Fatigue Puzzle Solved Piece By Piece by Svetlana Kogan, M.D

In the previous issue of the magazine we marveled at the fact that we are over 70% water and learned how music, voice, and even thoughts affect our physiology and health, both physically and emotionally. One of the mechanisms underlying this connection was described as the change in water structure. To counteract deleterious effects on your cellular water, I recommended avoiding emotional vampires. Instead, I advised surrounding yourself with likeminded people. An illustrative example of this would be something like belonging to a faith-based community, which by the way adds 4-14 years of life expectancy, as evidenced by the Blue Zones research. Another incredible energy booster is to love and be loved. This can be materialized in so many ways: for example, you can try investing time into raising the grandchildren, or you can start fostering close friendships in the senior living community you are a part of. On the flip side of this rewarding scenario – lack of social involvement leads to depression and fatigue. In fact, research shows that widowed single men have the highest rate of suicide in people over 50 years of age. Loneliness indeed breeds emptiness, low energy and lack of interest in life.

What else is at play when we are trying to naturally boost our energy levels, without drugs or medications? When you live in the
community or a condominium, stick with the folks who espouse healthy behaviors, like engaging in sports, arts, or hobbies. By
the same token, try to steer away from people who smoke, eat junk food, and get angry and needy – these negative behaviors are
contagious, as we have learned from research. There are specialized nerve cells in our brain called “mirror neurons”. These neurons
make us emulate people whom we are exposed to in our daily lives. This is why hanging out with benevolent and engaging people
boosts your energy and vice versa. Similar perspective on life energy optimization is also supported by quantum physics model
which states that coherent energies amplify each other, while opposing energies cancel each other out. It becomes clear then, why surrounding yourself with people of different moral standards, or those who aggressively decimate the values which are dear to you – renders you fatigued and cheated of your own energy.

Research has abundant evidence for how your health improves when a group of people is wishing you well from the bottom of
their hearts. To date, a total of 90 trials involving 2,774 patients have demonstrated a significant benefit of intercessory prayer and many spiritual distance healing practices on physical and emotional recovery.

When I started studying biology at Cornell University in 1989, project Genome has just gotten underway, and we believed that genes could explain everything about a person. Time went by and 23,000 genes were identified as essential in coding for the human proteins. You will be happy to know that only 29% of those coincide with the genes of chimpanzees – not the whooping 99% as we thought previously. Since we are mostly protein and water – it became increasingly interesting to scientists just how these genes
were turned on or off. This is how the science of epigenetics was born. It dealt with the effects of the external environment on your genetic expression.

Scientists looked at identical twins, which had identical DNA for those 23,000 above mentioned protein-coding genes. Specifically, the scientists were interested in those identical twins that were separated at birth and reared apart in very different environments. Guess what? About 60% of the time only one of the identical twins –and not the identical sibling – developed genetic diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s Dementia and Multiple sclerosis, to mention a few. These dramatically different health outcomes in identical twins, suggested that we are not slaves to our genetic destiny and that our environment has a very important effect on how the genes are expressed (get turned on or off).

This, by the way, makes a lot of frivolous commercially available genetic tests which are being sold to you on TV and internet –
totally obsolete because most of the outcomes are dictated by what you are eating, how stressed out you are, your exposure to pollution, and what kind of social relationships you have built around you. Thus you are the only one who truly possesses the key to the future of your health.

A good clinician will approach fatigue by examining the different layers of his or her patient’s human experience. What kind of trauma does the patient’s past hold? How is current stress burden being handled? What aspects of the patient’s lifestyle are
compromising his or her efforts to feel well rested? These and many more questions should be pondered when assessing someone’s
fatigue holistically. The answers will be revealed in due time and the real solutions will take some perseverance to implement. But the ultimate goal of balanced life energy is well worth the effort.

Dr. Kogan is a Concierge Holistic Internal Medicine doctor in Naples. Her website is CustomLongevity.com

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