I write about how our thinking affects our health. A previous post, Expectation: the ultimate placebo effect shows how thinking can be effective medicine – even when patients are told beforehand about a placebo, yet still expect and experience good results.
But what if a problem is genetic? Is that conclusion that last word? NO.
Can our thinking still have an effect? YES.
A book that has something relevant to offer here is the Bible. It gives examples of people who were “born” with certain conditions and then cured through an entirely new spiritual perspective of their well being.
A newer book, written over a hundred years ago, (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy), states: “Heredity is not a law.” It explains how changing our mental response to that subject – changing how we think about theories associated with our genetic inheritance – can help heal and even prevent disease.
Modern research is coming around to this view. Deepak Chopra in a CNN article, “Can positive thinking make you well? says, “In the public’s mind, being told that cancer or diabetes is genetic acts as final authority…this fatalistic attitude is mistaken. Genes are dynamic, not fixed; they respond to a person’s environment, behavior and attitudes.” Chopra referenced a study in Sweden that shows “how much choice we have at the genetic level.”
So thinking affects genes!
The perennial discussion over nature vs. nurture remains unresolved. Whether physical conditions and tendencies are programmed into our genetic code or caused by influences from our life experience continues to be questioned. (See related article on Epigenetics.)
But the concept that genes are not fixed and can be altered by external factors including our mental approach, is truly revolutionary. It opens up a vast array of possibilities for both healing and preventing disease. And even without human genetic modification, it gives each of us more choices than we thought we had.
Consider for a moment… a medical diagnosis that we may be genetically predisposed to a certain illness for which there is no drug-based cure. It would tend to discourage and make us feel helpless. And those negative feelings can affect the body in an unhealthy way.
But if a positive change of attitude can alter or possibly remove the genetic trigger, then that frees us to hope for and even expect a good outcome. And just that hope and expectation alone have a healthy influence on the body.
A form of healthcare that leads thought in a way that may actually change our genetic makeup, involves more than positive thinking – although the harmful effects of negative thinking must be resisted.
We can make a conscious choice to consider the biblical idea that each individual is made in God’s image – that we inherit our makeup from Him. Does God have genetic flaws? Then neither does the image of God.
I’ve experienced healing results from that kind of thinking/praying – from mentally siding with the idea that our inheritance is only health from God, and refusing opposite conclusions.
The book mentioned above, Science and Health, says, “Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take.”
Whatever the diagnosis may be, you don’t have to accept genetics as inescapable. You have choices. There’s a spiritual view that enables you to make the decision for health as the final authority.