Over the years that I have been working with eating disorders it has been obvious that these clients have a very poor idea of how detect the normal bodily cues such as when they are hungry or full, have inability to sense their weight, as well as not having a clear idea of what their own goals are deferring to others to tell them what they ought to be doing.
There is a part of the brain known as the insula which is found deep inside the folds of the brain near the ears. It cultivates the internal state allowing for the self-awareness and emotional experiences which when combined with the external information of the body give one a realistic idea of how they look to others with being self-aware.
In the anorexic and bulimic it is this part of the brain that isn’t functioning normally. When most people feel hungry the insula is activated allowing them to sense that they need to eat. It is also true for the anorexic and bulimic that when they look in the mirror they see themselves as much heavier than the reflection is telling them. Again, the insula is unresponsive because of a low blood flowing to that part of the brain causing this abnormal response creating what is known as body dysmorphia. With anorexics all areas of interoception are involved. This is why an emaciated anorexic will look into the mirror and see herself as over weight. People with body dysmorphic disorder may have visual-processing abnormalities that distort what they see. Combined with the issues of low interoception a poor body image results according to Susanne Ryina in Scientific American Mind, April/May 2008,
If you have this issue you can increase your internal sense by practicing some form of mindfulness, staying in the present moment. Many studies in the past decade have found that by using mindfulness training the symptoms will decrease while increasing your quality of life. Yoga, which focuses you on breathing has also been found to be helpful.
Hypnosis is a wonderful way to be in the present moment even if you use it just to “trance out” feeling the wonderfully relaxed feelings one can experience while in that altered state.
If you are experiencing any issues with eating disorders with the new reports of middle aged women coming forward still battling this sometimes deadly disease, please give me a call to see if you would be a candidate to this work with to help you clear this issue from your life for good. If you are in a frail situation you will be guided to receive the medical help you require before working on the emotional foundations to a quality of life worth living. My clients with eating disorders have found that they no longer have the thoughts or behaviors of someone with the disorder some of them going back over six years now.
To begin your journey into health and well being please go to:
There you will find out more about my services and be lead to a free download of the MP3 I created for eating disorders based on the in person sessions that I do.
If you have any questions regarding this issue or the work please feel free to call me. I am pleased to make myself available to answer all your questions. Please give me a call. My phone number is on every page of this website on the right hand side.
Note: If you would like to find out more about the insula of the brain and the problems that its dysfunction can have please read more in the article Inside the Wrong Body: A little-known sense that monitors how we feel inside can go awry, potentially distorting our body image by Carrie Arnold, Scientific American Mind, May/June 2012
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