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Have you ever wondered whether our life experiences are connected at all with our state of health?  Or whether there could be a connection between adverse childhood events and chronic illnesses later in life, you may want to read Donna Jackson Nakazawa’s book.

Perhaps not the easiest read for everyone, and a possible a trigger for some, who have experienced traumatic events as children, but a fascinating insight into understanding the ways our emotional life affects our general health.

The author brings together ideas that may have seemed crazy a while back but not anymore since we’ve learned about epigenetics. This refers to changes caused in an organism via genetic expression rather than a mutation, and extreme stress can be one of the factors affecting various genes expressions.

The tag line for the book is pretty much this: ‘Your biography becomes your biology.’ The author explains that as children, sometimes we go through traumatic experiences, be it the death of a beloved family member or friend, divorce, bullying, or growing up with abuse, or a parent that suffered from mental illness, substance abuse, or was hypercritical.

These experiences can negatively impact the developing brain and immune system, which can result in chronic health issues later, such as cancer, autoimmune disease, and anxiety. There are ways to improve negative health outcomes such as those, or reduce the risk of them occurring, and the book is hovering on that in the second part.

Here’s something to remember though: we are all different and the way we react to life is different. Resilience helps us go through tough situations but sometimes the after effects linger. That is why investing time and energy in reaching sunnier days is worth it.

In 2016, the book was a finalist in the Books for a Better Life Award. You can read more about Donna Jackson Nakazawa and her work by visiting her website at

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