Written by: Edna Mintz
?What are eating disorders
Eating disorders belong to a group of psychological conditions which are characterized by disturbed eating habits. They are manifested by dissatisfaction from one’s body, and by the pursuit of skinniness.
The three most common eating disorders are: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia and unspecified eating disorders, one of which is identified as Compulsive Eating Syndrome.
What are unspecified eating disorders?
Eating disorders which do not yield to the criteria of any specific eating disorders, such as:
• A person with an average weight, which has episodes of binging, but with frequent vomiting for fear of gaining weight.
• Regular chewing and spitting
• Binge eating disorders.
What is a binge-eating disorder?
1) Recurring episodes of fast eating, characterized by:
a. Consuming larger than normal amounts of food in a given time.
b. Feeling of a lost control during the episodes (a feeling that one cannot stop eating)
2) During most of the binge eating episodes, we witness at least 3 of the following:
a. Ingesting of food faster than usual.
b. Consuming of food up to a level of inconvenience
c. Eating huge amounts of food despite the absence of hunger.
d. Eating in solitude, for fear of being exposed.
e. A feeling of self-disgust, depression or a feeling of a heavy guilt after binging.
3) The binging episodes are accompanied by a feeling of distress.
4) The binging episodes occur at least twice a week during 6 months.
5) There is no act of purging or starvation.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia is an eating disorder, characterized by binging attacks, after which there is an effort to vomit. The patient consumes large amounts of food during a short period of time, after which the patient wants to lose weight. That is why he/she will use such methods as purging. The patient invests a lot of time and effort in his/her personal appearance by standing in front of a mirror, and even obsessively in front of others.
Bulimia patients are usually ashamed at their eating disorders, but are not able to restrain themselves, and therefore try to hide it in different ways. Usually the eating process is very fast, and is stopped only when the patient feels sick and “bursts” from food or gets stomach ache or a pressure in the stomach. It is important to remember that in Bulimia there is no connection between hunger and binging. Sometimes the patient will feel the urge to binge without even being hungry and situations of calmness without any thoughts about food may trigger a new attack.
Momentarily after a purge, there is a feeling of physiological and psychological relief, but this same feeling disappears and is replaced by fear of a weight gain. That is how there can be an addiction solely to the act of purging, even when eating small amounts of food. At first, the patient needs to use different objects to stimulate the purging (a finger, a pen, etc.). However, after a relatively short period of time, this reflex is acquired, and then the purging act will happen at the patient’s will alone -. without the need for external stimulants. Sometimes laxatives are used too, in addition to diuretic drugs, harsh diets, fasting or any intensive methods, to lose weight or to get rid of the anxiety from overweight.
Bulimia is an extreme situation of an unnatural and obsessive approach to food and to body weight. The topics of food and body weight become the center, and sometimes even take over any topic of conversation.
The patient’s ability to control himself is very weak, and that is why he has feelings about self-control, self- will, and confrontation with himself and with others. Sometimes the patients do not appreciate themselves They have low self esteem, and a great frustration, together with a feeling of lost control. They also have a very high appreciation for their outer looks and weight.
Important: bulimic patients are usually within the normal range of weight for their age.
Damages from the Disease
The recurring episodes of purging change their blood chemistry, the electrolytes and the fluids in the body. Dental problems are created (dental corrosion and tooth decay), as well as irregular menstrual periods in women, amenorrhea, together with various hormonal imbalances, such as irregular heart beat, irregularities in kidney function or brain function, fatigue and low energy, dizziness and headache, constipation, dehydration and shortness of breath, depression, ruptures in the esophagus, hair loss, stomach aches and bloating, damages to the liver, edema in the arms and legs, low blood pressure, chest pains, ulcer, anemia, cardiac arrest and death.
Natural Healing Ways at Mitzpe Alummot
The earlier eating disorders are discovered, the greater the chance for fast recovery, without further deterioration.
According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, the way to treat any disease is based on four stages:
1) Physical healing
2) Physical rejuvenation.
3) Mental healing
4) Mental rejuvenation.
The principles of nutrition in modern medicine (according to Dr. Shami Sagiv) are:
Recent discoveries indicate that one of the most important criteria which can reflect on our health is our pH level in the blood and in the tissues. The pH index measures the acidity/alkalinity level. The acidity level in our body needs to be alkaline, and the body will maintain that alkalinity level at the expense of destroying body tissues. It seems that this is the basis for most of the diseases.
Our body is made in order to function in an alkaline environment, but it produces acid as part of physiological processes – digestion, tissue breakdown, etc.
Raw and vegan food is alkaline, whereas cooked food is acidic; Over-acidity in the body cells is the cause of diseases. Disease will develop in an acidic body.
Therefore, the required change is by reducing stress – whether by turning to calming activities or by therapies which aid in releasing stress. The nutritional change that is required is by transitioning to an alkaline diet. In addition, we should drink amply. Our food should include 80% fresh vegetables. It is not wise to consume large amounts of fruits due to the amounts of sugar. Sugar undergoes a fermentation process in our body and leads to acidity.
Outside of the sick addiction which is associated with our state of mind, we are dealing with a biochemical imbalance in the body. There are different food items which have an addictive nature. The question is: how do we change that biochemistry?
When one is in the midst of an addiction cycle, it is hard to stop it. The way to do so is by being active in the process, by taking personal responsibility on one’s health.
How do we do it?
The first thing is: nutrition. It is important to transition to a diet that is non addictive in nature. We should prepare ourselves by changing our body’s chemistry, so that the addiction to certain kinds of food will disappear. At the same time, we should consider our way of thinking by practicing meditation, improving our self esteem, etc.
A nutritional shift, combined with tension releasing techniques.
Mental Detoxification at Mitzpe Alummot
According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, a great importance is attributed to our thinking patterns and to positive attitude towards life. A negative attitude may cause more damage than any poor diet. Good thoughts, kind words, have the power of healing and harmony. If we follow nature’s laws and demonstrate openness, we will be open to endless possibilities. All we have to do is make a choice and take responsibility.
At Mitzpe Alummot we use different techniques of relaxation, guided imagination, breathing, meditations, yoga, and take some sort of an inner journey. We learn to get in touch with our true source, to remove the external shield, to socialize with others, to expose the beauty in each and every one of us, to open closed pathways, and to let in the universal energy into our body.
We offer a special opportunity to change eating habits by following the Ann Wigmore cleansing method, by drinking wheat grass juice daily (a very important factor in the process of body detoxification) and by eating alkaline food: juice from fruits and vegetables, raw and living food (uncooked), sprouted legumes, grains and seeds, and by eliminating any meat, dairy’ eggs or fish products. In addition, We practice meditations and mental and spiritual cleansing, lectures of awareness and nutrition, yoga, massage therapy, hydro-colonic therapy, and a total relaxation, in one of the most beautiful scenic spots in the world.
We teach how to make nutritional changes which, in many ways, help and rehabilitate people with Bulimia and other eating disorders. We nourish the body with natural, organic, uncooked food, which has many nutritional values essential to the body. We also have two juice days a week. They enable the body rid itself of accumulated toxins, and direct most of the energy to healing and strengthening of different body systems. All the juices (including the wheat grass juice), the different sprouts, and the vegetarian raw food are easily digested and are very nutritious. In addition to the daily Chi-Kong and yoga classes, everyone can benefit from the serene and relaxing atmosphere at our retreat.
Since Bulimia and eating disorders lead to other diseases, overweight and low self-esteem, and sometimes to despair, we believe that our program can contribute and help leave this vicious circle behind.
We offer a weekly program with a possibility of staying one, two or three weeks and more, until the goal is reached: healing of body and soul.
The way to heal oneself from Bulimia starts through body detoxification. The detoxification process at Mitzpe Alummot comprises of 7 elements:
Drinking wheat grass juice, juice fasting, consuming raw vegan meals, physical activity, colon cleansing, lymphatic massages and spiritual work.
The program offered at Mitzpe Alummot incorporates all of the above. Every guest is given the opportunity to heal themselves, as stated by Hippocrates: “Be your own doctor” and also “Let thy food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food”.
In addition, during your stay at Mitzpe Alummot, you will improve your self awareness and experience meditation and spiritual cleansing which will contribute to the success of the program.
Tools for Success
There is no instant solution for Bulimia or other eating disorders. The key word is: life style.
During your stay at Mitzpe Alummot, we give you the necessary tools to continue on your own. These tools include healthy food preparation techniques, sprouting instructions, lectures about physiology and nutrition, and tips for a healthy life style. In addition, we offer
• A beautiful and relaxing environment, overlooking the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret), the Golan Heights and the Jordan Valley.
• Spacious beautiful facilities and a warm home-like atmosphere.
• An organic farm where wheat grass sprouts and fresh vegetables are naturally grown and harvested daily.