 star, 60 bedroom hotel Jon felt it was time to explore a more holistic approach to food, health and life. He undertook our Looking After Your Health course in 2003 and felt that macrobiotics could guide him on a true mind, body, spirit path. He entered our 3 year training course in 2006 and hasn’t looked back. Now a Chef and cookery teacher at our school he brings his wealth of experience and knowledge to our classes. When not working he’s found at home experimenting with pickles and producing amazake and sourdough bread.

Sarah Hill

After starting life as a chemist Sarah soon realised that she wanted to find a more natural way of living. A move into main stream cooking allowed her to develop her flair for wholefoods cookery in a cafe and then family ran hotel. After being introduced to Macrobiotics in 2005, she arrived in our kitchen as a volunteer in March 2008. Sarah soon became our main Cook and Kitchen Manager and continues to grow in our school, having successfully completed training to become one of our cookery teachers. She has now completed the second year of our 3 year training course and is working towards becoming a healing cook and macrobiotic counsellor.When not searching for new recipes Sarah can be found gardening or dancing ’5 rhythms’.

Karin Baanks

Karin began macrobiotics with her partner more than 30 years ago, and they have raised two children the macrobiotic way.  Karin and her family are all on a voyage of discovery with macrobiotics.


She started her training at the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam and has worked at the East West Centre  in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the East West Centre in Antwerp.

Cooking is her passion and she would therefore love to take you on a journey to enjoy and experience what macrobiotic food can do for your body and mind. Her style of teaching is both playful and inspirational!


Lynne Kenderdine MRSS

Lynne Kenderdine is a member of The Shiatsu Society, and graduated from the Devon School of Shiatsu in 2007. She teaches oriental exercise classes and has a passion for bodywork and helping others to get to know and experience their bodies through shiatsu and Do-in exercises. Lynne is interested in how our inner landscapes are transformed through breath, movement and touch. Lynne has a busy shiatsu practice covering Newton Abbot & Totnes and runs workshops in self-shiatsu and Do-in. With a strong commitment to the natural world, she also works part time with Devon Wildlife Trust.

Annie Woolf

Annie was introduced to macrobiotics while studying Thai Yoga Massage in 2007.  Just Annieone month after changing her diet she experienced relief from several physical symptoms that had been with her for many years and was hooked.

Annie says “Following a plant-based, sugar and dairy free diet combined with emotional and body work has transformed my health – physically, emotionally and spiritually”.

In 2011 Annie began studying at the International Macrobiotic School and is now a qualified Macrobiotic Cook and Health Adviser.  She began working at the school as Kitchen Manager and Head Cook in March 2012.

When not working Annie enjoys long walks with her lurcher, camping, films, books, dancing, Shiatsu and cooking!

Visiting Teachers

Michael Rossoff

Michael has been involved in macrobiotic and natural healing for 39 years. After studies with Michio Kushi in the ’60s and ’70s, he directed various macrobiotic centers in the Washington, D.C. area for 20 years. In addition to teaching and counseling, he published a macrobiotic magazine, MacroMuse, for 7 years in the 1980s. Further, Michael has taught in many cities in America, Canada, Europe and in Israel. He continues to travel for teaching and counseling in the U.S. (most frequently to the Washington, DC area) plus England. He studied acupuncture in England in the 1970s with J.R. Worsley at the College of Chinese Acupuncture and has practiced continuously since 1978. He did further studies for the entire year of 1999 at the Maryland Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Michael was the academic dean and a core teacher at Atlantic University of Chinese Medicine outside of Asheville, North Carolina for three years. He maintains a private counseling and acupuncture practice plus teaches occasionally in other cities. Further, he has regularly taught shiatsu massage (basic & advanced) at the N.C. School of Natural Healing in Asheville from 1997 through 2008. Michael is appreciated for his attentiveness to each client’s history and current needs and for his ability to give clear and valuable explanations and feedback. His healing work as a counselor focuses on the detailed recommendations of foods and lifestyle changes, and reaches to the subtle qualities of mind and spirit that can profoundly impact someone’s life. He is also a gifted acupuncturist with the ability to effect deep and lasting changes.

Francisco Varatojo

Francisco Varatojo – Director of the Macrobiotic Institute of Portugal, Francisco has been acknowledged for many years as one of the most qualified macrobiotic counselors and is regularly sought by major European centers for seminars and consultations. Francisco began studying Macrobiotic in 1977 and together with his wife Eugenia was the founder of the Kushi Institute of Portugal, after having studied at the Kushi Institute in Boston. His main interests lie in the application of the macrobiotic principles in the areas of natural healing and resolution of social problems. Francisco is the author of many books and has been a regular contributor to various newspapers, magazines and TV Shows. He has given numerous conferences and lectures in many public Portuguese and International institutions, including the Faculty of Pharmacy of Lisbon and the Medical School of Coimbra and Lisbon. He is a professor at the Nursing School Calouste Gulbenkian as well at the Catholic University of Lisbon. Francisco was the president of the International Macrobiotic Assembly for 6 years and has been responsible for an international wellness clinic in Spain, besides giving regular classes and conferences in European countries. In 2010 he was awarded the Aveline Kushi Award for his work in the development of macrobiotics and establishment of health and peace.

Anna MacKenzie

Anna qualified and worked first as a designer, then in Macrobiotics at the CHF London and Kiental. She has been teaching, catering and leading workshops in Macrobiotic cuisine and nutrition, healing and home remedies, yoga and movement and the Art of Space Clearing for many years in different  countries. She sees that an open generous Macrobiotic way of life and philosophy is a sound basis for a healthy, ecological, spiritual culture and sustainable future. Taught by Aveline Kushi, Denny Waxman, Denise Linn among others she considers Nature to be a remarkable teacher. She also and enjoys gardening and counselling. Anna is a past Chairman of the Macrobiotic Association.

Simon Brown

Simon is the author of Modern Day Macrobiotics, Macrobiotics for Life and is a Macrobiotic Consultant and Teacher living in London UK.

Simon studied macrobiotics in 1980 in London and went to the USA to study with Michio Kushi, Aveline Kushi, Shizuko Yamamoto and Denny Waxman.  Whilst there he helped run the Macrobiotic Association of Philadelphia.  Returning to London, Simon became the director of London’s Community Health Foundation, the leading macrobiotic centre in the UK, from 1986 to 1993.  He co-authored ‘Against All Odds’ with Dr Falkner charting his recovery from Pancreatic cancer using a macrobiotic diet.  Simon regularly hosted courses for Michio and Aveline Kushi and Shizuko Yamamoto.

Simon is the author of best selling Practical Feng Shui, The Feng Shui Bible and Feng Shui Live Coach.  He is an established feng shui consultant and teacher.  Whilst at London’s Community Health Centre, Simon ran the first large feng shui courses in the UK with William Spear and Takashi Yoshikawa.  Simon left the CHF in 1993 to pursue a freelance career in feng shui in London and travelling throughout the UK, Europe and USA.

Simon has written numerous books including the novel The Healer and popular books Macrobiotics for LifeFeng Shui Life Coach, Practical Wabi Sabi, The Secrets of Face Reading and The Energy Booster Workout.

Simon is a member of the Feng Shui Society of Great Britain, the Macrobiotic Association of Great British and the Zen Shiatsu Society of Great Britain and abide by their professional ethics.  He has served as Chair of the Macrobiotic Association and Feng Shui Society.

See a video interview with Simon Brown:

Lucie Tring

lucieportraitMy first experience of Shiatsu was as a young child and the seed was set. After several years of general education, a graphic design BTEC, various work and dabbling in the arts I came back round to Shiatsu when I received a session after my first child and I knew that Shiatsu was what I wanted to be doing. It gave me the support I needed at that time in my life and met me on a very deep level.
After completing the 3 years at the DSS I went straight on to being a teaching assistant for 3 years, having a busy practice in Cornwall and holding workshops at yoga camps and festivals.
Always enthusiastic to broaden and deepen my skills, I have done various courses including Structural Alignment with Saul Goodman, Central – Channel release with BSS teachers, Seiki-Soho with Akinobu Kishi and Macrobiotic short courses at the International Macrobiotic school, and there are more on the ‘to-do’ list!
Currently based in Devon, I have a busy practice in Exeter and Totnes and am a keen Taiko drummer.

The Administrative Team

Martin Hope

Martin HopeSince a young age Martin has been very passionate about whole foods and their relationship to health, wholeness and healing. He spent 25 years in the Far East with 18 of them spent in Japan. In Japan he worked in a macrobiotic natural food company with the onus being on supporting organic farming and connecting farmers to the general public and vice versa. His work involved promoting the traditional grain based diets of Japan and supporting local food artisans to use traditional and natural methods in the production of food staples such miso, shoyu, salted plums and vinegars. He opened a Macrobiotic whole food vegan café in Japan that fulfilled a dream of creating a space where wholesome, locally grown and produced products were the core of the menu. He studied whole food nutrition and healing from both an Eastern and Western perspective with Paul Pitchford and studied Shiatsu both in the US and Japan along with cranial sacral therapy.

Wendy Morrison Lic Ac., BSc(Hons), MBAcC

Wendy looks after all the marketing and promotion of the schools. She worked for the IT industry for 15 years, but then changed direction to study acupuncture at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading. She now combines her work at the schools with a busy acupuncture practice in Ivybridge, Torquay, Kingsbridge and Buckfastleigh.  She is the Founder and Editor of Five Flavours Magazine, a magazine  that is all about food and health rooted in the wisdom of Chinese medicine.