With online + in-person coaching, videos, workbooks, I have designed a holistic eating disorder support system to help you on this voyage of healing.
healing eating disorders holistically
How Eat the Buddha ™ got its name:
I had an A-ha! moment, or revelation, while living in Bali, a beautiful and magical island, abundant with fertility, kind hearts and wise lessons in the form of nature.
In Bali there are amazing trees called jepun, or frangipani. Perfectly gorgeous flowers of the jepun fall from the trees. The Balinese do not pick them off the trees typically, but pick them up from the ground to use in offerings or chanang. I was driving home on my motorbike when I had the thought of how this relates to the human condition, or human (trying for) being. Although the flower cut from the source it begins to die, doesn’t negate the fact of its divine beingness, or energy. In fact, the soul lives on, just not within the confines of its form. As the Balinese appreciate and recognize this fact they don’t dwell on it but use it as an offering back to the source of itself, symbolically.
I believe when we take human form we are cut in some energetic way from the source, perhaps just like the umblicial cord, symbolically and literally. And maybe that is the moment it actually happens. And it must happen so that we can learn to re-connect with the Source, and appreciate the journey, regardless of the natural fact that it happened, taking a human form. You don’t have to believe in a certain spirituality or religion to believe this. Just think about it and see if this idea resonates or not.
What does this have to do with eating disorders or what I like to reframe and call nourishment disease?
Well, I believe in de-pathologizing the root of the dis-ease. Yes the behaviors that spring from the root causes of the dis-ease are somewhat pathological (over-eating, purging, stealing, etc. etc.) but the root cause is a disconnection from the spirit. The behaviors cause one to unbalance one’s system biochemically, physically, emotionally, and cognitively and the longer and more intense one is unbalancing, the more severe the symptoms and more difficult to change perhaps, because them become habituated and therefore, the new norm.
MY PHILOSOPHY/THE eat the buddha APPROACH:
why is this approach called eat the Buddha? It really has nothing to do with Buddhism as a religion. Buddha means enlightened mind, and the root of an eating disorder is a split or suffering mind. When we approach the mind and body as One and use methods or tools to relate to ourselves with zen-like compassion love awareness discipline and knowledge, we can free ourselves. And it’s a lighthearted term, which those suffering from eating disorders can appreciate! So yes, you can be Muslim, Christian, atheist, or whatever to use this approach. You just have to believe in your own resourcefulness in purifying your mind so that you can re-harmonize and heal yourself.
ABOUT MY HEALING:
My story of healing is a living, breathing labyrinth.
I experienced childhood traumas and psycho-physical-emotional-spiritual challenges correlated to those traumas, particularly related to attachment. I experienced an eating disorder for well over 16 years and have been free of this nourishment dis-ease for the past 9 years. I healed myself through a journey of learning to trust myself and a few good guides along the way. I healed through yoga, the expressive arts and other modalities. I healed through traveling abroad to beautiful places, although sometimes ardurous, While the journey felt dark many times, I always believed in the light and finding my way through, as often as I nearlygave up.
I want to share with you my heartfelt presence and walk beside you. Ultimately, I believe we must heal ourselves, but a good guide can facilitate that inner journey of healing.
I am a licensed California Marriage and Family Therapist. Online I work as a therapeutic guide lets say, as I’m not permitted to work under my license legally unless you live in California.
I consider myself an expert on healing eating disorders because I endured 16 years with anorexia, bulimia and restricted eating and healed myself through a holistic approach primarily comprised of spirituality, healthy eating, yoga, psychotherapy and expressive arts. The core of all of these is relationship which is the core element of the healing work.
Let’s break it down.
Spirituality? What is that exactly? Whatever your religion (or not), race, gender, I accept you and will guide you wholeheartedly. I will offer paradigms and techniques that are centuries old, taken for a test drive by me, and translate them so you can easily digest them and make them your own. Intuition is the core of my approach.
Within these non-denominational frameworks you can find your own meaning and way and I will simply (or complexly) offer you paths, and throw you a life raft if sincerely needed JI will walk beside you and show you how to follow your heart, not lead your way. If you need handholding I can do that too, but I will let go if I feel you need that at times, too. And, eventually, we will hug goodbye, so to speak.
Everyone has heard of yoga, right?
Well there are many brands and styles of yoga, as much as there are people I like to say. But strip it all down to its lovely nakedness, yoga is YOU in purest form as divine expression.
Sometimes you just need to talk. And sometimes talking gets in the way. In therapy you can do both. A therapeutic relationship can be very supportive in times of struggle. In my journey as client and therapy, I use talking, and not talking, arts and meditation, somatic focus, breathwork and other tools to support the journey.
Expressive Arts & Expressive Arts Therapy
I make this distinction because they are different and both have been valuable tools on my journey and continue to be.
Expressives arts encompass any art form- music, dance, drama, written word, and visual arts that are healing both in process and product and reflect your feelings, truths, emotions or whatever aspect of your Self you think it does. It is not art for art’s sake.
Expressive Arts Therapy is a journey through these expressive arts taken with a qualified therapist ideally, but groups or couples can probably use some of the techniques and it will have therapeutic value.
My “Official” Quals and Experience:
I have a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology specializing in Expressive Arts, a degree in Dance Movement therapy and am a Yoga Alliance registered Yoga teacher. I have many years experience supporting clients who are battling different addictions, healing traumas and transforming less-than-healthy relationships to self and other. I work with kids, couples and adults ranging in age from 4 to 104. NO, seriously! I have worked in the United States, Europe and Asia in private practice, schools, non-profits, prisons, nursing homes, and other settings.
On healthy eating
There is a whole lot of information swirling and whirling about regarding healthy eating. I will understand (not medically assess) your nutritional history so I can help fill in the gaps educationally, and then together, we can tailor your program according to your nutritional needs. I am not a medical doctor. If in my consultation I feel you need a medical consult for basic nutritional blood analysis or other symptoms, I will let you know, and more often than not, you will need to do that. It is a worthwhile investment. From that foundation, I use ayuvedic principles regarding healthy eating which are personalized for your body-mind type. Ayurveda is basically traditional Indian medicine, very much an integral part of yoga. Based on your constitution that we will understand through diagnostic tools (which is not comprehensive since I am not an ayurvedic doctor), and based on your lifestyle and cuisine preferences and where you live, we will create a basic nutritional menu. This is not a calorie counting affair be warned. There is nothing restrictive about my input, it is my recommendations for you. And this is not medical advice, this based on my studies in India and the India yoga lifestyle of eating that I believe should be accessible to ALL people.
I believe eating disorders are fundamentally NOT about eating, but they become enacted as a struggle and food is then transformed into a poison instead of nectar. So since the struggle becomes food focused, which affects the body and mind, we need to communion-cate with food and create healthy nutrition. Your body IS your temple, and since you temple is ‘under repair’ while under food struggles, we need to use safe scaffolding (foods) to help repair the whole thing (body, mind, spirit).
(exercise) Yoga asanas (postures) for healing:
(sacred practiceMeditations and ritual:
(creative spirit connection): arts therapy interventions for healing:
(body –mind health):Ayuvedic medicine interventions for eating disorders:
Coaching or therapy is no cure all but it can be life-saving. Here’s why.
When another person is holding space for you to be fully yourself, with heart and mind present, and with the intention to support you to heal, it is balm on a suffering mind-heart. Clearly we prefer in-person contact, but with technology we are able to connect online, and it’s better than nothing. It also can give some safe distance initially when you don’t feel like showing up at a therapist’s office. Believe me, I have been there.
So on that note, I offer brief online therapy via email and skype where we will connect heartfully to support you. I will give you in the moment interventions as well as between session interventions. I will only offer brief therapy (6-12 sessions approximately) because I feel you need more in-person support for the duration of your healing journey. On the other hand, you may only need that many sessions depending on where you are at in your healing process. So either way, I am confident it will work out for you. If I feel you will likely not benefit from my approach I will kindly let you know and offer you alternatives. I don’t want to waste your money and time, and I care about your healing which is a serious journey.
See booking page for fees.