Mindfulness meditation is increasingly practiced in the hospital. In Montpellier, it is taught to patients suffering from overweight and obesity. Reportage.
“Take a few moments to be with what is there, for you in this moment…”
You are not in a dojo, but in the Montpellier hospital, in the diabetes nutrition department. For 10 years, Béatrix has been teaching mindfulness meditation to patients with weight problems. Yet the session revolves around a food sometimes considered an enemy.
Pacify the relationship with food
“The objective of this program is really to pacify the relationship with food. To show the power of attention. The lever is that pleasure actually contributes to satiety, the more we eat with pleasure, because we is hungry, the faster you also stop eating because you are no longer hungry”explains Béatrix Toto, mindfulness meditation instructor.
Véronique started meditating a year ago. At the time, she suffered from morbid obesity and had a compulsive relationship with food.
“Before I ate in a quarter of an hour, I had eaten all my meal whereas now I take the time, I put my cutlery down between each bite, I taste. Since then, it’s been a year, I have been able to lose weight 20 kg eating normally and I hope it will continue”confides Véronique Bernad, 53 years old.
“I came to mindful eating because I had eating disorders. It made me aware of this aspect of self-destruction and punishment where I was really using food to make myself hurt in some way. I had bariatric surgery, I’m sure the surgery worked because of the mindful eating program”explains Eva Théron, 32 years old.
A caregiver from the department participates in each session. Today, he is a nutritionist doctor, having himself suffered from obesity, he was introduced to meditation 3 years ago.
“I have three hats, I am a nutritionist doctor, I am a patient and I am also a cook and pastry chef. When we go in a gourmet restaurant, we eat mindfully, we are attentive to all the senses. Doing this mindful eating course allowed me to extend this way of enjoying all of my food intake. I eat much less than before, I have already lost around 40 kg since the start of my treatment. It changed my life”comments Dr. Danielson Rakotoarivony, nutritionist.
8 weekly sessions of 2h30 each
This “mindful eating” program consists of eight weekly sessions of 2.5 hours each. The head of department who set it up noted its effectiveness.
“I believe that we can only change what we are well aware of. We approach physical activity, nutrition, drug therapies, with full awareness which helps to better adhere to each of the other therapies offered. Many people say that this is the first time that they have been offered support without having the impression of forcing themselves to lose significant weight. The softer and more progressive it is, the longer it lasts”explains Professor Antoine Avignon, head of the diabetes nutrition service at Lapeyronie Hospital.
In France, more and more health establishments offer mindfulness sessions in the context of nutrition, but also pain, sleep or addictions.
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When Mindfulness Meditation is Taught to Overweight People
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