Emotional Triggers Treatment (ETT) and Sugar Cravings
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Written by Dr. Jennifer Agosta
For this blog, we’ll be talking about using ETT to help clear cravings for sugar. For Emotional Trigger Treatment approaches to other issues, please take a look at the blog archives on the ETT site.
Sugar can be a tough craving to kick. Our brains and bodies are set to use sugars, and our cells respond avidly. Taking in sugar gives us energy, and causes the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that the brain associates with reward, novelty, and motivation. How can we lose?
The trouble is, that sugar set-up evolved through a time when our sugars came in the form of fruits and vegetables, and only in season. So sweetness was rare, and very limited when it came around. Access usually included a fair amount of hard work, and the fruits and vegetables offered additional nutrients as well.
Today’s ever-present refined version is a different matter altogether, and turns out to have a host of side-effects, most of which start with the heavy inflammation in the body that sugar brings about. Not to mention the extra weight. Or the addictive effect that sugar has. It’s pretty easy to fall into using sugar for energy, motivation, reward, a sense that something special is going on (novelty!), and to regain that sense of the sweetness in life.
ETT approaches an overdeveloped fondness for sugar by looking at what triggers our reach for something sweet. Eating sugar is a solution for something - but what? It’s a strategy that gets us something we need - and what is that? Once we figure out what sugar is doing for us, and what we’re doing with sugar, we can usually figure out and successfully move into a different strategy, a different solution.
So when are we going for sugar? When we’re stressed? As a reward? When we feel “empty”? For reassurance? As a reminder of a nicer, more comfortable time? Because we’re missing out on the sweetness of things? Are we looking for a boost of some kind?
Emotional Triggers Treatment looks for the root of things, and in the case of sugar, we look for whatever sugar is linked with for the particular client. The Intake Session is a discussion of how the client is using sugar, what sugar does for that person, and when it is that s/he goes for it. If there is a “first time” the client remembers, that will be addressed in the Work Session. If there is a “fatal attraction” to some special delight, that will be addressed in the Work Session.
The Work Session uses guided imagery brain exercises to drain or reduce the charge sugar has, and close any associations and attractions that are part of that charge. We use the session to teach the emotional brain that other strategies and solutions are available, and that it can have its needs met in new and different ways. Those new solutions and strategies vary with the needs of each client, and according to what they’ve been using sugar for. And perhaps most importantly, those new solutions and strategies are discovered by each client for him/herself in the Emotional Triggers Treatment work.
Welcome to ETT. Please feel free to look through the site, and to contact us with any questions you might have.