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Food, Love and Gut Feelings.

January 22, 2012 – 7:01 am

We live in a time when many people are obsessed with food, eating and body image. The other thing everyone wants is love: to have love in their life and to be loved.  And the third thing people talk about nowadays is about intuitive connections with yourself and the ability to listen to your gut feelings which will guide you to where you want to go.

How do you think food, love and gut feelings are connected?  Well, the reality is that how you eat is how you live your life. The way you eat affects everything in your life: relationships, love, self-talk, beliefs and your energy level.

For example, chaotic erratic eating, like in case of eating disorders always bring a chaotic and erratic life. Avoiding certain foods means avoiding something else in your life which is bigger than food: feelings, emotions, responsibilities, certain people or certain situations.

Let’s see how food and love are connected? Simply you can put it like this: abusing food is denying self-love and promoting self-hatred.  People with anorexia deny the self (their life and love); they have extreme fears and self -hatred.

People with bulimia and binge eating also hate themselves. They have too much pain and feelings of guilt and shame (which is all opposite to love).

People who are on constant diets also deny some or many aspects of their love which make them feel very sensitive, unstable, moody and unsafe.

People who constantly overeat (binge eaters and compulsive overeaters) – associate their love with food and eating. For most of them love is food and other forms of love for them become non-existent.

Unless people become aware of what and how they eat, they will remain victims of their obsessions and will never know what love is.

Now let’s look at the relationship between eating and gut feelings.  The gut has its own mind with up to 500 million nerve cells and 100 million neurons in the gut. The gut remembers everything, what you ate, when you ate and in connection to what feelings and emotions you ate and how.

An eating disorder can start from you being upset once and wanting to calm yourself down so you ate. The eating gave a temporary emotional relieve. Your gut remembers this episode and since that time you continued to use food to “make yourself feel good”.  Every time you binge, you lose control and just let go.  These feelings are addictive and very soon you find yourself consumed by a food addiction.

Your gut feelings are supposed to protect you by sending you messages (intuitive voices) but your body stop listening or maybe your gut just shut itself down when you started abusing food. Intuitive feelings stop working also.  That’s why people with eating disorders often find themselves in situations which are uncomfortable and chaotic.

Obsessive eaters, anorexics and bulimics stop hearing the voice of their own selves and stop being connected with there own selves. The only voice they can hear is the voice of their food obsession which tells them only about bad things.

To start hearing their own voice again (the voice of their gut and intuition) people should become aware of how they eat and realize that the way they eat affects their intuition. Then they should try to discern the voices: their own intuitive voice from the rotten voice of their eating disorder. In order to return your intuitive voice you should listen and follow just your own intuitive voice and ignore the ED voice.

Here are the steps:

  1. Accept that the way you eat affects your whole life.
  2. Find out what it is that you are trying to avoid by abusing food (are these emotions, feelings, people or situations)?
  3. Ask yourself: what is my true love? What do I really want in life?
  4. Meditate and during meditation ask “Who am I? What do I want?”
  5. Identify your own intuitive voice: it is a soft, kind, gentle and positive voice.  Listen to it.

 

Freedom from food obsession comes when you realize who you are. When you realize that you are higher than food and that food is only the sustenance to support your body and your body is the temple for your beautiful soul – then you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Loving your soul, listening to your intuitive voice and connecting to your higher self, is the way to recovery and the way to live life.

Read more about http://www.womenhealthsite.com

Turning off the obsession genes that cause eating disorders.

July 2, 2011 – 3:49 am

By re-identifying your bad eating behavior you can stop your eating disorder – this has been proven more than once.

Some of you may say, “How will I re-identify my behavior to stop my eating disorder?
I got this disease because I have an obsessive gene from my mother. You can’t eradicate this gene from my genetic makeup.”

No, you can’t eradicate the unwanted gene from your genetic makeup and we are not trying to do this. What we are trying to do here is to change your response to the thoughts and feelings your brain generates.

Our genes have two kinds of fundamental properties. One of them is something that is not in our control. We have a certain set of genes we’re born with that keep replicating themselves. 

But the other aspect of our genes is in our control and it can be turned on and off according to how we live our life. This we can do something about, with the help of neuroplasticity.

Our brains are ever changing over the course of our lives. And your brain’s map is going to be determined by what you do day by day. You can start out doing new things today and in three weeks time your brain’s map will be completely different from what it was when you started.

This is what we call brain plasticity (or neuroplasticity), and the human genetic inheritance includes brain plasticity. This process occurs throughout our whole life. Brain plasticity can be controlled and directed if the person is aware of it and if the person wants to change his/her brain.

 It is interesting to note that our genes get turned on and off all the time. Even when you go to sleep some genes are turned on and others are turned off and when you wake in the morning other genes join the game. Research has shown that our thoughts also influence these switches and this gives us a lot more control over our genes that we realise.

 Now, I have the highest regard for genetics, but now it is certain that some aspects of genes can be controlled by our will, life style and habits. Just the fact that the brain can change itself in accordance to what we do and how we think. This means we have to place a lot of importance in the power of free will over our lives.

So, the notion that an obsession gene (that caused your ED ) is controlling your life appears to be false. It is how you perceive and respond to the messages from the environment that controls your life.

If, in your environment you perceive yourself as fat, ugly, anxious or inappropriate and your response to this kind of perception is to starve or binge, purge, take laxatives or over exercising to feel better, then you are letting the environment control you.

 What you should be doing is working through them trying to overcome the false urge? This will make much more of a difference to your outcome than blaming a genetic predisposition for your eating disorder.

Go to http://www.eating-disorders-books.com for more information.

Dr Irina Webster MD.

Shame is one of the roots of anorexia and bulimia.

January 11, 2011 – 1:30 am

Shame plays an important role in developing eating disorders because shame is a controlling device. Basically all people with anorexia or bulimia can recall being shamed or ashamed several times before their disorder began.

Shame is complex. It extends from small things like parents or teachers saying to someone that she/he is a bit overweight and needs to lose weight, or to something more serious like physical or sexual assault. For a young vulnerable person even a wrong look or an inappropriate comment can be shameful and it can trigger control mechanisms in the brain.

The simplest and most available thing that the shamed person has to exert control over is food. Restrictive eating or binging on food and then purge it all up is an action that only the person who is doing it can control. Plus it gives to the sufferer the intimate sense of achievement and conquering their own body. But there is a catch 22, externally the sufferer keeps it a secret because if it was revealed it will be a shameful action if someone was to discover their secret.

So, feelings of shame start working on the sufferer even before the beginning of their illness.  Shame makes the person shrink her/his inner self and avoid others in order to stop interpersonal humiliation. Shame produces resentment, irritability, tendency to blame everyone, suspiciousness and bouts of agitations. Shame also blocks the person’s emotions and makes the person unable to be compassionate to others.

Often family and parents themselves promote shame unknowingly. On different stages of development many children feel inadequate in many tasks. Some parents by criticizing, comparing their children with other kids and controlling them can evoke a lot of shame in their sons and daughters.

Other parental behaviors and styles that provoke shame and body images issues are:

–       avoiding children and avoiding to feel and respond to their emotions

–       being judgmental

–       being constantly angry and disapproving

–       expecting children to please

–       defensive parental attitude

–       being depressed and anxious

–       acting as a victim in front of children

–       being indirect

Turning to food becomes a substitute for non realized emotions in many children. Their mind is searching for a coping mechanism to ease their emotions and food is an easy outlet to find.

For this reason a big part of eating disorder treatment is working on understanding the impact of shame and how to counteract it. The best antidote for shame is compassion, love and understanding. This has to be understood by the sufferer, family and all the people who interact with the sufferer.

The second step is to change the person’s self-talk from negative feelings towards food, to positive feelings about food. These both are important steps in the sufferer’s recovery and have to be done with the help of the whole family and not just with the sufferer.

This may not be an easy thing to do if the family does not understand exactly what to do to help. But luckily there is help available; you can read more at www.mom-please-help.com

Can a University Course help with eating Disorders?

December 8, 2010 – 1:35 am

It was with great interest I read the press release “University course to study bulimia and anorexia” 11-11-10 on the Wales online website.

The Cardiff University is putting together a Collaborative Working in Eating Disorders module to be studied as part of the School’s MSc in Advanced Practice by the university’s school of nursing.

 Although this seems a noble cause I do get a little concerned when academia and governments gets involved with the treatment or suggested treatment of a disorder. Academics are renowned for not being able to think outside the square and get bogged down with dogma, so will concentrate on the so called conventional approach to eating disorders.

Governments are even worse tending to back the established approach even if it does not work, they can’t afford any political backlash if they make a mistake. Plus it is always good to be seen as doing something in the eyes of the voters. So to save themselves down the track they also back the conventional approach.

From reading the article it seems apparent that the course will have its basis on the conventional approach to the treatment of eating disorders and this is worrying and will only produce much of the same thinking that is prevalent now. 

As an eating disorder specialist, author of two books on the subject and an ex-sufferer of anorexia and bulimia myself: I know the conventional approach is not that great. I myself did the rounds of therapists etc, to no avail for years and I was training to be a doctor, so you would think it should have worked.

 I am not the only person who has gone through multiple treatments only to find they did not work; I get emails everyday from people telling me the same thing.

Here are a few abbreviated emails.

 I am helping a young adult girl whom I have become extremely fond of!… At the age of 14 she became anorexic and eventually bulimic. She has been in clinics a number of times, but every time she just goes home things just continue where she left off…
Charleen SA.

My daughter is 22 years old and she was suffering ED for 2 years… For your information she has been treated in the ED clinic as outpatient, visiting the internist doctor and the psychologist regularly to no avail…
Li Australia.

My daughter has been in and out the eating disorder clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the last 4 years. I’m tired of them, she continues to struggle…
D M USA.

I took her to our health care Clinic and they seemed to have a handle on the disorder and they seemed to be helping with all kinds of counseling, nutritionist, psychiatrist and nursing… but once home she “back-slid” back into binging and purging.
VF, GB.

These emails are very typical from people contacting me still searching for answers when the conventional treatments have failed.

There is a very good reason why this happens and why sufferers fail to get better after showing promise while in the clinic? Conventional treatment methods do not confront the disorder where it lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer. They do not understand that an eating disorder is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

But unlike the person who has to wash their hands 100 times a day, or the sufferer who has to check to see if the gas is turned off 200 times before they can leave their home. These people get nothing but pain from their OCD, whereas the ED sufferer actually gets pleasure from their disordered eating habits.

This extra element of pleasure adds a different dimension to the disorder and is most difficult to treat with conventional approaches used in clinics and by therapists. Sitting and talking to a therapist rehashing old hurts for hours is not going to help. This is a logical approach to a disorder that is not the least bit logical. After all why would someone purposely starve themselves to death and know they are doing it?

In my view there is really only one method that can beat an eating disorder and that is one that attacks the ED where it lives in the subconscious mind of the sufferer. To do this you have to use the power of Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability to change the way our brain functions by how we think, feel and act.

With the use of specialized methods to promote positive feelings, emotions, action and pictures we can change the faulty neuronal pathways and negative programming that has occurred in mind of the sufferer. The beauty of using a specialized neuroplasticity approach to curing eating disorders is it can be used at home.

This is the place all ED sufferers fail and relapse back into their old habits, because the triggers that control their habits are all at home, they are not in the clinic or therapists rooms.  

 I believe that any university course however noble it may seem if it does not incorporate the use of neuroplasticity and a method to change the neuronal pathways in the brain will not help. This will only produce a whole new batch of conventional method thinkers to the detriment of the eating disorder sufferer.

To read more about Neuroplasticity is the key for eating disorder help go to http://www.eating-disorders-books.com

Attachment theory and development of eating disorders.

November 2, 2010 – 11:21 am

Attachment theory explains the bond or tie between a child and an attachment figure, a parent or guardian. Nowadays it is starting to become obvious that children with insecure attachment styles are prone to eating disorders more so than children with secure attachments.

When children interact with parents in the first 5-7 years of life some children feel that their parents are a reliable source of comfort and security. These children most likely will develop secure attachment style and become well-adjusted adults.

 Other children may feel that their parents (or caregivers) are not that reliable and don’t give them the sense of security, support and comfort when it’s needed. Some parents may even reject their children in terms of providing emotional comfort. These children probably will develop an insecure attachment style and will compensate for their emotional discomfort with food, alcohol and/or drugs when they grow up.

Now we know that a lot of eating disorder sufferers turn to their disorder to find security, comfort and emotional stability. Food is something that is always readily available and will bring temporary emotional comfort to a sufferer: so it seems an easy way out of their emotional problems.

There is no blame on the parents of course because eating disorders are complex and many factors have to come together for a person to develop the disorder. But what we do know now is that a cold parental attitude, very high expectations placed on a child, parental abuse or rejection are all factors that can force a child to turn to an eating disorder.

 As a rule, most eating disorders sufferers (nearly all) have insecure attachment styles: anxious and avoidant styles. Because attachment style is developed in the first years of life, it is understandable that a predisposition to an eating disorder is built earlier in life (probably in the first 5-7 years of life) that previously realised.

 A Childs attitude toward their parents (caregivers) is also directly connected to their attitude of themself, their body and self-esteem, their thoughts about the world and the people around them. It is also connected to their perception of safety (about the world being a safe place or not). All these factors as we now know influence the development of eating disorders in young children and teenagers.

 To conclude, attachment style is something we should look at when talking about the prevention of eating disorders. We need to educate parents regarding how they can make their children feel more secure and comfortable inside their own self. Developing a secure attachment style in children will help prevent eating disorders in many young people.

 Read more at http://www.eating-disorders-books.com

7 Motivational Triggers That Keep You on Truck When You’re Fighting Bulimia or Binge Eating

August 11, 2010 – 5:06 am

Anyone who is fighting their eating disorder can fall into a slump.

Negative emotions, feelings and subconscious voices to binge, purge or starve yourself can become so strong that the person can succumb to them again and again.  It often seems like there is nowhere to turn for help; but there is and that is where the use of motivational triggers come in handy.

Motivational triggers inspire mentally and spiritually. They also push away the past and help you focus on the present.

There are many motivational triggers that can be used every day.

You may already use your own personal motivational triggers but here is a list of the most common ones that work on most of us.

1. Listening to particular songs or music.
This is a really strong trigger to lift up your spirit and keep your desire to stop your bulimia or binge eating alive.  Although you have to be careful in choosing the right songs though, because some songs may bring on feelings that make  you perform your eating disorder behaviour.

Some song can be associated with something negative in your life or just switch on negative senses.  But with the variety of music that is around I am sure you will find music that motivates you to act your best.

Please refrain from music that has negative language, or bad language, or that is demeaning to others, this kind of music will only make you worse.

2. Looking at art (pictures, sculptures etc.) that inspires you t is a great motivational trigger for art lovers. When you look at art and get inspirational feelings from it you actually divert your attention away from food, weight and body image worries towards the divine.

It can be very powerful for many people and can even make them create a piece of art. When you free your attention and focus from the eating disorder influence you will start to create things easier and faster.

3. Going to a special room (or place) in your house to think, meditate or connect with inner self.
Connection with your internal self is a powerful tool to motivate yourself to becoming free from your eating disorder.
Knowing your internal self can be difficult for eating disorder sufferers because their internal self is affected by the eating disorder.

The ability to separate yourself from your eating disorder and the ability to separate thoughts (those that come from you and those which come from your eating disorder) is important for your full recovery. Until sufferers learn to do this properly they can’t recover because the subconscious eating disorder voices will always overpower your logical reasoning.

Specialised eating disorder meditation can be an incredible tool to help you to control the voices and overpower them.

4. Going to a scenic area in your city or town to get away from the eating disorder distractions. This trigger can also be related to meditation and relaxation but using nature to help. A connection to nature can be one of the ways of connecting to the divine.
 Meditating on your health and freedom from your disorder can be helpful while out in a natural setting.

5. Going for a walk/ jog outside. This can be just a quick fixer when you need urgently to change your mental state and stop those overwhelming subconscious voices that tell you to binge. Don’t keep yourself hungry though because hunger will definitely make you binge sooner or later. Eat often (6-7 times a day) but small amounts. This way of eating stimulates your metabolism and stops the feelings of hunger.

But do not use exercise as a way to feed your obsession, do not use it as a substitute for controlling your weight or body image problem.
Going for a walk or jog is only to break the moment and stop the feelings that make you binge.

6. Do any other activity that helps you clear your mind from negativity and to remain motivated.
Doing an activity which is pleasurable is important for breaking bulimia/binge eating cycle. Finding this kind of activity can be difficult for people with eating disorders because their negative food thoughts over-ride all the positivity in them.

To stop it you need to clear your mind first with meditation. Than in a meditative state ask your inner self what you really love to do.
The answer will follow if your mind is clear from eating disorder thoughts.

7. Write a diary. Writing a diary helps thousands of people to feel better. Initially you should just record your thoughts; any thoughts that come into your mind. Then when you get a hang of it, try to direct your thoughts in the direction you need.

That means diverting your attention away from food and weight, towards other activities which are positive and constructive.
Who knows – some people have become writers that way. Just keep trying!

If you use these triggers to stay motivated there is no way that you can continue with the bad behaviours that you want to eliminate from your life. If you learn to change focus you will be definitely on the way to a full recovery.

Dr Irina Webster MD is an expert in eating disorders, author and public speaker.

To read more about specialized meditation for eating disorders go to http://www.meditation-sensation.com

How to Resolve Self – Conflicts in Eating Disorder Sufferers.

January 12, 2010 – 2:55 pm

Eating disorders are rooted in emotional struggles. These struggles are deep emotional conflicts within the sufferer, these are called self-conflicts.

How the conflicts started in the first place?

This process begins by fantasizing at a very early age. People fantasize a script, for example like a Hollywood production focusing on TV stars or other celebrities. Then they start rehearsing their part. As they go, they either give up on their initial part and take up a new one, or they practice the first part and role -play that script out until it becomes who they think they are. Practising the script automates their behaviour and it becomes fixed.

For example, a young girl perceived that she is overweight. By looking through magazines, watching TV and movies she finds herself a role- model that is slim, polished and glamorous and play out this picture in her mind. From the same source she gets a script to follow to achieve this kind of unattainable look. She rehearses it until it becomes automatic and turns into an eating disorder, anorexia or bulimia.

Her imprinting environment plays a significant role in the alternative scripts available to her. If her parents happen to be too strict or uncaring, she would be unable to develop a positive coping strategy to counteract her developing problems. In some problematic families being warm and friendly is seen as an embarrassment, so the child becomes cold and aloof to compensate.

Self-conflict is a conflict between different “selfs” inside one person. There are 4 different “selfs”:

1. The actual self.
It is the private self. This self consist of thoughts we wish we didn’t have and actions we wish we haven’t done. It also contains our self-esteem, our attractiveness, and our secret ambitions. Eating disorders sufferers may dream of looking like a slim movie star, or a sport champion etc. Her/his self-esteem is really proportional to a degree of how alike she/he looks compared to their famous role-model they are trying to emulate.

2. The ideal self.
This self is built by culture and society. Ideal self is about living a perfect life, without any mistakes and therefore without room for growth.

3. The ought-to-be self.
This self is about our “should” and “oughts” which have been learned from our culture and our society but they are not ours. For example, when a swimming coach tells a young girl: ” You should lose weight immediately in order to fit the criteria for the swimming completion.” Initially the girl was probably OK with the way she was and didn’t think she needs to lose weight immediately. Her swimming coach installs the “ought-to-be self” in her. Her “ought-to-be self” may go into conflict with her “actual self” after the coach’s comments and if she is vulnerable she will develop an eating disorder in order to comply with the losing weight rules that have been set in her mind.

4. The desired self.
This is a self we believe we could be and desire to be. This self is especially obvious in young people when they plan for the future. Later in life this self can be a source of discontent if the desires have not been fulfilled. For example, a woman after 30 suddenly develops an eating disorder. This eating disorder is very likely to be a consequence of discontentment due to her unfulfilled desires of an earlier time (or the “desired self”).

What is a solution for solving this self-conflicts? Emotional healing would be the answer and you can put it into 5 steps:

1. Realize that one has emotional conflicts and they are probably the cause of the eating disorder.
2. Believe that one should and can solve these self- conflicts.
3. Accept that emotional healing is the only way to solve these internal conflicts.
4. Go through the emotional healing process.
5. Follow the emotional healing strategies as a way of living your life.

Emotional healing is the only answer to resolve self-conflicts in eating disorder sufferers. If emotional healing does not occur during a particular treatment – there is little hope for this kind of treatment being helpful.

Maybe in this case the person ought to look for different alternatives. Mindfulness training seems to prove itself as a great emotional healer for these kinds of ED sufferers. It has been proven that if one is mindful and aware, one can experience true freedom and liberation from all their self conflicts.

Dr Irina Webster MD is a Director of Women Health Issues Program. She is an author and a public speaker. To read more about mindfulness for eating disorders go to http://www.meditation-sensation.com

Mindfulness Training for Eating Disorders.

November 3, 2009 – 2:40 pm

Mindfulness Training for Eating Disorders.

Most eating disorders are linked to significant amounts of stress, mood disturbance, anxiety, phobias, substance abuse, and physical complications. All these factors have to be addressed when someone is trying to overcome an eating disorder.

Mindfulness training is a technique which can help a person to cope with all these factors. Mindfulness means a calm awareness of body functions, feelings, emotions, thoughts and sensations. Mindfulness consists of paying attention to an experience of the present moment — without moving into thoughts from the past or concerns about the future. Using mindfulness training people with eating disorders can attain control over their body and mind.

What exactly does mindfulness do for the mind and body?  The main benefits of mindfulness are:

1.       Calm and quiet the mind. This will bring more happiness, joy, positive feelings, appreciation and gratitude into people’s lives.  It will also increase kindness to yourself and others which is necessary for ED sufferers as they often behave badly to themselves and others due to their conditioning.

2.       Diminish the grip of habitual responses that cause suffering. ED sufferers all have certain habitual responses to their feelings, thoughts and emotions. For example, bulimics have habits to binge-purge at a certain time a day; anorexics have strict habits and routines about their diets and exercising.

Mindfulness can diminish these habitual behaviours to the point that the sufferer is able to choose how she/he is going to behave at a particular moment.

 

For example, instead of realizing 10-30 minutes later that you’ve been lost in bad thoughts about your body, weight, food, your bad memories or fantasies from the past, a person can stop themself after only 30-60 seconds from wandering thoughts using mindfulness training. With practise, people can increasingly observe these habitual responses and choose to respond in other more constructive ways.

 

3.       Develop a stronger “observing self”. This means to observe what one does. It is like you having a third person who sits inside your own chest and constantly watches what you do.


Mindfulness makes a person become an observer of what one does, thinks and feels.  This helps to have better control over their eating disorder thoughts and behaviours.

For example, when a person gets stressed, instead of reaching for alcohol or going on a binge –purge cycle, the person could simply sit and observe the negative emotions and sensations which were brought on by the stress until they are gone.

Unlike relaxation techniques mindfulness can be developed to the point where it can be practiced in the middle of stressful situations. So instead of reacting to stress a person starts to respond wisely. While being mindful a person can still remain alert and respond appropriately to the situation at hand, instead of being over powered by it.

 

4.       Slow down the pace of thoughts and become more attune to the present moment.   Eating disorder people often complain that they have too much continual inner “chatter” and images from the past or from the future in their minds.


This chatter and images don’t simply go away, because that’s the nature of the human mind. But they can be settled down with practice. This settling down of the mental processes brings relaxation and freedom.

 

With practice one will have the ability to choose what to think about instead of being dragged along with uncontrolled thoughts and feelings. This effect can be experience after just 8-12 minutes of mindfulness state of mind. So, if one practices mindful awareness at least 10 -15 min a day, it may possible for him/her to choose what to think instead of their thoughts going uncontrolled.

 

Mindfulness will also increase your concentration letting you perform task , study and work with better accuracy. It also improves the immune system and general health. It regulates the autonomic nervous system which control automatic functions of the body organs. Mindfulness is a great anti- aging factor as it improves metabolism of the cells.

 

Most eating disorder sufferers who practice mindfulness training find it an incredible tool to beat their problem right at root of the disorder, in the subconscious mind.

You can read about healing meditation for eating disorders CDs at http://www.meditation-sensation.com

Dr Irina  Webster

Magical Benefits of Meditation for people with Eating Disorders.

October 12, 2009 – 3:03 am

Many researches have proven now that people with eating disorders get a lot of benefits from doing meditation. Eating disorder sufferers have disturbances in autonomic nervous system, problems with impulse control and many emotional problems. All these can be improved with regular meditation.

You see, human beings are made up of three components—physical, mental and emotional. You can think of it as like a triangle with the same length sides. To correct eating disorders all the sides of triangle have to be balanced.

The Mental side represents the knowledge people learn about their condition and how to cope with it.  The physical side represents the natural strength of a person’s body which we inherit from parents. The Emotional side of the triangle is the one which always becomes unstable in people with eating disorders.

That’s why eating disorders sufferers have very bad mood swings, uncontrollable negative thoughts, long-standing bad feelings and painful sensations in different parts of the body that they try to moderate with food (obsessive eating or abstaining from food).

Emotional strengthening is the key to curing many eating disorder problems. Meditation and relaxation techniques are great strategies to do for emotional strengthening in order to become healthy again.

In order to understand about emotional strengthening, you first need to understand a bit about how the brain works. You’re probably aware that our brains work across a range of different levels or brain-wave frequencies. While the range is actually continuous, it is divided for convenience into 4 categories—beta, alpha, theta and delta.

As adults, we spend most of our waking time in the beta area. Beta is where we do our logical thinking, rationalising and planning.  Stress also occurs in the beta wavelength but on high frequencies beta waves. Eating disorder sufferers spend nearly all their time on high frequencies beta waves where the problem lies.

Alpha, on the other hand, while still an “awake” state, is that relaxed, day-dreamy state that you can go into when you are doing something creative (eg, painting, knitting)  or meditation.  It’s the time when your mind just wanders freely, and when time just seems to fly by.

Alpha-experience represents a relatively stress-free and euphoric state of being. For eating disorder sufferers the alpha state helps to balance their autonomic nervous system and correct impulse control problems.

Now here’s another important piece of the puzzle—besides containing our feelings and emotions, the alpha (sub-conscious) state also contains our “self-beliefs”. Our self-beliefs are the sub-conscious view you have of yourself (the real you), they drive our behaviour at a sub-conscious level. They are similar to the programs you have on your computer that makes it run.

So if, for example you have a self-belief that says “I am bulimic or I am a binge eater or anorexic”, the behaviour that results is that you perform compulsive eating, binge or starve yourself actions. This becomes the real you even if you consciously don’t want to become that person.

Where do self-beliefs come from? Mostly they develop in us at a very young age up to when we are teenagers. These self beliefs go through many developmental stages throughout our lives. It’s interesting to note that, unlike adults, children spend the majority of their waking time in the alpha region and this is why they are so resilient.

Most of our adult behaviours are based on “programming” we picked up before the age of 7. Many eating disorder sufferers picked up their programming when they where youngsters to teenagers.

When it comes to getting results, your self-belief (programming) will always win out over your conscious desire. So it does not matter if you get up every morning swearing that you will eat today, or you will not binge, but by the end of the day you have not done what you said you will do. This is because you are in the beta state and this can not affect the subconscious mind, so you are doomed from the start.

That’s why it seems impossible for many people to stop their eating disorders. But the problem is that they try to fight it with their logical conscious mind, being in a beta state, not an alpha state.

What happens if you target an eating disorder from the alpha state?

Well, you will get a completely different result. Being in alpha state you will target the emotional core of the eating disorders self-beliefs. When sufferers start to change their self-beliefs then the magic occurs:  then they can be cured from their eating problems.

Specific meditation which target people’s self-beliefs can create a real magic in the sufferers life. For eating disorder sufferers who put themselves in an alpha state while meditating regularly, means they can stop their disorder for good.

If the sufferer is only ever in a beta state this probably means they will have their disorder for the rest of their life, with no escape.

It has been proven that meditation brings enormous relieve for the eating disorder sufferer who starts to add meditation into their treatment methods.

But a word of warning, not any old meditation method will do, it has to be a system that is purposely made for anorexia or bulimia and eating disorders. It is totally useless listening to a meditation CD that is just generic, as the subconscious mind will simply dismiss it as irrelevant.

Also lookout for CDs that say they are for Anorexia or Bulimia, but are exactly the same with only the words anorexia replaced with bulimia but everything else does not change. Although anorexia and bulimia are similar they are not exactly alike, so you do need slightly different words to affect the subconscious mind.

Dr Irina Webster.

 You can read about healing meditation CDs for Anorexia-Bulimia at http://www.meditation-sensation.com

Adult Eating Disorders – How to Deal If the Person Doesn’t Admit Having One

September 27, 2009 – 2:08 pm

If you are dealing with an adult who suffers from an eating disorder, then you should adjust your talk to a relevant format. Remember, an adult may use stronger language than a child would use. Do not get angry. It will not do any good, and will probably make things worse. Plus, the sufferer will not want to confide in you.

Remember that your appearance and tone of your voice should make her/him feel that you are coming with an open heart, and you do it only because you love her/him and care very much about the person: that you don’t have any intention of putting them down or embarrassing them in any way.

Be sensitive, diplomatic and intuitive. Regardless of what happens during the conversation, you should finish the exchange letting the person know that you are willing to listen to them anytime they feel more comfortable about talking.

If the person you want to help doesn’t admit they have a problem, then:

1. Understand that you (and the person close to you) are not responsible for their illness BUT you should take responsibility to do what you can to help them to improve and recover. Without this decision to help, it is more difficult for them to improve on their own.

2. Focus on loving and supportive relationships between you and the sufferer. Avoid being on a drama triangle which means avoid being a “Persecutor”, a “Rescuer”, or a “Victim”.

3. Create intimacy between you and the sufferer. When the sufferer feels completely secure with you, she/he will open up and talk about the problem.

The ways to create intimacy between two people are:
• Be Present and Tune In.
• Ask questions in which you can show your caring and lovable attitude toward the person.
• Listen with Empathy and compassion.
• Accept without Judgment.
• Saying softly “Tell me more….” when you are listening it will make her/him feel immensely loved by you and connected to you at a deeper level.
• Reflect Back.
• Respect Soul.
• Be Transparent. Let others see into your heart and inner world.
• Speak Gently.
• Realize that if the person doesn’t want to talk about her/his problems and denies their anorexia-bulimia, it could be the result of her/his emotional state of mind at that time. They could be experiencing emotional cut-off.

4. Emotional cut-off refers to the mechanisms people use to reduce anxiety from any unresolved emotional issues with parents, siblings, and other members from the family. To avoid sensitive issues, some people either move away from their families or rarely go home. Or, if they remain in physical contact with their families, they avoid sensitive issues by diverting the conversation, cutting off the risk of having to face their emotions.

The opposite of an emotional cut-off is an open intimate relationship. It is a very effective way to reduce a family’s over-all anxiety and acts like security priming.

5. Continue on with your education about eating disorders. The more you know about the disease, the easier it becomes to conquer it.

From our personal experience coping with a person suffering from an eating disorder, it is obvious that there isn’t one single definitive guide or course of action for you or the sufferer to follow that will guarantee a solution to their eating problems.

Your attitude and beliefs about how the sufferer should act and your ability to interact as a caregiver can affect the way you respond to your loved one.

Remember, that if one approach for coping with your loved one’s illness does not work, there is always another way. People who develop eating disorders are absolutely normal. However something happens in their lives that make them suffer emotionally and they turn to an eating disorder to compensate for this emotional discomfort.

So you as a caregiver have to be very understanding, caring and most of all none- judgmental if you really want to help.

To read about eating disorders books go to http://www.eating-disorders-books.com