Epigenetics – The Genie In Your Genes

By Dawson Church in Evolution on May 6th, 2009 / No Comments

When a revolutionary new technique or therapy is described, it can take a while for science to catch up. Funding must be obtained to conduct studies. Studies must be performed, reviewed by committees of the researchers’ peers, critiqued, refined, and replicated.

This process takes years, and often decades. Much of the medical progress in the last fifty years has resulted from studies that build upon studies, from step by step incremental experimentation, with each step extending the reach of our knowledge a little bit further.

This evolutionary progress over the lifetimes of the last few generations has encouraged us to think that this is the way that science progresses. Yes, it is a way – but it is not the only way. There are scores of important medical procedures that were discovered years, or decades, or even centuries, before the experimental confirmation arrived to demonstrate the principles behind the treatment.

Larry Dossey, in his book Healing Beyond the Body, urges us to “Consider many therapies that are now commonplace, such as the use of aspirin, quinine, colchicine, and penicillin. For a long time we knew that they worked before we knew how.… This should alarm no one who has even a meager understanding of how medicine has progressed through the ages.”

“The scientist knows that in the history of ideas,” observes Michael Gaugelin in The Cosmic Clocks, “magic always precedes science, that the intuition of phenomena  anticipates their objective knowledge.” The incremental approach to experimentation, with each study advancing the frontier of knowledge a little further, has served medicine well in areas such as surgery.

But the incremental approach has broken down when it comes to many of the pressing afflictions rampant in our society, such as depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and autoimmune diseases. It has also made barely a dent in one of the three largest killers in Western societies: cancer. Cancer rates, when adjusted for age, have barely budged in fifty years.

Surgical procedures to excise cancer tumors have improved, individual drugs have been refined, and drug cocktails have been created, but these are minor variations on themes whose usefulness has been endlessly
explored. Ralph Snyderman, eminent physician and researcher at Duke University, sums it up with these words: “Most of our nation’s investment in health is wasted on an irrational, uncoordinated, and
inefficient system that spends more than two-thirds of each dollar treating largely irreversible chronic diseases.”

Total health spending in the U.S. is over two trillion dollars a year; the amount spent on all alternative therapies is estimated at just two tenths of one percent of that figure. For every naturopath or licensed acupuncturist in the U.S., there are seventy allopathic physicians,  even though such treatments can work where mainstream medicine fails, are believed effective by over 74% of the population, 41 and can certainly be successful in supplementing conventional therapies.

It also often works better than mainstream medicine for many of the predominant disease of post – industrial cultures, such as autoimmune conditions and cancer. Epigenetics gives us tools to understand why our health can be affected by so many different healing modalities.

Epigenetic Medicine
We are comfortable with incremental exploration. Yet many changes are not incremental, but very sudden. The expansion of a balloon as air is injected is smooth and incremental. A balloon popping is sudden and discontinuous. Water heated in a kettle shows little change. Then, suddenly and discontinuously, it bursts into a boil.

This is the kind of breakthrough of which we find ourselves on the verge. Like the first bubbles appearing in the bottom of a pan, the possibilities of epigenetic medicine, combining integrative medicine with the breakthroughs of the new psychology, are popping through the most fundamental assumptions of our current model.

We are starting, as a society, to notice the provocative research showing the effects our thoughts and emotions have on our genes. “Science goes where you imagine it,” says one researcher, and leading – edge therapies are now imagining science going in the direction of some of the powerful, safe, and effective new therapies that are emerging. Hundreds of thousands of people are dying each year, and millions more are suffering, from conditions that might be alleviated by epigenetic medicine.

This book is an attempt to present this new research in a user-friendly manner that allows its power to connect with everyday experience, and to explore the potential it holds for creating massive health and social changes in our civilization in a very short time.

For more information please visit: geniebestseller.com

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