Beliefs And Culture Are More Powerful Than our Genes

Our health is more than waiting for disease to happen. It is a dynamic process which is very driven by how we manage our thoughts and beliefs. In fact, our thoughts and beliefs which are shaped by a multitude of internal and external environmental forces may in fact be more powerful than our genes. In truth, we are not a victim of our genetics – which is often what we are told. Epigenetics – a relatively new science, proves that our inherited genes only influence about 10% of how we function. Aging and disease are the result of imbalances that occur over many years. These imbalances start with early life experiences and are reinforced over time and help shape our thoughts and beliefs. Experiences lead to beliefs which lead to behaviors which lead to health outcomes.  Our emotions: positive ( hope, love and happiness) vs negative ( sadness, anger and fear) will help determine whether we move in a direction towards health and wellness or away from it. Some experts believe that early life repeated exposure to shame, betrayal and abandonment play huge roles in shaping a negative emotional landscape that ultimately drives our biology and thus longevity.

The body is great at self-healing until it cannot and ultimately gives up. Unfortunately, traditional medicine which focuses on treating symptoms and not addressing underlying causes does little to encourage our connection to, and belief in, our body’s ability to self-heal. The beauty lies in our awareness of, and our ability to, self-correct. Getting over our fears might be the single greatest pathway to freedom from disease.

Cellular inflammation that leads to more systemic problems has been determined to be the root cause of most degenerative diseases and, ultimately, the aging of the body. This process actually begins with our emotions. This in turn impacts various biological functions ( neurological, immune, digestive, metabolic systems). For example, fear can drive up our cortisol levels which in turn impacts cellular activity which leads to increased inflammation. Left untreated over time, dysfunction and disease eventually set in. Our emotions are not just stored in our minds but are stored in our fascia throughout the body as well. Often deep tissue and myofascial bodywork and therapies can be performed  to help release these stored emotions and free us of dysfunction and disease.

Our brains are divided into a left and right hemisphere. You may have heard how someone is either more left or right brained. These 2 brains can communicate and share information. If we are to manage our emotions better it has been suggested that we need to get out of our left brain ( which handles logic and linear thinking) and into our right brain (the creative and artistic aspects). The right brain connects much better with the body’s organs and structure. The left brain gets educated. The right brain is where wisdom lies as it connects with the fascia, organs and tissue.

Our culture rewards hard work and perfectionism. The pressure to excel in school, work and sports puts enormous load on our emotional and physical health. We are often labeled at a young age based on how we perform. If we don’t live up to high expectations imposed by others or from ourselves this can start a cascade of negative emotions that over time can impair our physiology. In fact, it has been said that migraines are perfectionist tendencies that we place on ourselves. Most of us are brought up to strive for and seek perfection, but in truth we must learn to live with imperfection.

Human development is the synthesis of our DNA, family, social influences and environmental factors. It could be said various cultural portals are as, if not, more important than our biology. Examples include:

1. Being a teenager, going to college and handling transition to adulthood.

2. Retirement age of 65

3. Life expectancy set a certain ages.

4. Woman are infertile after 35

We are all influenced by the people who we surround ourselves with ( sociogenomics). Nothing shapes us more than our social environment. It’s been said that we co- author each other’s biology!

In fact, it’s been proven that our health, longevity and financial status is closely correlated with the people we spend most of our time with. You cannot pick your family but you can certainly choose your personal and work relationships !

Medical diagnoses also drive our physiology. Western medicine doesn’t emphasize prevention and self healing. It supports sickness and disease. We have become numb to and disconnected from our own capabilities. We over rely on technologies and under rely on our own bodies capacity to heal. Western medicine is what most people depend on. This dependency dictates what steps we take. We have become disconnected from our real ability to self correct as we have given the emotional and physical responsibility to medical providers. As such, it’s best you understand their limits and what other options you really have. The medical approach reminds me of action our military takes against adversaries – bring in the big guns and destroy the target.

Keys for good health !

1. The mind is a healer or it’s your slayer!

2. Self-acceptance and self-love are the keys to good health and vitality. Research shows that self- love actually reduces cortisol driven stress, increases vasodilation needed for healthy heart function and up regulates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps reduce the impacts of stress, lowers our cravings for sugar, balance our microbiome.

3. Our genes are not our destiny.

4. We are dynamic and adaptable beings, and as such, if given the chance, the body can self correct if the mind is in the right place.

5. The wrong and self defeating beliefs are true roadblocks if left unrecognized.

6. Remove the words should and must – they place lofty expectations on us.

7. You are never too old to start something new or change your life.

8. Surround yourself with people you admire and can learn from.

9. Keep learning and stay active.

10. Live in the present and future while learning from your past.