Healing Our Relationship With Food 

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If we’ve been affected by trauma, then we may experience uncontrollable cravings for unhealthy foods (Kuijer, 2012). 

However, when it comes to treatment, traditional forms of therapy – such as talk therapy – aren’t always effective as they often don’t address trauma at the gut-brain axis level.

Trauma can put the gut-brain axis into a hypermetabolic state, leading us to consume far more energy than we normally would. 

This occurs because of our physiological responses, which can manifest in symptoms such as an increased heart-rate and heightened blood pressure (Kuijer, 2012). 

When our energy levels are being drained faster than normal, we can end up craving foods that are calorie - rather than nutrient-dense (Kuijer, 2012). 

However, these foods are high in sugar, fat, and salt; and they increase the levels of cortisol - our main stress hormone - in our bodies.

So, eating a lot of food that impacts our cortisol levels can lead to us feeling more stressed and hyperaroused (Kuijer, 2012).

In other words, the foods we crave can keep us stuck in a cycle of trauma responses, which can further perpetuate the effects of trauma and can delay our healing. 

Not only does this nervous state cause us to crave food, but it can also diminish our appetite entirely, which can put us at risk of developing dysregulated eating patterns such as binge-eating, purging, or restricting and controlling our intake of food (Hall, 2015; Quinn, 2020; Vanzhula, 2019).

This hyper-control of our intake can also signify an attempt to avoid thinking about trauma-related feelings and memories – i.e., it intends to make up for the times that we felt we had no control at all (Quinn, 2020).

Thankfully, there are ways to safely and gently break the cycles that we so often find ourselves living in.

According to Dr. Peter Levine, through the use of somatic therapies, we are able to work directly with the nervous system to bring it back to a calmer and more regulated state, which in turn, can help rebalance the hormones that it produces - supporting our body in breaking our cycle of trauma responses to be able to function and thrive again.

Such approaches include breathwork, mindfulness, grounding practices, and meditation – to name only a few (Bedworth, 2022; Douglass, 2009; Raypole, 2020; Savidaki et al., 2020; Oliver, 2015).

These somatic techniques are all included in our new Healing Our Relationship With Food program, along with six expert-led theory modules which will give you step-by-step strategies for working with the trauma-affected nervous system. 

We hope that by the end of this program, therapists and their clients will have discovered practical, safe, and effective methods that they can implement on their journey toward healing.

Introducing Healing Our Relationship With Food: Techniques To Restore Our Relationship With Food And The Body

Day 1: Body Neutrality Scan

Find an alternative to body negativity by connecting with the functions of each part of your body through a neutral lens to build our way up to body positive thoughts and behaviors.

Day 2: Self-Love Connection

Support yourself in connecting to your body neutrally and lovingly. This simple grounding exercise involves taking the time to gently wash and care for your hands as a way to connect to your body.

Day 3: Recovery Zones

This exercise involves creating awareness and planning strategies for recovery through mindfulness recovery behaviors. We will acknowledge and categorize our positive and negative behaviors using different-colored paper.

Day 4: Acting Out Action Plan

Prepare for ED emergencies by learning how to create your own plan by incorporating multiple strategies and therapeutic modalities into a single bullet journal.

Day 5: Recovery Mantras

Use mindfulness and creative expression to enhance your recovery voice through tangible recovery reminders and affirmations. This exercise draws on playfulness and creativity to reduce the panic or stress surrounding eating recovery.

Day 6: Gratitude Practice

Delve deeper into self-love and compassion through meditation, breathing, and mindfulness. After this calming technique, we will engage in a free-flow writing exercise to write a letter to your body.

Day 7: Supportive Schedule

Promote holistic wellness of food, thoughts, feelings, and actions through a recovery schedule to mobilize all the techniques and exercises you have learned thus far.

Receive three additional expert-guided practical recovery exercises

  • Nervous System Regulation
  • The Raisin Exercise
  • Reconnecting With The Body

Theory Modules

Theory Module 1: Understanding Eating Disorders With Marlene Van Den Berg (30-min)

  • What is an eating disorder?
  • Understanding the different types of eating disorders
  • Exploring the ways that eating disorders can present themselves in thoughts and behaviors
  • Understanding the cause of eating disorders

Theory Module 2: Exploring Practical Tools And Techniques for Eating Disorders With Marlene Van Den Berg (23-min)

  • Tackling the stigma of eating disorders
  • Exploring how clinicians can help clients rescript their narrative
  • Understanding the roles of different practitioners in providing support

Theory Module 3: The Characteristics Of Disordered Eating With Dana Harron (23-min)

  • Discover the spectrum of disordered eating and frequent issues
  • Being treated as an object and its effects on self and worldview 
  • The aetiology of disordered eating 
  • Understanding how disordered eating is maintained

Theory Module 4: Trauma, Physiological Effects, And Helpful Resources With Dana Harron (31-min)

  • The link between trauma and disordered eating 
  • Physiological, neurological, and hormonal impacts of disordered eating  
  • Discover helpful resources for recovery
  • Actionable techniques to help yourself or someone else

Theory Module 5: Common Eating Disorders And The Challenges Of Recovery With Christopher Paul Szabo (44-min)

  • Classification systems used when diagnosing an eating disorder
  • Defining eating disorders 
  • The physical consequences of dysregulated eating 
  • The aetiology of eating disorders
  • Issues with dieting
  • Therapeutic approaches when working with eating disorders
  • Stages of recovery & challenges with recovery

Theory Module 6: Approaches To Treating Eating Disorders Through Patience And Trust With Christopher Paul Szabo (31-min)

  • Different ways to treat eating disorders
  • Difficulties in treating eating disorders
  • Treatment caveats 
  • Understandings of “normal” eating 
  • Tips for therapists and clients on recovering from dysregulated eating

All Rewire Therapy Programs Come With:

  • A private support community

  • Lifetime access to the program and all future updates

  • Technical support via email and text

  • Start at any time at your own pace

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Register Here for $240 

You’ll get all 6 theory modules, practical recovery exercises, learning tools, plus receive three additional expert-guided practical recovery exercises you can immediately integrate into your trauma toolbox to help you work more effectively with a dysregulated nervous system.

Start Program

Thousands Of Healing Transformations With Rewire Therapy

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“For the first time ever, I feel like I understand what's happening in my body.” 

 

Andrea, USA
"I was super-skeptical if this would work for me because I had literally tried everything and nothing was helping my PTSD... A week into the course and I already feel a huge difference."
 

Emily R, New York
"I bought a course on trauma healing from MindValley but totally didn't relate to the teacher or the content. Listening to female experts who have been there really makes all the difference. Thank you so much :-)."
 
Jessica L, Toronto
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"I've learned to truly listen to my body once again. This course has been a true gift."
 

Jenna, Survivor, USA
"I think the weirdest difference I noticed was that when I was practicing the exercises in Week 1... I began to feel my feet again. I realized I had dissociated from my feet for so long."
 
 
Jason R, Los Angeles
"I've been trying to heal my PTSD for years. It always felt like I took 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I just purchased this course and it's already paid for itself. The information in week 1 alone was more helpful than anything else I've done."
 
Marie G, Quebec
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I was in a good place anyway. But this is the missing puzzle piece that I needed.”
 
 
Robert E, Portugal

Register Here for $240

You’ll get all 6 theory modules, practical recovery exercises, learning tools, plus receive three additional expert-guided practical recovery exercises you can immediately integrate into your trauma toolbox to help you work more effectively with a dysregulated nervous system.

Start Program

Meet The Experts

Tanya Zajdel

Tanya’s work with trauma healing and survivorship has been featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, CBC News, Vox Tablet and Iheart Radio.

Tanya is a mental health worker, a women’s health nurse, and a published feminist author. Tanya focuses primarily on creating programs that facilitate trauma healing through creating new neural connections in the brain called 'neuroplasticity exercises'.

Her techniques combine various proven therapies to repair and reset the nervous system after trauma including somatic therapy, yoga, drama therapy, dance therapy, CBT, qigong, EMDR, vagal toning, authentic movement, and a combination of expressive, creative art therapies.

Marlene Van Den Berg

Marlene is an Occupational Therapist with more than 14 years of experience working in mental health. She has worked with clients with acute & chronic mental health conditions, eating disorders, addiction concerns, and personality disorders.

She currently works in a specialist eating disorder unit and also hosts an outpatient support community: Healing Spaces Wellness. She is a trained Gestalt & Play therapist, TRE and Enneagram practitioner, and Yoga teacher. She has a specific interest in group intervention and holistic, healing processes.

As an Occupational Therapist she is passionate about supporting clients to find within themselves the motivation to live fully in all the areas of their lives; to engage in activities and processes that lead the inner and outer well-being and encourage them to become their most authentic, healthiest selves.

Dana Harron

Dana Harron, Psy.D., is a psychologist in Washington DC. She is the founder and director of Monarch Wellness & Psychotherapy, a practice that specializes in mind/body problems such as eating disorders, anxiety, trauma, fertility issues, and depression.

Dr. Harron completed her doctorate at Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology, where she was also the recipient of the Neubauer community service scholarship and the IGCP Empathy and Caring Award. She has since engaged in professional activities ranging from co-leadership of a unit at the state hospital of Delaware to college counseling.

Christopher Paul Szabo

Christopher Paul Szabo is a psychiatrist with a special interest in eating disorders and the author of the book Eating Disorders (2009; Reach Publishers) based on his clinical and research work. He currently works clinically at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre in Parktown, Johannesburg.

He is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and an Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is editor-in-chief of South African Psychiatry and hosts a podcast series Beyond Madness on Cliff Central, available at CliffCentral.com as well as Spotify and Apple/Google podcasts.

Tina Lashambe

I am an Advanced Yoga Teacher and Grief Educator.

I found yoga while suffering from multiple chronic health issues and an eating disorder. My personal yoga practice has allowed me to grow in many ways. It has given me a sense of peace during stressful times and has taught me how to accept my body. It has taught me patience while experiencing pain and has inspired me to offer compassionate, body-positive yoga, where people of all capabilities and all shapes feel comfortable to practice.

I completed my 200-hour Cross-Disciplinary Yoga Teacher Training in 2016 with DevaTree School of Yoga. Since then, I have taught a wide range of students, from toddlers to seniors, and all ranges of abilities.

I completed the End of Life Doula training in 2020 and the Grief Educator Certification program with David Kessler (Grief.com) in 2021.

Register Here for $240

You’ll get all 6 theory modules, practical recovery exercises, learning tools, plus receive three additional expert-guided practical recovery exercises you can immediately integrate into your trauma toolbox to help you work more effectively with a dysregulated nervous system.

Start Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Register Here for $240

You’ll get all 6 theory modules, practical recovery exercises, learning tools, plus receive three additional expert-guided practical recovery exercises you can immediately integrate into your trauma toolbox to help you work more effectively with a dysregulated nervous system.

Start Program

Sources

 
Bedsworth, J. (March 25, 2022). What is somatic therapy, and what is it used for? GoodRx Health. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/mental-health/somatic-therapies. 
 
Douglass, L. (2009). Yoga as an intervention in the treatment of eating disorders: Does it help? Eating Disorders, 17(2), 126-139
 
Hall, K. S., Hoerster, K. D., & Yancy Jr, W. S. (2015). Post-traumatic stress disorder, physical activity, and eating behaviors. Epidemiologic reviews, 37(1), 103-115. https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxu011
 
Kuijer, R. G., & Boyce, J. A. (2012). Emotional eating and its effect on eating behaviour after a natural disaster. Appetite, 58(3), 936-939. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.02.046\
 
Oliver, M. (2015). Reconnecting to your body with mindful eating. Bodymatters. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://bodymatters.com.au/reconnecting-to-your-body-with-mindful-eating/
 
Quinn, P. (2020). Art therapy in treatment of addiction and trauma. England: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
 
Raypole, C. (April 17, 2020). A brief intro to the world of somatics. Healthline. Retrieved July 27, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/somatics 
 
Savidaki, M., Demirtoka, S., & Rodríguez-Jiménez, R. (2020). Re-inhabiting one’s body: A pilot study on the effects of dance movement therapy on body image and alexithymia in eating disorders. Journal Of Eating Disorders, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-020-00296-2
 
Vanzhula, I. A., Calebs, B., Fewell, L., & Levinson, C. A. (2019). Illness pathways between eating disorder and post‐traumatic stress disorder symptoms: Understanding comorbidity with network analysis. European Eating Disorders Review, 27(2), 147-160.  https://doi.org/10.1002/erv.2634.
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