Recovering from an Eating Disorder with Chinese Medicine

The National Eating Disorder Association estimates that 10 billion American women suffer from eating disorders and only 1 in 10 of these people receive treatment.

Eating disorders are complex illnesses and generally manifest from a variety of social, psychological and physiological factors. There is a fine line between the diet and "health" crazed modern world, and diagnosable eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, etc). No matter what your story is- acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary therapy can be extremely helpful in healing the body and restoring balance. Acupuncture has the ability to reconnect the emotional, physical and spiritual bodies promoting a healing response. I often hear women say "I feel so good in my body after acupuncture." This is huge! Especially for individuals who generally feel uncomfortable in their own body.

There are many physical and emotional components to disordered eating. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine promote balance and harmony among individual organs and meridians. It is common for your practitioner to offer dietary and lifestyle recommendations to nourish and balance the body during recovery. Here is a list of some commonly treated conditions related to disordered eating:

  • anxiety
  • insomnia
  • facial puffiness, edema
  • belching, bloating, distention
  • diarrhea, constipation
  • depression
  • hemorrhoids
  • abdominal pain
  • amenorrhea
  • dysmenorrhea
  • PMS
  • fatigue, dizziness
  • anger, irritability, sadness, fear, panic, etc.
  • loss of appetite, or ravenous appetite 
  • acne, eczema, dry skin
  • dry eyes, red eyes, floaters
  • sense of uprising, need to vomit
  • headaches
  • allergies
  • sense of something stuck in throat
  • and many more...
Chinese medicine in the treatment of disordered eating is not a replacement for Western medicine, including therapy. Often there are co-occurring disorders with chronic eating disorders that must be monitored by your primary care doc. We are happy to work in conjunction with your other providers.

Feel free to email with questions.

Kat Starbird, M.Ac.O.M., L.Ac., birth doula