Slipping into Your Genes: How the Science of Epigenetics will Reshape your Mind and Body
By Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP
The long held belief that DNA is destiny has been shaken to its core with the advent of the groundbreaking new science of epigenetics. This science shows us that our ultimate destiny is actually shaped by every thought we experience, mouthful of food, and step we take. In addition, all aspects of our living environment, from intrauterine, to personal and work place, have significant impact upon every element of our health --- from mental to spiritual to physical wellbeing. While inherited genes exert a significant influence on health, we now understand that in reality it’s what message the gene is sharing (gene expression) with the brain and body that determines our mental and physical wellbeing. Epigenesists study those factors that influence whether a gene is fully or partially expressing itself, or whether it is completely silenced. These genes control everything from body size and shape, to vulnerabilities toward depression, compulsivity and anxiety. Epigenetics gifts us with the knowledge that by learning to choose positive thoughts, meditate, live mindfully, eat healthfully, and maintain meaningful physical activity, we literally modulate our own genes and create a more positive lifelong health outcome. This knowledge is very empowering and births hope where there was defeat. Practitioners will learn simple, practical steps to achieve optimal epigenetic expression for themselves and those they guide.