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Uncovering the Biology of Belief

Written by Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.   
Monday, 01 March 2004 00:00
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The following excerpts are taken from several of Bruce Lipton’s articles. His ground-breaking theories and the ability to relate them to chiropractic are worth reading all of his articles in their entirety.

Recent advances in cellular science are heralding an important turning point. For almost fifty years, we have held the illusion that our health and fate were preprogrammed in our genes, a concept referred to as genetic determinacy. Though mass consciousness is currently imbued with the belief that the character of ones life is genetically predetermined, a radically new understanding is unfolding at the leading edge of science. This new awareness is bringing conventional biomedical philosophy into close alliance with D.D. Palmer’s original Chiropractic philosophy.

Through the action of the nervous system, each individual cell is also influenced by a much larger environment, that experienced by the whole organism. Your liver cell knows what’s going on in your liver, but through the nervous system, it also aware of what’s going on in your job or in your relationships.

The cells receive environmental signals via the central nervous system. In truth, the cell’s receive a “perception” of the environment as interpreted by the Educated brain. Our nervous system tabulates approximately four billion environmental signals per second. Its primary role is to “read” the environment and make appropriate adjustments of growth and protection behaviors in order to ensure survival. Memory systems evolved to facilitate information handling by storing previously “learned” experiences. Memories, which represent perceptions, are scored on the basis of whether they support growth or require a protection response. In chiropractic philosophy, these learned perceptions constitute the Educated Intellect, which is by evolutionary design, a derivative of the collective Innate Intelligence.

Perception of environmental threats suppress a cell’s growth activities and cause it to modify its cytoskeletal in adopting a protection “posture.” Suppressing growth mechanisms conserves valuable energy needed in exercising life-saving protection behaviors.

In humans, a similar systemic switch functions to shut down our growth processes and prepares us for launching a protection response. This switching mechanism is represented by the Hypothalamus- Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis. The brain’s hypothalamus is instrumental in perceiving and assessing environmental signals. The perception of stress causes the hypothalamus to secrete corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), which in turn, activates certain pituitary cells to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the blood.

ACTH stimulates the adrenal gland to secrete adrenal hormones. These hormones constitute a “master switch” that regulates the systems growth protection activity and routes vascular flow in preparation for “fight or flight” reactions. Firstly, adrenal hormones shunt blood from the viscera and immune system and stunts intelligence. The degree of expression of these influences is directly related to the level of perceived stress. The more stress, the less growth. The interference with growth due to chronic stress leads to dis-ease, since the body is unable to adequately maintain its metabolic vitality.

In conclusion, conventional allopathic medicine is now beginning to realize that genetic expression, which influences the character of the body, is under the control of the environment. However, the growth or protection posture of an individual’s tissues and organs is mediated by the nervous system’s perception of its environment. Perceptions are beliefs. Misperceptions can inappropriately increase or decrease physiologic mechanisms and produce dis-ease.