Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Soothing the Insula to Control Addictions

The insula is part of your brain. More specifically, it's part of the cerebral cortex and it seems to be involved in lots of activities, particularly addicitons.

If you've ever craved ice cream, you can thank the insula. If you've ever debated a big purchase, the insula was involved. When you've reached for a cigarette, a line of cocaine or a Corona it was the insula that created the craving that just couldn't be set aside.

One of the things discussed in the mental health field is the "delay between discovery and delivery." Research nets many facts that are not put into practical application for many years, if ever. The insula is a prime example of this.

Science understands the insistence of the insula, and some ways to soothe it, but does not deliver this in a form that can be used by individuals. Instead doctors tell people to go on diets, which fail 95% of the time; give people patches to stop smoking; and send people to 12-step programs for drug addicitions, which have a success rate, but are certainly not trouble-free.

To me, a simple lay person, with no medical training, it would make more sense to treat the issue at its source - the insula. But, is medical science using this knowledge? No, not really. You know who is? Costco.

Apparently, Costco might be better positioned to deal with your addiction to food, drugs or other substances than your doctor. Why? Because they're willing to actually use the information we have.

I don't really need to say anymore about this, do I? I didn't think so.