A new field of science called epigenetics has changed the way we think about our genes. The prefix "epi" literally means "above," as in above the genes, in the same way that epidermis means the layer above the skin.
Ever since Darwin released his scientific literature titled "On the Origin of Species" 150 years ago, science and medicine have been grounded in the belief that we are "programmed" by our DNA and that our genes cannot be changed.
But new discoveries have found a major flaw in what was once considered dogmatic principle. Dr. Bruce Lipton, a world-renowned leader in cellular biology and quantum physics research, proved that our environment -- not our DNA -- shapes the development of our cells.
Dr. Lipton discovered that we have "epigenes" that attach to our cells and have control over and above the regular genes (DNA) inside our cells. These epigenes change how our genes are expressed, which then changes our cells.
Dr. Lipton's experiments revealed that DNA responds to signals from outside the cells. Electromagnetic signals that are produced by our senses, thoughts, beliefs, and emotions as we experience the world send "messages" that reach the cells. As we constantly adjust to our environment in our mind, so do our cells.
These discoveries are being hailed worldwide as a major breakthrough that proves that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. These findings fundamentally alter our understanding of life. Since we can change our cells by changing our minds, we absolutely can change our biology ... and our lives.
Though our DNA is still considered the "blueprint" that we start with, it can be altered throughout our lives by epigenetics. Think of your genes as the hardware and your epigenes as the software that tells the genes what to do.
Being able to change our genes offers a life-changing opportunity to the human race when applying epigenetics to the treatment of disease. No longer do we have to be a "victim" of inheriting or developing abnormal genes because now, we can change them to eradicate disease and pass on normal genes to the next generation.
In one of Dr. Lipton's most important experiments, he proved that when he took a "sick" cancer cell from a "sick" body, and transferred it to a healthy environment, the cell recovered quickly and behaved normally.
While working at Stanford University's School of Medicine between 1987 and 1992, he found that changing the environment of cells made certain genes "turn on or off." This then altered the cell's composition, its health, and the traits determined by that cell. These new constructions spread as the cell divided.
From his most recent work with cancer, Dr. Lipton has confirmed that, "Genes are not controlling the life of your cells, your mind is. The mind and the beliefs that it holds -- not defective genes -- create a ripple effect that 'turns on or off' cancer cells."
Randy Jirtle, a geneticist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Duke University, further explains that, "as our genes change, cells can become abnormal, triggering diseases like cancer. It's scary to think that a few changed genes can kill you. But it's also good news because we've traditionally viewed cancer as a disease solely stemming from broken genes. It's a lot harder to fix damaged genes than to rearrange your epigenetics."
Through epigenetics, you can "rewrite" your genetic expression through your mind. You could have normal genes, for instance, and then express genes like cancer and other diseases. Or if you had mutated (diseased) genes, you can rewrite their expression to normal.
Disease treatment through epigenetics changes the structure of the cancer cell by rewriting the genes to act like normal human cells. In ongoing epigenetic trials, half the patients are in complete remission.
However, epigenetics works both ways: your thoughts influence genetic expressions that can cure disease or cause disease -- depending on whether you have positive or negative thoughts. And, your positive thoughts and your negative thoughts are equally powerful.
We see this in the "placebo effect." A patient suffering from a disease is given a sugar pill, but they believe the "medicine" will be effective, and therefore, they heal. Likewise, there is the "nocebo effect" which suggests that negative thoughts can not only make you sick, but can even kill you.
What's even more interesting, or disturbing for others, is that the thoughts and beliefs of other people, philosophies, cultures, and religions influence your perceptions, which then become part of your thoughts. Therefore, who and what you surround yourself with can have a direct effect on your health!
Dr. Lipton says that, "you are innately able to heal yourself unless your perception says you can't. Since perception controls biology, then whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."