Is Nature or Nurture the Key to Longevity?

Recently I read The Biology of Belief Unleashing the power of consciousness, matter and miracles by Dr. Bruce Lipton, which reminded me how important it is to keep an open mind regarding what is possible. In addition to documenting scientific discoveries related to the new biology, he shows the significant impact that we can have on our own health and quality of life. Science is proving that it’s not just in our genes – and that’s good news!

Over the past few years, I’ve increasingly encountered conversations where people share their personal expectations about their longevity. Often it sounds like this: ” I know I’ll get heart disease because high blood pressure runs in my family – both of my parents had it by their mid 40s” or “I’m sure I’ll die of cancer – everyone in my family gets cancer.”  Our family history may provide clues and suggest what to monitor or focus on in our health, but it isn’t the whole story.

“Epigenetics” as described in the book literally means – “control above the genes” and is the new science that Dr. Lipton defines (pg xv) as “… how environmental signals select, modify and regulate gene activity.” Scientific evidence is challenging the belief that the genes we inherit determine our fate. Increasingly science shows that we can change or at least modify our DNA and thus our potential longevity.

The book documents objective evidence of ways our thoughts and perceptions (the environment) can impact gene activity in stem cells. The biochemical effects of the brain’s functioning shows that our cells are affected by energy created outside of themselves by positive and negative thoughts.

The invitation, as I see it, is to keep up with the explosion of new discoveries, to broaden our perception of what is possible and to have the courage to incorporate implications of the findings into our lives.

Lorraine Clemes