The Mind-Body Disconnect of Eating Disorders

For people with eating disorders, there’s a clear disconnect between body and mind – it’s like living from the neck up. Because that reconnection is so vital to recovery, many treatment methods are designed to realign the mind, body and spirit.

Getting back that connection helps people find acceptance, awareness and appreciation for their bodies, which naturally leads to wanting to take better care of themselves.

Drawing on my recent experience with yoga teacher training, and in partnership with some of my colleagues who are already registered yoga teachers and yoga therapists, we now have yoga and yoga therapy at the White Picket Fence Foundation.

Yoga is much more than just postures. In fact, some of my therapy clients have been benefiting from my yoga experience for years, as I’ve incorporated relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, guided imagery and meditation.

The benefits of yoga are well researched, and it is a natural fit to help with food issues. For example, many people have a problem with overeating or restricting during stressful times.Yoga works directly upon the nervous system to evoke relaxation and diminish stress. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system that promotes rest and regeneration and reduces the fight or flight response that brings anxious, stressful feelings.

In the next article, we’ll explore some of the principles of yoga and how they can be applied to recovery from eating disorders.

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