State Of Health: Prevention Is What Matters

Deepak Chopra | LinkedIn | March 24, 2014

I have been in the health industry for the last forty-five years. When I was doing my residency and fellowship in various Boston hospitals our main attention was on sickness. For the most part this is still the case. The health industry is essentially a sickness industry. The business of sickness is what hospitals, medical equipment makers, pharmaceutical companies and physicians and surgeons thrive on. When I finished my training I realized that focusing on sickness would never make for healthy citizens, businesses, communities or nations. I, therefore, turned my attention to prevention of disease and lifestyle changes that could not only prevent illness but also even reverse it.

In the last decade or so mounting research has shown how lifestyle changes, including exercise, stress management, and diet can prevent almost ninety percent (90%) of chronic illnesses in our society. It is now known that only five percent (5%) of disease-related gene mutations are fully penetrant. In other words, the gene expression of these mutations cannot be stopped unless a future drug or technology is developed to stop that expression. In most of the other gene-related mutations related to chronic disease, lifestyle can affect gene expression. We now know that Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular illness in general, and many types of cancer are preventable. In addition almost every chronic disease is related to inflammation in the body and can be ameliorated through —modified gene expression.

The Chopra Foundation has been collaborating with various academic institutions on how meditation, restful sleep, healthy diet, emotional and social well-being, exercise, breathing techniques, and healthy relationships can change disease-related gene expression, which in turn can dynamically change how we experience health or disease.