SOLOCAST | Emotional Epigenetics: The Missing Link In Holistic Medicine Today

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 499

Wellness + Wisdom Podcast Host and Wellness Force Media CEO, Josh Trent, shares how we pass emotional baggage from generation to generation and how to take responsibility for it, even though it's not our fault.

In this solocast, you will learn:

  • Are emotional epigenetics a real thing?
  • What epigenetics is and how they conduct our DNA.
  • “Genetics load the gun, and behavior pulls the trigger.”
  • We are not victims of what we were born with and what our parents did.
  • Inheriting emotions the same way we inherit biological adaptations from our parents.
  • How we receive emotions from past lives, in utero, and our parents’ trauma and stress.
  • A study of children in orphanages: How the separation from their parents triggers biological alterations.
  • What emotional contagion is and how it affects us.
  • How our traumatic experiences, toxic mentality, and addictions are passed on to the next generations.
  • How the programming in our brain unwires as we get older.
  • Mice research: How the mother's stress affects the next 5 generations of pups.
  • Emotional inventory: Can you be at cause of the things that happened for you in your life?
  • The meaning of: “It’s not your fault but it’s your responsibility.”
  • How Josh is aware of his own hypervigilance.
  • Is what we experience physically a manifestation of what we experience emotionally?
  • The practices of holistic medicine and why emotional epigenetics is the missing link.
  • Understanding what creates energy in motion and why it gets dysregulated.
  • The opposite of addiction is connection.
  • How emotional healing helps us achieve better health and wellness.
  • Can you cultivate the courage to feel the feelings you’re feeling?

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Listen To Episode 499 As Josh Trent Uncovers Why Emotional Epigenetics Is The Missing Link In Healing

This is Josh Trent. This is a very extra special Solocast. Now, if you don't know, every single Thursday, every single week, we publish something where I can share my mental musings, the things that are lighting me up about the pentagon of wellness that I've been talking about for two years + now, the mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial ways that we either nourish or choose to malnourished ourselves.

Have you ever noticed that people say things like, “The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, or they're just like their mother, they're just like their father.” Now, why is that?

Today, we're going to talk about emotional epigenetics, which quite frankly, I think it's something that I made up. I don't find it on any DuckDuckGo, Google searches, or Brave, it's just not out there, and if it is out there, please send me an email admin@wellnessforce.com.

We're talking about the missing link in holistic medicine today. By the way, if you love these Solocast, let me know. Leave us a quick review, JoshTrent.com/Review. It helps the show climb the computer algorithms so that the AI gods bear us with you actually seeing our show and your friends seeing our show, and it also allows us to get even bigger people on the podcast.

So please, if you love the show from my heart to yours, I ask you, go to JoshTrent.com/Review. Leave us a quick review.

[01:24] Epigentics + Emotional Trauma

Let's dig in today. By the end of this Solocast, you are going to understand what epigenetics are, what gene expression happens through emotional trauma, capital T, lower-case T trauma, and why parents' emotional trauma may change, that science is showing their children's biology, literally, the biology. Think of it as the software, which is the trauma, can actually alter the hardware, which is our brain, our synapses, and so much more.

So let's dig in. Here's a story that I can share with you to understand this concept of emotional epigenetics and why I believe it's the missing link in true holistic circular complete medicine today. Epigenetics is a rapidly emerging field of science that has massive implications on how we address our health and the health of our future children. The word literally means on top of the genes, and that pretty much describes the epigenetics role in the body.

Look, all of us have DNA. Almost every cell in our body contains all of our DNA and all the genes that make us up. It's the fabric of who you are. This is known as the genome. But look, we're not just made of one cell. Our brains do many different things from those in our heart, for example, who behave differently than the cells in our toenails or our skin.

If all of our cells have the same info, why is it that they do such different things? Well, this is where epigenetics comes in. It's basically a layer like an onion of instruction that sits on top of the DNA and gives it signals to turn off and on, and many other things.

You can think of it like an orchestra. When you have a conductor with the symphony. Well, if the DNA is the music, the epigenome is the conductor, it waves its wand, it tells the cells what to do and when, and everybody has an orchestra inside. This is what biochemical individuality is. So while the epigenome doesn't necessarily change our DNA, it is responsible for deciding what genes will be expressed in your body's cells.

[03:30] “Genetics Load the Gun, Behavior Pulls the Trigger”

We had Chris Kresser on the podcast, and I'll link that here in the show notes for the Solocast. He said something so profound. He said, “Genetics load the gun and behavior pulls the trigger,” and just let that land for a moment. When we look at epigenetics, it's what sits on top of the DNA, on top of the genes. You are not… and I want to share this from my heart to yours, not a victim of what you were born with, what your parents did, or what your parents acted. So in other words, it's not your fault, but it is your loving responsibility.

This is where things can get very challenging because if you listen to our episode with Scott Jackson about being at cause. We know that being at cause does not mean that it's your fault. There's a difference there. In the same way that we have this biological adaptation for epigenetics and epigenetic expression, I've been noodling on this for a while now, just try this on, just bear with me.

If you receive certain genomic adaptations from your parents, like type 1 diabetes proclivity towards MTHFR, proclivity towards weight gain, proclivity towards sensitivity to sun, or sensitivity to caffeine based on your haplogroups. These are all things to consider from a physiological standpoint.

But what about emotionally, what about emotionally, is it possible? Today, I'm going to make a case that it absolutely is. Is it possible that emotional epigenetics are the missing link in what is actually being manifested on a physical level? Here's why I believe this. Not only is the biological adaptation that we go through in life, a combination of our genes and our epigenetics, but also the stress that we incur both in-utero, and also, if you look at the work of Mark Wolynn, I'll link this, we've had him on the podcast twice. He wrote It Didn't Start With You. He's the founder of the Family Constellations, where they talk about past life trauma.

So the trauma that happens, capital T, which is like physical sexual abuse, terrible things, lower case T, which is neglect, an unsupportive parent, an avoidant parent, an anxious parent. All of these things stack up. Now they're emotional trauma from parents, from in utero, from past life, maybe even from other dimensions. I mean, look, we're all figuring this out as we go along. We all know that emotional trauma can actually change our biology.

[06:12] Gene Expressions for Generations

Studies show that suffering triggers changes in gene expression that last for generations. This is a study I came across that was fascinating. In Zurich, Switzerland, the children living in SOS Children's Village orphanages in Pakistan had a very rough start to life. Many lost their fathers, which in conservative Pakistani society can effectively mean losing their mothers too.

Now, these widows often struggle to find enough work to support their families and may have to give up their children. That's one example. University of Zurich physician and neuroscientist Ali Jawad says that despite the support that these children received, they experience symptoms similar to PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, including anxiety and depression.

Now, this neuroscientist wondered about a potential hidden consequence of these children's experiences. He set up a study with the orphanages to probe the disturbing possibility that the emotional trauma of separation from their parents also triggers subtle biological alterations changes so lasting that the children might even pass them off to their own offspring.

If you think about this in utero perspective, your grandmother was born with your mother inside of her, and your mother created you. So if that's the case, and we know now that epigenetic transfer happens on a biological level, then why wouldn't it happen on a psychosomatic level?

I think it's so fascinating that people laugh at the idea that behaviors can be contagious. But we know from so many of the people we've had on the podcast that emotional contagion is utterly real. It is palpable. In other words, you're not just the sum of the five people you hang out with the most, you're the sum of all the behaviors of the people you choose to be around.

Now, that idea would've been laughed at 15 years ago. But today, the hypothesis that a child's experience and adults' experience might actually alter the cells in behavior of their children that they bring into the world and the grandchildren that come into the world, it's now been accepted across the board.

[08:20] NLP: Neuro Linguistic Programming

Look, in animals exposure to stress, cold or high-fat diets definitely triggers metabolic changes in later generations. There are some small studies that have been done on humans exposed to very traumatic conditions. Among them, the children of the Holocaust survivors point to biological and health changes in their children.

So look, the implications of this are profound. If our experiences can have consequences that reverberate to our children, then to our children's children. This is a huge argument against everything from smoking to poor diet to toxic mentality. That's really the big one, toxic mentality.

People that say things in families like, “Oh, that's just who we are. Oh, you're a Smith. Smiths are alcoholics.” I mean, what an absolutely disempowering thing.

And by the way, if you look at NLP and the barrier between the conscious and unconscious mind, when you are brought into the world zero through seven, at your seventh year, your brain has a lot of neuroplasticity and essentially your hemispheres have been connected for so long that you are so suggestible when you come into the world and you're so suggestible because all the programming in your brain, it actually unwires as you get older. It creates space for new programs.

So how sad is it? Honestly, I'm like my hands on my heart right now. How sad is it that this emotional trauma that is very distinct from physical stress can be passed on to generations? Well, this is what was proven in this study. Let's dig in.

In the study to explore how trauma affected generations of mice. Researchers stressed the mother mice, their little pups then exhibited both molecular and behavioral changes, such as taking more risks on an elevated maze. This is the key. These changes, they persisted for up to five generations, five generations. That's 3 to 500 years, you all.

So the mother separated from the pups, and traumatized, the mother would ignore the offspring. The three-month-old male offspring made it with traumatized females. The offspring showed epigenetic and behavioral changes… this is the key, without having experienced the trauma, and that breeding carried out for six generations.

I mean, look, if you're a scientific person, this study should be all that you need to know about emotional epigenetics. Why the trauma that we experience before we're even born while we're in utero and also in the first seven years of our lives and more, it's almost like we're all connected. It's almost like everything is all connected.

[11:04] Taking Emotional Inventory

So here's the case that I'm making to you today, and I'm curious how you feel about this. If you can take a true emotional inventory of all the things that have happened for you in this lifetime that your soul chose to experience in quite a perfection, by the way, otherwise it wouldn't be experienced.

Can you, number one, be at cause for the things that have happened for you in life? I'm not saying it's your fault. I know that terrible things happen, and I know that right now, maybe it's palpable for you. Maybe in your arms or your body and your stomach and your heart, maybe you feel like, “Fuck you, Josh. What are you even talking about?

You think that me being raped, that me being abused, that me being hurt, that me being neglected, you think it's my fault?” No, that's not what I'm saying, my friend. What I'm saying is it's not your fault. It's not your fault.

I think of that scene in Good Will Hunting, when Robin Williams was hugging his patient, Goodwill Hunting, and he said, it's not your fault over and over and over again, and finally Will just broke down crying. It's one of the most powerful scenes I've ever seen in a movie. You have to watch Goodwill Hunting. But it points to exactly what I'm talking about, because what I'm talking about is it is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.

You can either be at effect or you can be at cause. So how do we unpack this in a way that truly provides a solution? Well, here we go. Number one, you must take an emotional inventory. I've talked about this in the Solocast on hypervigilance. You can go through that entire process because I want to move forward here with us today.

Go to joshtrent.com/490. That's going to be the starting point for this emotional inventory process, which by the way, you know that if you experience hypervigilance, where if you ever feel like you're a junkyard dog and everything's fine. So why are you so stressed out and what's going on? This is where you start. You start with the emotional inventory, and I can speak from my own personal experience.

To this day, at 42 years old, I still have an awareness of my own hypervigilance, the things that trigger me. I'll say that my hypervigilance is an expression of my epigenetics, and really the missing link for me to dive deep into and for all of us to dive deep into, because as above, so below, so below, as above. “You cannot have the tree reach its branches to heaven unless its roots touch hell,” Carl Young.

So what I'm saying here is if the missing link or the bridge between what appears for us, what manifests physically, cancer disease, rheumatoid arthritis, CHD, weight gain, liver issues, all these things, if they are a manifestation, and Chinese and Western medicine, show us that they are…

If what we experience physically is a manifestation of what we are experiencing emotionally, energy in motion, then today, I know I've planted a seed in your garden that allows you to see the truth around if epigenetics express themselves physically because of what the cells were told by our parents' grandparents in utero and outside dimensions, then you know that after this podcast, you can see that the emotional energy that we experience as human beings, emotionally, these things get transferred too.

[14:28] Healing Addiction

I think this is really something that is worth a deeper look on your own. It's going to be in the book that I write next year. It's going to be in many of the upcoming podcasts that we do. Emotional epigenetics, I believe is the missing link in holistic medicine. In holistic medicine, there is nutrition, breathing, water, thoughts, beliefs.

Many of the ways that Paul Chek, Dr. Michael Ruscio, a lot of the people that we've had on the show who are experts in their field, they all approach these basic fundamental human behaviors. But what I love about Paul's work and what I love about my own work, too, is understanding what creates energy and motion.

What I believe creates energy and motion and is the true missing link here is, the curiosity about discovering why energy is dysregulated, why energy is dysregulated. This is a part of this podcast that I really want you to feel before we say goodbye, and this is what you can take to the bank.

If you are experiencing energy and you try to suppress or resist that energy, a part of your heart and soul knows that it always comes out sideways. In other words, why do alcoholics, drug addicts, porn addicts, shopping addicts, work addicts, why is addiction of any kind even a thing in anyone's life? It's because the opposite of addiction is connection.

If you are connected to the energy that you're experiencing in your body, and you are courageously able to open up to that energy, to learn from that energy, to learn from the pain teacher, and to learn from the things that you are experiencing in a perfect way, otherwise they wouldn't be happening, then guess what? The more you lean into your emotional experience, the greater health, the greater wellness you will have, you will be. Period, end of story, full stop, new paragraph. This is it.

Now, obviously, that is a sensitive issue because the moment that a human being starts to dig into their emotional inventory, starts to actually feel what they feel, starts to actually understand what the pain teacher, what these emotions are trying to tell them, well, then hypervigilance, the subconscious strategy that slowly kills us, this is what we talked about in the podcast, joshtrent.com/490. In that podcast, I go into depth about what hypervigilance is trying to tell us, but really what hypervigilance is, it's epigenetic expression of trauma; of trauma from an emotional standpoint that is trying to be let go of.

It's always been said in many circles, what's coming is going, but what's coming that's blocked, never goes. So if that's the truth and there's something in your life, my life, all of our lives that is freaking asking for permission, it's asking for permission to be let go of, this is the ultimate question today, and this is what you can take and put in the bank as well. Can I cultivate the courage to take the emotional inventory, to feel the feelings I'm feeling, and to be honest with the challenge of my life? Can I be honest with the challenge of my life?

Look, there's no shame if the answer to some of those questions was no. There was a major part of my life that was ruled by pornography for so long, and I think that these synapses that are wired, they do float away. They do uncouple. But in full transparency, I still have random thoughts of porn throughout the day. Do I act on them? No, I don't act on them because they don't hold the charge anymore because I've had the deeper work and the commitment to this deeper work be an everyday part of my life.

Now, if you ask my partner, Carrie Michelle, she might be like, “God, can we just have one day where we're not working on ourselves?” My answer is like, “No, we can't,” because every day is an opportunity. Every day is an opportunity to work on thyself, and that is my wish for you today.

[18:35] Join our Wellness Community: M21 and Breathwork Guide

We've covered emotional epigenetics. We've talked about how this plugs into holistic medicine. We've talked about the studies of science, the reality of energy, and spirit, the past life in utero, experience that we all have as human beings.

Here's what I want to challenge you to do today. Here's the invitation. The invitation for you today is to go to joshtrent.com/490 and take your breath and relieve your stress. You can join us in the BREATHE: Breath and Wellness program. You're here with us on the podcast. So I'm going to give you a special coupon right now. Just go to breathwork.io.

Use the code “PODCAST25” in the BREATHE program. I'm going to personally guide you for three weeks. A lot of what we uncover in this process together is going to be why is hypervigilance there? What is going on on a physiological level? How can psycho-immunology actually be the cause of some of our diseases the cause of most of our stress?

In that brief program, it is my promise to you that the breath is going to set you free from many of the things you're experiencing. Your free resource is joshtrent.com/490. Go there now. Do the emotional inventory. Email me when you're done, admin@wellnessforce.com. Then head over to breathwork.io and use code podcast 25.

You get 25% off the program. I'm excited for you and I to do work together. I think it's really easy to listen to a podcast and turn it off and not do anything. Well, I'm talking to your subconscious mind. I'm talking to your heart, to your soul right now.

There's a reason you clicked on this episode. There's a reason you're interested in emotional epigenetics. There's a reason that your soul brought you here; otherwise you wouldn't be listening. It wasn't just pure curiosity that brought you here. It was a deeper knowing. It was a deeper knowing that what you and I were going to explore today is the peace that you're seeking, and I don't say that lightly.

It's a really big deal to me that you and I spend time together and I'm so grateful for you, and I want you to accept this invitation joshjtrent.com/490, breathwork.io, use the code “PODCAST25”. Until I see you again on another Solocast, I'm wishing you so much love and so much wellness.


Links From Today's Show 


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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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