Epigenetics are genes that are literally described as being “above the genes.” They define how other genes manifest. For example two people might have the same gene for a disease yet they both have a different disease diagnosis manifest; that is epigenetics in action. You might see it especially in how twins with the same genes develop differently. So can you change your genes? No. However, you can affect them by improving your lifestyle and doing the hard emotional work to evolve from within.
Through emotional work or lifestyle changes these “epi” can also change or be turned on and off. So basically they don’t change your DNA, but they tell your genes how to act and express themselves.
These epigenetics can be formed not only by your lifestyle, but by your life experience and emotional traumas. Also, they can manifest from the experiences of your relatives sometimes three to four generations back. Therefore, you can get an epigenetic tag, (called an snp,) from an emotional experience that you never had but your grandparents did have!
So it looks like your genes aren’t your end all. They can change, and you are responsible for them. Not only are you responsible for your own genes and your lifestyle, but your children, grandchildren, and maybe even your great grandchildren may be living with the consequences of your actions and those actions done to you today. So next time something bad happens maybe you really do have an excuse to blame your parents (evil laugh!) or not.
Below is a link to a great documentary on epigenetics by Nova called the Ghost in Your Genes.