Jason Prall is a former mechanical engineer turned educator, health practitioner, speaker, and filmmaker. He is also the founder of The Awakened Health Academy, an online platform that hosts alternative health e-courses.
Below, Jason shares 5 key insights from his new book, Beyond Longevity: A Proven Plan For Healing Faster, Feeling Better, And Thriving at Any Age. Listen to the audio version—read by Jason himself—in the Next Big Idea App.
1. You are a holobiont.
A holobiont is a “superorganism;” an immense walking, talking rainforest of genetic material that coordinates, communicates, and responds to every perceived energetic stimulus it encounters. These stimuli can be extremely subtle or overt, which is why we must consider everything we eat, drink, do, believe, and interact with.
In the human body, we have three distinct categories of genomes that are all doing their part to carry out a function, maintain balance, and repair damaged parts. These include microbial genes, mitochondrial genes, and human genes. But genes cannot express without an animating force, which tends to be an energetic stimulus. This is where the science of epigenetics comes in. It explores the energetic conditions that regulate gene expression.
As it turns out, the three genomes of which you are comprised are constantly sending messages to one another to determine which genes the others should express. This maintains homeostasis given the energetic environment they each perceive. It is through the lens of these three interconnected and interdependent genomes that we can begin to understand how unseen energies such as light, sound, magnetism, meditation, prayer, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs have been scientifically demonstrated to influence human epigenetic expression.
2. Biological coherence is conducive to overall health.
Coherence can be described as the optimal state of energy efficiency and harmonious activity in a system. Biological coherence, then, can be described as the ability of a biological system to optimize harmonious activity and energy efficiency.
“Improved biological coherence results in a more effective storage and transfer of energy and information.”
The body is composed of nested hierarchical structures; therefore coherence can be exhibited across all space and time scales. From the quantum level to the cellular level, organ level, and to the body as a whole, each can exhibit coherence within each level as well as in relation to the whole.
At all levels, improved biological coherence results in a more effective storage and transfer of energy and information. In such a system, the results are improved communication, efficiency, order, and harmony. When coherence is reduced, we lose communication, efficiency, order, and harmony. A lack of coherence results in an increase of dysfunction, damage, and eventually death.
3. We need a new definition of aging.
Aging should be defined as the real-time process of losing biological coherence on any level, resulting in an inability to adapt, repair, and regenerate to the degree necessary to overcome the accumulation of that damage. Per this definition, we can have a toggling of both aging and regeneration happening inside the same cell. We may have a fast rate of aging in the heart and a slower rate of aging in the liver, for example.
“Aging should be defined as the real-time process of losing biological coherence on any level.”
It is the varying rates of aging in a cell, tissue, or system, accounted for in this definition, that allows for organ-specific conditions such as cardiac arrest, kidney failure, type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, stroke, or Alzheimer’s disease. There is nothing wrong with the genes, per se. Rather it is localized, loss of biological coherence that accounts for the organ or tissue-specific disease.
Since the entire body is connected, when one cell, tissue, or system is weak or aging rapidly, the body systems will prioritize function, create compensation patterns, and initiate repair in order to maintain homeostasis and function. In doing so, the body as a whole will lose systemic coherence and age more rapidly.
4. Our conditioned thoughts are one of the most overlooked aspects of health.
As infants we experience the world almost exclusively through feeling. We have little rational comprehension of the world in the first few years of life. As our brain and nervous system continue to develop throughout childhood, we begin to give meaning to the subconscious feelings we experience and then eventually create a perception or worldview based on the meaning we give things.
As such, your behavior and cellular, epigenetic expression becomes heavily influenced by the perceptions and meaning you generated based on past experiences. Into adulthood, most of our patterns of biological expression are largely driven by unconscious past programming, which may or may not be conducive to long-term health.
“We can retrain or re-pattern our biological expression to a significant degree in adulthood.”
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, it is fair to say that from preconception to somewhere between nine or 10 years of age is the most influential period in one’s life. This is when most of the biological patterns are laid down. Thanks to the adaptive capacity of our brain and nervous system, through neuroplasticity, we can retrain or re-pattern our biological expression to a significant degree in adulthood. This, however, often requires becoming aware of our largely unconscious mental, emotional, and behavioral patterns.
5. Some stress can be good for you.
Most of us have an over-stressed and overtaxed nervous system and body. There are two ways to remedy this. The first is to remove any constant state of stress and stimuli. This is where many folks live, with the inability to truly find rest at the nervous system level. The second way to remedy being overly stressed is to increase our resiliency and capacity to handle stress.
This is where the concept of hormetic stress comes in. Hormetic stress is like saying a little poison is healthy but a lot is dangerous. It is a biological characteristic whereby short-term stress or damage, so long as it isn’t excessive, can invoke a favorable adaptive response that results in greater resiliency in the face of adversity. Examples of hormetic stress would be exercise, sunlight, saunas, ice baths, fasting, and hyperbaric oxygen.
With the right amount of perceived environmental stress and energetic stimulation, coupled with a subsequent phase of necessary repair, you are able to fully recover from the stress signal. As such, it is important to find an appropriate balance in the extremes: hard physical exertion and much-needed rest, exposure to sunlight as well as plenty of time spent in darkness, periods of no food in addition to meal times, mental stimulation as well as internal peace and quiet, extreme temperature exposure in addition to comfortable, ambient temperatures. Anything that can sufficiently stress the mind or body can be beneficial so long as there is corresponding rest and recovery.
To listen to the audio version read by author Jason Prall, download the Next Big Idea App today: