Hypnotherapy Helps Eating Disorders

a morsal more towards agony and anxiety

Eating Disorders, Is Hypnotherapy An Answer? 

To answer the above question, yes, hypnotherapy can and often does help those suffering from these life-threatening conditions. One of the most common problems for people with Anorexia, is, that quite often, they don't actually feel that they have a problem. Many people, some just like you, like to feel in control of their eating habits and weight. They might even feel a little panicky if it fluctuates too much and that is wise, understandable and relatively normal. After all, sudden weight gain or loss can indicate underlying health issues. They might also feel frustrated at not being able to lose weight and, may even feel stressed and anxious when they themself in the mirror. Sometimes a relatively normal body shape can be mentally/visually distorted (body-dysmorphia) because all they see is how fat they are! That too, depending on one's ability to make a good judgment of what is normal for their height and build, is relatively normal. However, what is not so normal for people with anorexia, is that they see fat that isn't there. They seem to have an unrealistic visual perception of what they actually look like, no matter what others say, and, they feel anything but normal. And of course, they are not normal, at least not in the context of medical norms!

Also, the possibility of a cure for the problem is probably undesirable too. The very thought of being cured will bring about the thing they fear the most. Basically, it implies that they'll eat more and put on more weight than ever, and that's the last thing they'd want! People with Anorexia tend to feel anxious a lot of the time and self-esteem may be low too. They often don't feel that good about themselves either and are not sure which direction to go to find help, that's assuming they realise they need help? Although, at some point, they usually become aware that all is not well and that is when hypnotherapy can help with your eating disorder. It is the combination of these emerging emotional realities that one should consider a course of hypnotherapy for their eating disorder. Trans4mational Therapy is a unique method of delivering hypnosis in a way that helps one discover the subconscious reasons that lay behind the heart of their issue. In addition to that, it helps to provide a deeper understanding of the brain structures involved and how they manifest into anomalous eating behaviours. This is important because they could, if not treated, seriously impair the quality of your life; maybe even kill you!

For that reason, it helps to understand, that the brain is the place where these emotional distortions, untruths and falsehoods develop. There are many factors that could be involved but quite often they manifest as a consequence of childhood development, which becomes a series of emotional memories. The distortion is often a consequence of adolescent/adult cognitive misinterpretation of early developmental experience. Over controlling or dysfunctional parenting has been known to play an early role in the later development of eating behaviours. Too much exposure to stressors or bouts of anxiety can be another cause and this can develop into a form of hypothalamic dysregulation. The hypothalamus plays an important role in satiety, hunger, anger and joy, as well as eating/feeding behaviours. Much of our primordial hormonal regulation is controlled by the hypothalamus, it also happens to be involved in the incipient stage of our fight or flight response. Consequently, it plays a major role in many of our emotional responses, which we often, subconsciously, misinterpret into false representations of the self! There are also strong visual system connections to the hypothalamus/thalamus, via the optic chiasma, that likely play a role in the misrepresentation of body shape. The objective of the desire to look bodily attractive is to feel good (not stressed) about one's image. Essentially it equates to the desire to be loved; it's just that, factually, it is not reality-based; therefore, it is delusional, hence being a disorder.

Consequentially, these anomalous memories allow the maintenance and survival of the condition and create the essence of what it needs to survive. Hypnotherapy helps by rewriting the irrational neural code behind these memories. This effectively updates and corrects the erroneous subconscious distortions that make you see what is not actually there (hallucinations). You see a thin, sleek, maybe even attractive version of yourself, while everyone else sees a gaunt, malnourished skeleton of your once former self. Hypnotherapy effectively creates a neural code reset (memory reconsolidation) and that's exactly what it is. We are not talking about a total mental rebuild merely a restoration or creation of a better version of yourself! All the memories, pictures and scripts of your life are faithfully stored in your brain and hypnosis unlocks that inner self, so eloquently. In addition to that, hypnotherapy unlocks the potential to create everything that your condition has denied you, because of the years of negative self-representation. This is a p process of self-discovery!

When someone comes to me with an eating disorder, I seldom mention food or weight etc. We just concentrate on helping you to reframe the distorted view of self. The aim is to lower stress levels and let go of the unnecessary anxiety you've been carrying around with you. The outcome of this is a return to normal hypothalamic/emotional brain function and the restoration of normal eating habits. In some sense, the hypothalamus maintains our normal body weight, shape and size. Emotional irregularities are the major cause of hypothalamic dysregulation and homeostatic dysfunction (allostatic overload). Consequently, hypnotherapy helps you to discover new ways to feel better about yourself. The primary objective is to put you back in control of your life!

Treatment details
Your initial consultation is free of charge and without obligation. Your first treatment session will be 60 to 90 minutes and all further sessions will last approx. 90 minutes. The estimated number of sessions required is between 6 and 12; although no guarantees are given because this problem varies greatly in intensity from person to person. Sessions 1 - 6 will be scheduled at weekly intervals and the following sessions are normally scheduled for about every 10 - 14 days.

What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia, is an illness characterised by weight loss, an intense fear of gaining weight, even though underweight, it is characterised by a distorted body image and occasionally amenorrhea (absence of 3 or more menstrual cycles). It primarily affects adolescent girls in approximately 1-2% of the population.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as concealing or hoarding food, is common amongst clients with anorexia. They are often ritualistic too; any deviation from the norm can cause extreme anxiety. When suffering from anorexia severe food limitation feels rational, and. an inability to see the dangers takes over. Depression is a common manifestation of the illness and is almost always alleviated by nourishment. This is a consequence of stimulation the hypothalamic satiety centre (ventral medial nucleus). 

Medical Complications of Anorexia:

  • Attempts by the body to conserve energy can result in the following problems -
  • Kidney failure
  • Decreased heart size
  • Decreased bone marrow
  • Decreased oestrogen and testosterone
  • Fine hair
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Cramps, weakness, swollen salivary glands
  • Bowel obstruction due to underuse
  • Dry pale skin
  • The orange tinge to skin discolouration due to excessive eating of oranges
  • Poor concentration
  • Impaired sleep
  • Decreased libido

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis helps Anorexia by:

  • Teaching Self Hypnosis 
  • Goal setting 
  • Accessing true body image
  • Lowering levels of anxiety
  • Increasing feelings of confidence and self-esteem
  • Emphasizing feelings of general well being
  • Exploration of early memories and relationships
  • Re-accessing body feelings such as hunger (dorsal medial/lateral nuclei)
  • Identifying: secondary gains (reasons for holding onto anorexia)

Identifying triggers: loneliness, boredom, stress, anger, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem/self-worth measured by weight, unhappy or disrupted family life and finding constructive ways of dealing with these issues.

Bulimia Nervosa:

How Hypnotherapy can help you Bulimia Nervosa?

The neurological drivers of bulimia are somewhat similar to those of anorexia, so most of the above also applies to all eating disorders. Hypnotherapy aims to help you eliminate bingeing, vomiting and excessive physical activities. This leads to there being no more feelings of guilt, shame or just feeling bad inside. Your peace of mind will increase and you'll feel more relaxed and occasionally, this is apparent from your very first session.

Bulimia Nervosa is a disease, often related to control issues, which is characterised by repeated bouts of overeating and an excessive preoccupation with the control of body weight. This leads to the adoption of extreme measures to mitigate the fattening effects of ingested food, as well as the development of covert behaviours to conceal the condition. Large amounts of food are generally eaten in private, with a feeling of a lack of control and inability to stop. The covert behaviour of vomiting or the overt habit of exercising result, so as to prevent weight gain. Although vomiting and exercise are not the only methods used to control weight. Others are laxatives, diuretics, enemas, fasting. The irony of these behaviours is, that they create a sense of control over a system that is out of control, hence it is also delusional.

Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight, there is a persistent preoccupation with food. Also, one can spend a large proportion of their waking hours thinking about food, planning the next binge or feeling appalled by the last. The condition is often triggered by dieting, boredom, loneliness, anger, depression, tranquillizing from anxiety, low self-esteem, self-worth and are measured by:

  • weight/shape
  •  Physical Complications of Bulimia:
  •  Dehydration
  •  Heart disorders (Arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy)
  •  Acute gastric dilation
  •  Dental erosion
  •  Aspiration pneumonia (vomit in the windpipe)
  •  Seizure
  •  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  •  Menstrual irregularities

Hypnotherapy or hypnosis helps Bulimia by:

  • Teaching Self Hypnosis
  • Goal setting
  • Accessing true body image
  • Lowering levels of anxiety
  • Increasing feelings of confidence and self-esteem
  • Emphasizing feelings of general well being
  • Exploration of early memories and relationships
  • Re-accessing body feelings such as hunger
  • Identifying and secondary gains (reasons for holding onto anorexia)
  • Identifying triggers - loneliness, boredom, anger, depression, tranquillizing from anxiety, low self-esteem self-worth measured by weight, unhappy or
  • Disrupted family life - and finding more constructive ways of dealing with these issues.
  • Prohibition of certain foods (aversion therapy)
  • Increase motivation
  • Identifying triggers
    • loneliness,
    • boredom,
    • anger,
    • depression,
    • tranquillizing from anxiety, low self-esteem or self-worth measured by weight,
    • unhappy or disrupted personal life, 

Binge Eating Disorder:

Is a newly defined disorder which looks like bulimia, with recurrent binge episodes but without the compensatory measures seen in bulimia. As a result, many binge eaters are overweight, although some are of relatively normal weight. As a compensatory strategy, sometimes binge eaters exercise or skip a meal here and there. They are often distressed about their eating and tend to eat quickly or in response to cues, e.g. stress, sadness, anger, feeling disgusted with themselves after a binge.

A person may overeat without regard to physical cues of hunger or satisfaction, or binge (eating abnormally large amounts of food in a short time) without purging. This can be for a number of reasons and hypnotherapy can help you discover the reasons for this problem. You will learn how to overcome your eating compulsion and be freed from the burden of knowing you are harming yourself and possibly your relationships and happiness also.

Binge eating, sometimes called compulsive overeating, acts as a comfort or an escape some people. Or a way of attempting to control that which cannot be controlled for others, a kind of Obsessive and/or Compulsive Disorder.

Whatever your particular version of an eating disorder there is, Hypnosis may provide you with the help you need to overcome the issue for good.

Important Note:

Always consult your GP or healthcare professional about any of the above disorders in the first instance.


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