‘Bulimia Nervosa’ literally means a disease of hunger affecting the nervous system. It is characterised by the compulsive cycling of binging and purging which results from a need to conform to some ideal form. Often it is generated from within, although it is equally plausible that some idealised standard has been imported from outside while still in childhood.
It goes hand in hand with other compulsive tendencies and often accompanies low self-esteem and other psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression. There is no specific medication for the treatment of bulimia, though doctors try with anti-depressant medications such as SSRIs. But, like any medication, they create dependency issues and side effects without addressing the core issues within, and our life experience is still very much compromised.
Like all such conditions, it becomes compounded by stress. Stress activates the branch of the autonomic nervous system which is the storehouse of all of our negative tendencies. It distorts our cognitive abilities, and it activates the amygdala, the seat of all of our anxious tendencies. It will also act as a trigger for any genetic pre-dispositions we may have. When we meditate, not only do we unwind our stress response so that it only activates when appropriate and not in the trigger-happy fashion many of us experience: we create the conditions from which the mind, body and nervous system can rebalance and purify themselves of the negativity and distorted cognitive processes that underly this condition.
How does Vedic meditation help?
Meditation balances our mood by restoring our hormonal production and has anti-depressant qualities far superior to any medications we might take. Simultaneous to this, we become much calmer and less anxious due to the more balanced activity of the amygdala (the engine of our anxiety response), and we become much less compulsive due to the increased activity in our cortex. Additionally, meditation not only restores our cognitive functioning back to normal levels, it actually enhances it to higher levels.
By developing all of our physical and mental capabilities, meditation builds our confidence, acceptance (of ourselves and our surroundings) and enables us to feel comfortable in our own skin. It gives us a much greater sense of self-esteem and it is as if we realise deep within that we have no need to conform to any rigid ideas about what defines us.
The result of all this is that we become much more likely to recover, and this happens much more effortlessly than if we simply battle with ourselves using our conscious mind.