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BONUS: Why Self-Care is the New Success Paradigm
In 1990, the Human Genome Project began, with scientists from around the world mapping the human genome sequence, and in 1993 the role of the project was expanded to study how genetics contributes to disease. At this point, most experts believed that the genes we inherit from our parents determine our health. However, by the time the project ended in 2003, what the researchers had found was surprising: There’s something above (or outside) the genes that has a greater impact on our health. In fact, estimates suggest that our genes may only control 5 to 10 percent of our health. The rest of our health—90 to 95 percent—may be determined by lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, beliefs, stress levels, exposure to toxins, and use of recreational drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.2,3,4
I began studying epigenetics and nutrigenomics (how nutrition interacts with genes to affect health) in 2012. My mentors all said the same thing: “Your clients can eat the most pristine diet and take all the right supplements, and still be sick if they aren’t willing to deal with stress.”
This hit home for me, because every time I’d take on way too much in my life, a symptom would show up from my past, like a reminder to get back on track—and if I listened, I’d feel better. Over the years, I would learn to listen to my body’s response to stress and its response to self-care. Eventually, this knowledge changed the way I prioritize my life and how, as a health coach, I support clients in improving their health and well-being.
Originally published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing – Fall 2016 Volume 44 Number 2 Copyright © 2017 Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Inc. ® All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
- Alegría-Torres JA, Baccarelli A, Bollati V. Epigenetics and lifestyle. Epigenomics. 2011; 3(3):267-277. doi:10.2217/epi.11.22.
- Zeliadt N. Live long and proper: genetic factors associated with increased longevity identified. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/genetic-factors-
associated-with-increased-longevity-identified/. Published July 1, 2010. Accessed June 4, 2017.
- Anand P, Kunnumakkara AB, Sundaram C, et al. Cancer is a preventable disease that requires major lifestyle changes. Pharm Res. 2008; 25(9):2097-2116. doi:10.1007/s11095-008-9661-9.