Intuitive Eating and Food Cravings: New Research Shows Spiritual Healing Approach Has Promise

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Preliminary results from new research show a positive correlation with improved eating practices, increased body acceptance and spiritual well-being. A decrease in food cravings and overeating was reported, particularly emotional overeating, along with an increase in “intuitive” eating, the ability to self-regulate eating by attuning to the body’s signals for what, when and how much to eat.

Preliminary results from new research show a positive correlation with improved eating practices, increased body acceptance and spiritual well-being. A decrease in food cravings and overeating was reported, particularly emotional overeating, along with an increase in “intuitive” eating, the ability to self-regulate eating by attuning to the body’s signals for what, when and how much to eat. To learn more about intuitive eating training, visit: http://barbarabirsinger.com.

The scientific study, co-sponsored by the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, examined the effects of a new intuitive and spiritual healing approach on restoring balance to eating and weight. Barbara Birsinger, a nutritionist and doctoral student in Spiritual Healing and Energy Medicine at Holos University Graduate Seminary, has undertaken the Randomized Controlled Trial, considered the gold standard in rigorous scientific research.

Comparisons between randomized experimental and control groups were made with pre- and post-test surveys, before and after the experimental group had completed an intervention, in this case, an eight-week workshop series called “Conversations With Bod: Discover the Spiritual, Archetypal and Symbolic Messages in Eating, Food Cravings, Body Language and Weight”. Fifty-five women in the experimental group completed the course last June at the Integrative Medical Clinic in Santa Rosa, California.

Participants in the study learned the symbolic meaning of their current habits and discovered their own unique ways to meet emotional or spiritual needs with Birsinger’s innovative food decoding process. As one workshop participant states, “The Decoding of Symbolic Food Cravings Process was very powerful and life changing—the single most transformative element of the class.” Another wrote “…for me the most effective and moving meditation was the Decoding oof Food Cravings. It really helped me get in touch with and resolve my emotional eating problem.” More about this approach can be found at http://barbarabirsinger.com/workshops/htm.

Change in eating behaviors was the emphasis of the study rather than weight loss in the short-term; however, preliminary reports on weight show the experimental group, who agreed not to diet during the study, had better results on weight loss and maintenance compared to the control group, who had no instructions during the 2 months. Supporting these findings is another recent study on intuitive eating from the University of California at Davis, published in the Journal of the American Dietetics Association in June of 2005, showing that in the non-diet, intuitive eating approach, subjects sustained their weight loss and maintenance as well as improvements in eating behaviors, and further that weight loss from dieting is not sustained over time, in fact, weight is actually regained. Participants in the Sonoma County study will be followed for up to a year or more. Implications for the prevention and treatment of obesity and eating disorders are compelling.

The public is invited to attend the next 8-week workshop series: Monday evenings, beginning January 30, 6:30 – 9:00 pm. A Free Introductory Workshop will take place on Monday, January 23, 6:30–8:00 pm at the Petaluma Community Center, 320 N. McDowell Blvd, Petaluma,California.

For further details, call toll-free: 888-243-9582 or visit http://barbarabirsinger.com.

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Barbara Birsinger
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