Saturday, 26 July 2014

Epigenetics And ' Un - aging ' The Body

Opening our minds to what’s possible, instead of presuming impossibility, can lead to better health at any age.
In September 1981 social psychologist Ellen Langer took a group of eight men in their seventies and eighties for five day retreat to a monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire. For the time of the retreat the men were asked to pretend that they were young again  or at least 22 years younger than they were at that time. On the retreat the men were surrounded by cues to help them re-create the earlier age. They watches movies and television programmes from that time, they listened to recordings of Perry Como and Nat King Cole on the radio and in general relived that time in their lives as much as possible. Everything was arranged to help them IMAGINE that they were young again.

After the retreat the researchers took several measurements and compared them to those they had taken before the start of the study. The bodies of the men were younger both structurally and functionally.   The researchers discovered improvements in height and weight the men grew taller as their posture straightened and their joints became more flexible. Their grip strength improved as did their eyesight and hearing.
The men literally became younger in those five days, right in front of the researchers eyes.

How did this happen ?
 The men had turned on circuits in their brains that reminded them of who they had been 22 years earlier and their body chemistry had responded. They didn't just 'feel' younger their bodies had become younger. The answer is their GENES which are not as immutable as we formerly believed.
Thanks to epigenetics  we now have proof that organisms  ( including people as in the above example ) can change the expression of genes. Genes are what decide how our bodies express themselves. Genes control the production of hormones which control our mood , our digestive system in fact genes control us. But now we Know that we ourselves can influence the activation of our genes. We need no longer be victims of our genes but by becoming more conscious of our thoughts , our emotions and our choices, we can activate genes which enhance our well being.

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