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How Does Hypnotherapy for Eating Disorders Work?

Whilst we all need food to survive, grow and maintain our health, it is often our lack of understanding or some new unusual eating habits that affect our relationships with food. Those eating habits are often called eating disorders. Eating disorders are a range of psychological conditions that see sufferers build un usual habits with food.

These are often tied to other emotional and mental health issues like depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

They may start with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape. Those with eating disorders can have a variety of symptoms.

Most include the severe restriction of food or purging behaviors like vomiting or over-exercising.

How are eating disorders caused?

Eating disorders can affect people of any gender at any life stage but they’re most dominant in adolescents and young women. In fact, up to 13% of youth may experience at least 1 eating disorder by the age of 20.

It’s very difficult to categorize individual or a group of people and say that anyone trigger starts a food-based relationship. But there is always a trigger, typically an a emotional one.

The hypnotherapy directory lists a number of causes:

  • Having a family history of eating disorders or depression.
  • Having someone criticize your eating habits or your weight.
  • Feeling pressure to stay slim for work or a hobby.
  • Experiencing upsetting events, such as a death or abuse.
  • Relationship difficulties with friends or family members.

Hypnotherapy for eating disorders

There are 6 common types of eating disorders:

  • Anorexia nervosa

Generally, develops during adolescence or young adulthood and tends to affect more women than men. People with anorexia nervosa may limit their food intake or compensate for it through various purging behaviors. They have an intense fear of gaining weight, even when severely underweight.

  • Bulimia nervosa

 People with bulimia nervosa eat large amounts of food in short periods of time, then purge. They fear gaining weight despite being at a normal weight.

  • Binge eating disorder

People with binge eating disorder regularly and uncontrollably consume large amounts of food in short periods of time. Unlike people with other eating disorders, they do not purge.

  • Pica

Individuals with pica tend to crave and eat non-food substances. Such as ice, dirt, soil, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool pebbles. This disorder may particularly affect children, pregnant women, and individuals with mental disabilities.

  • Rumination disorder

Rumination disorder can affect people at all stages of life. People with the condition generally regurgitate the food they’ve recently swallowed. Then, they chew it again and either swallow it or spit it out.

  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

ARFID is an eating disorder that causes people to undereat. This is either due to a lack of interest in food or an intense distaste for how certain foods look, smell, or taste.

A hypnotherapist must understand the root causes of the issues behind the eating disorder and often uses regression techniques to discover these. The therapist will use relaxation techniques to access your subconscious to reveal the trigger event, comment or situation that may have contributed to the development of the disorder. The goal of this is to use the power of suggestion to change thought processes and then habits around the eating disorder to facilitate a change in daily routine and the food relationship. By using positive suggestion whilst you are “under” hypnosis, a trained practitioner can change the way you feel about yourself (self-esteem) as learning to feel good about and appreciate yourself is a massive part of recovery. Couple that with a new understanding of food and changing that relationship, hypnotherapy for eating disorders provides the mental support a person needs to fight back and avoid relapsing.

The world of eating disorders is heavily populated with much research, but at its core hypnotherapy offers an effective arsenal of healing.  What might take years in talk therapy can be extinguished, feelings identified and expressed, and healthy corrective experiences embraced. So, if you like to know more about the benefits of hypnotherapy contact me today.

Rhondda Stewart
Rhondda Stewart landscape
Rhondda has a long and distinguished career spanning decades, including winning the Educator of the Year Award 2004 from the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (USA). To find out more about Rhondda and her achievements, please click bellow.
About Rhondda
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Mon - Thur 10:00 - 18:00
02 9550 9673
136 Moore St Leichhardt, NSW, 2040
ABN: 33051775556
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