Treating Eating Disorders with Chinese Medicine
There are troubling new statistics about eating disorders, that show the number of people dealing with this disease is on the rise. Certainly here at the Yinova Center we are seeing an increase in both women and men who are seeking our help for a variety of problems related to eating and weight.
The holistic nature of Chinese medical diagnosis makes it possible to treat the complex emotional and physical problems associated with eating disorders in an integrated way.
We have developed our Yinova Eating Disorder Support Program based on over a decade’s worth of experience in treating patients with all kinds of eating disorders. It is not intended as a replacement for psychiatric and medical care but as a gentle adjunct to conventional treatment using the ancient wisdom of acupuncture and Chinese herbs to address both the underlying causes of dysfunctional eating and the physical symptoms that are commonly experienced by people who have suffered eating disorders over a long period of time.
Acupuncture, in combination with a specially tailored herbal formula, can:
- Help address anxiety, over thinking, worry and stress.
- Treat panic attacks and palpitations
- Help to treat digestive problems such as bloating, gas, acid reflux, nausea, loose stools and constipation
- Regulate the menstrual cycle and treat irregular periods, no periods and PMS
- Treats fatigue and insomnia
- Restore functional metabolism after long term restricted food intake
Herbal formulas that may be helpful are:
- Gui pi tang for anxiety combined with bloating and poor digestion
- Liu wei di huang wan for light or no periods and dry skin and hair
- Jin gui shen qi wan for metabolic problems from long term restrictive eating
- Tian wan bu xin dan for anxiety and will power turned inwards in a self-destructive fashion
Some vitamins and nutritional supplements that may also be helpful are:
- A multivitamin to address nutritional deficiencies
- Zinc. Several studies have found that both anorexics and bulimics tend to be low in zinc and in other studies zinc has been shown to be useful in the treatment of eating disorders.
- L-Tryptophan is an amino acid which plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin, and at Yinova we often prescribe it along with B6 for our patients with eating disorders.
The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) has a helpline that is there to provide you with additional information and resources to help you on your way!