Embracing All Dimensions of Well-Being
by Linda Sechrist
The stories of patients that have experienced healing from chronic illnesses or reclaimed well-being without following conventional medical advice piqued the curiosity of Dr. Wayne Jonas and focused him on researching dimensions of healing that Western medical schools never taught him. The rewards were radical discoveries: whole system science exploring the web of connections within the body; the need to acknowledge an individual’s core multi-dimensions—body/external, behavior/lifestyle, social/emotional and spiritual/mental—and what’s needed to unlock each person’s inherent capacity for health and healing.
The author of How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal, Jonas concludes, “Only 20 percent of healing comes from the treatment agent the doctor applies. A full 80 percent of the healing potential, which lies dormant in everyone, comes from constructing a meaningful treatment response unique to you. This is internal, highly personal and uses simple principles and components.”
During his 40-year career, Jonas was able to observe multi-level healings with patients as well as through other professional roles. He’s served as director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, a research scientist at the World Health Organization, CEO and president of the former Samueli Institute and director of the medical research fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
Applying whole system science, Jonas developed the view of a patient as a veritable eco-system. “We are more like a garden to be cultivated than a car to be fixed. Healing emerges when we support and strengthen the connections within us—body, behavior, social and spirit—making us more whole,” says Jonas. His broader approach for healing now includes the impacts of beauty, order, an optimal healing environment, connecting with nature, elements that induce an individual’s greatest meaning response, nourishment of the spiritual self, making time for joy, the roles of love and the physical presence of loved ones and a supportive social network, as well as the energetic contributions of other social interactions and emotional dimensions.
For nearly 40 years, James Oschman, Ph.D., author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, has been conducting research in physiology and the biophysics of energy medicines worldwide, including at Cambridge University, in England, and Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Medical doctors are unaware of the body’s energy field because they aren’t taught anything about it or physics in medical school. Although the vast majority believe there is no science behind energy medicine or any that proves the body even has an energy field, it is real and has been measured,” says Oschman.
He’s passionate about including energy medicine in healing, and says, “To understand the human body, health and healing, you have to look at all dimensions without any exclusions. No aspect of science, medicine or life should be left out. All medical interventions and everything you do to the body involves energy. An awareness of this can fully transform any medical approach.”
Jonas experienced the energetic dimension of healing when his wife, Susan, was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Although skeptical, he tried the process of laying his hands on her while imagining a soft white light filled with love being transmitted through the top of his head, down through his hands and into her body. “I knew of the dozens of experiments done at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. When meditating individuals put their hands around test tubes containing immune cells the amount of infrared radiation emanating from their hands increased, which stimulated the immune cells to produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the energy producing molecule found in all cells. After this exposure those cells survived better when hit with stresses such as heat and chemical shocks,” says Jonas.
“Susan said that she could feel something and fell asleep. The next day she felt less fatigued, slept less and was more active. From then on, I cut back on travel and made sure my body—in all its physical, social and emotional dimensions—was around,” says Jonas.
To help patients and doctors expand their own perspectives, Jonas has developed a healing-oriented practice and environments (HOPE) consultation protocol (DrWayneJonas.com/resources). Questions a doctor or patient can use to spark pivotal lifestyle changes cover optimal healing dimensions—inner, interpersonal, behavioral and external—to evaluate measures that facilitate or hamper healing.
Sincerely responding to the answers shows results. “With chronic diseases, it can almost always enhance wellness and well-being and improve function, whether the disease is cured or not,” says Jonas.
Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at LindaSechrist.com.
Healing emerges when we support and strengthen the connections within us—body, behavior, social and spirit—making us more whole.
~ Wayne Jonas