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Why are we so cruel to our bodies?

Recently there was a somewhat shocking article in Glamour magazine that said young women recorded an average of 13 brutal thoughts about their bodies each day. Some women even confessed to having 35 to 100 hateful thoughts about their shapes and bodies each day! What the article found was that we have actually trained ourselves to think negatively about our bodies.

We have neural pathways in our body and these pathways become stronger as the negative thoughts become habitual. For example, if you are a musician, you would have stronger neural pathways that support musicality and dexterity than someone who hasn’t had musical training. Those who are not content in areas of their life tend to take out their negative emotions on their body. The article found that being unhappy in general is a much larger factor in how you feel about your body than what your body actually looks like. 

The good news is we can actually rewire our brains and create neural pathways that favor positive thoughts about our bodies! By putting positive thoughts in the fore front of our mind it can actually start to become instinctive. If we make note of things that make us feel good about our bodies and if we silence our “inner mean girl” we can slowly start to appreciate our bodies.

I wanted to highlight this article because I suffered from poor body image and an eating disorder as a teen. My eating disorder is actually what led me to Acupuncture! When I was 15 years old, I started seeing an acupuncturist to help me take control of my disorder. The process was gradual but as my body began to get centered and balanced, I discovered a wonderful sense of calm. I remember noticing a shift in my thinking after my 4th acupuncture treatment. Instead of feeling guilty for eating, I actually felt guilty for ignoring my body and not eating! Slowly, my mind began to see things more clearly and my obsession with perfection was transformed into a better understanding of the woman I wanted to be. I began to blossom and actually started to love myself. Acupuncture helped lead me off the dark path I was on and taught me to listen to my body and embrace what I thought were “imperfections.”

If you are dealing with poor body image or have an unhealthy relationship with food, acupuncture can help guide you back, by centering your body. Acupuncture can calm the mind enough to allow freer flow of introspection and self-knowledge or acceptance. When the body is harmonized and back in balance, there is a feeling of calm and satisfaction. But, when the body is out of balance there is dissatisfaction and unhappiness. By balancing your Qi, you will have a calm internal attitude that benefits not only the mind but also your outward appearance.