Can You Change Your DNA?
Is it possible to change our DNA from within ourselves? Can we even alter our DNA blueprint?
At the Institute of HeartMath, we have been researching these questions for over a decade. This is such an intriguing subject to me that I wanted to share some of the results with you and invite you into the conversation.
First a little background on DNA.
The DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in the nucleus of our cells contains the blueprint for our developing body and instructions for who we will become. For example, it can tell our eyes to eventually turn from blue at birth to hazel later on, tell our height to grow from 20 inches at birth to 70 inches as an adult, and direct a multitude of other changes over the course of our lives.
Scientists used to believe that the DNA with which we are born is the sole determinant for who we are and will become, however studies have shown that strict genetic determinism is a flawed theory. Thus, a new field of study called epigenetics was born, which is quite exciting.
Epigenetics and Beyond
The field of epigenetics studies how the development, functioning and evolution of biological systems are influenced by forces operating outside the DNA sequence, including intracellular, environmental and energetic influences. Scientists have accepted since the 1950s that epigenetic influence is critical to human development.
Epi – Greek for “besides” – combines with the word, genetics, to essentially mean “something more than genetics.” That “something more” is most often held to be the environment –meaning that our genetic code and the environment in which we develop together determine who and what we are.
Stem cell biologist, Institute of HeartMath scientific advisory board member, and a bestselling author on the subject of epigenetics, Bruce Lipton, Ph.D. explains why exploring the distinction between genetic determinism and various epigenetic influences is vitally important:
“The difference between these two is significant because this fundamental belief called genetic determinism literally means that our lives, which are defined as our physical, physiological and emotional behavioral traits, are controlled by the genetic code,” said Lipton in an interview with the online magazine, Superconsciousness. “This kind of belief system provides a visual picture of people being victims: If the genes control our life function, then our lives are being controlled by things outside of our ability to change them. This leads to victimization that the illnesses and diseases that run in families are propagated through the passing of genes associated with those attributes. Laboratory evidence shows this is not true.”
Changing DNA with Heart-Focused Intention
Institute of HeartMath researchers found evidence that the physical nature of DNA strands can change with heart-focused intention. Their published article, Modulation of DNA Conformation by Heart-Focused Intention – McCraty, Atkinson, Tomasino, 2003 – describes experiments that achieved such results.
In one study, an individual holding three DNA samples was directed to generate heart rhythm coherence – a physiological state of mental, emotional and physical balance and harmony – with the aid of a HeartMath technique that utilizes heart-focused breathing while experiencing a positive emotion of love and appreciation, and then holding the intention that one or more of the DNA samples would either wind or unwind. The individual succeeded, as instructed, to intentionally and simultaneously unwind two of the DNA samples to different extents and leave the third unchanged.
“The results provide experimental evidence to support the hypothesis that aspects of the DNA molecule can be altered through intentionality,” the article reported. “The data indicate that when individuals are in a heart-focused, loving state and in a more coherent mode of physiological functioning, they have a greater ability to alter the conformation of DNA… Individuals capable of generating higher ratios of heart coherence were able to alter DNA conformation according to their intention. … Control group participants showed low ratios of heart coherence and were unable to intentionally alter the conformation of DNA.”
A Steady Diet of Quantum Nutrients
Many of us feel that who we are and what we can become are affected by the thoughts, feelings and intentions we have every day. Yet, it’s something else to ponder how our thoughts, feelings and intentions can, in turn, affect what our DNA expresses. I intuitively feel that the appreciation and love we experience or the anger and anxiety we experience can influence and possibly alter the outcome of each individual’s DNA blueprint.
When we have ongoing negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, dislike or hate, or repeatedly think negative thoughts such as ‘I hate my job,’ ‘I don’t like so and so’ or ‘Who does he think he is?,’ we experience stress and our energy reserves get redirected. Emotional stress causes a portion of our energy reserves, which otherwise would be maintaining, repairing and regenerating our biological systems, to become drained and another portion to be directed to offsetting the immune and hormonal consequences that negative thoughts and feelings create.
In contrast, when we intentionally activate the coherent power of our heart with sincere feelings of appreciation, care and love, we allow our heart’s energy to work for us and to refuel our energy reserves. Consciously choosing to focus on a sincere positive heart feeling over a negative one means instead of the drain and damage stress causes our internal systems, we are renewed mentally, physically and emotionally. The more we do this, the better we’re able to ward off stress and energy drains in the future. Heartfelt positive feelings fortify our energy systems and nourish the body at the cellular level. At HeartMath we call these heartfelt positive emotions “quantum nutrients.”
In simple terms that most of us can relate to, what this means is that when we are having a bad day or going through a rough period such as dealing with the sickness of a loved one or coping with financial troubles, we can actually nourish our bodies – all the way down to the cellular level (and possibly the DNA level) – by shifting into a heart coherent state and focusing with intention on positive emotions and positive thoughts. You can read more about Quantum Nutrients in Solutions for Emotional Well-Being.
Heart Intelligence Theory – an Underlying Factor
The influence or control individuals can have on their DNA – who and what they are and will become – may be further illuminated in HeartMath founder Doc Childre’s theory of heart intelligence. He postulates that “an energetic connection or coupling of information” occurs between the DNA in the cell’s nucleus and higher dimensional structures – one’s higher self or spirit.
Childre further postulates that, “The heart serves as a key access point through which information originating in the higher dimensional structures is coupled into the physical human system (including DNA), and that states of heart coherence generated through experiencing heartfelt positive emotions increase this coupling.”
The heart, which generates a much stronger electromagnetic field than the brain, provides the coherent energetic field that binds the higher dimensional structures and the body’s many systems, including its DNA.
Childre’s theory of heart intelligence proposes that “individuals who are able to maintain states of heart coherence for sustained periods have increased coupling to the higher dimensional structures and would thus be more able to produce changes in the DNA.”
What do you think, is possible to change your DNA?