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  • Writer's pictureSimone Grove

How epigenetics can improve your health

Updated: Feb 27

As an integrative clinical practitioner and holistic oncology specialist I’m passionate about helping people to feel better and live their lives to the full – regardless of their diagnosis or prognosis. I get so excited about the many new holistic treatments available to us now, and also the increasing number of scientific breakthroughs which bring new hope for anyone living with cancer. Often these developments and studies refer to or even involve holistic treatments and practices, and provide more insight into how they are helping people to dramatically improve their health.

 

One such study is epigenetics – a field of neurobiology which is revealing important links between external influences, physical health and the development of disease.

 

Epigenetics is a complex and emerging science which spans various fields of biology and medicine - so I’ve done my best to explain it in the simplest of terms here. When I first came across it myself I was confused initially by the scientific or medical terminology and the many different effects epigenetic changes can have on our health. I was also excited, because when broken down and put into simple terms epigenetics offers a powerful new perspective on how we can transform our health.

 

What is epigenetics?

 

The term ‘epigenetics’ refers to the study of external changes and factors which can influence the way our genes work and the ‘expression’ of those genes – which is how they function and manifest in the body.

 

Our genes have an important role to play in our health and wellbeing – and mutations or errors of some have been directly linked to certain diseases and conditions. For a long time it’s been recognised that our behaviours, lifestyle choices and environment have an impact on our health – and what epigenetics shows us is that these factors are even more influential than we previously realised. Now we know that they can actually interact with, impair and alter our gene expression.

 

Epigenetics is a really exciting and relatively new science which is transforming the way researchers and health professionals understand, treat and manage disease. Previously, epigenetic expressions were attributed to something mysterious and irreversible, providing little hope for those living with life-limiting and chronic illnesses with no known cause or cure in particular. But now we can see that unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible, and can be influenced (both positively and negatively) by external factors. These factors don’t change your DNA sequence itself, but instead change how your body reads a DNA sequence, which when disrupted can manifest as symptoms or disease.

 

Why is epigenetics so promising for people living with serious and chronic illness?

 

One of the reasons epigenetics has become more popular and well-known outside the scientific community is Dr Joe Dispenza. If you’re already acquainted with him you’ll know of his ‘out there’ transformational techniques – if not, I highly recommend looking him up and watching some of his talks or reading his articles on hope and healing. Dr Dispenza’s own story of recovery is nothing short of remarkable, defying the odds after having been told he would never walk again after a cycling accident. As a neuroscientist and researcher of over 30 years, he now dedicates his life to helping others experiencing the same kind of spontaneous recoveries and remissions.

 

In his popular Rewired series, Dr Joe dedicated an entire episode to epigenetics named Reprogramming Your Genes. In it he explains gene expression and how epigenetics can enable people to experience a seemingly miraculous recovery from serious illness. Epigenetics is just one of the areas he has brought into the public domain and discussed in the context of supporting those living with serious or life-limiting conditions either to simply improve quality of life or even go into remission completely.

 

Through the work of Dr Joe Dispenza and others, epigenetics has informed a variety of promising new treatments and therapies aimed at reducing symptoms and even healing illness altogether.

 

How can epigenetics help you to live better and enhance health?

 

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to wellness – what looks and feels right for one person won’t be the same for everyone, and will depend on your individual circumstances and diagnosis. But even without an in-depth understanding of epigenetics or specialist supervision, we can begin to put some of its insights into practice. The three external or environmental factors identified as having the most impact on our gene expression or promoting epigenetic changes are:

 

  • Behaviour: Mood, physical activity, stress

  • Lifestyle: Our environment, career (working long shifts/night shifts), diet

  • Exposure to toxic substances: Smoking, alcohol consumption, skincare and beauty products, household cleaning products, environmental toxins and plastics

 

Through my own work with clients and cancer patients I know that seemingly simple lifestyle changes and mindset shifts can have a truly transformative impact on health and wellbeing. I also love the empowering nature of these types of practices - as it firmly puts us back in control of our own health. Through understanding and implementing epigenetic techniques, we can feel as though we are able to make positive changes which have a real meaningful impact on wellbeing and quality of life.

 

For more empowering insights on living better with cancer, take a look at my dedicated pages here: PhysioCare Holistics and Soul Aligned Wellness




 

 

 

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