Epigenetics: How Beliefs, and Feelings Affect Aging

Bronner Handwerger, NMD

Dr. Bronner Handwerger, NMD

 When I have the opportunity to speak at a conference, I always have mixed feelings.  I enjoy participating and meeting other Naturopathic Doctors. I enjoy learning what’s new in the field.  I even enjoy sharing information about cutting edge topics, like I did at the recent Glacier Fest 2011.  But I always dislike leaving the office for a chunk of time – I miss seeing my patients! 

The Glacier Fest 2011 was a pretty special conference, though. First of all, it took place in the stunningly beautifulGlacierNational Parkarea ofMontana. The views of such grand nature, rich colors and a healthy dose of fresh air set the tone for an inspiring meeting. 

As part of the panel of speakers for this gathering of doctors focused on nutritional medicine, I had the esteemed privilege of sharing the panel with leaders in the fields of Diabetes, women’s heatlh, Autism, Fibromyalgia, cardiovascular health and wellness.  The lecture I delivered discussed EPIGENETICS. 

Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function that occur without a change in the DNA sequence. We used to think that our DNA determines much of our behavior as well as our physical characteristics. Exciting new scientific research shows that many genes are being turned on and off every day by our beliefs, feelings, environment, nutritional intake and attitudes. What does that mean exactly? It means that your DNA is not your destiny. 

Let me share with you some of my notes from my lecture.  I’d like to share first the Principles of Epigenetic Medicine

1. Intentions first, Outcomes Second:  Focus on well being of the person not necessarily the outcomes. 

2. Healing is a process not an event: Illness is not an event. Most of health is not an event. It is a process that is something we incorporate into our lifestyle. 

3. Heart-Centered : Are you in love with your doctor? Is your doc in love with you? Do you feel a warm glow whenever you think of your doc. You should be in a healthy and positive relationship with your doctor if you want to see more positive results. 

4. Being Focused: Your state of being has as much to do with your health as your illness and more so in fact. 

5. Treat the Whole Systems: When we affect any aspect of the energy field, we affect the whole. Quantum Medicine looks at every symptom as an expression and finds solutions that bring the whole energy system back into balance. 

6. Healing Before Disease: Beginning treatment before there is a condition.7. Magnify the Body’s Inherent Self Healing Powers: Often patients only need a “nudge” to free themselves from a repeating pattern in life. They can then begin to restore balance. 

8. Guide to Treatments and Paths: Andy Weil offers simple advice “Do not seek help from a conventional doctor for a condition that conventional medicine can not treat and do not rely on alternative medicine to treat a condition that convention medicine can treat well without doing harm.“ We can cross over and do both. 

Epigenetic Medicine is a new science less than ten years old. It shows that genes are activated or deactivated by many factors originating outside the cell and even outside the body. These factors include childhood nurturing, belief, spirituality, prayer, visualization, and the quality of our social network. It seems incredible that our cells could be conditioned daily by these epigenetic influences. Yet the most cutting-edge scientific research shows that intention literally affects the conformation of the DNA molecule. 

One of the best ways to illustrate what I mean by “reprogram your genes” is to think of your genome as being like computer hardware. If you were to program your computer  you wouldn’t be changing the hardware, rather, you would be changing the software that tells the computer what to do. So just as we talk about reprogramming or programming a computer and don’t suggest that the hardware itself has changed we likewise can talk about reprogramming our genes without suggesting that the genes have changed. In the case of genes what we are really changing is the epigenome.  The epigenome would be like the software that tells the computer  when to work, how to work and how much. 

I could go on and on and on about this topic because I find it absolutely fascinating.  I’ll leave you with a few questions though. When I see you at your next appointment, please tell me your thoughts on this topic.  As a society we need to incorporate our personal health  and recognize how we can fit into the global picture. How do we heal?  How can we create change? 

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great day and a naturally healthy week. 

Human Growth Hormone Video

Human Growth Hormone (hGH) is of interest to many people for different reasons. Dr. Bronner gives an easy to understand explanation of HGH and how it is used.

Click here to watch the video

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