Turning The Switch On or Off to Genetic Conditions Through Diet, Lifestyle, and Healing Modalities
By: Autumn Bear
Being diagnosed with a genetic disorder, well, it sometimes blows. There really is no way to lightly tread around it but I’d like to think that this is the part where I fly in wearing my hypothetical tights and cape and say “Never Fear, SuperBear is Here!” Ok, maybe I won’t ever do that but the point I would like to make is that there are a whole host of things we can choose to do to help keep ourselves from expressing some or even all of whatever genetic challenges we may have been given.
Let’s talk about food for a minute. Food is one of the most talked about subjects in health but often the most underutilized when we are looking at healing genetic disease. There are several groups of foods that can be very taxing on the immune system and the body’s overall function and in many cases can be a trigger that can turn on or off our genetic conditions even if they don’t seem related. The prominent foods that have such power and influence on our health are gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and alcohol. These are not new topics and get thrown around all the time when it comes to food allergies but they have a powerful, powerful, powerful (did I say POWERFUL), affect on the body. Each of these is a huge discussion all on it’s own but I think it is important to mention that the elimination of these foods from a person’s diet can literally mean the complete shut off of some of the serious adverse affects of a genetic condition. For example, I have a colleague who has MS. If she eats gluten, dairy or soy in any way, shape, or form she cannot walk and she loses the function of her arms. However, in the elimination of these products from her diet as well as focusing on great nutrition and the use of herbs she is able to have absolute normal function of her legs and arms. Do you see what I mean about powerful?
What we eat can be as much of a trigger as a shut off for many conditions. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to cure anything but it does mean we can make choices that can severely improve our life and mitigate some of the affects that a genetic condition can have on our person.
Then, of course, we talk about the age old issue of stress. We all have it, that is a given. However, a huge factor in how well we feel often comes with how we decide to live and how much stress we decide to have. This topic always makes my patients want to defend their jobs and why they do what they do and why they live the way they live but what I think is important to remember is that we always have a choice. Stress is something we completely allow to be part of our lives.
A bear chasing you, THAT is stress! Deadlines, papers due, a cranky boss, bills
etc. etc… these are real stress too but it is how we decide to deal with these stressors that makes a difference between health and disease. If you can’t change your job, you have to find a way to change your response system to the things that stress you out. Stress will trigger more health issues than half of what we eat and even more so if we have a genetic disposition that makes us more susceptible to things like stress and diet. If there is one thing that I wish we could always understand to the deepest depths of our core is that we always have a choice. Sit and think about what is really going on in your life and make a choice to choose health and whatever will make you well.
As we travel trough the rabbit hole of genetic disease, the last thing that I think is important for anyone seeking health, wellness, and relief is to understand that there are many many healing modalities that are beyond the basic western medical system. Taking the time to explore other modalities may bring you wonderful relief, help you cope better with some of the emotional turmoil that can come with a genetic condition and can leave you feeling cared for in the most humanistic of ways. No matter what your condition, consider branching out into Acupuncture, Herbalism, Dietary Therapy, Massage, Physical Training, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Feldenkrais method, Alexander Method, Gyrotonics, Yoga, Meditation, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Zero Balancing, Reiki, and the list goes on and on. Surprise yourself, branch out beyond what is right in front of you and see what happens. You may often find yourself pleasantly surprised.
There is no perfect life, but there is always growth, discovery, empowerment, and amazement. Making choices to choose health, wellness and enlightenment allow us to be wonderful people in spite of what challenges our bodies may face. Choose to be empowered and live life knowing there is always something out there to help you along on your journey of discovery.