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Eating Disorders and Their effects
Eating disorders, including but not limited to, anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating, are very serious. Treatment of these disorders should involve mental and physical therapy. Using meditation and yoga to treat eating disorders is a holistic approach to supplement traditional therapy and improve the mind and body to aid in recovery. Yoga and meditation each have their place in the treatment process along side traditional therapy to create a whole body healing treatment.
Eating disorders can be caused by a number of illnesses including depression, negative self images and anxiety. People who suffer from eating disorders often suppress the body’s natural signals adhering to the habits they have created with their disorder. Eating disorders are by nature compulsive. They are not based on medical information or logic and should be handled as both as serious illness and a physical threat to the person’s well being. The person suffering from an eating disorder will need to reconnect their mind and body to start accepting the body’s natural signals again.
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Meditation as a Treatment Method
Meditation is, in part, the process of clearing one’s mind. The practice of meditation focuses on calm breathing and internal thought. It promotes self-awareness so that, by focusing on the self you become closer to your body’s natural signals, and in time, are able to recognize them again. People who suffer from eating disorders often suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety. Meditation has also been used to improve self-image. Meditation studies have concluded that practicing meditation regularly reduces stress and anxiety leading to a healthier overall mind and body.
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Yoga as a Treatment Method
Yoga offers a combination of physical and mental benefits to the practitioner. Because eating disorders affect the physical body it is imperative to rebuild the muscles that have been lost through malnutrition. Using yoga can do this. Yoga guides your mind and body through a series of gentle exercises and makes them work together to achieve results. Often when practicing yoga regularly not only does the person reduce stress and anxiety, they also rebuild muscles while maintaining a healthier weight.
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Whole Body Healing
Using yoga and meditation to treat eating disorders is not a substitute for professional care. However, when used to supplement traditional therapy these techniques can aid the overall treatment process to heal both the mind and body. Because eating disorders affect the physical body and the mind, one sole type of therapy is not recommended. If the person suffering focuses on the physical, they may over exercise and make the condition worse. If the person suffering focuses on only the mental, they may improve the body image but still suffer from obesity that may have caused the disorder in the beginning. Using yoga and meditation to treat eating disorders aids the process of healing.