By Michael Kahunka
How your thoughts actually CHANGE your physical body for better or worse.
Epigenetics simply means “above” genetics and in part involves the study of how outside influences affect mechanisms inside the cell like gene expression.
Over the last ten to fifteen years science has been discovering some amazing things about the life of cells and how they operate.
Maybe one of the most profound realizations to come from this is that the common dogma of genetic determinism has been found to be wrong even though it is still being taught in many medical schools today.
The nucleus is not the “brain” of the cell.
We are not helpless victims with a predetermined fate decided by the genes we inherited from our ancestors because while our genes definitely determine our characteristics, we have a great deal of control over the final determination in most cases!
This is bad news if you use genetics as an excuse for your ill health and great news because it means just because obesity, cancer, diabetes or a host of other conditions may be prevalent in your family tree, this does not mean that you are automatically destined to suffer from these conditions!
Let’s take a closer look.
Inside your cells you have chromosomes (packages) that contain a single long strand of DNA (genetic information) that is divided up into genes (sections of DNA) that contain the instructions your cells need for every function, think of it as a set of blueprints for building YOU.
We all know that the information stored in our genes helps to determine traits like eye and hair color, height and so on but while it used to be believed that this hereditary information determined our general health, wellness and longevity, it is now thought that in fact genetics only plays a small role in these things, maybe 30% or less!
Surrounding every gene and all of your genetic information is a protein sleeve.
As long as this sleeve surrounds the DNA the information on the strand of DNA (the blueprint) is not communicated to the cell.
Imagine a set of blueprints rolled up inside a cardboard tube.
The tube could be sitting on the desk of the construction manager’s office but because the blueprints are concealed inside the tube, he does not yet have access to the instructions he needs to start building.
It is only after he removes the blueprints from the tube that he can see the “instructions” to start work.
Dawson Church in his book Genie in Your Genes explains it this way.
“Around each strand of DNA is a protein “sleeve.” This sleeve serves as a barrier contained in the DNA strand and the rest of the intracellular environment. In order for the blueprint in the DNA to be “read,” the sleeve must be unwrapped. Unless it is unwrapped, the DNA strand cannot be “read,” or the information it contains acted upon. Until the information is unwrapped, the blueprint in the DNA lies dormant. That blueprint is required by the cell to construct other proteins that regulate virtually every aspect of life.” – Dawson Church, Genie in Your Genes (page 40) 2007
This is what the term “gene expression” means.
Until the information in the DNA is exposed to the cell environment, that gene is dormant. When the information is uncovered and made available to the cell, it has been “expressed.”
Inside every one of your 50-70 billion or so cell nucleuses on your DNA contain the “instructions” needed for your cells to manufacture proteins that will end up being used for any one of a variety of functions that make you, you.
In very simple terms, the blueprints that instruct your cells to do things that in turn cause you to gain weight, be healthy or sick, “develop” cancer or some “genetic” disease, make your hairline recede and countless other actions are contained within your DNA always but unless these instructions are exposed and given to the cell, the instructions are never acted upon!
If diabetes is hereditary in someone’s family and they develop it when they are fifty years old, why do you think it took fifty years for the disease to develop? Because while the information to “develop diabetes” was always there, it was not made available to the cell for fifty years!!
So I guess the next question is what causes the exposing of or “expression” of a gene?
Remember earlier I said the cell nucleus is not the brain.
You can remove the nucleus and the cell continues to function normally for some time. The nucleus is simply the “hard drive” that stores all of the instructions, that’s pretty much it.
So then what is the brain?
It is the cell wall!
The cell wall is covered with gazillions of receptor protein molecules each having little antennas sensing and waiting to receive signals from the cell environment.
These signals are picked up on by the receptor proteins and transferred through the cell wall, into the nucleus unlocking and removing a corresponding protein sleeve thus exposing the information of which is then acted upon.
It is the signal that triggers the exposing of and implementation of the genetic information. Before the signal the information is only potential but after it is applied!
So what are these all important signals anyway?
Signals could be chemical like hormones or enzymes or they could be energetic like emotions and thoughts!
There you have it my friends!
For years we have been taught that positive thoughts are good for health and well being while negative thoughts are detrimental to these things.
Now we actually have a process connecting the two.
On a macro level your perception of and interaction with your environment affects the micro level of your cells perception of and interaction with their environment which causes a continual second by second reprogramming of your genetics resulting beneficial or detrimental gene expression.
What this means is that the thoughts we think and the emotions we experience really do have the ability to change us physically.
“Your beliefs become your biology” – Norman Cousens from Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 1989.
The 50-70 billion cells that create your body are literally “listening to” every thought you think, and are responding accordingly.
This is why two identical twins at birth can end up not only looking completely different in old age but have widely varying degrees of health and wellness throughout their lifetime.
The thoughts you think, the things you say and the actions you take all immediately affect your genetic makeup to some degree.
Understanding and acting on this information may be one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness.
Bruce Lipton is considered one of the foremost authorities on this subject, there are several great and very entertaining videos available with him explaining in detail what I have just touched on.
Thanks for your attention,