Molecules of Emotion

New science has proven our cells are informed by our emotions. What that means is we have the power to feel ourselves better. Dr Arien Van der Merwe takes us through the science.
DID YOU KNOW? One of the best things you can do for your health is to decide to change your inner and outer life with improved health-enhancing behaviour. Genetics do play a part in illness by determining the physical weak links, that is, the physical system where it will manifest first by way of symptoms. If you take care of the epigenetic environment, however, the genetic expression can, and will, be changed, or never even express itself. Bless every single one of the 50 trillion cells that make up your biological, mind-body entity. Do this every morning! Every one of those tiny little cells is industriously working to keep you alive and well.  They've been up all night and before you have even had your first cup of coffee, they've put in all the work necessary for you to have a happy and productive day. We should be waking up each morning with a song, or an ode, dedicated to these tireless little entities that keep us alive.  They should receive compliments and accolades but instead we usually send them negative messages. This may seem oversimplified but, in essence, good health, general wellness and overall happiness boil down to the way we perceive things and the resultant messages we send to our cells.  Our perception does not only influence our feelings or emotions, it physically influences the way our cells react. Every single organ in your body is a grouping of cells each marching to their own defined drum. We determine the beat of that drum. This is not airy-fairy, new age, mumbo jumbo ' it is fact backed up by scientific, medical research. Not only are our cells very hard-working, they are also terribly obedient.  If you tell your cells you will inherit the sugar problem that your dad and grandad had, they will obey.  This may sound like horrible news but on the flip-side, they will also obey the command to ignore a certain genetic predisposition, which means  you are not a victim of your genes.  You have the power to take control of your own health. The cell membrane and its environment is where this communication is received either as an on-going dissonant cacophony or harmonious sound ' it's called the epigenetic interface ('epi' means 'above' or 'over', i.e. more important than, the genetic information encoded in the DNA). The emerging field of epigenetics is showing us that the cell membrane and its receptor binding sites, supersede the genetic code and can restore cell function, even genetic in origin. The environment of the cell is ultimately responsible for the efficacy of cell function through selective binding to receptors. The cell's environment includes nutrients (the quality of what you eat), oxygen (how you breathe), water (that you drink), the vibrations of thoughts and emotions (how you feel moment to moment) via the molecules of emotion (peptides or informational substances). Ultimately it also includes the sense we have of our soul connection to our Source or Inner Being, to encourage a higher vibration even through the colours we see and sound we hear (field of metagenetics).  'Our thoughts create our reality'. This is a strange concept for many of us. How could what you think, possibly make you sick or well, happy or unhappy? Candace Pert was a neuroscientist who did a lot of research on the neuropeptides. She was the first to call them the 'molecules of emotions'. Peptides are miniscule pieces of protein. Protein comes from the Greek word 'proteios', meaning primary. Proteins are the first material of life as we know it. Peptides consist of strings of amino acids of varying lengths, joined together in a necklace by very strong bonds made of carbon and nitrogen. Between 10 and 100 amino acids that form a strong bond, are called peptides. Between 100 to 200 are called polypeptides and more than 200 are called proteins. Amino acids are the letters that when combined in certain sequences, form the words that are peptides, or the sentences that are polypeptides or proteins. These make up a language that forms and directs the function of every single cell, organ and system inside the body, from the deepest vibrations of the DNA molecule inside the nucleus of every cell, to the macrocosmic systems function of the whole individual being. More than 90 neuropeptides have been identified so far, associated with mood changes, nerve, hormone and immune regulation. Well known groups of neuropeptides include the neurotransmitters that carry messages across synapses in the nervous system, growth factors, gut peptides, immune system modulators (e.g. interleukins, cytokines, chemokines, growth inhibitors that tell cells when to stop growing). A better term for the peptides might be informational substances. Other common peptides include the endorphins (our own happy hormones), insulin (responsible for blood sugar control), vasopressin (responsible for blood pressure), sex hormone releasing hormones, serotonin (the feel-good neurotransmitter) There are 20 essential amino acids found in the human body. 'Essential' means we have to get them from the food we eat, as they're not manufactured inside the body. The first peptide, secretin was discovered in the gut. This surprised scientists as they thought all physiological functions were controlled purely by electrical impulses from the brain and nerves. Then the endogenous endorphins, enkephalin peptides that bind to the body's own opiate (morphine-like) receptors inside the brain, were found. This led to a mad search for receptors and their binding peptides inside the brain, this explains the pronoun 'neuro'peptides. It was only realised much later that every single peptide was made in many parts of the body, including of course, the brain. Now we know that peptides are actually manufactured throughout the whole body, e.g. immune cells, bone marrow and gut cells have receptors for, and produce, neuropeptides. The T & B-cells of the immune system communicate with the brain and vice versa via the neuropeptides. Some emotions suppress lymphocyte (immune) function, others may enhance it. All the neuropeptides have a similar molecular structure, with subtle differences in the tertiary structure, meaning that only the frequency and amplitude at which each molecule oscillates (wavelike vibrations of electrons in each molecule), differ. Neuropeptides change configuration (like a chameleon) due to emotional influence, according to specific thoughts and emotions. Depending on the thoughts and emotions, specific neuropeptides are made in the brain and nervous system, white blood cells, reproductive system, digestive system and heart, to name but a few. They form a two-way network between psyche and soma, mind and body. The complicated and complex communication network between cells, neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, hormones, immune system, blood and nerves, demands a remarkable orchestration of effective communication and integration of form and function, for the body-mind to work as one healthy, balanced and integrated whole. Notice the heart rate differences based on two very common human emotions. Appreciation leads to a slower, more coherent heart rate. We can choose in any moment to run the gratitude circuitry in our minds. Let's simplify the concept by using practical examples. The specific feel-good peptide (e.g. serotonin), binds to its specific receptors on the cell membrane. This sends a 'feel-good' message to the inside of the cell, right into the nucleus. The message influences every function the cell is responsible for, including the expression of the DNA molecule. Now consider the fact that you constantly think of things others have done to harm you; or you feel stressed out and overwhelmed, with unhappy, resentful, angry thoughts and feelings that grow and increase to disproportionate levels every time you think about it. The thoughts become emotions, then the peptide informational substances that course through your body, influencing your mood, your cell function and efficacy. Do you think that any cell receiving these messages for 30 years, would still feel like functioning well enough for you to be optimally happy, alive and fully self-actualising to become all you're meant to be? Read more about this subject on Dr Arien van der Merwe's website www.DrArien.co.za  

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