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Genetic Stress

Is it a thing?

By Tracy Lester

South African BodyTalk Association


Can traumatic experiences and stress in a family line be transferred down generations?

How much of our ancestor’s experiences can be passed onto us, affecting our world view without our even being aware of this? Each time we complete a medical history form for our doctor or insurance company, there is a section dedicated to family history of disease. What is not looked at is the experiences that family members may have gone through and how those may affect our future generations.





Sometimes the reality we are experiencing, the emotions that prevent us from living our lives to the fullest or the fears that we have, appear to have nothing to do with things we may have experienced in our life.


What if stressors caused by hardship and violence that our ancestors experienced have changed our genetic expression and by recognising and releasing this, we can change our own and future generations’ health?


Scientists are proving that experiences and stressors we live through can change the way DNA is expressed, and how that change can be passed on to the next generation. One such study was the focus of Dora Costa and her colleagues, at UCLA, using the Confederate Prisoner of War camps of 1864. Prisoners experienced overcrowding, poor sanitation, malnutrition, and severe maltreatment. The trauma that these people carried resulted in shorter life expectancy, worse job prospects and impaired health. This, strangely enough, was passed down the male line of their offspring, born after release from the camps. It was noticed that although their sons and grandsons had not suffered the hardships of the PoW camps and had in fact been well provided for during their childhood years, they suffered higher rates of mortality than the wider population. This led researchers to believe that the PoWs had passed on some element of their trauma to their offspring.


There had not been a mutation in the genetic code, but the expression of some genes had changed. This is the process of epigenetics, where the readability, or expression, of genes is modified without changing the DNA code itself. Tiny chemical tags are added to or removed from our DNA in response to changes in the environment in which we are living. These tags turn genes on or off, offering a way of adapting to changing conditions with inflicting a more permanent shift in our genomes. Your experiences during you r lifetime- particularly traumatic ones- would have a very real impact on your family for generations to come.


There are a growing number of studies that support the idea that the effects of trauma can reverberate down the generations through Epigenetics. Epigenetics is thought to be the link between nature and nurture, where a person’s experiences alter how their DNA is read by their cells.


Although the above example is one of extreme suffering, scientists like DR Bruce Lipton have shown that by changing our environment and thought processes, our cells can change their expressions, and in some cases, show miraculous healing of disease and psychological damage. The world now is experiencing a pandemic of gigantic proportions, what internalizations of stress and fear are each one of us internalising and how could this be expressed in future generations?


There is some good news. BodyTalk can assist with clearing any of these epigenetic expressions through different parts of our protocol, should this come up as a priority. Our Exploring Procedure at the Fundamental stage of training is equipped to deal with any active memories a person may have of anything experienced during their own life time, allowing a recontextualization or movement of the memory to a different part of the brain.


Macrocosmic Body Mind is an advanced BodyTalk course that in part zeros in on Family, Culture, Race, Religion, Events and the Environment, and the exploration of these topics could also lead a skilled Practitioner to the subject of inherited stress and trauma that may be having a detrimental affect on the client. The techniques available are far reaching and can assist generations to come.

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