‘Food Was My Medicine, My Medicine to Recovery And Healing’ - A Phenomenological Study of Posttraumatic Growth through Positive Nutrition

Article


Nair, P. and Kampman, H. 2022. ‘Food Was My Medicine, My Medicine to Recovery And Healing’ - A Phenomenological Study of Posttraumatic Growth through Positive Nutrition. American Journal of Qualitative Research. 6 (2), pp. 148-173. https://doi.org/10.29333/ajqr/12133
AuthorsNair, P. and Kampman, H.
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth account of the subjective experiences of adults who felt that positive nutrition played an essential role in their growth following their highly stressful life event(s), with a distinctive focus on exploring the embodied experience of posttraumatic growth within this group. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted amongst seven female participants and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three superordinate themes and nine subordinate themes emerged: (i) discovering the nutritional sanctuary through an embodied healing from foods, enjoying positive emotions and spiritual nourishment (ii) experiencing metamorphosis in the body through physical transformation, embodiment and discovering the ‘new body’, and finally (iii) through an eudaimonic journey manifesting in the form of deepened relationships, heightened personal growth and an acceptance of self. This study is the first of its kind to use positive nutrition to explore growth after trauma. The findings concluded that growth was seen to be processed through the body and posttraumatic growth attained via the embodied route of positive nutrition. Some elements of posttraumatic growth outcomes were found to be more prominent in participants who experienced a body related trauma, in comparison to those who underwent a non-body related trauma and vice versa.

JournalAmerican Journal of Qualitative Research
Journal citation6 (2), pp. 148-173
ISSN2576-2141
Year2022
PublisherCenter for Ethnic and Cultural Studies (CECS)
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.29333/ajqr/12133
Publication dates
OnlineJun 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted31 May 2022
Deposited01 Jul 2022
Copyright holder© 2022 The Authors
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