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23 October 2014

Epigenetics and Scoliosis: Stop Blaming Your Genes!

Scoliosis has traditionally been believed to be a genetic condition that an individual is predisposed to before birth. According to this belief, if you have the misfortune of developing scoliosis, then it was written into your DNA and there is nothing you or any doctor can do about it.

However, the emerging field of epigenetics suggests that we are not solely a product of our heredity. Recent studies have shown the connection between genetic diseases like scoliosis, and environmental influences. It is now coming to light that we can directly affect the development of our genes through our lifestyle choices. For many people, this puts control of their heath back into their own hands. Epigenetics tells us that by making good choices about what we expose our body to, we can fight the genetic predispositions that seemed previously set in stone.

Traditional View of Scoliosis Treatment

Scoliosis effects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. While it has yet to be proven what causes the onset of the condition, certain genetic traits responsible for spinal development have been directly linked to the disease. Because these genes are identifiable in our DNA and can be passed to us by our parents, scoliosis is called a hereditary disease. Despite advances in modern medicine, there is still almost no viable treatment for scoliosis.

Degrees of Scoliosis
When considering treatment options, doctors look at the degree to which the spine is curved, and the likelihood of the condition to progress. If the vertebrae curvature is less than 25°, no treatment is perused. The patient is placed under careful observation, and examined every four to six months to see if the condition worsens. If the spine is curved more than 25° but less than 40°, a back brace is recommended for treatment. In severe cases, when the curve exceeds 45°, the only current option is back surgery.

Surgery for scoliosis entails fusing of vertebrae to correct the spinal curve.  Rods may also be inserted to hold the back in place. None of these options are ideal. They are often minimally effective and painful.

Epigenetics' Findings
There is now scientific proof that we are not necessarily doomed by our DNA. Sometimes during cell division, something occurs that was not written into our genetic code. Epigenetics studies show traits can develop, not only from our body’s predisposition, but also in response to environmental influences. This is the opposite of what mainstream science has told us about how our bodies develop. Rather than simply forming according to the specific blueprint found in our genes, we can literally alter how our traits are expressed. Epigenetics has found that because our cells can respond to environmental stimulus, by introducing positive stimuli, we create positive changes. This includes our tendency to develop genetic diseases like scoliosis. Environmental influences include anything that we expose our body to. From diet and exercise, to thoughts and emotions, or even how much sunlight we get. These are aspects of our lives that we have control of. According to epigenetics, we can improve our own health by making better lifestyle decisions.

Social Control
With such ground breaking discoveries in science, how is it that the average person doesn't know what epigenetics is?  It seems as though the powers that be don't want the word getting out. This is because it goes against everything that science and medicine previously believed about genetics. In the recent past, the field of genetics was believed to be the key that would unlock the secrets of the universe. Governments and Industries have put millions of dollars and man hours into researching the genetic makeup of anything you can think of.

The human genome project for example, was meant to predict precisely how a person would turn out just by looking at their DNA. Similar projects have examined all types of genes in hopes of identifying or potentially altering specific traits. If it can be shown which genes are responsible for certain positive or negative outcomes, than we can make an effort to dictate any desired result. This has been a long and very expensive pursuit. It had the potential to be a very profitable concept, but the findings of these genetic inquisitions have been less than impressive.

The ideas behind epigenetics give people hope that they can be the master of their own fate. However, this new school of thought threatens the current order of things. Governments and large industries stand to lose more than the money they invested and the profits they were hoping for. If people learn to heal themselves through changes in their lifestyle, they will be less reliant on traditional medicine and more concerned about the environmental influences around them.

Take Control of Your Health
You can begin taking control of your own health today. Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle help determine your genetic expression. Our bodies have the ability to turn genes on and off. By engaging in positive behaviors, like eating right, exercising, avoiding stress, and getting enough sleep, we are encouraging our bodies to express positive traits. We can train our bodies to create healthy cells that can develop normally and fight disease. In the case of scoliosis, this means that even if you are genetically predisposed to developing the condition, that doesn't mean that you will. Your body can choose to turn off the genes that cause the onset of scoliosis. By living a healthier lifestyle, you are helping your body to remember its proper function at a cellular level. This can lead to the prevention of any number of diseases including scoliosis.

Everyday we make choices about what we put into our bodies. Epigenetics is teaching us that these choices are more important than many of us think. This becomes especially important when facing a health challenge such as scoliosis. If you are suffering from the condition, there is a resource available which provides “Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment”. This book provides a completely natural, safe, tried and tested exercise program, for treating scoliosis. To help with your natural treatment you can also purchase supplemental materials including “Your Scoliosis Treatment Cookbook” to learn helpful recipes, “Your Natural Scoliosis Treatment Journal” to track your progress and the Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD to demonstrate exercises you can implement.

Recent studies have shown you have the power to change the way genetic traits are expressed, now with a change of priorities and some guidance, you can take control of your health. 

About Dr Kevin Lau

Dr Kevin Lau is a Singapore chiropractor and the founder of Health In Your Hands, a series of tools for Scoliosis prevention and treatment. The set includes his book Your Plan for Natural Scoliosis Prevention and Treatment, a companion Scoliosis Exercises for Prevention and Correction DVD and the innovative new iPhone application ScolioTrack. Dr Kevin Lau is a graduate in Doctor of Chiropractic from RMIT University in Melbourne Australia and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. He is a member of International Society On Scoliosis Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Treatment (SOSORT), the leading international society on conservative treatment of spinal deformities. In 2006 I was awarded the "Best Health-care Provider Awards" by the largest Newspaper publication in Singapore on October 18 2006 as well as being interviewed on Primetime Channel News Asia as well as other TV and Radio. For more information on Dr Kevin Lau, watch his interviews or get a free sneak peek of his book, go to:

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1 comment:

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