epigenetics

e p i g e n e t i c s

Epigenetics : 'Above' the Genes.

 

The study of factors affecting gene expression from outside of the DNA strand and not dependent on changes of the DNA sequence.

 

Genetic determism held that what we are is determined by our genes, which are fixed and stable, and control how we develop and evolve. Hence, to some extent, a fatalistic view that 'things are hard wired' by nature and hereditary factors, and that controls who you are.

 

Epigenetics however, builds on an understanding that genes are activated or expressed, and that this expression is responsive to external factors, ie what happens to you can affect which genes become expressed, and hence who you are, what you can do. The Genes we are born with are fixed, the process by which Genes are expressed though, can be altered by environment, and by how we choose to live or lives. This process is controlled by 'DNA Methylation' , the bonding of Carbon and Hydrogen clusters (Methyl groups) onto the exterior of a Gene affecting its speed of commmunication with the rest of the body.

 

The great promise is that the signals which control genetic expression have not been fully mapped and may include physical, environmental and emotional factors. Whilst a lot of physiological research is now being done on the pharmachological implications of this new field, developing drugs which effect the proteins which surround DNA, there is also an understanding emerging that field factors such as bio electrical field resonances and emotional field frequencies can determine our genetic expression, and so who we are.

We can imagine how a mother and fathers continuous loving support for their child sets up a flood of positive physiologcal and emotional signals which trigger optimum genetic expression.

 

Recent research has shown that simple exercise affects genetic expression, even after one workout, and that over a period of 6 months up to 35% of the full compliment of genes were affected...in a direction whiched reduced the likelihood of heart disease and obesity.

 

The promise is, that it is never too late, that through continuous, clear attention to the quality of our external and internal environments, through exercise and positive management of the emotional field which bathes our cells, it is possible to influence genetic expression in a positive way. A study on Happiness and Gene expression found that individuals with a deep rooted sense of peace and meaning in life (eudaimonic well being) had very favourable genetic expression in terms of immune function optimisation, but those with a sense of happiness based on consummatory self gratification (hedonic well being) showed genetic expression consistent with low antibody and antiviral ability .

 

Perhaps emotions which have varying electro magnetic frequencies, high frequency emotions, primarily Love, interact more frequently with our DNA and promote greater expression of Genes. Lower frequency emotions, primarily Fear, interact less frequently with or DNA and hence genetic expression is more limited, ie, we are less than we could be.

 

This can provide extraordinary insights into causes and treatments of conditions such as depression, which is characterised by an overhelming feeling of inability and of life being less than it should be.

 

The resources below provide an introduction to this fascinating field and are drawn from the research of the HeartMath Institute.

 

Bruce Lipton's, best selling book 'The Biology of Belief' goes further into this and other ground related to factors affecting cellular biology.