Eating Disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome & SHEN Therapy – a Non-Medicinal Approach

Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure which may lead to death.

Anorexia Nervosa

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
  • Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight
  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)

People with this disorder see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food. People with anorexia may repeatedly check their body weight, and many engage in other techniques to control their weight, such as intense and compulsive exercise, or purging by means of vomiting and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Girls with anorexia often experience a delayed onset of their first menstrual period.

Bulimia Nervosa

Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications (purging); fasting; or excessive exercise
  • The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months
  • Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

Because purging or other compensatory behavior follows the binge-eating episodes, people with bulimia usually weigh within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to lose weight, and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies. People with bulimia often perform the behaviors in secrecy, feeling disgusted and ashamed when they binge, yet relieved once they purge.

Binge-Eating Disorder

Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode
  • The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  • Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior
  • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months
  • The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise)

People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to bingeing again, creating a cycle of binge eating.

Click here for more information about: Eating Disorders (booklet from the National Institute of Mental Health).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Sometimes irritable bowel syndrome is referred to as spastic colon, mucous colitis, spastic colitis, nervous stomach, or irritable colon.

Irritable bowel syndrome is generally classified as a “functional” disorder. A functional disorder refers to a disorder or disease where the primary abnormality is an altered physiological function (the way the body works), rather than an identifiable structural or biochemical cause. It characterizes a disorder that generally cannot be diagnosed in a traditional way; that is, as an inflammatory, infectious, or structural abnormality that can be seen by commonly used examination, x-ray, or blood test.

Irritable bowel syndrome is understood as a multi-faceted disorder. In people with IBS, symptoms result from what appears to be a disturbance in the interaction between the gut or intestines, the brain, and the autonomic nervous system that alters regulation of bowel motility (motor function) or ensory function.

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by a group of symptoms in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with a change in bowel pattern, such as loose or more frequent bowel movements, diarrhea, and/or constipation.

Click here for more information about: Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( published by the National Institute of Health).

Why SHEN Therapy can help with these disorders

All of these conditions are strongly affected by the emotions. SHEN theory operates on the principle that residue of emotional trauma from earlier in life is held deep inside the body where it influences the way we live our lives, and disrupts normal bodily functioning. When an event occurs that is similar to the originating event, it can aggravate the hidden emotions and cause them to flare up, worsening our behavior and exacerbating our physical problems. The painful emotional trauma is trapped in the body by the Auto-Contractile Pain Reflex (ACPR). Our long experience with eating disorders shows they are almost always the result of hidden emotional trauma inside the body where it has been trapped since early childhood.

SHEN practice is a science-based form of biofield therapeutics that adheres to the physics of the biofield as deduced by Richard R. Pavek. When doing SHEN, we place our hands on your body in a series of precise, polarized locations that are indicated by the particular emotional condition you present and conform to biofield physics. This correctly focuses the qi (ch’i) from our hands so as to release the ACPR contractions trapping the painful emotions. In this way, SHEN safely lifts old, painful emotions to the surface where they disperse and leave. SHEN has had very good success with all of the eating disorders and IBS.

Additional information on Functional Somatic Disorders

An extensive group of loosely related functional somatic disorders, disorders without direct organic cause and where the emotions are observed or suspected to have major impact, remain difficult to understand because the process by which the emotions could do this has not been clear. These disorders are known by many names; among them are psychosomatic, psychogenic, hysterical, and functional somatic symptoms. They may be either continuous or episodic. They may involve more than one bodily organ, but not necessarily. They may involve hidden childhood abuse or other unsuspected or unremembered trauma and may be indicators of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). Most often, several emotions are implicated but their nature may not be initially apparent.

Many authorities have identified this phenomenon including:

Mann, S. Severe Paroxysmal Hypertension (Pseudopheochromocytoma), Archives of Internal Medicine; 1999,159:670-4. Reilly G, et al, The association of sexual and physical abuse with somatization: charactertistics of patients presenting with irritable bowel syndrome and non-epileptic attack disorder:Psychological Medicine; 1999, 29:399-406. Uexküll T. Ed. Psychosomatic Medicine, Müchen, Germany: Urban & Schwarzenberg; 1997:804. Farthing J, Gomborone J. Abdominal symptoms and the mind. In Watkins A. ed. Mind-Body Medicine: A clinician’s guide to psychoneuoroimmunology. Edinburgh, UK: Churchill Livingstone; 1997:130-1. Kroenke K. et al, Physical Symptoms in Primary Care, In Archives of Family Medicine; 1994,3:774-779. Friedenwald J, Morrison T. Morrison S. Clinics on Secondary Gastro-Intestinal Disorders, Reciprocal relationships. Baltimore, Maryland: William Wood; 1938:viii, 164-202. Alverez W. Nervous indigestion. 2 impression corrected. New York, New York: Paul B. Hoeber; 1931:3.

Click here for more information about: Emotions, The Biofield, ACPR.

Copyright Richard Pavek, SHEN Therapy Institute