I thought I'd pull this out of Lauren's thread because it's totally not pertaining to Lauren's challenges. And I thought others might be interested to read what I learned about and add their thoughts.
The term "epigenetics" refers to how people's actions and experiences affects what genes remain dormant or are "turned on" within their body and how this inherits down to future generations.
COPY/PASTE from Lauren's thread: I also attended a conference about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder a few weeks ago and one speaker was very interesting....he spoke about how your actions and experiences can change the expression of your actual genes and can then be passed down to your children...for example if you have the genetic tendency towards diabetes, you can choose or not choose to actually get diabetes based on your eating habits and exercise etc....there was a lot more than that but it was about how your life experiences and actions affect what genes are turned "on" and what remain turned "off" and how that gets passed down in generations
he spoke about how generations past have fought in horrific wars (and continue to) and about how Native Alaskans have experienced a total cultural takeover of their lands within generations here and as little as 2 generations ago, were shipped off to boarding schools, forbidden to speak their language or eat their Native foods there....this was in relation to how trauma affects genes and how those off/on genes are then passed down
the speaker talked about how there are theories in the scientific community about how PTSD in past generations could still be being passed down in a muted form as the now-common ADHD disorders
I thought this whole topic was just so interesting in terms of how our parents' experiences, trauma and choices could really be affecting us in unknown ways and through genetic expression
What are your thoughts, experiences, feedback etc?? I'm fascinated by this topic!