Eating Disorders - How Chinese Acupuncture May Help

What is Acupuncture?

Chinese acupuncture is a medical practice where the body is pierced by fine needles at specific anatomic points (called acupoints or acupuncture points) for therapeutic purposes, to relieve pain or stress or produce regional anesthesia. Unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used in mainstream medicine to give injections or to draw blood, acupuncture needles are solid. The points can be needled between 15° and 90° relative to the skin's surface, depending on treatment.

Chinese Acupuncture has been one of the main forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system for at least last 5000 years. The philosophy of Acupuncture is based on the restoration of health by ensuring proper balance of energy and removing energy blockages in the body.

According to this philosophy a vital energy force ‘Qi’ (pronounced ‘chee’) permeates and passes through body and all the internal organs along specific pathways termed as meridian.

There are 12 major and 8 minor meridians.

Qi brings harmony in spiritual, emotional, mental and physical aspects of body by ensuring a balance between Yang and Yin. Yang is positive energy-symbolized by heat, activity, brightness and exterior.

While Yin is negative energy-represented by coldness, passivity, interiority, darkness etc. Acupuncture carefully balances these two energy source to produce the healing effect.

How Chinese Acupuncture May Help Sufferers of Eating Disorders

Chinese acupuncture stimulates the nervous system, blood circulation, blood pressure, secretion of gastric acids, rhythm and stroke volume of heart, and production of red and white blood cells.

It is also shown to stimulate the release of a variety of hormones in the body to that help overcome stress and injuries.

As stress and hormone imbalances are a major part of all eating disorders, it would seem that acupuncture could play a part in the alleviation the emotional suffering of a person who has one. Having suffered from anorexia, I am aware of a strong spiritual component to the disorder.

I used to feel a terrible emptiness and a yearning for something, but I never knew what that something was.

During my process of recovery, I began to become aware that my yearning was for myself - for the parts of myself to equal the sum.

I was not balanced, and there was no harmony between my mind, body and spirit.

I have always known that organized religion was not for me, and I had, for a long time already been interested in esoteric subjects.

I began, during the course of my therapy, to look more closely at these, to meditate more, use aromatherapy oils and became much more interested in applying holistic principles to my life in general.

Although I have never tried acupuncture, I have during the course of my research on its history and the principles behind it, come to think that it could be of some benefit to those suffering from eating disorders and any stress related disorder.

Those suffering from eating disorders have a very strong sense of imbalance within themselves. They are in an almost permanent state of fear and anxiety, and I believe that this is, in part due, to the fact that they are not in tune with the spiritual element of themselves.

I believe that any type of activity or therapy which helps an individual to gain greater access to the harmony necessary to be in touch with this aspect of themselves would be beneficial to a sufferer of an eating disorder.