What did you find the last time you dug into your family treasure chest?
I found love- lots of it, athletic talent, linguistic skills; but also Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Anxiety and Premature Greying of hair.
Does this mean I am sure to succumb to all of the above? Be an absolutely loved, silver haired Diabetic running around with palpitations?
Well, chances are high but nothing in set in stone. Many give in to their ill health saying Oh it’s in my genes, there’s nothing I can do about it!
Wrong!! The recent and emerging science of Epigenetics tells us there is another way.
Epigenetics studies changes in an organism that are brought about by alterations in the gene expression rather than the gene itself. This means the proteins and amino acids on the DNA or RNA (our genetic blueprint) get ever so slightly changed, leading to a different outcome. As John Launer(1) explains, to describe this process at its simplest: you may be born with a capacity to be tall and confident, but if you are undernourished and abused as a child, you are likely to turn into a stunted and fearful adult instead.
So I see myself years from today, running around full of life, vigour and health. And how will I get there? The explanation will follow as soon as I first tell you how we also inherit trauma from our ancestors.
Several researchers have looked into whether and how trauma can be transmitted across generations. Kellermann (2) tries to establish if the Holocaust Trauma could be responsible for nightmares in the children of the survivors. Earlier research supposed it was due to parenting techniques. But Epigenetics tells of a different mechanism. The chromosomes carry a bilogical marker and thus memory from the parents, making these children more vulnerable to stress.
In 2013 this theory was put to test. Mice were exposed to the scent of acetophenone (smells like cherry blossom) and at the same time were zapped with an electric current. Over time, they associated the two and came to fear the smell. Shortly after, the mice bred and the offspring were brough up by unrelated adult mice. Amazingly, these offspring showed the same reaction of fear to the scent of cherry blossom as their parents. The grandpups of the tested mice also reacted to the scent but with a heightened sensitivity to the scent rather than fear.
Marta Henriques presents all of this and more in her article titled Can the legacy of trauma be passed down the generations?
Epigenetics and Homoeopathy
Homoeopathy has always laid great emphasis on the collective experiences, stress mechanisms and family (disease) history of a patient in order to prescribe an individualised remedy. If you have visited a Homeopath and had him/her come at you with seemingly strange questions, you now know why. At the time of the founder, Samuel Hahnemann (18th Century), the field of Epigenetics was not even conceived in thought. Today it shows promise to explain the lesser understood pathways of Homoeopathic healing. In theory, Homoeopathic remedies serve to hit the right buttons of your genetic code thus influencing gene expression. This is how nightmares or past trauma from childhood or a parent can be addressed and resolved.
Living in Hamburg, Germany I come across the influence of transgenerational epigenetics everyday. Colleagues whose grandparents were refugees from Prussia suffer from Depression and Bipolar Mood Disorders, friends whose fathers were World War II Prisoners of war; are wrecked with guilt and have PTSD about events that occurred before their birth.
It’s also in the less catastrophic occurences- children with nightmares and a history of an absent father while the mother was still pregnant. A young woman with horrific acne whose family history reveals abuse of the mother in her childhood.
Homoeopathy has deep reaching effects and the power to heal trauma.
If the science of epigenetics teaches us anything, it is that we are the product of our collective past. But this past is open to influence. There are blemishes and treasures we need to tend to. The nuturing can and will change the course of your DNA destiny. In other words- take care of your temple. But how?
As promised, my explanation for how I will get to 100 and still be fit:
Mens Sana in corpore Sano
Latin for a healthy mind in a healthy body. This translates into putting supreme effort to have a trifold wellbeing: mental, physical and psychological. That means getting my diet on point, nourishing myself with exercise, staying mentally agile and using every resource I have, especially Homoeopathy to keep myself balanced.
Feel free to jump on the bandwagon.
If you have queries, I’d be happy to help you achieve your best state of Mens Sana in corpore Sano. Get in touch.
1. Launer J. Postgrad Med J 2016;92:183–184
2. Kellermann NP, Isr J Psychiatry Relat Sci. 2013;50(1):33-9.