Can Yoga Therapy Ease the Emotional Craving for Food?

Bulimia Nervosa, or simply Bulimia, is a well-known eating disorder in which people binge on food and then engage in compensatory behavior such as purging, fasting and over-exercising to eliminate the excess food eaten. Bulimia may seem like a great natural weight loss techniques; unfortunately, serious bulimia can lead to severe long-term health consequences.

The American Psychiatric Association has estimated that between 1.1% and 4.2% of women suffer with bulimia at some point in their lifetimes. Among bulimics, at least 95% tend to be women; less than 5% are male. The disorder occurs most often among young women aged 12-25 although it has been reported in children aged 6. Instead of following natural weight loss programs, bulimics go through crash diets which can have very harmful effects on the body. Dieting-related causes are responsible for about 150,000 female deaths every year.

It is difficult, but many people have recovered from eating disorders like bulimia.

One of them is Paula Abdul, the celebrity judge of ‘American Idol’ and best-selling pop singer. She had spent the 1980s as a sought-after choreographer, creating sensually daring moves for artists and movie stars. In 1989, she released a single which soared to the top of the record charts and by the early 1990s she had chalked up six number one hits and sold over 40 million records. But she had a dark secret and it was getting the best of her.

In 1994, at the height of her success, Paula Abdul openly admitted to spending 17 years alternating between bulimic indulgence and penance. Up to that time, she had felt like a prisoner. This sense of isolation is common among the women grappling with bulimia. It was not just a matter of purging and starving for her; she was obsessed about over-exercising and counting calories. It was her private hell, and she felt it had to stop.

She sought the help of doctors and strictly followed a treatment program designed to help her end the eating disorder. She learned to stop living up to images of beauty defined by the boys in her teens and perpetuated by the media in her youth. She learned to accept herself, to embrace her struggle, and to let her body follow its own natural weightloss rhythms.

Bulimia can be effectively treated with nutritional and natural weight loss counseling, such as one might get in yoga for weightloss programs. The causes of bulimia are uncertain, but bulimic behavior serves to reduce tensions the sufferer might feel because of societal pressures, lack of self-esteem, and erroneous perceptions of body image and appearance. Using yoga for weight loss helps the individual overcome these pressures by establishing a stronger connection with self.

Yoga for weight loss programs draw on the ancient wisdom of Yoga, which guides the patient to a greater awareness of body and mind and moves her toward union with her inner being. Yoga for weight loss might involve physical postures (called asanas) to stimulate glands that contribute towards natural weightloss, breath control, relaxation to quiet the senses, and meditation as well as basic nutrition information. By tapping yoga for weight loss concerns, the person develops a healthy perspective on food and eliminates the emotional craving for food.

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