Many people with eating disorders have so much trauma and fear — including fear of needles — and many are very low body weight, so they don't have a lot of energy. The gentle style of Japanese acupuncture helps clients relax and overcome their fear of needles so they can tonify their bodies and begin rebuilding energy.
Most Mirasol clients experience gastrointestinal disturbances at one time or another during their recovery. Some come into treatment with a long list of food allergies and sensitivities. Others may find that eating regularly again can result in a range of uncomfortable symptoms including gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. It's not easy to tell if a sudden intolerance for wheat, dairy or animal products is a clinical issue, or a way to avoid eating broad categories of food. How can we work together to disentangle eating disorder cause and effect, and reduce the discomfort of weight restoration?
According to Dr. Lissa Rankin, the greatest risk factor for disease isn't diet, or exercise, genetics or bad habits like smoking. It's loneliness. Lonely people have higher rates of heart disease, cancer, dementia, high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, anxiety, depression, insomnia, suicide and addiction.
We came across Rankin's research while reviewing the results of Mirasol's alumni survey. Graduates of our residential treatment program report that their biggest challenge in recovery isn't family or relationship issues, or sticking to a meal plan, or even body image. It's loneliness and isolation. So Mirasol clinicians gathered together to discuss the relationship between eating disorders and social isolation, and what clients can do to build community and forge meaningful relationships in recovery.
The stereotype persists that eating disorders affect primarily upper middle class young white females, but Mirasol's clients represent a kaleidoscope of ages, races, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientation. Is it harder to get treatment — and is recovery more difficult — if you're LGBTQ or from a different racial or ethnic background? What if you're older, and have had the disorder for decades?Subscribe to Our Newsletter