Ellie Phipps had anorexia – an eating disorder that causes the sufferer to feel the need to restrict their food consumption in order to lose weight.
The illness made Ellie lose a great deal of weight, to the point where she was warned by doctors that if she continued to lose weight, she would die from organ failure.
The teaching assistant was forced to quit her job as she was so frail. As the condition worsened, Ellie’s mother sent her to a hypnotherapist.
Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of eating disorders, hypnotherapy aims to uncover the root cause via unconscious memories.
It took hypnotist Nicky Maidment (also trained in neuro-linguistic programming) just five sessions to uncover the event that triggered Ellie’s anorexia. The event in question took place at school when she was 14 and was weighed in gym class.
“I remembered waiting in the queue at gym class to be weighed. Then my friends either side started to panic that they would be overweight.
“I said ‘it will be OK’, but inside I started to worry that I’d be the fat one. This stuck with me and I also wanted to be the perfect girl.”
Since having hypnotherapy, Ellie has been able to turn her life around. Ellie now coaches gymnastics and says she’s developed a healthier relationship with food. She says she knew she had to do something when she saw a picture of herself looking emaciated on holiday.
As well as affecting her health, the disease put strain on her relationships.
“I had gone from a bubbly independent, happy person, to someone who struggled to speak to people.”
She goes on to say that other people wondered why she would starve herself when she had so much going for her. She says she knew she had a problem, but felt helpless to change her behaviour.
“I now feel a lot happier and am almost back to my old self. I feel confident, am working and enjoying spending time with loved ones.”