By Aimee Raupp, LAc From Acupuncture Today: April, 2014, Vol. 15, Issue 04
Since the days of Darwin, western medicine has touted that our genes were set in stone, that our genetics were our destiny. We were told that the diseases that ran in our family were likely coming to us as well.
In fact, in the clinic, I still have patients who say, “My dad had ________ (fill in the blank with any disease), so I’m destined to get it.” I’m sure you hear the same thing.
Interestingly, over the last decade discoveries have been made that contest this western science you are your genes dogma. There has been a significant amount of molecular biology research going into the branch of science known as epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of the how certain environmental factors (like stress, diet and environmental toxins) influence a set of chemical reactions that switch parts of a person’s genome (aka DNA) off and on at strategic times and locations which in turn affect whether a disease states or other heritable characteristics arise or not.
Epigenetics, one of the fastest-growing areas of science, is considered a bridge between genotype (our genetic sequence that was once thought to be unchangeable) and phenotype (the actual expression or manifestation of physical characteristics). Basically, epigenetic researchers have discovered that how one lives their life — from stress to diet to their behavior and exposure to environmental toxins — affects their overall health and whether or not disease states manifest.
Sound familiar? (Read More…)