PERREAULT Magazine March 2014 - Page 23




DNA can be said to provide the basic blueprint of life. Research has established that the food we eat, the air we breathe and the ecological systems in which we live control the switches that turn on and off the expression of our genes and DNA. Additionally, our perceptions of the world we live in and the relationship we have with ourselves, vibrationally, affects the expression of our DNA. These influences on gene and DNA expression, which can trigger the path to addiction, are known as Epigenetics. The signals that the DNA receives from our environment, directly affects the transmission and perpetuation of the genetic expression of the DNA. Addiction carries epigenetic changes that are usually in response to a stressful environment. If that environmental stress is eliminated and replaced with Balance and Harmony, then over time, the DNA communication to our cells will reflect the new information and our bodies will respond in a more optimal, healthy and vibrant way.

The key to understanding the basis of Epigenetics is knowing that this field of study has emerged as the way to bridge the gap between nature and nurture.

The Science of Epigenetics allows us to understand just how closely nature and nurture are linked and how this link affects us as individuals. In his books, The Biology of Belief, and Spontaneous Evolution, cellular biologist, Dr. Bruce Lipton explains how emotions can regulate genetic expression. He says that, “Each cell membrane has receptors that pick up various environmental signals such as thoughts attitudes and perceptions. Your cells can choose to read or not read specific genes depending on the signals being received from these environmental receptors.”

Epigenetic Science makes it possible for us to see that just because we are genetically programmed a certain way; we also have the power to make choices that change the expression of the genetic program. What you are thinking, feeling and believing is changing the genetic expression and chemical composition of your body on a moment-by-moment basis.

When you understand that with every feeling and thought, in every instant, you are performing epigenetic engineering on your own cells, you suddenly have a degree of leverage over your health and happiness that makes all the difference.

The essential nature

of addiction

There is an impulse, you act upon it…it feels good...that is the beginning…

We are all addicted to something. Every single person on this planet is facing some form of addiction on some level. You may be addicted to a lifestyle, money, a person, a feeling like guilt or neediness, a memory from your past, a victim story, a repetitive thinking pattern, the high from gambling, alcohol, drugs, sex, cigarettes, food or perhaps depressing thoughts about life…the evening news.

Addiction can be defined as the uncontrolled, compulsive use of a substance, person, thought or behavior for the purpose of changing a person’s emotional state. In the early stages leading to addiction most addicts fail to consider any adverse consequences pertaining to their actions. The key point is that people rarely make a choice to become addicted and most lack even the awareness that they are. People become addicted because of the way their brain works; addiction makes neurobiology deviate from the normal position of being able to control behavior.

According to William Renthal and Eric Nestler in their article “Epigenetic Mechanisms in Drug Addiction” published in the Journal of Trends in Molecular Medicine, addiction is a process based in modified functioning of the pleasure-reward areas of the brain. In the beginning these modifications progressively increase the vulnerability of an individual to engage in repeated substance use and are often impulsive in behavior. Increased substance use results in even greater epigenetic changes in the brain’s pleasure-reward areas and is sought to eliminate aversive emotional states experienced while sober, rather than for the desired pleasurable affects. This is what launches us into the vicious cycle of addiction, and what keeps us addicted until we realize we need help.

What eventually makes someone an addict depends on their level of avoidance to pain and their attachment to pleasure. Later on, after repeated exposure, drug or alcohol use becomes compulsively reinforcing.

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