What most health professionals tell food addicts to do is completely inconsistent with new theories of the neuroscience of the problem. In fact, dieting could make the problem worse.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 14, 2010
With 67 percent of Americans overweight, and food addiction a mounting problem, it may be time for neuroscience to weigh in. A method based on brain science launches a new website today, with free courses and membership and special rates on training for those who struggle with food addiction. Previously primarily available through health professionals, the new website makes these tools far more accessible to the public, with specials available through Sunday, October 18th.
According to Laurel Mellin, founder of emotional brain training (EBT), the current approach to overweight may make things worse, "In the last 10 years, we've learned a lot about emotional circuitry. One theory is that the drive to overeat is caused primarily by a circuit formed during stress. The brain encodes a crossed wire the emotional brain, the unconscious memory system. Once encoded, it is easily triggered again, causing a chemical cascade which fuels unstoppable drives for sugary, fatty foods."
"More research is needed, but if the theory is supported by formal study, this may be a way to address the obesity epidemic that is based on neuroscience.
According to Mellin, the breakthrough came about two years ago, when she and collaborators realized that the during a full-blown stress response, the brain forms false associations, and that crossed wire could be at the roots of addiction."
"We all deal with stress on a daily basis, and stress is not bad. In fact, the brain needs a certain amount of stress, but when stress is overwhelming, such as early in life with the prefrontal cortex has yet to fully develop or during trauma, such as a lost relationship, it easily forms these false associations. The most disturbing part of this theory is that to rewire those circuits takes easing stress and using tools of positive emotional plasticity. Dieting ramps up stress, so that more people enter into a vicious cycle of forcing themselves to go against the grain of their survival drives."
EBT emotional brain training (EBT) was developed at the University of California San Francisco. According to Laurel Mellin, who is an associate professor of family and community medicine and pediatrics at the university, "Our preliminary testing in a clinical population is encouraging. The most common response to learning about these circuits is excitement. It's not their fault. It's just a wire and they can learn rather simple techniques to rewire it."
Mellin, a New York Times bestselling author, released a book on EBT Wired for Joy, which describes the recent innovations in the method, including rewiring the "survival drive" for overeating, distancing, merging or staying stuck in a negative mood. It was released by Hay House in June. The method was first developed to treat pediatric obesity, and is widely used in the United States and in the Canadian Health System.
EBT is available nationwide through health professionals who are certified in the method. They facilitate introductory and advanced courses in EBT through groups and coaching. Many offer on site introductions to the method. Certification in the method for health professionals is available through the non-profit organization, the Institute for Health Solutions. According to Mellin, "Health professionals encounter remarkable levels of stress, and suffer from the same stress-fueled circuits that the rest of the nation faces. Certification in the method comes with a bonus: you can't teach EBT unless you have mastered the skills yourself, so the healers who become certified in the method and conduct groups and coaching have the added benefit of healing themselves."
For a free introductory online course in EBT delivered through a video e-course with the method's founder, and a one-month membership to social networking and web-based tools, visit http://www.ebt.org today though October 18th, 2010. Also, a launch special of courses plus a conference on rewiring survival circuits for food addition is available through Sunday for a reduced fee. For more information, email kelly(at)ebt(dot)org.
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