The Benefits of Relaxation Training In Anorexia Recovery

Girl struggling with anorexia

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Director of Content and Social Media at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

For the individual who may be recovering from anorexia, the experience of anxiety is not uncommon. Anxiety may often accompany and feed into many aspects of an eating disorder, including meal time, thoughts on body image, exercise and more.

Learning how to effectively cope with increased anxiety can be a helpful aspect of recovery from anorexia and should be integrated whenever possible to help face the many challenges that might be experienced along the journey.

Learning More About Relaxation Training

Relaxed training, also known as a relaxation technique, is a means towards achieving a sense of calmness, particularly during situations in which a person is experiencing increased pain, stress, anger, and/or anxiety. This can take various forms and may involve a certain type of activity, procedure, or method that helps a person relax.

Girl relaxExamples of relaxation training include guided imagery, deep and controlled breathing, biofeedback, self-hypnosis, and more. A qualified professional who specializes in this type of integrated health often teaches relaxation techniques within a treatment setting for eating disorder recovery.

Relaxation techniques can be especially helpful for a person recovering from anorexia, as applying this type of techniques can help an individual overcome many stressful situations.

Benefits of Relaxation Training

The overall goal of relaxation techniques is to help instigate a person’s natural relaxation response, particularly when stress levels are increasing. This can also be helpful for promoting well-being and decreasing overall symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

For the individual recovering from anorexia, this might be applicable during meal time, in social events where food is served, after eating, and in learning how to sit with and process emotions.

In some situations, relaxation techniques alone may not be sufficient for a person who is dealing with severe anxiety or an anxiety disorder. Medication management along with relaxation techniques and other forms of psychotherapy may be necessary for effectively dealing with anxiety experienced in anorexia recovery. Work with your professional treatment team to determine the best course of action for effectively overcoming stress and anxiety while recovering from anorexia.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What are some relaxation techniques that you have benefitted from 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 Special Projects Coordinator 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 July 8, 2016
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