MORE ABOUT EPIGENETIC SCIENCE
“Don’t spend time fearing the future. Live in the present.” –Thomas Hudson, MD
In the soon-to-be published book on breast cancer that we discussed in my last blog, Dr. Thomas Hudson suggests that the medical community puts too much emphasis on “genetic determinism.” In Journey to Hope, he states that the prevailing view of Western science is that cancer forms from “bad genes;”and, since cancer is largely inherited, there is little you can do about it. But research studies have found that 75 percent of all breast cancer occurs in women who have no known risk factors and there are many risk factors that you can do something about: diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, chronic stress, and recent traumatic life events. These risk factors dispel the notion that breast cancer is predominantly an inherited disease, which is good news, not only for cancer patients, but for all who face the possibility of contracting diseases that run in your family.
Dr. Hudson states that the development of breast cancer has more to do with the interaction between your genes and the environment. Epigenetic science is the study of this interaction. Scientists have learned that people can carry a gene in their DNA for a trait that is never expressed during their lifetimes. Each gene has a corresponding “mark,” which is cellular material that sits directly on top of the gene, which controls its expression. It can turn it “on” and “off.”
MRI brain scans show that healthy interaction with the environment, like regular meditation, turns on certain genes that produce more brain tissue. This implies that “genes respond to a healthy environment by producing healthy cells.”
Dr. Hudson believes that not only can the environment affect how our genes behave in our own lifetime, but healthy results can be passed on to the next generation. This means that if you respond to the environment differently than your parents did, the genes that were turned on in their generation can be turned off in yours. This is incredibly good news if you come from a family that has experienced a recurring disease or condition through successive generations.
This new science establishes that everything you do matters. Rather than passively expecting to receive what came upon your parents, you can actively work to alter your own experience and to pass it on to your children. A cell recognizes no difference between toxic chemicals and toxic emotions. Both affect your risk of disease and your ability to heal. Dr. Hudson has found evidence that what you eat, what you think, how you feel, and even what you believe affects your risk of disease.
He believes that disease prevention will be the focus of the future and that we must take charge of our health rather than depend solely on doctors. Often pharmaceuticals mask symptoms without addressing the root causes of disease. Alternative medicine does not depend on drugs and focuses on healing the whole person. This sometimes results in the regression of the disease. Dr. Hudson envisions Alternative Medicine and Conventional Medicine working together in the future to produce a more effective healthcare system.
He encourages us to choose those things that will keep us healthy. He shows us how to empty our minds of negative thoughts and worries and fill them with positive, healing thoughts. He instructs us to focus on health, not on disease. To effectively do this, he offers a program of self-care which is really what the book is all about. Self-care is attending to our physical, emotional and spiritual needs; making good choices in our eating and exercise habits; lessening our stress by positive attitudes even when we can’t change a situation; and working on our coping skills in order to remain at peace even in difficult circumstances.
Part of the self-care program is to engage in meditation and centering prayer on a regular basis. Journey to Hope contains a very interesting chapter on these subjects and includes Dr. Hudson’s personal experience. After reading the book, I found it most interesting to talk to people who make this a daily practice. If you have had experience with meditation, please share it with me, and I will make it the topic of a future blog.
More and more articles are appearing that assert that while a negative and unhealthy life style can activate genes that will lead to disease; a healthy life style, a positive attitude toward life, faith in God, and a serious prayer life can overcome “bad” genes. It is exciting that what God’s word has told us for centuries, scientists are recognizing as effective for healing.
“In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity.” –Albert Einstein
This material has been taken from Journey to Hope by Thomas Hudson, MD. After Oct. 8, Journey to Hope will be available on Dr. Hudson’s website. Proceeds from each book ordered from his website will be donated to a variety of cancer-related charitable organizations. The book will also be available on Amazon.com
Link to Dr. Hudson’s website: www.yourjourneytohope.com