It has been said we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And EFT is a tool that makes this very clear… at first it seems unbelievable, perhaps even a little magical but in truth it really has a very strong biological explanation.
Over two thousand years ago, the Buddha declared: “We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act.” Today’s research is reinforcing what wise students of the human condition have known for millennia. Neuroscientist Candace Pert, PhD, tells us that “the molecules of our emotions share intimate connections with, and are indeed inseparable from, our physiology…. Consciously, or more frequently, unconsciously, we choose how we feel at every single moment.” Practices for well-being once prescribed only by sages and priests are now being advocated by geneticists and neurobiologists. Dr. Dawson Church in Genie in your Genes
The very roots of EFT are rooted in our DNA. A growing number of players in alternative and conventional medicine, from around the world, are realizing the potential of energy medicine and its effects on the expression of our DNA. This is very good news for anyone living within the confines of an autoimmune disease. Techniques from energy medicine and Energy Psychology can alleviate chronic diseases, shift autoimmune conditions, and eliminate psychological traumas with an efficiency and speed that conventional treatments can scarcely touch. Dr. Dawson Church, Genie in Your Genes
It is quite remarkable to realize so many conditions in our bodies can be positively affected. And even more so when it is as simple as changing our thoughts or feelings, which can be achieved through tapping on our meridians. How marvelous is that? – Presto what science has realized is our thoughts, or emotions are capable of a surge in our organs, which in turn triggers genetic changes in our cells.
The above statement is the ideal, but there is still a glitch to all this new research because many of the scientists are still holding onto the belief that genes determine everything from our physical characteristics to our behavior. Of course, this only causes confusion amongst the public as to what to believe. In other words, we have not fully overcome the hurdle of believing our genes form an unchangeable blueprint for our cells. This long-standing belief is even further highlighted by the media who run printed articles and news stating scientists have found the dyslexia gene, schizophrenia gene, genes for homosexuality, genes for alcoholism, etcetera. Truly all this research left us besotted with genes but sadly this thinking has been proven to be not true and unfortunately has not died a timely death.
Perhaps a bigger problem with this theory is it leaves the public confused and unsure what to believe. The public becomes vulnerable to what they should believe – even as we have just stated our emotions and thoughts are being affected. Soon we will have a viscous circle as no one knows what to believe. And ultimately our health will be affected.
It seems a reasonable question to ask ourselves every time we glance at an article on DNA how the theory got laid down by the experts as indisputably true: that DNA holds the blueprint for development became so completely accepted? That we were born a certain way and it cannot be changed. I remember one of my singing instructors saying there is a thought that you can either sing or you can’t – and yes, we all know some gifted singers from birth, but most are taught just like anything else you might wish to learn – i.e., a sport. To say, she is a born singer in most cases is not true.
To add into the mix, as well as beings of matter, we are beings of energy. We all know someone coming up and touching us and giving off an electric shock – but how many of us stop to think we are energetic beings? Indeed, electricity and magnetism are fundamentals of ancient and modern medicine. Words like heart pacemakers, MRIs, EEGs, and EKGs are familiar and all are based on electromagnetic devices.
The energy flowing in, around, and out of neurons and genes interacts constantly with the outside environment. Genes are how organisms store information, while energy is about how they communicate information. Researching genes without looking at the energy component of DNA is like studying a computer hard drive without plugging in the power cable. Hard drives are composed of thousands of sectors, substructures that store information. Dr. Dawson Church, Genie in Your Genes
The Human Genome Project
Let us take a brief look at the Human Genome project where much of this information is derived from.
The Human Genome Project was a global scientific collaboration effort whose main goal was to generate the first sequence of the human genome. It involved both mapping and sequencing the entire genome, from both a physical and functional standpoint. It was thought that once the genetic code was unlocked it would unlock the secrets to disease, and maybe even to life itself. Certainly an admirable goal. At the outset, in 1990, it was thought that the human genome would consist of some 120,000 genes because researchers suspected it would take this minimum number to code all the characteristics of an organism as complex as a human being. This formula was derived from: our bodies manufacture about 100,000 proteins, the building blocks of cells. All those 100,000 building blocks must be assembled with precise coordination to support life. At the start of the Human Genome Project scientists figured there would be a gene that provided the blueprint to manufacture each of those 100,000 proteins, plus another 20,000 or so regulatory genes whose function was to coordinate the complex protein assembly.
The further the project progressed, the smaller the estimates of the number of genes became. When the project finished its catalog, they had mapped the human genome as consisting of just 23,688 genes. The huge symphony orchestra of genes they had expected to find had shrunk to the size of a string quartet. The questions that this small number of genes give rise to are these: If all the information required to construct and maintain a human being—or even one big instrument, such as the brain—is not contained in the genes, where does it come from? And who is conducting the whole complex dance of assembly of multiple organ systems? Dr. Dawson Church in Genie in your Genes (For further information on this Google the human genome project.)
It was an exciting and very attractive vision, but it turns out that we are very, very complex beings. Certainly, much more than thought. At the conclusion of the project scientists derived at the knowledge there are about 100,000 biological processes which are happening in each cell of your body at every second. And tweaking one gene this way and one gene that way often had unforeseen side effects on other parts of that process.
The seeming failure of this project did leave a monstrous question on the table – “If all the —– required to construct and maintain a human being—or even something, such as the brain—is not contained in the genes, where does it come from? And who or what is conducting the whole complex control of multiple organ systems?
The idea that genes are storage for our characteristics was a term coined by Sir Francis Crick in 1957, the co-discoverer of DNA in a speech entitled “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology.” Please refer to Google to read a more in-depth explanation about the Central Dogma.
There are many flaws in the Central Dogma. The thought that genes can be activated and deactivated by the environment within the body and outside of the body is one of them. Since the Human Genome project, a smaller number of scientists have continued to research with, learning more about this process and what factors influence their activation.
It is exciting to note that they have discovered that human genes move with our awareness – thoughts and feelings play a big part in turning genes on and off! It is also being recognized that neural pathways of a human brain are motivated by our emotions. This in turn can be responsible for our behavior. In summary, the thoughts we think, the quality of our consciousness, increases the flow of information along specific neural pathways.
Our genes are being affected every day by the environment of our thoughts and feelings, as surely as they are being affected by the environment of our families, homes, parks, markets, churches, and offices. Your system may be flooded with adrenaline because a mugger is running toward you with a knife. It may also be flooded with adrenaline because of a stressful change at work. And it may be flooded with adrenaline in the absence of any concrete stimulus other than the thoughts you’re having about the week ahead—a week that hasn’t happened yet and may never happen. Let’s take a look at the evolutionary purpose of these physiological events, and whether they’re adaptive (helpful to your body) or maladaptive (harmful to your body). Dr. Dawson Church. Genie in Your Genes
Let’s now consider three different scenarios. The first one is in the past because it reflects on a scene from cavemen whereas the others are from the present.
Using your imagination for Scenario 1 – Several thousands of years ago when an unsuspecting caveman was lunged at by a tiger hiding in the tall grasses his body quickly acted. Blood flowed away from his digestive tract toward his muscles. His brain became hyperactive, and his reproductive drive shut down. Thousands of biochemical changes took place in all the cells of his body within a couple of seconds, enabling him to run away from the tiger, or take out his club to defend himself – a term known as flight or flee. Fortunately, our man was successful in clubbing the tiger – and the most successful outcome in this scenario. An upside to this story is, his strong genes were passed to his offspring. Today we recognize these responses to this threat as adaptive.
Scenario 2 comes from an incident which happened to me last week. I shower myself in the morning. After I transfer myself onto my commode, the staff then move my commode into the shower, and I proceed from there. Twenty minutes later a staff member came back into my washroom. She proceeded to wash my back at which time I said, “I’m finished and as soon as you bring the towels to me, I can get dried off and dressed.” I thought she had gone to take the towels out of my warmer (which is in my room) and when that was all ready I would turn the water off. Instead, I heard the click of my door and realized she had left my room. I yanked on my alarm bell to call her back but sat for another 15 minutes with no one coming. I was sitting there getting very agitated, looking around to see if I could get myself off. Realizing there was no way to safely do this – I am quite certain it would have meant a fall for me. When she did return, I commented, “I told you to get my towels from the warmer and I would finish my shower.” This brought out a bit of an interchange between the two of us at which she finally told me I was being rude. I said, “No, I’m not being rude I’m trying to understand how to communicate with you.” She did not respond to this at all so inside I fumed. Until I was dried and dressed there was little conversation between us.
Suddenly, there were two people in my washroom that in essence felt like myself against a tiger.
Throughout the day I would continue to think about this incident and still fume inside. One thing I think of is, who can I talk to – my neighbour, another staff member, should I try to discuss with her again, the social worker? Who will understand my point of view? Because it always seems to me it is myself against the staff. I find myself thinking thoughts but perhaps we come under the same category, a fight or flight because I just want to get out of here. Unfortunately, this may seem like an isolated incident but similar scenarios to this one often happens.
Scenario 3 – It’s Sunday and I have had a good day. I went to church this morning. I had a fun conversation with another resident, full of laughter. I participated in my photography course, I listened to my book on Audio. After supper I came back to my room and started to get my clothes ready for tomorrow. As I was in my room realizing that I’m going to have another shower tomorrow – thoughts of the last one where surfacing in my mind and I start recalling the conversation. I realize along with the recall of the conversation, all the negative feelings – my stomach was clenching, I was grinding my teeth and I was thinking that maybe it’s just better if I go into the shower, stay silent and won’t talk to anyone.
Even as the thought crossed my mind, “I won’t talk to anyone,” my reasonable mind was saying that’s not possible.
What was happening in my body in those last two scenarios – maladaptive responses. “Maladaptive” means that they aren’t helping you; in fact, if I continue thinking like this it is going to be hurtful to me. All the stress hormones are flowing, just as they were in the picture of the tiger and the caveman (Scenario 1). In Scenario 2 and 3 they are doing my body no practical good. Trust me when I say, no positive result will come if I overload my system with cortisol, one of the primary stress hormones.
Instead, what will happen, is that the circulation of these stress hormones through a system will finally compromise the immune system, weaken the organs, and age the person prematurely (In my case, a job Multiple Sclerosis is already doing, and I suspect is true of many of my readers.). The activating genes that were a friend for the caveman in Scenario 1, are counterproductive, or are a foe, in the last two scenarios.
I think a takeaway to learn here is, that while the fight-or-flight response may have been adaptive in caveman times, with Mother Nature cheering you on, today it’s often maladaptive, and Mother Nature is saying, “Stop! You’re ruining your body!” Unfortunately, modern humans are having difficulty making adaptations. Dr. Dawson Church in Genie in Your Genes
A researcher observes: “Our body doesn’t make a moral judgment about our feelings; it just responds accordingly.”
Biochemically speaking, your body cannot tell the difference between the injection of chemicals that is triggered by an objective threat—the caveman running from a tiger, and a subjective threat—your resentment towards the staff member. The biochemical and genetic effects, as far as your body is concerned, are the same. Your body can’t tell that one experience is a physical reality, and the other is a replay of an abstract mental idea. Both are creating a chemical environment around your cells that is full of signals to your genes, several classes of which activate the proteins associated with stress. Dr. Dawson Church, Genie in Your Genes
As genes go there is more that could be said about them. One thing is definite: The activation of genes is intimately connected with healing and immune system function.
Which brings the thought, will one day the doctor’s prescription be written something like this: in addition to this medication I am prescribing, consider a daily dose of a healing belief or thought, a positive feeling, an Energy Medicine, or a suggestion to keep a gratitude journal. (Or maybe the drugs could be dropped all together!) For humanity, I believe that is a day to look forward to and celebrate. When that happens EFT will come into vogue.