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Body Scan Meditation for Eating Disorders.

September 24, 2012 – 3:38 am

Body Scan Meditation includes going into a deep meditative state and scan your body while meditating. This kind of meditation not only slows down your brain waves, it also helps your brain to produce Oxytocin which is hormone of love and bonding .

Eating disorder sufferers don’t have enough of this hormone produced and that is why they have so much problems with love and bonding.

Now, how to do this meditation?

Make sure that you are not driving, not walking and not operate any machinery as we are going to go deep into a meditative state.

The purpose of this meditation is certainly not just to relax. The purpose is to know your body, to develop body awareness and awareness of your own thoughts and the mind. An equanimity, which is a term that means balance of the mind, composure, equilibrium. It means not reacting with either craving for what is pleasant ( food), or aversion for what is not pleasant. It means a form of acceptance, unconditional acceptance.

It is not a way of getting rid of unpleasant sensations. It is not a way of attracting pleasant sensations or pleasant experiences. It is a way of learning to accept whatever is there and get on with life. Relaxation becomes a byproduct of that, because when acceptance is increased, you relax.

Start by focusing all your attention to your nostrils, and look at the incoming and outgoing breath, as it comes in, as it goes out. Do not judge whether this moment is pleasant or unpleasant. Learn to be balanced, not reactive, neutral.

Move your attention to the top of your head and see whatever sensation you feel over there. You may not feel any sensation yet. Certainly you will not feel the subtle ones. There are millions of sensations on top of your head that your mind hasn’t been sharpened enough to feel. In time this will come if you persevere. For now, you may feel perhaps some gross sensations, itching, ants crawling, pressure, temperature of some type. Anything, or maybe you’ll feel nothing. It doesn’t matter. It is still an experience. Not feeling anything is still an experience, therefore you just observe, no reaction.

If any thought overpowers you, maybe a recurring thought, then go back to the awareness of breathing in and breathing out for a few seconds, even half a minute if you can. If it’s still overpowering, breathe slightly harder. Not too hard, slightly harder. We don’t want you to hyperventilate. And then as soon as you are aware of the breathing again, the thought is gone, then start slowing down the breathing. And again, when you can slow down the breathing and you feel relaxed again, go back to the sensation where you left and continue scanning the entire scalp area. And then move to the forehead and survey the entire forehead area.

Survey the eyebrows. Start with one, continue with the other. Move down to the nose. Look at any sensation on the nose. Move further down to the mouth. Survey the lips, any sensations in your lips. Look at the tongue, any sensation on the tongue. Of course your mouth is closed, or the lips gently parted, but you are breathing through the nose. Look at the chin, any sensation on your chin. Move up to the left cheek, and then move aside to the right cheek.

If you have any sensation, don’t get attached to it in any way, just move further. Move up to the left ear, and move aside to the right ear. Now survey the throat area, any sensation in the throat area. It can be anything, pain, strain, tingling sensation, itching sensation, pulling, throbbing, sweating. Any sensation is a sensation, it is an experience. Just observe.

Keep moving. When you finish surveying the throat area, survey the entire neck area and move to the left shoulder. In fact, you could start by any shoulder as long as you keep the same order all the time.

Survey the entire left arm and left elbow. Patiently and calmly survey the entire left wrist and left hand. Then go up to the right shoulder.

Move down to the right arm, and the right elbow. Move to the right forearm, and down to the right wrist and the right hand. Then move up to the upper chest area, the upper chest. Piece by piece. Then move down, piece by piece, survey the entire thorax and abdomen area.

If you feel your heartbeat and you interpret it such as that, then you are not looking simply at sensations. You are interpreting the sensations. Try to remain with the task of pure observation, no evaluation, no interpretation. Just observation.

Then move up to the upper back area and look at any sensation you may find in your upper back area. Very calmly, equanimously. And move down to the lower back area. Try not to get caught in your thoughts. As soon as you think something, quickly go back to the awareness of any sensation you were looking at, and move further. Maybe you haven’t felt a sensation for some time, so the mind is bored.

Now keep moving down to the buttocks and survey the entire buttocks area. Start with the left, and once this is surveyed, then move to the right buttock. Move down to the left thigh and survey the entire thigh down to the left knee. Then move down to the left leg.

Even though there may be gross sensations like pain perhaps, or pressure, tension, be very still accepting every experience. Within the worst and most painful sensation, if you come across any today or another day, you will find that if you are very very still, there is an underlying current inside that sensation. An underlying sensation, a flow of very tiny little sensations running through.

Go down now to the left ankle, until you survey the entire left foot. Now go up to the right thigh and survey the entire right thigh, part by part. Keep moving, down to the right knee. The right ankle and the right foot.

You have now surveyed the entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Now start from the tip of your toes and go up back to the top of your head. Start from the left foot and move up to the left thigh. And then the right foot, move up to the right thigh. Then survey the buttocks, and the lower back. The upper back, and then the lower abdomen. The entire abdomen and chest. From the upper chest go up to the throat. And from the left hand go up to the left shoulder. From the right hand then, go up to the right shoulder. Survey then the entire neck area, and then the face, part by part, and the entire scalp area.

Scan your body entirely, as long as you can give it time. As you will practice correctly, your mind will become increasingly detached at the deepest level, at the level of body sensations. Remember, the most important thing is that all sensations and all thoughts are temporaryby nature. The impression that they remain is because we react to them, we reinforce them. Reacting to it is only increasing reinforcement and conditioning in daily life.

What you do during this training will be reflected in your daily life. It is a very effective technique. Watch that as you practice, of course you will react, but watch that you react less and less, and the results are surprising.

More about meditation for eating disorders go to http://meditation-sensation.com/

Binge Eating Disorders get Healed with Meditation and Mindfulness.

August 23, 2012 – 3:56 am

Binge eating disorder is called a “disorder” for a reason. All too often, the outside world is quick to judge and come to a premature and uneducated conclusion that people who suffer from this type of disorder are “lazy” or “can choose to eat less if only they wanted to.” This could not be further from the truth.

Binge eating disorder (or, BED) is a diagnosable disorder which is characterized by an inability to control certain impulses that comes from the brain. It is not the fault of the individual; rather it is caused by faulty-wiring deep within the brain. People who have a binge-eating disorder have a hard time with impulse control. Once the urge strikes to eat, they are often powerless against it. It lies within the spectrum of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) whereby, once you get a certain thought in your mind, you are effectively unable to stop yourself from performing the particular action that you’ve found will make you “feel better”. It is only once this action has been completed (in this case, the physical act of binge-eating) that the person finally feels a sense of calm. Unfortunately, this feeling of calm typically does not last for very long and the cycle continues.

After the person eats and the initial calm sets in, making the person feel full and satisfied, the feeling is very quickly replaced by shame, guilt and the familiar question: “How could I have lost control that way!?” The binge-eating is only a very short-term solution to the anxiety. Afterward, depression is quick to set in, the person feels a tremendous sense of angst and shame, and the coping mechanism that they have adapted to get rid of these uncomfortable feelings – to binge-eat – comes back into their mind. Thus, the vicious cycle continues. And it quickly spirals out of control.

But: it is possible to break this cycle! Through mediation and mindfulness, it is possible to calm the rapid-firing signals that your brain sends out which tell you to over-eat. Your brain tells you that it is the only way for you to achieve a sense of inner peace. But with a quieter mind, you can start looking at aspects of your life in a calmer and clearer manner and can “train” your brain to behave in the ways you would like it to. You can attain true inner peace – a peace that is not dictated by the power that food holds over your life. It takes a lot of hard-work and dedication, but you CAN do it. No one can promise that it will be easy… but the end results – better physical and emotional health, happiness, and peace of mind – will be more than worth it. In the long run, the benefits of this hard work greatly outweigh the effort put forth.

Meditation and mindfulness are simply ways of calming the mind and becoming aware of our inner selves. The most important thing to remember about being “mindful” is to focus on the present. It is essential to let go of the past during these times of reflection and to ignore your fears of what the future might hold. These things cease to be important in the here-and-now. What is most important is to quiet your mind and listen to your inner-self in real-time, but in a non-judgemental manner. Don’t let yourself feel shame about things that happened in the past or let yourself worry about things that may or may not happen in the future. They’re not important right now. The exciting thing is, with practice, you can actually succeed in completely changing the dynamic of how your brain works. The rapid-fire message signals in your brain that cause stress (and therefore lead to over-eating) will begin to slow down over time and you will begin to re-discover the person who was trapped within – the one that was being over-shadowed by the obsession with food.

The true measure of “success” through mindfulness and meditation, is to let the wonderful person you are on the inside be the one that gets shown on the outside. Being mindful of your thoughts and feelings, and how they manifest themselves into harmful behaviours, can really be the first step into changing your life and unleashing the real potential of the amazing individual that you KNOW lies within you.

More about meditation for eating disorders on http://meditation-sensation.com

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