EPIGENETICS: USING APPLIED CONSCIOUSNESS
TO ACHIEVE WELLNESS AND WELL-BEING
By Jim Walden, Ed.D., R.Hy.
wellness and well-being can be achieved and sustained through interactions of life-force energy and body-mind intelligence.
What is Epigenetics?
Epigenetics may not be a familiar word, yet. However, it is gaining recognition among scientists and health-care professionals as they change their beliefs about the programming of the human organism. PBS recently aired a two-part program about this new area of cellular biology, and researchers are explaining how reductionist philosophy (gaining understanding of the workings of organisms by dissecting them into cells and then dividing the cells into molecular parts) is changing traditional biology. As epigenetic research complexifies, more of the elegant simplicity of the body-mind’s design is revealed; and, in my opinion, the revelations confirm the potentials of most holistic healing approaches.
As a result of epigenetic investigations, we now understand how negative, fearful thoughts can cause DNA strands to constrict and become entangled. Conversely, we’ve learned that positive, appreciative, and loving thoughts can result in lengthened and relaxed DNA strands. Until recently, however, we believed that we were victims of predetermined birth DNA and genetics.
Epi means above; and, therefore, epigenetics is defined as control above the genes, i.e., a second genetic code that controls the activity of genes and programming of DNA. This new science discovered that environmental factors (energy connections, air quality, exercise, consciousness, diet, etc.) control our gene expressions and the ways we function. Yes, this means that we are personally capable of changing our gene expressions. Epigenetics encourages us to abandon obsolete beliefs that we are victims of predetermined genetic codes and explains how perceptions of our inner and outer environments shape our biology and behavior. Dr. Bruce H. Lipton (1), a cellular biologist, offered the following explanation:
This new hereditary mechanism reveals how behavior and gene activity are controlled by an organism’s perceptions of its environment. The fundamental difference between the old DNA genetic code and the new epigenetics is that the former notion endorses genetic determinism--the belief that genes predetermine and control our physiological and behavioral traits--while epigenetics recognizes that our perceptions of the environment, including our consciousness, actively control our genes. Through epigenetic mechanisms, applied consciousness can be used to shape our biology and make us masters of our own lives.
Dr. Liption’s statement reinforces the realization that our lives are controlled by perceptions of our life experiences, rather than predetermined and unchanging genetic codes. Genes do not make decisions about being turned on or off. They can be thought of as blueprints that provide potentials, and the human body is structured to develop and regenerate itself from gene blueprints. The mind can be thought of as the building contractor that adjusts DNA blueprints. In reality, we create our biology with our minds based on perceptions of our environments.
This radically remodeled perspective of traditional biology necessitated corresponding shifts into the new supporting sciences of energy physics, vibrational chemistry, and energy psychology. Epigenetics may necessitate the development of new holistic healing perspectives, as well. Certainly, the immaterial mind and consciousness can no longer be dismissed as an epiphenomenon of a mechanistic body.
Epigenetics and other supporting sciences are teaching us that the body is not a single entity and that its cells are members of a community, just as people are citizens of a community. It is a harmonious community of possibly 50 trillion cells, and each cell has every function of the body in it. Liver cells aren’t just liver cells. Each bodily system is present in every cell. All cells have receptors in their skin that are tuned to chemical and electromagnetic vibrations. Signals of the brain control the readout of the genes. Cells perceive the body’s inner environment and make bodily adjustments the same way the outer skin reacts to perceptions of its environment. The cells’ perceptions of their community environment change biology, chemically and electrically. Epigenetic controls select potentials from the blueprints and genes are switched on or off. Life is determined as it happens.
Thoughts Play A Role In Epigenetic Mechanisms
Learning even basic epigenetic concepts should encourage greater attunement to the power of thoughts. Many perceptions of our environment (diet, energy connections, air quality, exercise, consciousness, etc.) are entwined with thought processes. If we understand that thoughts are an interface between the inner cellular community and the outer environment, we can understand how illness occurs and how wellness and well-being can be recreated. For example, the body-mind reacts to fearful perceptions and thoughts by stopping growth, closing off blood flow to the forebrain, and switching off the immune system. During a period of fearful reaction, the adrenal glands work to protect the body against threats from the outside; however, the body does not manufacture new cells or grow and the immune system does not protect the body against threats from the inside. Existing opportunistic organisms (parasites, bacteria, viruses, etc.) that are normally suppressed by the immune system gain strength, and illness occurs. Moreover, some excessive stress hormones destroy the body’s own tissue -- particularly heart tissue. Imagine the outcomes of chronic fear and stress.
Epigenetics encourages the belief that problems caused by the mind can be fixed by the mind. In order for cells to respond positively, however, they must be given the right perceptual thought signals. An estimated 70 percent of all continuous-loop thoughts running through our minds are negative and redundant, however; and 95 percent of our life activity originates in the subconscious, which was programmed by observing others. Subconscious programs may be thought of as everything we don’t pay attention to -- reactions versus responses. In order to change our thought patterns, and improve gene responses, we need to think of the subconscious as a machine, which is not “good” or “bad”: just an accumulation of programs that became established and dominate our thinking. The conscious and subconscious minds do not communicate. Therefore, we must assume responsibility for eroding unhealthy, reactive subconscious programs and devote time and repetitive effort to developing mindfulness that will facilitate healthy perceptions of our environment.
Through exciting epigenetic research, we are learning that we can release thoughts of being fashioned and controlled by our inherited genetic makeup and that we do not have to be victimized by self-perceived physicality. We can create our own unique physiological and behavioral traits through applied consciousness. Science is confirming possibilities, and we are challenged to discover how to fulfill our potential for becoming sentient (finely sensitive in perception or feeling) beings. Our processes may include learning how to: ask the subconscious mind what is destroying wellness and well-being; change perceptions of our environment; reframe feelings, thoughts, and emotions; and facilitate positive cellular communications and gene responses.
You Can Create Your Own Unique Consciousness and Physicality
To create an example for fulfilling the potentials of epigenetic sciences, think about today’s emphasis on physical appearance. Ponder the many ways in which people spend billions of dollars to enhance their perceptions of their exterior appearance: cosmetics, clothes, hair styles, surgeries, etc. Such products and services may enhance self-confidence and self-satisfaction; but, they intensify an exterior focus, without regard for inner wellness and well-being.
The eminent question may be: “How does my interior physiology look and how am I behaving?” Antidepressants are one of today’s most frequently prescribed medications. This fact, alone, may indicate that people are abdicating their self-empowerment. Imagine the possibilities if people were asking: “How can I apply my consciousness, change my perceptions of my environment, and reshape my biology and behavior?” Holistic teachers and coaches can help others develop healthy perceptions, empower their body-mind, and improve their wellness and well-being.
People who become focused on their interior appearance may discover a true fountain of youth within! Science is encouraging us to develop interior focus and to assume responsibility for body-mind communication and wellness. Pursuit of this opportunity will challenge us to devise creative thought tools for enhancing our energy connections and consciousness (in addition to improving diets, air quality, exercise programs, etc.). The following suggestions can help you initiate a simple, effective beginning:
Optimize Brain Function -
The brain is capable of developing new pathways and connections when we change perceptions and thought patterns, and such changes may be necessary in order to develop healthy brain-to-cell signals. Dr. Daniel G. Amen (2), M.D. and neuroscientist, suggests the following brain dos and don‘ts, and many others, in Change Your Brain, Change Your Life:
- • Stay well-hydrated. Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
- • Eat healthfully, adjusting the proportion of protein and carbohydrate to your brain needs.
- • Think positive, healthy thoughts.
- • Take time each day to focus on things you are grateful for in your life.
- • Spend time with positive, uplifting people.
- • Spend time with people you want to be like.
- • Talk to others in loving, helpful ways.
- • Surround yourself with great smells.
- • Make a difference in the life of someone else.
- • Exercise.
- • Regularly connect with your loved ones.
- • Learn diaphragmatic breathing.
- • Learn and use self-hypnosis and meditation on a daily basis.
- • Focus on what you like a lot more than what you don’t like.
- • Have meaning, purpose, excitement, and stimulation in your life.
- • Establish eye contact with and smile frequently at others.
- • Learn something new each day.
- • Make beautiful music a part of your life.
Learning to think in opposites is another excellent way to strengthen brain function and erode negative, repetitive subconscious thought patterns. When you notice ceaselessly repeating thought loops dominating your thinking, stop the thought, breathe, and ask: “What is the opposite of this thought?” This disrupts the subconscious program, erodes it, equips you with new options, and changes your perceptions -- a polite way of talking back to your subconscious.
Combine Visualizations and Thoughts with Epigenetic Mechanisms -
Visualizing, imagining, and pretending are powerful thought tools. The brain produces the neurochemistry and bioelectricity the body needs to accomplish any action that we visualize, imagine, or pretend. Trained athletes are taught to do this, and we can use the same principle in combination with epigenetics to enhance brain-to-cell communications.
The brain communicates with cells through the pituitary gland, but communications begin with the hypothalamus, and then the pineal gland. Doing the next exercise can improve body-mind wellness by strengthening the hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands:
- • Place an index finger at the top of your nose. The pituitary gland is located behind this area and sits like saddlebags on the Turkish Saddle -- a bone at the base of the skull. The anterior side (front) comes up from the back of the mouth and grows up into the brain; the posterior side (back) protrudes down from the hypothalamus in the brain. The pineal gland is located in the center of the brain, behind the third eye of Eastern religions. Perceive with your fingertip and develop an intuitive sense for these glands’ locations.
- • Pretend your finger is a straw and that a tiny soap bubble, with all of the vibrations of the color spectrum, is forming at the tip of the straw, under your finger. Visualize the bubble enlarging slightly as you inhale and your hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands draw energy through the straw.
- • Visualize the multi-colored bubble enlarging and moving inward until it is large enough to encompass the hypothalamus, and the pineal and pituitary glands. Breathe abdominally.
- • Focus on your image of the multi-colored bubble encasing the hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands; and then, develop a deeper sense for their locations and conditions. Notice lights, colors, or other perceptions.
- • Visualize the hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands becoming plump, youthful, and healthy and developing unobstructed chemical and electrical connections with every part of your body.
- • Select an age or an image of yourself when you were healthy, happy, and pleased with your physical appearance -- when your hypothalamus and your pineal and pituitary glands were youthful and effortlessly produced and released the many hormones that influenced your bodily systems positively. (As people age, the hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands shrivel and begin to look more like raisins than plump grapes or plums). Instruct the hypothalamus and the pineal and pituitary glands to replicate the hormones and other chemical compositions they produced during the earlier time. Notice positive, feel-good sensations flooding your body-mind.
- • Thank your hypothalamus and your pineal and pituitary glands for producing hormones, neurochemicals, and communications necessary for relaxing DNA strands and creating positive cellular responses. Pause and notice all of your new, positive perceptions of your inner and outer environments.
Combine Body-mind Communication with Epigenetic Mechanisms to Regenerate Perfect, Harmonious Cells and Strengthen Your Cell Community -
These thought tools can be used for preventive cellular maintenance and cellular healing. The combined powers of visualization, positive thinking, and body-mind communications can create positive perceptions by enhancing your energy connections and consciousness. The body is constantly regenerating itself. All of the cells of the liver are replaced every six weeks, for example; and at least 98 percent of the total body cells are replaced every two years. Without corrective intervention, however, the body regenerates itself by established systemic programs.
The following suggestions may inspire creation of your own unique body-mind communications and visualizations, which you can do while meditating, walking, exercising, preparing for sleep, awakening, etc.:
- • Simply say in your mind or aloud: “Every cell in my body is regenerating perfect new cells in harmony with all other cells.” Repeat this statement while scanning your body from head to toe and fingertip. Visualize yourself as youthful, happy, healthy, and doing something you enjoy, or will be doing when you are well. Notice how your perceptions change.
- • Focus on specific bodily systems; and say, for example: “The cells of every bone in my skeletal structure are regenerating perfect new cells in harmony with all other cells. Every bone is gaining strength and density.” While repeating the statement, place your awareness on the skull bones and then visualize every bone, from head to toe and fingertip. Spend extra time on injured or known low-density areas. Create similar scripts for specific muscles, arteries, organs, or the skin. The power of this visualization can be compounded by combining it with thoughts or images of balance or self-love.
- • During longer meditation or thought periods, take a virtual tour of your inner body and communicate with all major systems and organs -- learn to see your interior self. Instruct each system or organ to regenerate only perfect cells and to charge unhealthy cells with healing chemistry and electricity. If necessary, instruct the body to discharge unhealthy cells into its wastes-elimination systems. A review of basic anatomy might be helpful. Place internal smiles throughout the body as a way of strengthening specific areas and the entire cell community. Notice how a smile energizes an area.
Epigenetic communication and visualization may have many positive effects on the body-mind, including:
☺ Relaxing DNA strands
☺ Taking control of your genes and reshaping your biology and behavior
☺ Stimulating brain connectors and neural pathways
☺ Producing and delivering more feel-good neurochemistry
☺ Removing incoherence (chaos) from bioelectrical fields and improving resonance
☺ Increasing cerebral blood and energy flows and nourishing injured or deficient body areas
☺ Cleansing the body of toxic wastes
☺ Reframing habitual unhealthy thought patterns and eliminating continuous-loop thoughts
☺ Applying consciousness and assuming responsibility for your interior biological appearance
☺ Learning to love, honor, and accept yourself
☺ Changing unhealthy perceptions and creating harmonic environmental, body-mind, and spirit connections
You are the only person who can perceive your outer environment through your applied consciousness, and only your cell community reads your inner environment and constantly adjusts your biology. Your body-mind already knows how to apply epigenetic mechanisms to create the positive effects listed above, and more. Changing your perceptions, and resulting cell responses, is one way to live your life with mindfulness and to achieve wellness and well-being.
1. Bruce H. Lipton, Embracing the Immaterial Universe, Shift: At The Frontiers of Consciousness, No. 9, p. 12, December 2005--February 2006.
2.Daniel G. Amen, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Three Rivers Press, New York, New York, 1998, pp. 301-303. ISBN: 0-8129-2998-5.
Copyright © J.Walden 2009
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