Your body is an incredibly intelligent, dynamic, work of art. Without your conscious effort your body performs essential functions designed to keep you alive. It listens and responds to the messages you send it, dynamically creating your body cell by cell, moment by moment. Cells are the building blocks of your body, and in each moment you are given a new opportunity to direct their behaviour. There’s a simple and empowering message in this: you are the most powerful influence on your cells behaviour.
In days of old it was assumed that the behaviour of your cells was determined by your genes, though this had never been proven scientifically it became the prominent theory. This disempowering thought placed you at the victim of your heredity. The threat of illnesses passed down through the family line hanging over your head like a dark cloud. Thankfully as scientists began to look deeper into the behaviour of cells, they found that this assumption was incorrect.
Bruce Lipton, Cellular Biologist and Author, explains that cells are complex creations that contain all the same systems as your physical body. It’s fascinating to understand that your cells have their own respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, immune system and all the other systems that your body has. The nucleus of the cell which contains all your genes was thought to be the brain, or the “control” centre of the cell. In living organisms if the brain is removed the result is death, but what he found while researching cells, was that the nucleus could be removed and the cell would continue to perform its functions for months afterwards. The fact that cells continued to function normally without their nucleus and genes, prompted the question: “Where is the control centre of the cell if it’s not in the genes?”
He eventually concluded that the control centre of the cells is the cellular membrane, its skin! The membrane acts as an interface between the internal cell and its external environment. The membrane receives neurochemical signals from your nervous system, then in response transmits secondary signals within the cell which tell the cell how to behave. Therefore it’s the environment that your cells are responding to, and while the environment can select which genes are expressed, you have a powerful influence over that environment.
So what makes up this environment?
Your physical, external environment
Your perception of your environment
Your internal environment of neurochemicals
Your body’s internal environment is filled with neurochemicals that activate the cell’s behaviour. This internal environment is created by the response to your external environment, and most importantly by the response to your perception of that environment. Because your cells cannot interact directly with your external environment, they rely on your sense of perception to understand what is going on and respond appropriately to the situation. Sometimes the perception of our environment is different to the reality of our environment, but our body responds to our perceptions and the accompanying emotions by sending neurochemical signals to our cells that instruct them how to behave.
We adjust our genes to fit the environment we think we live in, perception is belief! Your own beliefs are activating your genes.
Your cells essentially have two modes of behaviour to choose from: either “growth” mode, or “protection” mode.
Growth mode is activated when your cells receive chemical signals that all is well, you are safe in your environment and it can focus on repair and regeneration. Cells receive these signals when you perceive your world in a way that makes you feel safe, supported, happy and loved. In fact, love has been found to be the most health-promoting, growth-promoting chemistry you can have!
Protection mode is activated when your cells receive chemical signals that there is a threat to contend with. Cells receive the signal to “protect” whenever you perceive your world as threatening, painful, hostile, fearful and stressful. The threat may not be an actual threat to your life, it could be an argument with a loved one, a traffic jam or a tight deadline, all are experienced as “threatening” to your survival and your cells respond as such.
While protection mode is activated you are not in growth mode, meaning your repair and regenerate functions are switched off. You are in the fight or flight response: Bodily functions not essential to your immediate survival switch off. The much-needed blood flow to your internal organs is redirected to your limbs. Less blood flow to the brain limits your brain function and you won’t make the smartest long-term decisions. Your immune system shuts down making you more prone to illness and the harmful effects of environmental toxins. Living chronically in this mode leads to serious health issues such as heart attack, stroke and death.
It’s clear that creating an internal environment that activates growth mode will give your cells the best opportunity to express health in your body.
Gregg Braden, an inspiring Speaker and Author who bridges science and spirituality tells us “The best science now tells us that every organ in our body has the ability to heal itself, every organ, even the organs we were told could not (so brain tissue, spinal cord tissue, heart tissue, pancreatic tissue) — all now are documented with the ability to heal themselves if they are given the right environment, and that environment is directly connected to thoughts, feelings and emotions, how we feel about this world.”
As the saying goes “life is a rollercoaster” so how can you create the “right” environment to promote health in your body, especially when you’re feeling thrown for a loop? The answer lies in your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Despite what you might think, these are very much within your control, and you can change them if you choose to.
As you change your perception and belief about a situation by reaching for more positive thoughts, feelings and emotions, your body chemistry changes. Your adjusted belief has sent the signal sent to your nervous system that all is well, which sends a barrage of life-affirming chemical messages to your cells. It disengages “protection” mode in favour of “growth” mode. You may not have changed the situation, but you have changed its affect on you, your cells and your overall health and wellbeing.
You could say you have become the mastermind of your health.
Remember that your cells behaviour is created moment by moment with each perception you create. Every moment is a new opportunity to choose perceptions that lead to life-affirming cell behaviour.
Remember also, that love is the most growth-promoting signal in the world. If you want to settle into growth mode, if you want to renew, repair and heal your body, do anything that activates your feelings of love. Give love, receive love, think about love! Aim to make love your natural state of being or at least enjoy the neurochemical euphoria that comes with trying.
If you recognise that you have limiting beliefs that are activating your "protection" mode, be sure to read my next blog post where I will share simple Belief Changing Techniques that you can do at home.
With love and gratitude,