Epigenetics is the study and science of how genes are turned on and off in the body based upon the environment, nutrition, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs of the person. After the Human Genome Project showed that genes were not as involved in the health outcomes of people as we first thought, epigenetics is a fascinating science that brings hope that our genes do not determine our health outcomes; rather, we are the architects and designers of our own health.
In my Nutritional Therapy practice, I notice that my clients who are more optimistic, hopeful, and happy are able to heal. My clients who project negativity, hopelessness, and unhappiness tend to struggle more, but are able to pull through if they are willing to change their approach to life and their perspective. In fact, a study at Harvard from 1946-1981, demonstrated that people with a negative outlook developed disease at a significantly higher rate than those with an optimistic attitude.
“The simple truth is, happy people generally don't get sick. One’s attitude toward oneself is the single most important factor in healing or staying well. Those who are at peace with themselves and their immediate surroundings have far fewer serious illnesses than those who are not (Bernie Siegel, M.D.).”
Our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs are continually feeding scripts to our body which help to either build health or destroy health at the cellular level. What are your thoughts on a daily basis? What are your emotions on a daily basis? And how is this affecting your health?
I remember a close friend of mine sharing with me that she believed the stress in her life would cause her to develop cancer. She did develop cancer many months after this belief solidified in her subconscious. Was it the belief that instructed her body to develop cancer? Or was it the financial and relational stress in her life as she had declared? Or a combination of the two?
Health and lack of health prove to be much more complicated than eating 1 apple a day and exercising a few times a week. We have a myriad of thoughts, emotions, beliefs that affect us in ways that we may or may not be aware of.
The interesting thing that Dr. Siegel discovered through his research is that loving oneself and others actually increases killer T-cells, which are involved in a healthy immune system. Even our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs during and after a diagnosis is so important to the prognosis of our recovery.
In light of any diagnosis, there is an emotional trauma and a grieving process that we go through either consciously or subconsciously. My clients who have a diagnosis or have a child with a diagnosis benefit greatly from processing how they feel, think, and believe regarding this diagnosis. Therapeutic counseling, prayer, and visual imagery tend to help tremendously in resolving the trauma of a diagnosis and freeing the person to approach the healing process from an emotionally stable place instead of a place of trauma.
My background in counseling and pastoral ministry I rely heavily on when working with clients who have been diagnosed with cancer or who have children diagnosed with autism. It is very challenging to implement a healing plan when emotions are stuck in a place of being paralyzed from trauma. Children are so sensitive that they intuitively perceive their parents emotions and can even take on the emotions of their parents regarding a diagnosis. This hinders the healing process and the ability to stay proactive and motivated to bring healing tools into the life of the child.
In fact, in some cases of diagnosis, Deepak Chopra, MD, frequently observed rapid regression in health after a diagnosis “almost as if the person was dying from the diagnosis.” Your belief about cancer, heart disease, or autism will affect how your body is able to heal or stay stuck in a cycle of crisis and trauma. It is completely normal to start in a place of trauma, but to move to a place of resolving the emotional trauma and grief so that healing can be more possible.
I remember after being diagnosed with PCOS, I went through a process of grieving. After I grieved, I processed through the diagnosis, I was ready to heal. I had all the symptoms of PCOS. Now, I have none of the symptoms of PCOS. My physical healing started when I healed emotionally, spiritually, and when I was able to believe that healing was even possible. The answers and solutions came quickly after my belief was solidified.
How about you? Do you have a diagnosis? Does your loved one have a diagnosis? Where are you at in the grieving process? Are you stuck in trauma? Find someone who you can talk to and who can help you through the trauma and grieving process. This will help tremendously and increase your body's ability to heal and recover fully. Believing with you for the best possible outcome,
Megan E. Van Zyl