If you’re a patient of mine, I know we’ve touched on epigenetics at some point or another.
Epigenetics literally means above the genes, and it encompasses all of the things that are involved in whether genes are expressed or not.
In your life, that means your family health history does not need to be your personal health history.
What it boils down to is your environment. That means you have control over your health and your life!
You see, you can consciously make choices that will support you, or you can make choices that don’t support you.
Your environment is the actual environment you are in, as well as your choices.
Your choices, your environment, they are what helps genes be expressed… or not. The mere presence of a gene is not enough to determine anything about you.
For example, a study done in Japan looked at how something as simple as laughter affects blood sugar in type 2 diabetics.
They had two groups – one ate their meal and then watched a comedy show for an hour (group 1), the second group ate their meal and then watched a boring lecture for an hour (group 2).
Group 1 (they watched the comedy show) had their blood sugar rise only slightly out of the normal range.
Group 2 (they watched the boring lecture) had their blood sugar rise 123mg/dl on average. That means the blood sugar level rose high enough to need insulin to stay out of the danger zone.
The researchers first assumed that the laughter helped burn off some of the sugar…
But not so! When they examined the gene sequences of these study participants, they found 23 genes had been altered in the laughter group!
Apparently, the elevated state of mind (laughter) lead to new signals being sent from the brain to the cells, and in turn genetic variations were turned on that allowed the body to naturally regulate the genes in charge of processing blood sugar.
Just one hour of laughter did that!
It also explains why happy people get sick less often, and less severely if they do get sick. They’ve got all sorts of good genes expressing themselves, and their body can respond as needed!
As another example, we’ve all heard of a person going through such an extreme shock that their hair turned gray overnight, right?
That’s gene expression again, having been affected by something negative in this case.
While we want the opposite of this example, both examples show you beautifully how fast you can impact your genetics if you so choose.
So what can you do to help your body express the genes most in your favor?
All the great healthy habits I keep suggesting to you are, in fact, epigenetic factors.
As a quick recap, these include:
- 8 hours of sleep per night for adults
- cutting out sugar / grains
- dry brushing
- the detoxes you do with me
- walking / exercise / sweating
- community / connection
Of course, that list goes on and on. There are so many great options for you to choose and play around with!