This episode is going to stretch your thinking and leave you feeling inspired. Expanding on the concept of epigenetics, this episode dives into how beliefs influence biology and affect genetic function. And why we need to shift our perspective out of fear and into love, especially during times of crisis.
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If you'd like to learn more about the science of psychoneuroimmunology check out these resources:
Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton, PhD
Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, MD
Own Your Self by Kelly Brogan, MD
Resilience and Immunity
Social Anxiety Disorder RCT
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Episode 5 Transcript
0:13 Hello, and welcome to the hungry for truth podcast. I'm your host, Brigitte Factor, a truth seeker, researcher, scientist, nutritionist, teacher in truth teller, and awakening is coming. Get ready for it.
0:48 Welcome back to the hungry for truth podcast. Today's episode is going to expand your mind and elevate your thinking. Have you ever had an experienced stretch shoe, and you knew you could never go back to the way things were? Well, the information I'm sharing today may do just that. So get ready. In Episode Two, I introduced you to the topic of epigenetics, and how we can program our genes for better health. By changing the environment that houses our genes. The biggest influence on our cellular environment is nutrients from the food we eat. I'm going to expand on that concept. But instead of talking about food, I'm going to share with you how the thoughts we think can change our cellular environment and also our genetic expression as well.
1:42 Let's first lay the foundation of how this works. Our genes contain blueprints for building proteins. We used to think that genes controlled our health outcomes. Now research has demonstrated that the environment is what triggers the genes, not the genes themselves. So the environment determines which genes are activated to make the protein that is needed at that time. So how do our thoughts affect our cellular environment? Well, when we have a thought it can trigger an emotion and chemicals are released in the brain that correspond to that emotion. These chemicals are neurotransmitters and they have biological effects. Have you ever heard the phrase thoughts are things meaning our thoughts become reality because they become chemicals in the brain?
2:34 Our cells have receptors that sense the chemicals in the environment. For example, our immune system, or our immune cells have receptors that bind to epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are chemicals released in response to stress. I'm going to come back to this example in a minute. There is an emerging field of science called psychoneuroimmunology. Another way big word. Yes, I know. I like big words and I cannot lie. Okay, Okay, I'm done. But psychoneuroimmunology, or we can call it PNI for short, explores the connection between our psychology, neurology and immunology, which is basically studying how our thoughts affect our brain chemistry, which in turn affects our immune system. The thoughts we think can literally release inflammatory chemicals in the body.
3:29 In Episode Three, I discussed the stress response and the influence stress hormones have on our hormonal balance. It turns out, stress hormone shut off our immune system by blocking certain immune cells. The Nobel Prize in 1950 was given for the discovery of glucocorticoids, a type of stress hormone and its effects on immunosuppression. This is why doctors use steroid creams to shut down rashes. rashes are an immune response. And the steroid cream which contains corticoids turns it off. The stress hormones released during a stress response actually regulate the gene that makes cytokines by changing the environment of the cell. stress hormones circulate in the body. The cells perceive these hormones through their receptors, and a signal is relayed to the gene that makes cytokines. Now you've probably heard that word cytokines recently. cytokines are the inflammatory chemicals that are released during an immune response. We need them in the right amount for our immune system to work properly. If we produce too many inflammation can get out of control and cause damage to other tissues. If we don't have enough, we can't mount a proper immune response. A cytokine storm happens when our immune cells break do too many cytokines in this causes damage to the surrounding cell. This is the danger of a respiratory infection that can't be controlled by the immune system. When stress hormones are elevated, it sends the wrong signal to our cytokine gene and our immune cells do not respond properly in inflammation increases. The relationship between stress and inflammation runs in circles, and they feed each other. As we become more inflamed, we perceive the world as more stressful. Inflammation clouds the lens in which we view the world. Our stress levels increase, which increases inflammation. This cycle continues if we are chronically stressed, meaning we are continually stressed. If we are chronically stressed, we actually lower our ability to fight infection. And it makes us more susceptible to illnesses like the common cold. Part of this is because our immune cells have receptors that bind to these stress chemicals. And when they bind to these stress chemicals, it decreases their ability to do their job.
6:18 The crux of psychoneuroimmunology is that our brain lies between our inner and outer world. Our brain is the conduit between the world that we experience and our internal biology. How we perceive and respond to the environment has a direct effect on our internal biochemistry. When we misperceive our environment, we program our biology with the wrong informed information. Let me explain what I mean. Remember from Episode Three, when I talked about Captain H, the hypothalamus being responsible for serving the body and bringing it back into balance when something was off? If you haven't listened to that episode, you can go back and do so. And you'll learn even more about what I'm talking about. Well, our brain is responsible for perceiving the world around us and adjusting our biology accordingly. What if you have the power to heal your body just by changing how your mind thinks and feels? That's a powerful concept. You can alter your body's physiology just by changing your mind. You can also make yourself sick when your mind thinks unhealthy thoughts.
7:47 Have you ever heard of the placebo effect? the placebo effect describes the response when someone's symptoms improve when they are told they are taking an active drug, but they are really taking an inert pill like a sugar pill. In other words, they believe they are taking a drug for their symptoms. And that belief results in symptom resolution, even though they weren't given the actual drug. This is why drug studies have to include a placebo group. It is estimated that 35 to 40% of any drugs action is directly related to the placebo effect. And if pharmaceutical companies want to prove their drug actually works, it has to do better than a placebo. The nocebo effect works in an opposite way. It's where if you believe you are going to experience a side effect of a drug, you are more likely to experience that side effect. If you believe you're going to experience a negative reaction, you are more likely to this is demonstrated in research done with medical students where 79% of medical students report developing symptoms of illnesses they are studying. Simply by studying the illness and learning more about it, they can start to think they have that illness.
9:10 There's more research that demonstrates just how powerful mindset can be. In one randomized clinical trial using Lexapro they divided people with social anxiety disorder into two groups. Instead of using a placebo group, both groups were given the drug, but one group was told they were taking a placebo. Their progress was monitored with brain scans measuring brain activity, and both groups received the same dosage of medication. But the group that was told they were given the placebo only 14% responded to treatment. And this is compared to the 50% that responded in the other group. The only difference between the two groups was what they were told and led to believe Leave. And nearly four times as many people showed significant improvement in a group that believed they were getting the act of drug compared to the group that believed they were getting a placebo. Even though both of them were getting the active drug. This demonstrate that's the placebo effect is stronger than the drug effect, in this case.
10:24 Our brain is wired for belief. And we can change our health outcomes by changing our mind. When we shift our perspective of illness from fear and danger to positive belief, the brain responds biochemically. This changes the cellular environment, and our cells change the way they respond. Positive belief decreases inflammatory responses and boosts the immune system. Negative beliefs repeatedly trigger the stress response and the cellular environment gets poisoned with stress hormones. Stress hormones, halt our self repair mechanisms and prevent healing. When we are in a high stress environment, the immune system isn't the priority. fighting the stressor is and I touched on this concept in episode three when I'm explaining the stress response. Stress also depresses forebrain activity and inhibits conscious thinking. So the hind brain kicks in and we tap into reflex mechanisms. When we are stressed, we are not using intelligent thinking we are using reflexive behavior. This makes it difficult to reason with anyone who has who is in a stress state because they can't tap into their reasoning ability. How much does this explain the irrational behavior we've been witnessing lately.
12:04 This is reflected in which side of the nervous system is responding, the sympathetic or parasympathetic. And our nervous system responds to stress in one or two ways that either taps into the sympathetic response which is our fight or flight response, or the parasympathetic response, which is our rest and digest response. And again, I expanded more on this in Episode Three, we can only be in one or the other, not both. And when we are in a sympathetic response, we respond to protect ourselves, we either fight or we flee. We tap into our parasympathetic response when we relax, and this also helps us be in a repair mode as well. We are designed to tap into our sympathetic nervous system for short periods of time only, not to be there continually. Like many of us are in today's environment. Think of it this way, we respond to external stimuli with one of two responses, growth or protection. Love is the ultimate growth response for a human fear is the exact opposite. It puts you in a protection response. Fear causes a stress response which shuts down our ability to fight infection and heal. You can only heal when you're in a relaxed state. When we are bombarded with messages to be afraid, we are making it harder for our bodies to resist disease and making it more likely that we will catch an infection. When someone freaks out that they have an infection they are making it harder on themselves. However, if we can shift our perspective and realize that we are resilient human beings, capable of handling whatever happens to us, we can shift out of fear and start recognizing the truth of what we are truly capable of. Here is a quote by Gabor Mate that beautifully articulates this concept. “Genuine positive thinking or more deeply positive being empowers us to know that we have nothing to fear from truth.” I'm not saying positive thinking is a cure for anything. I am saying how we respond to our circumstances makes a big difference in our health outcomes. Love is the response we need to tap into at this moment more than ever. “There is no fear in love. perfect love casts out fear. If we are afraid it's for fear of punishment. And this shows that we have not fully experienced to perfect love,” First John 4:18 Have you experienced the perfect love of God? Are you radiating that love to others? If you are, then you are helping to contribute to a positive healing environment. our communities and our nation need the message of love more than anything right now.
15:24 “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14. “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.” Romans 8:38 “Do not be afraid, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Second Timothy 1:7. There is a better way to navigate this current crisis that we're in; love, not fear. Jesus tells us to love each other as I have loved you, John 15:12. The absolute source of perfect love and truth is Jesus Christ, and it's out of his love that I'm sharing this with you. He has given us hope for a brighter future.
16:20 Thank you for listening. Please share this episode widely and share this message of love and hope with others. You can embark on your own health awakening by enrolling in my free replenish and renew seven day health awakening ecourse. Just go to BrigitteFactor. com/replenishandrenew to enroll now. It's free to join and it starts right now. I will post references and links to what I talked about in today's episode in the show notes. So if you want to explore this concept further, you can do so. Now go forth and be part of our collective awakening. Until next time, Grace and peace to you.