BalanceJulyIssue17 - 45


West has met East to prove
positive emotions really can
empower health and wellbeing,
as Divya Kohli explains


e are living in a 'golden age' when
it comes to understanding the
connection between the mind and
body. Over the past 30 years, there has been
a wellspring of scientific interest in 'stress' and
the complex effect it has on the body.
We are waking up to factors beyond food
and exercise as determinants of good
health. We are delving deeper and are

environment, behaviour, thoughts and
emotions of that person. It replaces the
former belief that an adult brain was
pretty much set, or hard-wired.
While the idea of neuroplasticity was
proposed well over 100 years ago, it's only
recently been possible to 'see' inside the
brain using functional magnetic resonance
imaging and confirm its adaptive ability.

his books Spontaneous Evolution and The
Biology of Belief). According to Dr Lipton, the
health of your body is not dependent on
your DNA, but rather lies within the
mechanisms of your cell membrane - and
those mechanisms are affected by... yes, you
guessed it... your thoughts. 
You are not controlled by your genetic
make-up, says Dr Lipton; instead, your

actively encouraged - unlike the post-war
generation - to consider the impact
relationships, finances, time management
and our environment are having on how
we feel physically.
But what if we could find a way that
didn't rely on outer change, or avoiding the
stresses of daily life, to manage increased
anxiety, uncertainty and the effect of the
socio-political landscape? That would be
revolutionary, wouldn't it?
Well, not if we look to the East, where
traditionally the mind and body have
been seen as one. Training the mind
and managing emotions as a path to
wellbeing has been documented in texts
by eastern scholars and mystics for
thousands of years.
However, in the West, it seems that it
has been the evolution of science that has
contributed to the step change in
acknowledging the power of the mind

This could have some far-reaching
consequences for the way we live, our
health, culture, treatment and education.
The brain's resilience and ability to
adapt means a person can recover from
stress and trauma, learn new things
and overcome
entrenched beliefs
and social
conditioning. The
limits are as
yet unknown.
However, it
also shows how
vulnerable and
sensitive we can be,
not only to external
influences such as
relationships and deadlines, but also to
our own internal 'self talk' and the
messages we choose to believe.

genetic 'readout' is primarily determined
by your internal environment, which
he defines as 'your thoughts, attitudes
and perceptions'.
This has far-reaching implications when
looking at the effect stress has on the
occurrence (or
non-occurrence) of
a health condition
or illness, and
similarly on how
we can empower
ourselves to
manage a
condition and
heal by reprogramming our
core beliefs.

both on, and in, the body.

Mind-body medicine is now a funded and
growing area of research and application,
borne out of ample studies that demonstrate
a clear link between thoughts, feelings and
emotions and the role they play in physical
health, even to the extent of potentially
reversing the effects of disease and trauma.
Related to this is neuroplasticity, also
known as brain plasticity, it refers to the
discovery of the brain's ability to re-organise
itself, both physiologically and functionally,
throughout a person's life, and the way it
does this is based on the changing


Epigenetics, an emerging area of
science that studies changes in organisms
caused by modifications in the way genes
express themselves (rather than by
changes to the genetic code itself), has
shattered the belief that genes and DNA
control our biology and determine health.
Rather, DNA is controlled by signals
from outside the cell, including messages
that arise from our thoughts and
environment. In other words, what we
think and feel, our environment and even
what we eat can influence how our
genetic traits express themselves.
Cellular biologist Bruce Lipton is a
leading authority on how emotions can
regulate genetic expression (explained in

July 2017 BALANCE

The emergence of quantum theory at the turn
of the 19th centry defied the belief that a
physical material universe (Newton) was at
the heart of what could be known in science.
Physicists including Max Planck and Thomas
Young started to explore the relationship
between energy and the structure of matter.
A dramatic shift occurred from thinking the
universe and our biology are solely physical
and mechanical. With the advent of quantum
physics, scientists have acknowledged the
invisible, immaterial realm, elevated its
status, with some even going as far as to say
it's more important than the material realm.
To really understand human biology, we need
also to comprehend non-physical factors.
As the pioneering engineer, physicist
and inventor Nikola Tesla predicted: 'The



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