Alternative Forms of Healthcare: What is Right For You?

Woman using Alternative Therapy

Eating disorder recovery is a complex journey, one that involves physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness and healing. For the majority of individuals, finding full recovery involves working with multidisciplinary practitioners and specialists who understand the healing and treatment process for eating disorder recovery including alternative forms of healthcare.

During the holiday season, it might feel a bit trickier to maintain various appointments and treatment, especially when there are multiple facets involved. However, especially during a time that is more stressful, it is even more important to maintain a sense of structure for recovery.

Understanding Alternative Forms of Healthcare

When it comes to treatment, there are many options from which to choose. It is important to work under the guidance of a qualified specialist to determine what might be most appropriate for you and your unique needs. There are also forms of alternative health care that might be considered as part of your treatment, which can be defined as health care approaches developed outside of mainstream, or conventional medicine. Some treatment programs may integrate forms of alternative or integrative medicine within the recovery approach for eating disorders.

Some of the more common forms of alternative medicine used in eating disorder treatment might include but are not limited to:

  • Meditation
  • Massage Therapy
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Progressive Relaxation
  • Guided Imagery
  • Chiropractic Manipulation
  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture

Alternative health care approaches can be effective for eating disorder treatment when used to complement conventional medicine and health care. Before engaging in any alternative form of healthcare, it is always important to discuss these options with your treatment team.

Keeping Recovery Moving Forward

Sunset and alternative therapyWhen considering alternative forms of healthcare, it is important to remember that these forms of treatment, especially for eating disorder recovery, are meant to complement – not take the place of, conventional treatment approaches.

Especially for an individual who may be dealing with more acute symptoms, alternative health care approaches are usually insufficient for meeting more severe needs. Because the body is in a physically fragile state when healing from an eating disorder, there are some forms of alternative therapy that may not be suitable or even contraindicated to conventional methods. Always involve your primary care providers for guidance on your care.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are forms of alternative healthcare that you have integrated in your own recovery?


Crystal Headshot 2About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Director of Content and Social Media for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on December 4, 2016
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com