In early 2009 I travelled to New Zealand for a horse riding holiday. It was my treat to myself after my marriage ended. I didn’t want to be alone in the house that I’d shared with my husband on the day of our wedding anniversary, so I escaped my day-to-day life and immersed myself in an activity that was guaranteed to make my heart sing – horse riding.
It was during the Natural Horsemanship Workshop I was participating in that I met a retired Veterinarian. I don’t recall now how we got onto the topic, but she told me about a book that had changed her life and her view on conventional medicine. The book was The Biology of Belief written by cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton.
Coincidently, a few days later I happened to be in a bookstore and saw The Biology of Belief sitting on the shelf. I didn’t recognise it at first as I hadn’t written down the name of the book or author. However I was attracted to it. When I read the back cover it dawned on me that this was the book the Veterinarian had been talking about. I took it as a sign and purchased it.
This book was groundbreaking for me at the time. Despite having come from a scientific background (I hold a Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical Imaging Technology and worked as a radiographer for over eight years, specialising in Nuclear Medicine) I’d always been interested in natural medicine and the mind body connection. The Biology of Belief introduced me to the science of Epigentics and explained at molecular level how our beliefs affect every cell in our body and our life.
I was fascinated. In a nut shell, Lipton taught me that our genes don’t control our biology, as had been previously assumed by the scientific community (this notion was never scientifically confirmed). I learnt that it is the environment and our ‘perception’ of the environment that controls our genes and our behaviour. In other words what we ‘believe’ to be true about life, influences both our health and our experience of life.
It wasn’t until several years later that I was able to truly comprehend and apply the wisdom of Lipton’s teachings to my personal life.
A pioneer in stem cell research, Dr. Bruce Lipton spent 18 years carrying out painstaking experiments to understand the workings of individual cells. At the time, his discoveries conflicted with the established scientific view, however his theories and results have since been validated by other researchers and now underpin one of the most important fields of study epigenitics, a branch of science which is fast replacing the older concept of genetics.
Lipton’s research lead to the understanding that genes are not ‘self-emergent’. In other words, they can’t turn themselves on or off. Instead, he says, they are the ‘blueprints’ for making proteins which are the building blocks of the human body. He theorises that it is the environment or our ‘perception’ of the environment that selects, modifies and regulates gene activity. In essence, our genes do not control our lives, our ‘beliefs’ do.
According to Lipton, how we see the world – our perception – plays a significant role in both our health and our experience of life. The good news, he says, we can change the course of our lives by changing our beliefs.
By understanding how individual cells work, Lipton believes we can learn a lot about our own health and behaviour. The human body, he says, is really just a collection of individual cells (around fifty trillion!). Every function that is carried out by a single cell, is expressed by the human body. For example cells have a digestive system, respiratory system, cardio vascular system, muscular skeletal system, nervous system etc.
While cloning stem cells in a petrie dish, Lipton found that by changing the environment in which the stem cell lived he could change the function of the cell. Through the introduction of nutrients or toxins, he observed what made the cell thrive or become sick. By making changes to the environment he found that sick cells would recover completely.
Lipton’s research allowed him to understand and explain the mind-body connection at a molecular level. His analysis revealed that cells come with an innate intelligence which has been developed through the process of evolution over millions of years. This innate intelligence automatically adjusts cellular function and behaviour according to what the cell ‘perceives’ from the environment to ensure its survival. In other words, cells are ‘programmed’ to operate in a particular way based on the messages they receive from their environment.
Similarly, we begin life with an inbuilt intelligence that ensures our survival. We inherit instincts that our species has developed over millions of years, for example our ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response. We ‘download’ and develop ways of behaving in order to ‘fit in’, through observing and interacting with our parents, family, community and culture during early childhood. By the time we are six or seven, Lipton says, we have received all the fundamental programs we need to survive in the environment in which we were born in.
In my personal search for what was missing, I had explored the field of psychology. I learnt about the programs and the patterns of behaviour we repeatedly play out in our lives. I was aware of the types of people, situations and events that pushed my buttons and triggered behaviours that didn’t serve me. However, despite making a conscious effort to make different choices and behave in new ways, I found myself repeating the same patterns again and again.
Lipton’s work explores in detail the origins our programs and gave me an understanding into the mechanism which stores and automatically runs them – the subconscious mind. He provided me with an insight into the workings of the conscious and subconscious aspects of the mind and the brain.
I was already aware through other teachings that the key to alleviating my self-sabotaging patterns was through reprogramming the subconscious mind. However, I’d already spent years and thousands of dollars on books, seminars, workshops and therapy, yet nothing had worked. If anything I found that the more work I did on myself, the more my life fell apart.
Continually ‘looking back’ at who or what situations have damaged you in the past, Lipton says, can reinforce subconscious patterns through re-living the trauma.
Lipton believes that reprogramming the subconscious mind doesn’t have to be difficult or traumatic. His work explores the fundamental ways in which the subconscious mind can be reprogrammed, and discusses methods currently available that are based on these principles.
He has personally used and recommends a ‘belief change process’, which is based on the latest mind-body research, called PSYCH-K. This process, he says, is simple to learn, easy to use, and effectively reprograms subconscious beliefs and behaviours in just a few minutes. According to Lipton, the technique changed his life. It has certainly changed mine.