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  • Writer's pictureMike Woods


Updated: Mar 28, 2019

Our sixteen-year-old son recently competed in a speech tournament. He doesn’t keep up with

the Kardashians. His American idols are not on tv. And his idea of a modern family has

nothing to do with a sit com. Below is a copy of his speech. Pretty interesting view point for a

young man.


After conducting an experiment at Stanford University, Dr. Bruce Lipton asserted that only ten percent of cancer is caused by heredity and ninety percent of all cancer is caused by your mental perceptions, your emotions, and your reaction to your physical environment. This experiment all began with a single stem cell. Every adult has about 50,000 to 200,000 stem cells located throughout the body. Stem cells are special cells that can turn into any cell in the body. One could think of stem cell as spare parts that the body has on hand. Now, back to the experiment. Dr. Lipton took one stem cell and placed it in a petri dish and left it there for a week. After, a week the cells divided and created 50,000 cells. He took the cells and divided them into three separate petri dishes. Each dish had a separate chemical bath. After a while the cells changed. The cells in the first dish became bone, the cells in the second dish became muscle, the cells in the third dish became fat. They all started from the exact same cells with the exact same DNA, yet they all became different things based on their environment. Through this method Dr. Lipton could create virtually any cell if he knew what chemicals to put in the dish, including cancer. The cell wasn’t the issue it was the environment in which it grew. The human body is like a giant petri dish, and the brain releases the chemicals. The conclusion that Dr. Lipton’s has drawn from his experiment is that 10% of cancer is genetic (from bad DNA) and 90% percent of cancer is because of the cell environment. He states that there are three things that determine the environment that cells live in: your mental perceptions, your emotions, and your reaction towards your physical environment.

Let’s take a look at the first the first of these: our mental perceptions. Our mental perception can make a huge difference in how we view things because of the way our nervous system works. According to Dr. Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho-Cybernetics, the nervous system cannot tell the difference between things that are imagined and things that are real. Whatever we tell ourselves, we believe. This is why the placebo effect sometimes works. The placebo effect is typically used during experimental drug trials. When people are involved in drug trials some of the people will be given a sugar pill (or a pill that has no medical benefits) to see if the drug in question actually works. The placebo effect happens when these sugar pills miraculously cure the ailment. A very curious example of the placebo effect was reported by Harvard Medical. In this experiment there were three groups all who had a headache. One group was given a medicine bottle labeled with a recognized pain relief brand including that drug in the bottle. One group was given a bottle labeled clearly “placebo” and had a sugar pill inside. And the last group was the control group and was not given any medication. Strangely the sugar pills clearly labeled “placebo” worked half as well as the real medication even though the participants knew full well that the pills were fake. The conclusion of this experiment was that people affiliate taking pills with getting better even if they know that they do nothing. Our beliefs are powerful. Your mental perceptions can actually cause the nervous system to release chemicals which can cause different outcomes.

The next environment is our emotions. If the brain is so powerful and so important to taking care of the body, shouldn’t we know how to take care of the brain? In Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book Who Switched Off My Brain, she discusses the topic of how to create a healthy brain and restore an unhealthy brain. In medical studies, she discovered that thoughts effect neural pathways. She witnessed actual brain scans showing that positive thoughts create more passageways that light up like a Christmas tree on brain scans, while negative or “toxic” thoughts destroyed neural pathways creating visibly fewer connections. This is why there is a difference between feeling depressed and clinical depression. Someone feels depressed after the loss of a loved one but, after a few weeks or months they are back to normal. Clinical depression is different. When one unintentionally prolongs a state of depression and focuses on toxic thoughtsone can burn the positive neural pathways out of their brains. People with clinical depression cannot be happy because they have altered the physiology of their brains. Here’s another remarkable finding. Dr. Leaf discovered that by forcing people with depression to focus on positive thoughts, they can regrow their neural pathways in just 2 weeks! Many people have applied positive thinking to create a happier and more successful life, but now Dr. Leaf has proven it scientifically that this concept physically exists in the brain. For those who are still skeptical, you may be thinking, that a positive person like myself is naturally the least qualified to research and analyze this topic. It can appear that positive people have always been positive or were in essence born that way. It is clear that positive thinking is good for your well-being, but how does one get there? Let’s take a look at the final factor: our reaction toward our physical environment. Probably the greatest question after “Which came first the chicken or the egg?” is, “Do you think positively so that you act positively, or do you act positively so that you think positively?” There are yet still other ways to achieve positive mind and body results. Let me expose my third observation from 12 Rules for Life, by Dr. Jordan Peterson. In this he describes “Rule #1: Stand up straight with your shoulders back.” Dr. Peterson states that when you do this serotonin is released. Serotonin is a chemical that makes you feel good. Most people can relate to feeling more confident when you feel taller, stronger, and more intimidating. It is very clear from Dr. Peterson’s book that standing up straight causes the serotonin to release. The release of serotonin does not cause you to stand up straight. This is an example of how the body can also produce positive chemicals through physical activity. Probably the most overlooked way to create the constructive mind/body response is to just act like it, then you will feel like it.

In conclusion, we are not victims of our biology. We can choose what chemical bath to put in the petri dish of our body and like the stem cell that becomes muscle, bone and fat, we can become healthier, more fruitful, and happier people. Our imagination effects our physiology, our thoughts can actually regrow our brain cells, and our posture can make us more confident. What if people changed their mental perceptions, their emotions, and their reactions towards their physical environment and ninety percent of cancer disappeared? With so much power over the body we must control the imaginations of the mind. We must not let toxic thoughts control us we must institute positive thinking. We must stand up straight with our shoulders back and be in the words of William Henley, “The master of our fate, and the captain of our soul.” So, we have looked at what biologist have to say about our thoughts, we have looked what psychologists have to say about our thoughts. Isn’t it interesting that everything that I have said in my speech agrees with what the Creator says about your thoughts? Two-thousand years ago, before MRI scans or anyone knew what serotonin was, God wrote through the apostle Paul, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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