How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal

How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal

by Wayne Jonas M.D.
How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal

How Healing Works: Get Well and Stay Well Using Your Hidden Power to Heal

by Wayne Jonas M.D.


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Drawing on 40 years of research and patient care, Dr. Wayne Jonas explains how 80 percent of healing occurs organically and how to activate the healing process.

In How Healing Works, Dr. Wayne Jonas lays out a revolutionary new way to approach injury, illness, and wellness. Dr. Jonas explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes. Jonas details how the healing process works and what we can do to facilitate our own innate ability to heal. Dr. Jonas's advice will change how we consume health care, enabling us to be more in control of our recovery and lasting wellness. Simple line illustrations communicate statistics and take-aways in a memorable way. Stories from Dr. Jonas's practice and studies further illustrate his method for helping people get well and stay well after minor and major medical events.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399579240
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 01/09/2018
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 991,590
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

WAYNE JONAS, MD, is a widely published investigator, practicing family physician, and professor of medicine at Georgetown University and at Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. He is also a retired lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army. Dr. Jonas was the director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health from 1995 to 1999 and led the World Health Organization's Collaborative Center for Traditional Medicine. Prior to that, he served as the director of medical research fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He now advises national and international organizations on ways to implement evidence-based healing practices in their medical systems. Visit

Read an Excerpt



Most of the treatments we think produce healing do not work when exposed to rigorous scientific scrutiny. Yet people often get better. Why? How? 

This book argues that the vast majority of healing comes from a few basic principles that can be used effectively by any system—ancient or modern, conventional or alternative, proven or unproven—and by both doctors and patients in their daily lives. The secret: to elicit a meaningful response in the person who requires healing. 

My approach is based on almost forty years of seeing patients as a mainstream family doctor, as a trained scientist, and as an explorer of many medical systems. I discovered how healing happens through my work with patients, as director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and as a research scientist at the World Health Organization (WHO), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and Samueli Institute. 

In this book, I’m going to give you a simple, systematic approach to real healing. Drawing on the most rigorous scientific evidence available as well as wisdom from ancient healing traditions, I will show you that: 

• Only 20% of healing comes from the “treatment agent” that the doctor applies to you—whether that is surgery, drugs, acupuncture needles, herbs and supplements, diet, or anything else external to you. 

• A full 80% of healing comes from constructing a meaningful treatment response, unique to you, which is internal and highly personal, using simple principles and components. 

• You can activate your own inherent healing processes and get your physician and others on board to help accelerate your healing journey, making any approach more effective, safer, and less expensive. And these processes can prevent the majority of chronic diseases in the future. 

I am not arguing, as some others do, that you can simply think yourself into healing. And I am well aware that understanding what stimulates healing or prevents disease will not fix a broken bone, cure cancer, or stop a heart attack. However, the top ten reasons for seeing a doctor, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic, include pain (especially back pain), fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, chronic heart or lung problems, or brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or depression. Almost all of these conditions accelerate and increase as we age, so even if you feel healthy now, chances are if you live long enough, you will get more than one of these conditions, unless you seek out ways to prevent them. 

If you understand how healing really works for the most common chronic conditions, you can take greater control of your own recovery, increase the likelihood that any specific treatment will be effective, prevent many of the diseases of aging, and radically reduce your dependence on the medical industry. How Healing Works provides a way for merging curing and healing—producing true integrative health. Now I invite you to travel with me to see how I discovered this.

Table of Contents

The Need for a New Understanding of Healing viii

Section 1: Rethinking Healing

CHAPTER 1 The Paradox of Healing 1
CHAPTER 2 How We Heal 16
CHAPTER 3 How Science Misses Healing 40
CHAPTER 4 A Science for Healing 65

Section 2: The Dimensions of Healing

CHAPTER 5 Coming Home 92
CHAPTER 6 Acting Right 113
CHAPTER 7 Loving Deeply 143
CHAPTER 8 Finding Meaning 172

Section 3: Your Healing Journey

CHAPTER 9 Integrative Health 206
CHAPTER 10 Creating Healing 240


The HOPE Consultation 260
Constructing Your Healing Journey 268
Additional Reading on Integrative Health 297
Notes 298
Acknowledgments 316
Index 318
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