Your Genes Are NOT Hardwired: The Study of Epigenetics

epigeneticsUntil recently, it has been thought that we inherited all of our traits from the chromosomes passed from parent to child, in the form of a genetic blueprint, and it was all set in stone. However, researchers in the last decade have been realizing that genes are not fixed or pre-determined. Rather, they can be activated or de-activated (turned off or on) by our experiences and our environment. It turns out that what we ARE what we eat, that toxins do have a massive impact on us and future generations to come, and that emotional stress is the key to almost all disease. The science of epigenetics is exploring how nature and nurture combine to cause behaviors, traits, illnesses, sexual orientation, and even autism, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, that genes alone cannot explain.

The word epigenetics means “on top of the gene” and it’s the study of how genes can be turned on or off by life experience. This is why women who were pregnant in New York City during the stress of 9/11 were far more likely to give birth to infants who reacted with unusual levels of fear and stress when faced with loud noises, unfamiliar people, or new foods. It also explains why methyl-rich foods fed to un unhealthy mother can result in a baby that has fewer allergies, better body weight and is healthier in general. The opposite is true also: prenatal diets low in methyl-rich nutrients (a set of molecules that can tag genes and cause epigenetic changes), have been linked to an increased risk of asthma and brain and spinal cord defects in children.

Young children who are abused are more likely to have epigenetic changes that make coping with stress more difficult. Twins can inherit a gene that predisposes them to cancer, but only one will develop the disease because of diet, toxins, or smoking that turns the gene on, while the other has different exposures and habits and lives cancer-free.

Our epigenetic tags, developed as a result of our life habits, exposures to and handling of stressors and intake of toxins will then be passed to the next generations, our offspring and beyond. It is now thought that the soaring obesity and autism rates could be due to our grandparent’s exposure to the chemical revolution of the 1940s, the introduction of plastics, fertilizers, detergents, pesticides, and now our own intake of processed, genetically modified foods.

The link that connects epigenetics to cancer is now rock-solid in the research. This means that the search for drugs is a dead end road. We need to be putting our efforts into our food productions, elimination of chemicals and other toxins, and learning how to deal with our stress.

The research behind EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing for trauma release), clinical hypnotherapy, energy work, stress reduction tools, how to eat according to your genetic type, and eliminating food allergies is where the key is to making sure we keep our detrimental genes turned off and our healthy genes active. The tests that let you know where you are at with all of this are:

  • The ALCAT for food sensitivities (depending on insurance coverage can cost from 0-$475).
  • The APOe and MTHFR genetic tests which test for your ability to use those methyl tags for your genes ($70 out of pocket if you have insurance. $150 if you do not have it).
  • Body Impedance Analysis testing (free with nutritional consultation at Fern Life Center).
  • Hair Mineral Analysis for heavy metal/toxin testing ($69 out of pocket).
  • Micro-nutrient testing to see how you are absorbing ($150 out of pocket with insurance).
  • Adrenal stress index and hormone testing to see the impact stress has had so far on you ($230 out of pocket and most of the time reimbursable by insurance).

We bill EMDR and clinical hypnotherapy as office visits to your insurance. Please budget your money to make you important enough to see where you are and do the work necessary to inactivate unhealthy genes and activate your healthy ones! Make an appointment with Keesha for any of the above treatments at: 425-391-3376 or go to for more information.

Here’s to your health!

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