The Embodied Mind

How our experiences and emotions transcript in the cellular memory and genetic information of our bodies

In his recent book “The Embodied Mind”, Canadian psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Thomas R. Verny collects disparate findings in physiology, genetics, and quantum physics in order to illustrate the mounting evidence that somatic cells, not just neural cells, store memory, inform genetic coding, and adapt to environmental changes—all behaviors that contribute to the mind and consciousness.

Besides the excellent review of very recent research in neuroscience and epigenetics, Dr. Verny gives an exemplary approach of continually reassessing and questioning the routinely repeated „scientific truths.” As it seems now is a perfect time to reassess the scorn-sounded proclamations about phenomena, which have been, still recently, taken as “paranormal” or “too esoteric”. And Dr. Verny in his book breaks these proclamations with his lifelong experience in research and medical practice.

Passages from the book The Embodied Mind:

In high school we were taught that genes make us who we are. Wrong. Gene expression does. And gene expression varies, depending on the life we live.

Equally important, before their offspring are even conceived, parental life experiences and environmental exposures modify their germ cells and in turn affect the development and health not only of their children, but even of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Epigenetic mechanisms allow organisms to adapt to environmental changes in a very short time, sometimes instantly, rather than over millennia as is the case with Darwinian evolution.

 There is now robust biological evidence of transgenerational transmission of trauma to offspring by both parents. Mothers pass on trauma and other negative emotions like anxiety and depression by way of their insulin-like proteins and modification of their unborn child’s hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and fathers through their extracellular vesicles.

What makes these findings so relevant is that they demonstrate that our bodies, and by this I mean our whole body, including the brain, is constantly in a state of flux, constantly changing. Whether that change is initiated internally or externally, when one element changes, all other parts of the body including the brain are affected.”

Traumas, whether physical or psychological, are locked in the whole body. Occasionally, our bodies speak loudly about things we would rather not hear. That is the time to pause and listen.

The one organ that we really should pay more attention to is our heart.

The heart is connected to the brain by the vagus nerve and the autonomic nervous system. The heart is also part of the body’s endocrine system and secretes hormones of its own. Furthermore, it generates a unique electromagnetic field that affects the rest of the body and extends several feet beyond.

The heart’s brain consists of an intricate network of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins, and immune cells similar to those found in the enskulled brain. This heart brain enables the heart to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel and sense.

It is not surprising that sensitive transplant patients may manifest personality changes that parallel the experiences, likes, dislikes and temperament of their donors.”


What did the author of the above-cited book, Dr.Thomas R.Verny, say about the Mehana Institute? Check our Homepage!

Do you like to learn more about Heart-Brain Coherence? Stay in touch, we will post this topic in our next blogs. Moreover, during the Mehana Musculoskeletal Healing Course, you will have an excellent opportunity to be introduced to the Heart Rate Variability practice and the Heart-Brain Coherence practice.



Author: Kristina Höschlová