Meditation has been used for years as a tool to reduce stress and anxiety but now researchers are looking at ways to incorporate mindfull meditation into the treatment of obesity and disordered eating. Meditation can be used both to connect with the emotions related to food, bringing awareness to food choices under differing emotional states, as well as bringing awareness to the physical signs of hunger and fullness. In the case of obesity and disordered eating behaviors, people report being out of touch with the physical sensations of hunger or fullness. Connecting the mind and body through meditation may be part of the solution to normalizing appetitie and eating. Preliminary research on appetite control and mindfulness exercises shows promising results.
There are many methods of meditation. Some require sitting quietly with legs crossed and focusing on the breath or an object, another is listening to a calm voice describe pleasant surroundings and guide you through relaxing every muscle from head to toe, others involve chanting mantras over and over again, and then there is tai chi or vinyasa yoga in which the flowing movement of the body with the breath connects the mind to the body. Something to keep in mind is that meditation is not the same as prayer. In mediation you do not ask for anything but rather acknowledge what is happening at the moment. Some days that moment may be a racing mind that won't slow down. As with most things in life, meditation takes practice and is often referred to as a practice. Connecting the mind with the body does not come easily.
So next time you find yourself struggling to control emotional eating or out of touch with hunger sensations try getting the mind and body in touch through meditation. A great resource on meditation techniques can be found here: http://www.yjevents.com/meditation/564_1.cfm
I personally find kinesthetic, or movement, mediation works best for me. Whatever type of meditation you choose to practice, it should feel natural not forced and you should look forward to making it a part of your day to day routine.