I’ve been studying the relatively new scientific discipline
of epigenetics since the turn of this century. Epigenetics
measures changes in DNA caused by outside influences.
Just because you have a gene doesn’t mean it’s active.
Genes need to be turned on, or “expressed,” in order to have
an effect. It’s like turning on a light—the switch must be
tripped in order for the light to shine. Simply having a gene
doesn’t mean it’s expressed any more than simply having a
bulb means that the light is turned on.
In particular, I study the epigenetics of stress. Genes that
contain the genetic code for stress hormones like cortisol
and adrenaline are turned on by stress. Stress triggers the
expression of these genes, and your body uses that genetic
code to build the hormones themselves. Stress is greater
than gene expression, which is greater than your hormones.
In my book Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science
Behind How Your Brain Creates Material Reality, to be
published by Hay House this June, I tell the story of my
friend Janice, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. At
first, she panicked. Gene tests showed that cancer genes,
called oncogenes, were highly expressed in her cells. Like
lights, they were turned on.
I urged Janice to do everything in her power to reduce
her stress levels, knowing this would dial down the
expression of the genes that code for cortisol and other
stress markers that are typically higher in cancer patients.
Janice quickly got serious about healing. She
contacted friends in the medical and research worlds
as well as experts in energy medicine. She began to
use a variety of energy methods to center herself daily.
Those included qigong (physical exercise and breathing
techniques akin to yoga, originating in China),
meditation, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)
tapping. EFT uses fingertip tapping on acupuncture
points in combination with affirmations. More than
a hundred studies show that it’s highly effective for
anxiety, depression, and stress. Hundreds of additional
studies support the efficacy of meditation and qigong
for both physical and mental illness.
Three months after Janice began changing her energy and
her attitude along with consistently practicing these stress
reduction methods, she returned to the hospital for another
comprehensive battery of tests. Her new diagnosis? “Cancer
free.” Her oncogenes were no longer expressed. Janice had
shifted her energy and consciousness, and the genes of her
body had shifted in response.
Albert Einstein said, “The field is the sole governing
agency of the particle.” Energy fields, like those doctors
measure using magnetic resonance imaging and
electroencephalograms, shape the particles—the atoms and
molecules—of which our bodies are composed.
We aren’t accustomed to thinking of our spiritual
practices as medical interventions like pills and surgery, yet
they can profoundly change our bodies. When we reduce
our stress levels through meditation and energy practices,
we change our consciousness. This can flip the switches
that determine which genes are turned on. In a study of
veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder who received
10 sessions of EFT, my colleagues and I found that six
key genes were switched on, including genes that reduce
inflammation throughout the body.
Your DNA is not your destiny. Your genes do not
determine your future. As you choose to shift your
consciousness—calming your stress, focusing on the
positive, and regulating your field with energy techniques—
you turn on the lights of healing and regeneration.
How science is uniting body, mind, and spirit
Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny
HEALING, SCIENCE, AND SPIRITUALITY
DAWSON CHURCH, PH.D., AUTHOR OF MIND
TO MATTER (HAY HOUSE, 2018) AND THE GENIE
IN YOUR GENES (ENERGY PS YCHOLOG Y PRESS,
2008), IS A GENETIC RESEARCHER AND AN
ORDAINED NEW THOUGHT MINISTER. HE SHARES
SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGHS ON GENETICS AND
SPIRITUALTY AT DAWSONGIFT.COM.