Category Archives: Wayne B Jonas, MD

A Modern Look at the Ancient Art of Healing

Avaton of Epidaurus - By Jean Housen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
When we are ill we so often focus on what to do; a knife, a pill, a behavior change, your diet. Yet underlining any therapy is a process for its delivery that often produces more of an effect than the treatment itself. Let’s explore that process; the “how” of healing, and contrast it with the “what”. So often the “how” of healing involves spiritual engagement and activity.

256px-20100408_epidaure29 (1)

Avaton of Epidaurus – By Jean Housen (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Explore the Ancient City of Medicine

A visit to Epidaurus, the ancient city of medicine where the Hippocratic school of medicine was founded reveals how ancient Greeks believed healing happens: Read more

East Meets West: A Call to Action

military doctor

As an Army doctor, I had the opportunity to learn about healing and medicine through a unique lens—one a little more international in scope than many medical school graduates experienced. I spent the first part of my career as the only doctor running an Army medical clinic for about 5,000 soldiers and their families in a remote area of Germany in the 1980s.  Read more

One Pill, Two Pill, Red Pill, Blue Pill: Putting Color of Healing in Context


Meaning and context are essential elements of healing. Sometimes called the placebo effect, meaning and context refer to how a treatment is delivered rather than the efficacy of the treatment itself. For healing to be optimized for any treatment, you need the expectation of an effect and you need its social meaning delivered in the right context. 

Meaningfulness is not just about what you’re thinking in your head. It’s about your deep, core beliefs and that of the social group in which you live. It’s what the cultural belief is – what your physician believes, what you believe, and what your family and society believes is real. Read more

Prejudice, Social Bonding and Health

sun rays of light

April 10 marked the close of Samueli Institute’s Well Community Project with an event connecting community grantees and national policy and philanthropic leaders. The Well Community Project and its participating communities moved beyond disease-oriented approaches to a health and wellness perspective that now included missing elements of healing, resiliency, wellness and quality of life. Healing legacies of racism and building social connections emerged as common themes to address.

It also marked my 60th birthday. Funny how turning 60 gets you thinking more deeply about what is truly relevant in life. This and the dialogue at the Well Community Project had me thinking of how essential social cohesion is to the health and wellbeing of communities. In fact, it may be one of the most important elements of all for human flourishing. Read more

Three Elements of Healing

conversation with patient

To optimally heal, doctors focus three simple elements:

  • Supporting and caring for the inherent healing capacity of the whole person.
  • Stimulating that healing capacity when necessary.
  • Sustained healing depends on delivering healing interventions in a way is meaningful to the patient.

Those are the three elements of healing that doctors consider all the time, deliver every day, often doing intentionally but sometimes even subconsciously.   Read more

« Older Entries