Manual restraint, a type of physical restraint, is a common practice in inpatient mental health settings linked to adverse physical and psychological staff and patient outcomes. However, little is known about the use of manual restraint for compulsory nasogastric feeding of patients with anorexia nervosa within inpatient eating disorder settings. The present phenomenological study aimed to explore nursing assistants’ experiences of administering manual restraint for compulsory nasogastric feeding of young persons with anorexia nervosa. The study followed COREQ guidelines. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight nursing assistants from one UK inpatient child and adolescent eating disorder service. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Three themes were extracted: An unpleasant practice, Importance of coping, and Becoming desensitised and sensitised. Nursing assistants commonly experienced emotional distress, physical exhaustion, physical injury and physical aggression as a result of their manual restraint use. Nursing assistants appeared to cope with their distress by talking with colleagues and young persons who were further in their recovery, and by detaching themselves during manual restraint incidents. The findings highlight that the use of manual restraint for compulsory nasogastric feeding of young persons with anorexia nervosa in the UK, is a highly distressing practice for nursing assistants. It is therefore important that sufficient supervision, support and training is made available to staff working in these settings.