Doctor Wayne Jonas, a retired army medical officer and alternative medicine researcher, is all about revolutionary ways of healing. After helping numerous patients with chronic illnesses, Jonas discovered that the body can actually heal itself better than doctors can.
“80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes,” he explains.
In his latest book, “How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal”, Jonas shares tools and stories from his own practice to get you on your healing journey. “What matters to you, might not matter to other people. There’s not just one way to do it and there are multiple pathways in healing.”
Here’s Jonas explaining how the mind-body connection affects your entire wellbeing:
“We believe in our cognitive mind that weight control has something to do with the calories in the food. What we eat is not simply the chemicals or calories in the food, it’s also a social ritual that our body responds to. We’re participating in a social ritual every time we put something in our mouth.”
If you had a heart attack and you have no social support, it is the equivalent of smoking a pack a day in terms of your risk factors to having another heart-attack.
Sense of Purpose
“There was this lady I worked with that is a great example of how meaning in our life and doing things we believe in can act as a driver for ourselves.
As a doctor, I was going in everyday giving this lady more medication. What was producing the lack of improvement is that she lost value to her family in her life. She had been the one holding the family together, the great grandmother who supported them. Suddenly, she needed to be taken care of. So she felt useless, like she had lost her purpose. I made sure the family valued her and her input so that she would feel valuable about holding the family together through providing wisdom and advice. This made her get better.
Data shows that your quality and quantity of life, are deeply tied to your sense of purpose. When you believe you are doing something important and meaningful, it can help you live longer.
For people of younger age, intrinsic motivation is much more powerful than extrinsic motivation. Studies show that money is important for happiness up to a certain point.”
“Love and loneliness are connected. I see it in military patients. People with depression and PTSD that isolate themselves are much more likely to be suicidal.
Family and friends can help them break away from isolation; it has the strongest impact on reducing the suicide rate. When people have stigma around suicide, depression and HIV and they hide it from others, the problem gets worse. You have to make sure you share your struggles with others. It enhances connectivity, authenticity, compassion, love and empathy.”
“Sleeping is a behavior and you can learn how to manage it. We now know that sleep is a core component of maintaining health, recovering and healing.
With chronic pain, once you are no longer injured, the pain goes away. But if you suffer from lack of sleep, then your body will not recover and your risk for chronification of pain increases. Your body starts making a mistake and thinks you’re continuing to get injured. If you are under a lot of stress, it’s much more likely to happen. It’s not just about stress management, but also about inducing a deeper relaxation response.”
“The physical place you live can be a huge inducer of healing. My wife had breast cancer and was supposed to get eight months of severe chemotherapy. In order to recover and become resilient about this, she had to create a physical healing environment.
She realized that what mattered to her is a place where she could rest, feel safe and where her social support system could come and be a part of that. Post traumatic growth, her energy, her enthusiasm and activity within the community is more than before. It’s about how you find your own pathway, what matters to you, what’s meaningful for you.”