We have heard a lot about the field of epigenetics – and I am a huge supporter of this field of study. Simply stated, epigenetics is the study of how genes are switched to either on or off positions. Yes, our genes have switches – this means they are at least somewhat flexible!
The marriage of nature (genes) and nurture (environment) shows us just how epigenetics can control genes. Events, especially traumatic ones, can turn gene expression on, which is not good news if you have some challenging gene combinations like I do.
On the plus side, how we choose to live our lives can shut this gene expression up! Paying attention to the food we are eating, the exercise we get (or not), how we sleep, how we are choosing to age, and our spirituality (yes, it seems we are hard-wired for this, too) can make an impact on our genes over time.
When I was very young growing up, I had no health issues to speak of. It was only when I got older (in my early 40s) that my lifestyle choices and how I handled traumatic events – of which there were plenty – turned on the expression of my multitude of adverse combinations and created disease and many negative symptoms.
As a diehard optimist, and being a very stubborn person, I fought for my health and conquered even autoimmune disease (I was expected to die around 2003). Today I still fight for improved health and each year I notice that I feel healthier and hardier than the year before. Because I still have some level of symptoms that do not please me, I am full-throttle in the healing phase, and when I become symptom-free, I will devise a maintenance plan.
Here is more information on how to live healthy holistically, and also please visit my website for more information!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.