You are your world
September 22nd 2008, 11:00
One of the central messages of our site is that you have to take responsibility for your own health. There's no such thing as the free lunch when it comes to your health (and, if you happen to be a 'free lunch' believer, you probably also cling to the notion of the 'magic bullet' antidote, which keeps the drug company coffers full).
While taking responsibility includes all the usual suspects of diet, nutrition and general lifestyle, there's a real possibility that it has an even deeper significance.
A while back I had the very great fortune to meet Dr Bruce Lipton, who came to speak at one of our 'Living The Field' conferences. Bruce has been one of the earliest pioneers of a branch of biology known as epigenetics, which studies the impact of the enviornment on our genetic make-up.
Bruce lost a very lucrative position as professor at a prestigious American university for even suggesting that our DNA is not a set code, but instead can be influenced and changed by the environment. At the time the science of epigenetics was dismissed as a heresy, and those who pronounced it were banished from academia.
But, of late, the tide has been turning. Researchers who studied obese families found that parents and children weren't necessarily genetically predisposed to be obese but rather that their immediate environment played a more significant role. This is not so astonishing to those who haven't swallowed the DNA argument whole; if you're in a family that eats processed foods in front of the television and drives to the corner shop, then you're more likely to get fat yourself, irrespective of your gene pool.
It goes deeper. What makes up your environment? It's not just your lifestyle choices, it's your thoughts and beliefs, and your perceptions of the world beyond your body. This complex mix all adds to the rich subtleties of your immediate environment.
And, if your environment can change your coding, where does 'you' end and the 'world' begin?
Epigenetics is an exciting new branch of science that suggests a feed-back loop system where we are constantly influenced by that which we influence.
So, now, who needs pills?