Last week’s Take AIM was unusual – it was sent out on Friday and had nothing to do with sensory issues.
Its focus: things we can do to reduce the impact of cancer on us (both decreasing its likelihood of occurring, and if it does occur, controlling its growth). Turns out, cancer might not be as genetically-based as was first thought.
There's also information disproving the metabolic theory of cancer, but since nothing in the links I sent you promoted harmful activity, and some were very health-improving (as well as giving a sense of control – often important when life is topsy turvey), I felt it was worth sharing.
That was Friday. Then, on Saturday, I was listening to a science program, Quirks and Quarks, and heard a scientist discuss findings that depression might not have as strong a genetic factor as once thought.
Add to that the theory of epigenetics* (the ability for the cells to be turned off and on based on incoming information to create different results) . . .
. . . and we have ‘a best of times’ and ‘a worst of times’ situation. That is, our choices might have a bigger impact than we realized. Personally, I feel both liberated and doomed at the thought of my actions impacting what I thought were pre-determined conditions.
Epigenetics doesn't change the genetic code, it changes how that's read. Perfectly normal genes can result in cancer or death. Vice-versa, in the right environment, mutant genes won't be expressed. Genes are equivalent to blueprints; epigenetics is the contractor. They change the assembly, the structure.
Action Ideas (Ideas to get ya thinkin’. Not medical advice.)
The sentence below sums up this issue. After reading it, you can stop and not miss too much:
Everything you do, say, think, feel might have an impact on your cells, i.e. your building blocks, and by extension, YOU.
If you’re not sure how important building materials are, ask the three little pigs. At this moment, you might be upgrading/downgrading between straw, sticks, and bricks.
The list below isn’t an exhausted ‘Action Idea’ list. More of a concept starter.
1. Awareness. Become more aware of what you feel, think, say, and do regarding yourself and others. Even if you don’t want/choose to make any changes right now, that’s okay. Start with awareness.
2. If you decide to become more proactive, become more aware of:
a) how you feel. This could be done directly by considering ‘how you feel’ but if you aren’t sure of ‘how you feel’, then become aware of ‘how you feel physically’.
Our physical states are connected to our emotional states. Tense shoulders, headaches, stomachaches can sometimes be connected to emotions (I’m using feelings and emotions interchangeably here. Some differentiate between the two).
b) how you think/your mindset. Your beliefs and perspectives filter all incoming information.
We often gravitate towards people who have similar mindsets. If you’re unsure about what your beliefs, comfort zones, etc, are, look at your family and friends. There’s going to be at least some overlap, or they wouldn’t be in your life.
c) what you say. We all know the saying, ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me’ is 100% utterly and completely untrue. Words can change the trajectory of a life, both to increase and decrease potential.
d) what you do. This one is based on the other three and can be found in many areas of our lives: What are you sleep habits? Your eating habits? Do you move every day? Do you take action to have a positive social life? Do you take time to be alone with your thoughts?
e) the good and bad of this concept (the concept that we have an influence on how our cells are expressed. Or another way to look at it – if the results are more desirable or less desirable), is that we may have responsibility for far more in our lives than we realized and can make ongoing changes. Changes in any one area can impact all areas, like a web.
The inter-relatedness of it all makes it easy and less daunting to begin an upward spiral. It can begin anywhere:
- Spend an extra 10 minutes tidying up/decluttering before turning on the TV to create a more spacious, organized life.
- Just before going to bed, fill a water bottle and keep it on the night table so when you awake and are dehydrated, you can easily kickstart your body and brain to prepare for the day.
- Say a silent or shared statement of gratitude before eating. Being in a grateful/less stressed state, lets you digest your food in a healthier way.
3. Woah! Lots to read this week! Did my 2x the regular length exhaust you with positive possibilities? If tuckered, have sweet dreams under one of our weighted blankets. We have 3 full-sized choices: 10 lb and 15 or 20 lb weighted blankets.
Have an incrementally better day today than yesterday. And a better tomorrow than today.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
P.S. Although I don't believe in a magic potion or a one size fits all, I do believe many of the basic concepts shared last week and this week support us in a wide variety of ways. Eating more veggies might not help your cancer, depression, autism, ADD, ADHD, SPD, anxiety, sleep issues or whatever condition is limiting your life choices, but, what if it can help? Even a bit. What if you tried a dozen different small things that added together made a small difference? A step up the spiral. Definitely worth it, I'd say.
Have you made a small change to your life that turned out to have a bigger impact than initially thought? Share with me! Let me know if this type of topic interests you. Thanks.
*Here’s an analogy that might further help you to understand what epigenetics is, as presented in Nessa Carey’s Epigenetics Revolution.
"Think of the human lifespan as a very long movie. The cells would be the actors and actresses, essential units that make up the movie. DNA, in turn, would be the script — instructions for all the participants of the movie to perform their roles. Subsequently, the DNA sequence would be the words on the script, and certain blocks of these words that instruct key actions or events to take place would be the genes. The concept of genetics would be like screenwriting. Follow the analogy so far? Great. The concept of epigenetics, then, would be like directing. The script can be the same, but the director can choose to eliminate or tweak certain scenes or dialogue, altering the movie for better or worse. After all, Steven Spielberg’s finished product would be drastically different than Woody Allen’s for the same movie script, wouldn’t it?"
Quoted from: https://www.whatisepigenetics.com/what-is-epigenetics/