AncestryDNA, 23andMe, National Geographic Geno 2.0……by the beginning of 2019 more than 26 million people like you and me had taken a personal DNA test. We’re curious….We’re human beings, designed to live in groups, and we want to know from where our ancestors came. Some of us take the tests to see if we have pre-determined health concerns like cancer, Alzheimers, or Celiac disease written in our genetic code. Problems can arise then, when we confuse our new-found information about “what is written in our genes” with “how will our health be in the future.”
Let’s imagine for a moment, “The Book of YOU”. Your prologue contains snippets of your parents, their well being, and the quality of combined DNA which they passed to you via egg and sperm. Your ‘pre-quel’, so to speak, was written by your parents and the generations before you. It contains the struggles they encountered, the foods they ate, and the adaptations of their genetic material as they coped with their environments over millennia.
All of this pre-work isn’t YOU yet. It’s the STUFF of you,…. it is back ground information which has been collected from your families’ DNA library. For us to begin writing the first page of “The Book of You” we must first be conceived.
CONCEIVE: 1) to become pregnant 2) to form in the mind; to imagine
The dualistic nature of conception as both a physical event and a metaphysical event, represents the magic that begins “The Book of You”. We are both body and spirit by design. Our physical conception in the womb underlies the divine conception of our soul when we were thought on by Creator itself. We operate and function in a body that eats, sleeps, works, plays, and reproduces in a physical realm. At the same time we laugh, cry, hope, believe, and dream in a spirit that exists in a metaphysical realm.
Here is where the magical book of you really beings. Our health at birth is a reflection of our time spent in the womb as a tiny sentient being. During that time, we respond to our mother’s voice, and dwell in the mystical darkness beneath our mother’s heart. We hear the rhythmical beat of her heart sending oxygenated blood to her body; and float in the hammock of her body as she moves throughout her day. We hear her singing, and feel her laughter. Her body gives us our first nourishment, delivered through the placenta. Our wellbeing is entirely dependent on the wellbeing of our mother, and life is good…
Or not. Maybe your mother suffered from stress or depression. Perhaps she lived in poverty, and had been physically abused. Cloaked in her body, you felt her body tighten around you. You heard her cry and scream. You felt her stumble and fall. Maybe your mother retreated to drugs or alcohol. Your tiny body became accustomed to the rush of chemicals as they washed through your system. Here lies the story of epigenetic expression, and how it can shape our very beginning.
EPIGENETICS: the study of the process by which genetic information is translated into the substance and behavior of an organism: specifically, the study of the way in which the expression of heritable traits is modified by environmental influences or other mechanisms without a change to the DNA sequence.
Simply put, this means we inherit our genetic material from our parents and their environment; but our environment, our food, and even our thoughts can influence how our genes express themselves. Our epigenes are tiny electrons, made from protein, that encircle our genes. These epigenes act like switches that can turn on or turn off the expression of the gene.
To illustrate epigenetic expression at work, let’s imagine we have a beautiful potted geranium. The plant is designed to thrive and grow when given the right environment. While watered and fed in a South facing window, with plenty of sunlight, the plant’s epigenes signal the genes of the plant to thrive, and it blooms and grows. When that geranium is later placed in a dark closet, even though it is still watered and fed, it soon loses its bloom, and the plant starts to die. The genes to thrive have been switched off by the epigenetic expression, because we have changed its environment.
Likewise for ourselves, we have our hand at the light switch of our own genetic destiny. Whether we flip our genetic switch to health or to illness is determined by the choices we make, page by page in our “Book of You.”
Daily, our pages are filled with choices. Where will we live? What shall we eat? Where shall we work? Who will we marry? With all of our choices, we are creating an environment. It is as much a mental and emotional environment as it is a physical environment. Will we find ourselves laughing and happy with friends and family, or will we find ourselves stressed and depressed with workplace and family drama? Will we eat fresh fruits and vegetables from a family garden, or will we grab fast food for a long commute home? As we fill our pages with choices in our daily lives, we are shaping the environment of our epigenetic expression for wellness or disorder. This is how we create our genetic destiny. Let me illustrate:
Thirteen years ago, I didn’t feel well. I was exhausted. When I would climb the stairs to go to bed, some nights I would sob because I was so tired. I felt depressed and anxious at the same time, and struggled with weight gain and thinning hair. I’d lost the outer third of my eyebrows. My husband had been a pharmacist who died several years before, from an addiction to prescription pharmaceuticals. I still felt wounded that he had ignored my warnings. Now I was engaged again, but found it increasingly difficult to muster enthusiasm when my fiancé would take me out on our boat. We often had guests visit, but I would find myself falling silent, allowing him to carry the conversation.
My fiancé was slender, quick to laugh, and always on the go. He ate cookies and snacks daily and filled our home with them. It was easier to prepare foods that he liked, rather than to argue and prepare two nightly meals. He preferred milk, and noodles with gravy, which he insisted went ON TOP of mashed potatoes. I have Italian heritage, and I felt miserable eating like he did! I preferred risotto with garlic and wild mushrooms….Sausages, steaks, and heavy meats overshadowed my preferences for fish and poultry. Noodles, pierogies, and heavy cream sauces overshadowed my preferences for root vegetables, fruit with cheese, and fresh garden vegetables with olive oil and vinegar.
He went for long rides on his Harley while I longed for museums and art galleries. As my fiancé thrived, I fought to survive. I felt like I was losing my identity. A tiny seed of resentment began to grow inside me, whispering in the darkness of choices I’d allowed. I suspected that I was suffering from hypothyroidism…then suddenly one morning, I found a lump in my right breast.
The breast lump was my wake-up call. It’s easy to place blame on someone else, or on outside situations, but it was time I faced reality…”You’re allowing yourself to be sick,” I thought. “Only YOU can make the choice to be well again, Antoinette.”
THE STORY TO A BETTER GENE EXPRESSION
I knew I had to rewrite the pages in my “Book of You”, but where to begin? In order for us to change our genetic expression, we have to do the “heavy lifting”. Mentally, emotionally, and physically, we have to look at our environments, and assess where we can change for the better. It is up to us to determine what is truly stressing us, and then we have to change it.
To make healthy epigenes, we have to examine these three environments: our mental/ spiritual environment, our physical environment, and the environment of our microbiome.
Our mental/ spiritual environment.
Our thoughts may be the most underestimated factor in our health and wellness. The thoughts we think on every page of our “Book of You” are energetic vibrations that actively affect our health every day. The most documented proof of this is in the “placebo effect”. The placebo effect takes place when a person is given a sugar pill instead of a prescription medication; and because he believes himself well, he becomes well. The placebo effect is so strong, that it is used as a comparative reference for pharmaceutical efficacy.
The power of thought doesn’t end there. Positive thoughts and negative thoughts carry a vibrational charge, which accumulate to create a healthy or unhealthy gene expression.The power of thought and intent is dramatically illustrated by Dr. Masaru Emoto in his groundbreaking book, “The Hidden Messages in Water”. Dr. Emoto explains to us a phenomenon called hado. “Hado is the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness.” He continues, ” Hado creates words. Words are the vibration of nature. Therefore beautiful words create beautiful nature. Ugly words create ugly nature. This is the root of the universe.” Dr. Emoto carefully photographed water crystals when people talked to the water. Kind and loving words spoken produced intricately beautiful crystals. Angry, hateful words produced ugly, misshapen crystals. The same results were found time, and time again with merely intent, when words were printed and attached to the vessel containing water. See his photographs below:
When we realize that our body is more than 60% water, and our brain and heart are composed of 73% water, we can begin to see the significance of this effect! In fact, we are what we think we are. If we want to re-write our epigenetic expression to an expression of health, we must think high vibrating thoughts, so our genes can express at their highest, healthiest level. Extended periods of animosity, ill will, and intolerance begin to degenerate our health, while kindness, generosity, goodness, and gratitude help make us well.
For myself, I had to dig deep spiritually to figure out why I was allowing myself to be in a relationship that was not a good fit. I had to examine how I thought about myself and how I thought about my partner. I had to change my thoughts (my mental and spiritual environment) to allow myself to disengage from this relationship, and to decide to allow only mutually satisfying relationships. With that, my breast lump disappeared.
Our physical environment
The second leg of our journey to re-write our story involves examining our physical environment. Our physical environments are broad-ranging, from where we live, to the people with whom we associate, to the foods we eat. We should always be aware of our environment, and work to pull the highest vibrating parts to ourselves. That means we need to look at stresses at home, at work and in relationships. If necessary, we change our situations to a better fit, or change how we think of the people around ourselves. Do we surround ourselves in peaceful surroundings, or do we allow ourselves to be immersed in chaos? As we go deep inside our body, and examine how we really feel inside, we find that our body doesn’t lie. In order to have true health, sometimes we have to make hard choices.
Foods are a prominent part of our environment. While we are writing our book for healthy expression, we have to be aware that what we ingest may not be real food. Chemicals, toxins, highly processed products, GMO foods, plastics, and hydrogenated oils create an unhealthy epigenetic expression. The ground has been stripped of its nutrients by chemical fertilizers, and healthy microbes have been devastated by weed killers. Our meats often come from CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) and are full of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics which make the animals inflame and grow very quickly. When we put ‘sick’ foods into ourselves, we become sick. To write a future story of healthy expression, and to turn off the switch of disease, it’s important to eat organic, unprocessed foods that are right for us. Food intolerance tests can help us identify which are best for us.
I realized that the foods I’d eaten had likely contributed to my hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune response to an internal stress. All autoimmune responses emerge from an underlying cause of gut dysbiosis. I had to determine what foods in my environment had caused the problem. The cookies and sugary snacks we’d had were an easy target. Sugar kills healthy bacteria in the gut by allowing yeasts to grow. A Food Intolerance Test (FIT test) revealed that I was intolerant to wheat, rye, barley, and gluten. I removed breads, cookies, and noodles from my diet, and went gluten free. I returned to chicken and fish, and ate minimal sausage and heavy meats. Within a couple months, my thyroid started to improve, my depression lifted, and I no longer felt totally exhausted at the end of the day.
The environment of our microbiome
Our most over-looked environment may be the easiest to repair! Our microbiome consists of a vast army of bacteria and microbes that live in our gut. Together they fight pathogens, break down food to make energy, and create vitamins. A healthy, vigorous microbiome is essential for digestion, good health, and healthy gene expression. However, processed food, refined sugar, toxins, overgrowth of yeasts, chemicals and drugs can throw our microbiome out of balance. Widespread use of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps have decimated the microbiome of so many of us, giving rise to overgrowths of unhealthy bacteria, ‘superbugs’, and antibiotic-resistant diseases.
I realized that my gut microbiome needed to be repaired and put back in order. I’d already taken away the foods that caused my damage, but now I had to start from the inside out. The answer lay in colostrum therapy.
Bovine Colostrum is nature’s way of improving, healing, and sealing our gut. Colostrum from pastured cows has a high energetic charge, and is nature’s way of providing us an ‘epigenetic re-set’. Grass, grown without pesticides under the sun, is broken down and fermented while the cow ruminates and chews his cud. It results in a pre-milk, the food of life, with 40x more antibodies than human colostrum. For those of us with weakened immune systems, bovine colostrum can help us write a story of improved health
Because colostrum is the first food of life for all mammals, it is the most perfect food for us to rebuild healthy genetic expression. It gives us all the necessary building blocks needed to form our internal environment. Bovine colostrum is bio- identical to human colostrum, and enables us to utilize colostrum therapeutically. Two very important components of colostrum are immune factors and growth factors.
Immune factors in colostrum include lactoferrin, proline-rich peptides, leukocytes, cytokines, oligo polysaccharides and immunoglobulins. These target harmful bacteria and viruses. While harmful bacteria and viruses create a stressful environment in our gut’s microbiome, colostrum replaces the harmful bacteria with healthy bacteria, changing our internal environment to one of health.
While each of us are writing our “Book of You” we are constantly regenerating cells. The growth factors in colostrum encourage healthy expression of our epithelial cells, fibroblasts, hormones, and platelets. With continued use of colostrum, we can battle the daily assault of toxins and pathogens that are ever present in our environment.
It took a while to change my mind about myself and my relationships. I happily went back to foods that I knew “agreed with me”, and was surprised when I found I would best function without gluten, and grains containing it. I had to re-think recipes to work for my best health. I felt GOOD for the first time in a long while after starting colostrum therapy. Tiredness and depression are gone, as is my breast lump. My thyroid has regained vigor. Today, I’m happy to say that I’ve re-written my story of health . YOU CAN TOO! What lies in the future chapters in “THE BOOK OF YOU?”
“The Hidden Messages in Water” by Masaru Emoto, Beyond Words Publishing, Inc., 20827 N.W. Cornell Rd.,Suite 500, Hillsboro, OR 97124-9808
Article: Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 28 Sep. 2018, https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00292
Article: doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a01820, copywrite 2014, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, https://cshperspectives.cship.org
“Peptide Immunotherapy: Colostrum, A Physician’s Reference Guide” by Andrew H. Keech, PhD, AKS Publishing; 1st Edition (2009)
© 2019 Antoinette Caruso
As an Holistic Practitioner, I approach wellness from many different levels. I work with clients in my office, and ‘live’ via the web. I also offer group and corporate workshops on a variety of topics.