The New Sciences
An understanding of the new bio-sciences is the key to a
brighter, enlightened future. It will forever change your
perspective towards the role you play in the creation of your
health and well-being, and potential to achieve your life goals,
whatever they might be.
Following is an overview of the most important information
that you will ever learn about your inherent healing
capacities and what you are truly capable of. I am alive today,
because of it.
Who Are You, Really?
The science of epigenetics explains how your emotions and beliefs (not your heritage) regulate your genetic expression, the manifestation of disease, and your innate intelligence to heal. That even our parents’ contributions to our lives—no matter how profound they might seem—are primarily limited to fundamental elements of construction. Things like eye color, skin tone, whether or not you are endowed with silky long blonde tresses or dark frizzy hair, tall or tubby stature, cute dimples or just an engaging smile—but not much more.
Some of the earliest published work in modern day science, on the subject of environmental influences upon the genes and its inter-generational ramifications, surfaced in the 1970's and 1980's. It was provided by Dr. Lars Olov Bygren, Professor Emeritus at Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Umea University, Sweden, in the 1980s. He was particularly interested in the long-term effects of famine on the families who lived in Norrbotten, a remote county in northern Sweden.
A contemporary of Bygren and sometime collaborator, Professor Marcus Pembrey, FMedSci, Emeritus Professor of Pediatric Genetics at the Academy of Medical Sciences, is a British clinical geneticist. His ground-breaking research during the period from the late 1970s to early 1980s, while at the Institute of Child Health, University College London and later at the University of Bristol, further advanced our understanding of the contributing determinants of common disease.
More recently, independent scientific research across the globe authenticated the
existence of a cellular imprint, an 'epi-genome' - material which sits above (‘epi’) the
pre-existing DNA blueprint without altering it and passed from generation to generation.
The epigenome acts to alter gene expression, controlling whether genes switch ‘on’ or ‘off,’ influenced by factors such as diet, stress, environmental noise factors, lifestyle choices, smoking, over-eating and significant life-altering events including our cognitive and emotional response to them. For example, depressed mothers may give birth to children
epigenetically affected by their mothers’ mental state.
Your New Reality
The same idea applies to the way we think we have ‘inherited’ our parents or caregivers core beliefs, attitudes and behaviors upon which we build our unique personalities; their way of doing things such as dietary preferences, spiritual beliefs, fears and anxieties, and work ethic. Typically, their normal becomes our normal. Nowhere is any of that pre-designated in our genes. It is an epigenetic influence, or what some refer to as ‘cellular memory.’
To summarize, the most significant findings prove -
Genes are molecular blueprints used only in construction
Genetic inheritance accounts for less than 5% of who we think we are
Our DNA contains 'on & off' switches which are controlled by signals from outside the cell
We are predominantly influenced by our beliefs, emotions and environment
70% of peoples’ thoughts are negative or redundant
95% of life activity has its foundation in the subconscious
Reprogramming of positive or negative thoughts, beliefs and emotions can only happen when we are in harmony with our subconscious.
If, like me, you are ever curious about the mind-body equation, I encourage you to read the compelling work of Bruce Lipton PhD., cell biologist, author, former research scientist and medical school professor. His earliest publication, The Biology of Belief, is an inspirational read which speaks to ‘epigenetics’ in the context of our beliefs, and emotions as fluid and re-programmable. Hailed as “paradigm-busting,” and “a milestone for evolving humanity,” it reveals “previously unexplored connections between our biology, psychology, and spirituality.”
Neuroscience and Your Brilliant Brain
What if I told you that you have the power to change your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, attitudes and behaviors in a nanosecond - starting right now? You likely wouldn't believe me, would think you are being misled. So, let's look at just a few additional facts provided by neuroscientists which prove beyond any doubt that you have the capacity to control your life, just by managing your brain more effectively.
Your brain is one of the most complex phenomena in the known universe. It is also the organ which is most often neglected unless we are confronted with physical brain injury, chronic forgetfulness or the fear of dementia.
On a twenty four-seven basis, in response to internal and external influences
It is engaged in trillions of calculations and micro adjustments which allow your body to function with fluid and seamless movement, without you ever having to give it a second thought
It does so through the transmission of electrical impulses (signals) at the rate of around 2500 signals per second and around 180 miles per hour – that’s less than a blink of an eye
Although only 2 percent of total body weight it uses a significant 20 percent of the body's total energy production
Why does that rate of transmission matter to you? Because that is how long it actually takes to make changes to your thoughts, to calm your emotions, or to initiate the defense mechanisms when you need to be in fight or flight mode. Remember the last time you were confronted with an emergency or a crisis? Stress, worry, anger, fear or other negative emotions rose to the fore, as routines, plans and other seemingly important commitments were cast aside without a seconds thought. The body is wired to respond instantly when it senses danger, or stress. In response, it initiates release of cortisol, which sends huge wave of adrenalin surging through your veins to help you escape or to cope. All that happens in a nanosecond!
Stress Hormones VS Happy Hormones
Study after study has shown that today many of us live with varying degrees of stress and elevated levels of cortisol every day, and accept it as normal, even though its real function is to help us through periodic, not permanent, crises. Repetitive negative thoughts and self-talk can also have the same consequences. Thoughts such as self-criticism, I’m too fat, not good enough, not smart enough, don’t fit in, are enough to trigger cortisol production which disrupts regular bodily functions such as digestion and sleep patterns. Maybe you can relate.
On the upside, the opposite is also true. In the presence of positive thoughts and emotions such as hope, happiness, enthusiasm, caring and compassion, the brain releases other chemicals that help you feel good, optimistic, empowered and confident. Fortunately, the brains response to positive, life-affirming influences is as immediate. For those who are unrelentingly curious and optimistic, that’s great news. It places responsibility for decision making and control of our day-to-day life experience right back where it really belongs - with YOU!
Pioneers of new thought in the field of neuroscience include Dr. Norman Doidge, FRCP(C), a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst whose earliest book, The Brain That Changes Itself, became a New York Times Bestseller. To read an article by the Guardian which summarizes his research, click here.
Dr. Daniel Amen is a physician, brain disorder specialist, founder of Amen Clinics and BrainMD, double board certified psychiatrist and nine-time New York Times bestselling author.