Can Acupuncture Help Treat Bulimia?

For thousands of years in China, health care providers have used acupuncture to treat almost anything that may ail you. To this day, these treatments are still used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Acupuncture has even caught on in western nations and is even popular today as an alternative therapy to western medicine.

Some believe that acupuncture really works, while others believe it is pseudo-science. Still, others see no reason why a patient can't have the best of both worlds.

Can acupuncture help you with your eating disorder? Here is what you need to know.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on the belief that everybody has a "chi"—a universal life energy—that flows through the body. This energy is believed to take pathways, known as meridians, and it helps keep us healthy by keeping the body functioning.

Acupuncturists believe that illnesses are caused by the chi getting blocked. To restore the flow and cure the illness, they insert fine, sterile needles into specific points in the body.

Any illness can be treated with acupuncture in TCM, including eating disorders. Bulimia is treated as a gastro-intestinal condition by acupuncturists. People who have found acupuncture beneficial also feel it's helpful with many of the symptoms and discomforts caused by eating disorders, such as reducing anxiety, increasing energy, relieving muscle cramps, or helping them sleep.

Western Medicine

In modern western medicine, bulimia is considered a psychological illness. There are several contributing factors, such as genetics and brain chemistry, but treatment mainly focuses on healing the damage done to the body and using therapy to teach sufferers better coping skills and behavior modification.

Overall, western medicine does not give much credit to alternative therapies like acupuncture. It's not something recommended by any mainstream medical organization, and many doctors warn patients about seeking out such treatments.

Best of Both Worlds

Though most western doctors would not recommend a patient with bulimia seek out acupuncture in lieu of modern treatment, few would discourage patients from seeking acupuncture in conjunction with mainstream medical treatment.

Many health care professionals have come to adopt the belief that alternative therapies like acupuncture can be beneficial if they bring the patient emotional comfort or spiritual nourishment. Some even believe that because acupuncture helps reduce stress and causes the body to release endorphins, it could be helpful to the healing process and speeds up recovery.

If you feel adjunct therapies like acupuncture may be helpful in your recovery, talk to your health care providers about it.

Sources: Acupuncture Massage College, Mirasol Recovery Centers, Healthline

Photo: Pixabay

More Articles

Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous type of eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of weight gain, extremely restrictive eating habits, and...

The first rule of eating disorders is not to talk about eating disorders—at least, that's what your eating disorder will tell you.

Many...

It may sound unbelievable, but people can suffer from a severe eating disorder and not even know it. You would think just looking in a mirror...

As the discussion around eating disorders becomes less and less taboo, a growing number of high-profile celebrities have begun to talk about their...

It is hard for someone without an eating disorder to understand why someone suffering from anorexia nervosa would go without food. Most people...

More Articles

More Articles

Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous type of eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of weight gain, extremely restrictive eating habits, and...

The first rule of eating disorders is not to talk about eating disorders—at least, that's what your eating disorder will tell you.

Many...

It may sound unbelievable, but people can suffer from a severe eating disorder and not even know it. You would think just looking in a mirror...

As the discussion around eating disorders becomes less and less taboo, a growing number of high-profile celebrities have begun to talk about their...

It is hard for someone without an eating disorder to understand why someone suffering from anorexia nervosa would go without food. Most people...

What causes someone to develop an eating disorder? Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer this question. Stress, emotional trauma, cultural...

Bulimia nervosa is a type of eating disorder characterized by recurrent binging and purging, a destructive cycle that often leaves bulimic...

Laxative abuse is a common practice among people struggling with eating disorders that involve purging, such as bulimia nervosa or anorexia...

Most people find holidays stressful, but the thought of facing holidays can be overwhelming for a person with an eating disorder. If a special day...

Even though most people have some awareness of bulimia, it’s important to remember that the signs and symptoms will often manifest themselves...

Susan Dey first rose to fame in her role as a charming, innocent looking girl named Laurie Partridge on ‘The Partridge Family’, a television...

Eating disorders often do more than just affect a person’s body weight. In extreme cases, disordered eating habits can cause severe malnutrition,...

Your metabolism is the many different chemical reactions that your body undergoes to sustain your life. One of the main functions of the...

When you start treatment for an eating disorder, one of the essential goals is to learn how to make good food choices. There are two common...

Eating disorders are the most deadly of all psychological disorders. Ginging, purging, and starving oneself can have multiple effects on the body...