work with your chakras for a body image boost

{originally published on Elephant Journal}

As a therapist treating eating disorders, body image is a daily issue in my world. Thankfully—with eight years of my own eating disorder recovery behind me—my personal body image gremlins are tame most of the time. But I still have to be intentional about nurturing my mind, body and spirit.

While there are many facets to eating disorder recovery the most critical element is to learn to truly connect with your body.

Disconnection From the Body

Most of my clients are cut-off from their bodies from the neck down. And in our tech-obsessed culture, unfortunately that’s true for the majority the population, eating disordered or not.

If we aren’t mindful, the body can become this entity that we lug around with us, have to feed in between meetings and carpool lines and then get mad at when it doesn’t look right in our new jeans. Exercise becomes just a way to burn calories after sitting at a desk all day.

This disconnection or illusion of separateness is what breeds dis-ease of all kinds—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Body hatred is the red herring— it allows us to focus on what we theoretically can control in the face of the many things we can’t.

To read the full article, click through to the original posting on Elephant Journal. 

xo!

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.