It has been widely believed for decades that our genetics predispose each one of us to certain diseases. For example, if cancer or Alzheimers run in your family, then it’s thought that you are at high risk of one day also suffering from one of these conditions. However, newer science proves this paradigm may be false and that our our own ability to manage our health is much greater than we think.
Epigenetics is the study of how our environment and lifestyle choices influence our individual genetic code. According to research reported in a January 2010 article in Time magazine titled Your DNA is Not Your Destiny, 90% of chronic illnesses are not hereditary but rather precipitaded by our lifestyle choices. Only 10% were linked to genetic predisposition!
That sounds positive and amazing, but what exactly does it mean?
The Choice Is Ours
For starters, it means that the choices we make about how we live, eat and connect to the world around us can either induce the onset of disease or prevent it. Far from being victims of our genetic code, the article explains that our genes have “switches” that can be turned on or off by the lifestyle choices we make. This is an exciting discovery and also an awesome responsibility!
Though my husband and I had always thought we lived a healthy lifestyle, when he got cancer, we began researching the causes of disease and strategies that would help with healing. What we learned transformed our lives and led us to share our discoveries with the world through our book “Healed, Healthy and Whole, How We Beat Cancer with Integrative Therapies and Essential Healing Strategies.” (www.healedhealthyandwhole.com)
Potential Causes of Disease
There are dozens and dozens of factors that can lead to the body’s breakdown including a poor diet and lack of proper nutrients; pesticides, antibiotics and carcinogens in our food; substance abuse; environmental toxins; lack of water, exercise, and insufficient sleep; and also our own negative thinking and toxic relationships.
The amazing news is that our bodies will gratefully cooperate with any positive steps we take towards boosting our immune system. However, getting well is a conscious and deliberate process. If it took years to get where we are, we must realize that it can take months or even years to get well again. But, the end result can be restored health, longevity and quality of life. That’s well worth it!
What Is Making You Sick?
Today, if you are struggling with your health, why not pause and ask yourself “What is making me sick?” Look at all areas of your life: your diet, exercise routine, sleep patterns, relationships, mindset, emotional life, and spiritual connections.
Set aside some private time over this next week to consider all of these. You may want to write them down. Think through how you got to where you are and what it might take to make a positive change. For helpful insights, you may want to review some of our previous blog articles titled Ten Choices for a Healthy Lifestyle, The Healing Power of Water, How Sleep Protects Your Health, and the 12 Most Dangerous Foods.
Great Place To Begin
Positive changes in our diet are a great place to begin reclaiming our health. When we feel lousy, it’s hard to get anything else done! Look and see what changes you’re prepared to make—what habits can you “put off” and which can you “put on” that are smarter, healthier alternatives for the long term?
Commit to making these improvements for at least 21 days. Find an acountability partner to help you stick with your plan. While creating new habits can be hard, being consistent will leasd to positive results. The idea is to ultimately turn new habits into a long term healthier lifestyle.
Begin this week! We stand with you in support of making positive changes and moving closer to living a life healed, healthy and whole!
(Please note: Do not use the information provided in this or other Healed, Healthy and Whole articles for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing yourself medication or other treatment. The articles in this blog/newsletter should never be used as a substitute for speaking with your physician or health care professional about a medical problem you may be experiencing.)