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Treatments for Bulimia and Keys to Bulimia Recovery - Develop a Spiritual Practice

Updated on September 25, 2011
Healing the body, the mind, and the spirit.  Spiritual practices as part of your treatments for bulimia can take many different forms.
Healing the body, the mind, and the spirit. Spiritual practices as part of your treatments for bulimia can take many different forms.

Treatments for bulimia frequently involve more than just stopping the obviously harmful or dysfunctional behaviors of compulsive overeating and purging.  Just as the condition of bulimia is not just about food, recovery must involve more than merely stabilizing your eating patterns. Often bulimia treatment programs include inner healing with the help of a spiritual connection – with any higher power you may believe in.

After 20 years of compulsive overeating, I realized that recovery was not just about changing the way you behave, but also changing the way you think, feel and perceive.  It is my experience that successful treatments for bulimia include inner healing and work to connect the addict to their higher self, God, the universe or whatever you choose to call it.

Being spiritual is different from being religious. In fact, spirituality is not necessarily about the divine or otherworldly. It can simply mean a better understanding of yourself and a better ability to look within and like what you see.  Most people suffering from an eating disorder have developed a distorted opinion of themselves, their bodies and lack a healthy self-esteem or a feeling of self worth.  Valuing themselves, and ultimately loving themselves unconditionally, is what makes for a more conscious, more complete, and more lasting recovery from an eating disorder. A spiritual healing is a complete, holistic healing.  Healing the body, the mind, and the spirit.  Spiritual practices as part of your treatments for bulimia can take many different forms.

Yoga and Meditation

Some people perform yoga and meditation separately; for others each is inextricably linked to the other. Yoga consists of gentle, but precise and conscious, movements of the body into various positions (asanas) for therapeutic purposes. Meditation is a practice that involves the concentration and the focusing of all inner energies into the here and now.

Ancient Indian sages practiced both yoga and meditation to attain the kind of control over their bodies and minds that allowed them to suspend breathing, go without sustenance for long periods, be impervious to extreme temperatures and more. It’s a testament to the power of the mind!

Using yoga and meditation can be powerful weapons in your fight against an eating disorder, because they can help you to effectively control your mind, defeating negative thoughts and behaviors and fostering healthier ones. They also teach you to look within without apprehension and to love what you find there. Try either approach, or both if you prefer. You will find them to be effective tools in bulimia recovery.

Connect with a Higher Power

For many of us, the ultimate solace is communing with the higher being that some of us call God. The roads that we take to reach that spiritual place can be many.  You may read the Bible or other religious text, attend a service in church, synagogue or mosque, pray, or you may simply sit in a quiet place and reflect.  However you choose, it is the one-on-one time we allow ourselves to individually connect with our higher power, our higher selves, our inner being.

We all need some help from time to time. We become stressed, tense, feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. At these times, you may find that you are able to draw the required energy from the universe, or that you find the solace in a divine being.  It doesn’t matter how you find that help, so long as you do connect to that meaningful, spiritual place within you. 

There are good reasons that a higher power plays an important role in any twelve-step recovery program.  Acknowledging a source bigger than yourself can help you find comfort and support in the midst of bulimia recovery.

Connecting with nature

One of the coping mechanisms that I developed when undergoing my treatments for bulimia was to go hiking in nature.  This was a physical release of energy and stress. At the same time, I found that communing with nature brought solace and peace to my soul.  I connected better with the universe alone on a hike than sitting in meditation.

I think it’s important you find your own spiritual practice.  Choose something that gives you strength while you focus on overcoming bulimia. You will find that connecting spiritually helps with inner healing, releasing your addiction, and teaches you to love yourself again.


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      Karen 5 years ago

      Thanks for this, it really is a nice way to try treatment. When I was suffering from bulimia I took it upon myself for bulimia recover, I found alot of good information from

    • PollyMertens profile image

      PollyMertens 6 years ago from California

      Hi Rehana, thanks so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it. I haven't done RSS before, but what a wonderful idea. I'll definitely look into it. I welcome any suggestions for content, too, as I have ideas all the time, but love exploring what questions or concerns people want to know about. Thanks again for the feedback!

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this hub! More and more young women and teens these days are bulimic, thanks to the media and celebrities who are not at all good role models. I'm all for natural remedies so this hub struck a code with me. Have you considered using RSS feeds to get your great content more exposure? Voted this hub up and useful!