Eating Disorders with Hypnotherapy
People who suffer with eating disorders are usually suffering from some sort of poor self image that may be ‘managed’ through the way that they consume their food.
A person with eating disorders may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.
Because the sufferer has a badly distorted sense of self they tend to attribute this distortion to the food that they eat, or use food as an internal way of expressing this “problem”, so they either believe that they eat too much (and might believe that they are “fat” or “greedy”) or they may feel somehow compelled to “binge” and the perhaps “purge”.
There are many more “variants” within the eating disorders ‘spectrum’.
More recently there has been much press about the degree of obesity in our modern societies and the latest figures suggest that obesity now affects MORE than 20 million with women and 10 Million for men in the US.
What Are the Different Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders come in several different “forms” and can have various different affects including psychological, physical, emotional and social issues.
Bulimia:– Is an eating disorder characterised by attempts to control weight by “stuffing” or “binging” on food followed by a second phase of “purging”, deliberately making oneself sick in order to counteract the overeating.
A very common feature is that this binge-purge cycle is usually kept very secret and sufferers feel very guilty about what they do.
Compulsive Eaters:– Is a condition where people continue to eat food even when feeling full.
Most compulsive eaters are very overweight and use food as a way to alleviate or relieve “emotional” problems such as depression, stress or anxiety.
Anorexia:– The principle characteristic of this serious problem is that the sufferer continues to believe that they are “fat” or “overweight” even when they are terribly underweight.
This “cognitive distortion” leads to behaviours where only tiny amounts of food are eaten with the body suffering very obvious malnutrition.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
In the current climate there is a lot of blame being leveled at the media, particularly “glamour” magazines and “lifestyle” publications that are said to project totally unrealistic images of “thin” and “beautiful” people that young people aspire to be. For men it’s seeing the muscle guy and six pack abs they feel can attract females and make them feel secure with their thoughts of being healthy. Reality shows with their shirts off is baed on pretty people and actually not giving a normal guy or girl that’s beautiful inside and out the same chance of attracting the opposite sex. That’s when stress, depression, anxiety, peer pressure steps in and cause the eating disorder.
This pressure to “fit-in” is said to create enormous pressure on young minds leading to unrealistic expectations of what one must look like to be “accepted.”
While elements of this view may be true, there are usually more complex psychological issues involved.
A number of these psychological issues that can contribute to the development of food disorders include:
- A family history of eating disorders
- Media- Tv and reality shows
- Being exposed to harsh criticism about weight or shape
- Working in an environment in which there is pressure to be “slim”
- Personality traits that might make you more susceptible to eating disorders
- A history of Depression
- Sexual or Emotional Trauma
- Abusive relationships
- High levels of stress at work, home or School
Are Eating Disorders Common?
Bulimia is around five times more prevalent than Anorexia and almost exclusively affects females.
Bulimia tends to present itself around the ages of 17-19 years of age.
Compulsive Eating affects men and women in equal proportions and tends to become a problem later on in life with most of our clients presenting in the early to mid thirties.
Although Anorexia tends to make for very traumatic headlines, it is less common than people may think with estimated figures showing less than 0.5% of women will suffer and ten times less men (0.05%). Anorexia tends to present around 15-18 years of age.
Eating disorders are serious conditions and it is imperative that you consult your Doctor before deciding on any course of therapy. Hypnotherapy is alternative way or reaching the mental side of this issue. It’s just not physical its the Brain that tells the body to eat and continue and that’s where hypnotherapy comes into play. It helps stop the activity of old routines and habits in the brain.
Hypnotherapy for Eating Disorders
Therapists have been offering Hypnotherapy for eating disorders for many years. Today, Hypnotherapy is supported by scientific evidence that shows how helpful this complementary therapy can be.
However, Hypnotherapy for eating disorders is NOT a “magical Cure”. This is because your personality, your willingness to change and a number of other factors play a significant role in how well any type of therapy works.
Because Hypnosis is very relaxing and provides a high degree of self-insight, most people find that just being able to relax more is a significant part of getting better. Sometimes the mind is so busy it’s on a set pattern and that’s when Hypnotherapy changes the routine of your eating disorder and causes you to think before you do. Actually, it happens so fast you find yourself thinking differently and enjoying the decisions you make.
What are you waiting for?
The Arizona Hypnotist
Pattie Freeman BCHT, CI
6895 E. Camelback Rd
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
All conditions that may be helped using Hypnotic Techniques also require the use of willpower. Hypnotherapy is not magic and can only help you to make changes if you have a strong desire to change and put in a maximum effort.