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Many researches have proven now that people with eating disorders derive 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.