My good health depends on my free will?

Many people who come into the clinic will tell me that they have inherited diseases and they are at a loss as to what to do next.   It is sad that people think that they are doomed to have what their genetics are pre-disposed to.   Genes are important to be sure, however a new science called epigenetics tells us that we do have some wiggle room.  What we eat, how we live, how much drama we allow into our lives, all affect our immunity, and our propensity to disease.

Scientists have discovered that:

  1. Feeling we have control over our health and health treatments leads to better outcomes
  2. Strong internal beliefs can overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs
  3. Serious disease such as cancer, Parkinson’s, and dementia respond well if the patients feel they can overcome them, or believe that various treatments will work.
  4. Strong spiritual beliefs also play a role in overcoming health challenges.

Even obesity can be overcome if we think it can.  Studies in the International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews and Frontiers in Endocrinology, show that people with a ‘victim’ mindset (my bones are big, I’m born that way) fare less well than those patients who believe that their choices can make a difference.

While we cannot control some things in our life (race, sex, inherited genes), if we feel that we can make good choices and can change our health, very often our own beliefs about the situation can improve our health challenges.

Until next time,


Dr. Polly