It’s not about food
Eating disorders like bulimia happen when one is caught in a vicious cycle of eating and purging. Food becomes a problem rather than a form of nourishment. But it is important to recognize these key elements about eating disorders:
- They often arise due to a deep-seated trauma or self-depreciation not because of dieting.
- They could stem from a social/peer pressure to conform to a certain body type that is not practically attainable and is unhealthy in many respects.
- Friends and loved ones may show appreciation for the weight loss, unaware of what is really happening in secret.
But, statistics show that 40-60 percent of people who fight a daily battle with eating disorders are survivors of sexual trauma. The apparent will power and self-control over food is a form of regaining control over one’s body. Starving and purging feels like a meditative purification and punishment – a ritual that helps remove scars of shame and self-hatred.
Finding freedom and lightness
Healing begins with bringing mindfulness to your binging behaviors. Develop awareness that vomiting to combat the heaviness of binge eating is only a short-term fix. Ayurveda recognizes that at the very core, it is a natural impulse to cleanse the body and restore balance. But, vomiting in Ayurveda should only be done once or twice a year during a detox session with the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.
The vomiting in bulimia is not therapeutic, but compulsive. This is why bulimia treatment in Ayurveda includes breaking the circle of pain and shame by developing healthy ways to find lightness.
Ayurvedic treatment tips for bulimia
Our bodies are incredible in the fact that they are our vehicle in the world and the seat of our souls. Ayurveda can bring the body into balance by helping us appreciate our body in its natural state.
The first step towards curing bulimia is to reestablish a healthy relationship with food. Then, follow these steps by incorporation them into your life slowly and steadily to see healing happen.
1. Start with a positive affirmation
Affirmations can be a powerful way to overcome eating disorders and other self-harming behavioral patterns.
Look into the mirror every morning and say this aloud to yourself. Look yourself in the eye while you make a strong resolution to rise above your eating disorder. This is not what defines you, you are much more than that.
If strong feelings start to well up inside of you after this exercise of self-love, start a journal to release your feelings and replace the purging.
2. Sip on spiced teas
A steaming cup of tea is like a warm hug you can give yourself. Spices such as coriander, fennel, chamomile and cumin can help you feel lighter from within. These teas will help cleanse and soothe your system so you will not have the urge to overeat.
3. Eat in the morning and liquefy what you eat
Bulimics tend to control their food during the daytime which leads to binging at night. Then, the guilt pushes them to skip food the next day and so on.
Juicing can go a long way in freeing you from emotional eating. Not only will juices give you a fresh burst of energy, they will fulfil your nutritional needs. Go on a juice fast where you only drink wholesome fruit and vegetable juices for a day or two. Nothing better than starting your day with a tall glass of green.
4. Calm Kapha and carry on
Exercising in the outdoors can really boost your mood. Studies show that an outdoor workout can help you lose more weight but also benefit you in other ways. Besides exercise, Ayurveda advises a Kapha-pacifying diet that can help relieve the heaviness and make you feel lighter.
5. Treat yourself with turmeric
The constant binging and vomiting can take its toll on the salivary glands which may get swollen. Gargle with a glass of warm water with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder dissolved in it. Following this twice a day can help bring down swelling of the salivary glands.
Bulimic people can also benefit from expanding their world view by volunteering. Helping others can increase your sense of self-worth, make you feel loved and give you a sense of purpose higher than your own.
Seek the advice of an Ayurvedic practitioner to get over feelings of shame and guilt with Marma therapy.
Understand that resolving inner conflict will set you on the path to freedom.