How what you do on a daily basis affects your genes
YOU AND YOUR GENES ARE COMMUNICATING, IT IS TIME TO OPEN THE DIALOGUE
Newly published research from Norway suggests that a comprehensive yoga programme rapidly produces internal changes on a genetic level. The results help to explain the well-documented health benefits of this ancient practice.
Researchers first reported five years ago that practices such as yoga, which elicit the “relaxation response” might have a long-term effect on gene expression. That’s the scientific term for whether a specific gene is ‘turned on’; meaning its protein or RNA product is being made. This latest study confirms these findings, links them to the body’s immune system, and suggests this effect may be instantaneous.
Welcome to the fascinating world of epigenetics, or how what you do directly impacts your wellbeing on a cellular level.
So what is Epigenetics?
I’d like to reiterate, the revolution that your genes are not your fate; you are not hardwired by your genes to develop chronic diseases. Your genes however offer a ‘menu’ of your predisposition if you do not regain control over your environmental conditions.
This is empowering news! It means independently of your age or health, YOU ARE IN CHARGE. You are in charge of what information you want to send to your genes from your environment, diet and lifestyle.
How can you send your genes the right messages and deactivate your disease legacy?
The only way is to learn and apply personal lifestyle mastery. After all your health is your responsibility.
Let's take a closer look at what I mean by environment, diet and lifestyle.
By environment, I do not mean the trees and all what compose our natural surroundings, although they are part of the environment.
What I am referring to are all the things present in our lives to satisfy our needs and desires. From the toothpaste you use, the deodorant, hair and shower gel you choose, to the cleaning products stored in your cupboards, or the hand cream you have in your bag. The products you put on your skin, to the make-up, nail polish and fabrics that you wear. Whether you heat up your frozen dinner in a BPA plastic container or cook your dinner from scratch with personally hand picked ingredients from your local farmer’s market.
When I use the word diet, I do not mean the headache of calorie counting and restriction (don’t worry!). I am completely against that nonsense. Let's get this straight, restrictive diets do not work long term and do more harm than good; but they sell an incredible amount of products and there are always new trends to follow...
By diet, I mean a variety of wholefood as a baseline, and then a personalised way of eating. The type of food, amount of food and diversity of food you eat. What are your individual choices, habits and approach when it comes to food and drink?
By lifestyle, I mean your choices in terms of behaviour. Do you practice meditation first thing in the morning, or go for a jog, or wake up just in time to grab a quick takeaway coffee heaped with sugar and read the awful news from the free newspaper while squished in the tube.
Your way of living is what I mean by lifestyle. Your habits and values, and how you operate on a daily basis, including your daily activities and social life.
What we do on a daily basis sends messages to our genes and surely we want to send the right message.
The current discoveries being made in the fields of epigenetics and nutrigenomics remind us how we have lost crucial communication with our genes during the last decades. Add to this an ill healthcare system that threatens to further disconnect us from our natural communication and it results in an alarming rise of degenerative diseases that we now know of. This is so huge, that the forecast (putting the social burden it brings aside) is enough to bring any country to its knees financially within the next 15-20 years if no serious action is taken.
So imagine the choice is yours. We either carry on as it is with patented medicines that feed our illnesses and the delusion of disease, or finally turn towards a more pro-active and functional model based on personalised health education and empowerment.
Again the choice is ours to make, and it starts with you as an educated and proactive individual.
Here are 5 key beliefs for a more pro-active approach:
- Your genes are not your fate.
- Chronic illness is a result of imbalances of one (or more) physiological process.
- The absence of illness does not necessarily equate to the presence of wellness.
- Physiological response to lifestyle, dietary and environmental is unique to someone's genetic make up.
- Drugs are effective for acute diseases but may be inappropriate for the long-term management of chronic illness.
Download here a free questionnaire to take the first step towards pro-active health and wellness.