Hoop training

Patients with anorexia are often underweight but have an enlarged experience of their body size. Research has shown that patients with anorexia do not only think that their body is bigger or fatter than it is, but they also perceive it as bigger. Patients visually perceive themselves as larger (see themselves as bigger than reality), have an enlarged perception of tactile stimuli (they feel touch on their skin as larger than it is), and move as though their body is larger than it actually is. This leads to the conclusion that patients have an enlarged representation of the body stored in the brain.

The hoop training is specifically designed to treat this misperception of body size. In the training we provide patients with multisensory feedback on their actual body size. The hoop training is not a stand alone treatment, but it can be easily added to existing treatments. The training consists of 8 weekly sessions. The sessions take place individually with a psychomotor therapist, and typically last around 5 minutes.

We are currently offering workshops for psychomotor therapists who work with patients with eating disorders. For more information on the Hoop training see our Dutch website www.hoepeltraining.nl or send an email to m.m.engel@uu.nl.

See also our book chapter on body representation disturbances in anorexia nervosa, and our article on the effectiveness of Hoop training.