Create your own “Roseto Effect” for Better Health
Good morning, New Day!
Remember when you were a teenager in biology class learning about DNA, RNA, and genetics? It was so fascinating to imagine that our bodies had an ancient, pre-programmed destiny. And even as we learned that most genetic expressions didn’t have such a cut-and-dried mechanism as, say, eye color, the experience left us with some perception that our genes are something we couldn’t escape.
In recent years it has become more and more clear that our genes do not determine our destinies. This is particularly the case in matters of health and disease. In fact, even for diseases that used to be considered 100 percent inherited, it is now become clear that gene expression depends on mitigating factors such as what we eat, how we take care of ourselves, and our environment. For a cancer gene to express, the gene essentially must be switched “on” by the environment the cell finds itself in inside our bodies.
Interestingly, while this modern awareness has had many of us scrambling for the next exercise programs and superfoods as we desperately seek to create the healthiest possible for environment for our cells and organs, we sometimes neglect to consider factors larger than our lifestyle choices.
Consider the case of the often cited “Roseto Effect.” In the early 1960s, researchers discovered a remarkable population of Italian Americans living in Roseto Pennsylvania. Despite having diets laden with cheese, meat, and wine, and even though the men in the community primarily worked in the stressful and toxic mining industry, it was found that the men suffered nearly no heart attacks. This was true even in the highest risk demographic, men aged 55-64. And the death rate for men over 65 was 1 percent, compared to 2 percent nationally.
After studying other towns that shared similar demographic characteristics, it was concluded that despite their diets and occupations, the Rosetan men enjoyed better health by virtue of the close ties they enjoyed with their families and neighbors. Rosetans had extremely close families and neighborhoods where people took care of each other.
Even though death rate and heart attacks are crude measures of health and wellbeing, the “Roseto Effect” has come to signify that there is something in our experience of community that transcends some of the things we have come to consider more important. When we are in community we are supported, nurtured, and seen for who we are– when we show up as our best selves as well as when we show up as our worst selves.
Many of us in this day and age, where we value independence and autonomy, might be uninterested or even repelled by the concept of family and community ties. Living in a big city and having busy lives, participating in community may feel like an extra task or responsibility. But there’s a reason why Donald Epstein, creator of Network Care, conceptualized the highest stage in the 12 Stages of Healing as Community; plugging into community allows us to fully exist as we were meant to, sharing our gifts with others as they give to us in return. Being part of community is different than simply “joining” a new group or living in a certain area. It is something to participate regularly, over time, where we really allow others into our lives.
Coming in for care for your spine and nervous system at New Day might not exactly be like life in Roseto in the 1960s in a lot of ways. But in other ways, committing to being part of something over time, as you change and as others change, getting to know members of our community and allow them to SEE you for who you are is a benefit that is part of your care. As your brain and nerves change, re-programming out of stress-based ways of functioning and being and your body becomes a more hospitable place for health, you now have more to offer your families and communities. Thank you for being a blessing in the life of those around you and you get healthier, heal, and transform!
In April, we have created an event to support you in sharing the benefits of our care and our New Day community. Every Monday, we will have an “open house” style event for you and your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and loved ones. BLOOM (Bring Loved Ones on Monday) is a time to share the energy and fun of New Day during office hours with others. We will have weekly raffles for you and your guests, food, mixing and mingling, and an opportunity for your guests to learn a little about our office and our care, and sign up for a complimentary initial visit if they would like.
More details are coming, but for now mark your calendar for Monday evenings in April!
What communities are you part of? What benefits have you received (or given) through your participation in community? Please comment below!