Category Archives: Wayne B Jonas, MD

Agree to Disagree

text books

In an article on the increase of CAM use for millennials, a fascinating statement was included that explains precisely why Samueli Institute exists:

Steven Salzberg, a professor of medicine, biostatistics and computer science at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, has opposed integrating alternative medicine into academic curriculums. He says most alternative modalities and supplements have shown no scientific evidence of success.

While he concedes that yoga, meditation and massage can be helpful, he says many practitioners and marketers use the CAM label to promote bogus claims. He also warns that some herbal remedies can have “nasty” interactions with prescription medicine. His advice to consumers is to take a skeptical view of the CAM marketplace.[1]

I have debated Dr. Salzberg at Johns Hopkins and I disagree. It is precisely BECAUSE many complementary or integrative modalities have not been sufficiently explored through research that CAM should be taught in medical schools.  Read more


headshot of Dr. Jonas

Wayne B. Jonas, MD, President and CEO, Samueli Institute

How does an individual achieve resilience and flourish, even when faced with a trauma or stress? How the mind, body and spirit reacts and transitions to a new normal stems from multiple factors and can result in different outcomes. In the process, the individual may evolve and transform, paving the way for new skills that will prepare them for new challenges in the future. A whole systems, whole person understanding of resilience is best approached through a dynamic systems framework and is a subject that researchers are only beginning to understand. Samueli Institute has been working to cast further light on these processes. Read more

Painkillers: The “Fast Food” of Pain Relief

Photo of multiple pill bottles
While painkillers are an essential tool in care and treatment of injured patients, two studies released this week reveal an urgent need to rethink their use in our military and civilian health care systems and invest in a broader tool set to help patients mitigate chronic pain.

In a study released in JAMA Internal Medicine on June 30, Dr. Toblin and co-authors revealed that in one of the Army’s leading units 44 percent of the soldiers had chronic pain and 15 percent regularly used opioids. These rates are much higher than the general civilian population (26 and 4 percent respectively) and underscore a crisis in chronic pain among our service members and an overreliance on drugs to mitigate that pain. 

The issue extends to the civilian population at large. Just a few days after the JAMA Internal Medicine report on opioid use in the military, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on opioid use in the U.S. that found physicians wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012—enough for every adult in the country to clutch a bottle of pills.

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Creating Healthy Families


This week, the Institute launched a new tool to help families with small children talk about wellness and healing. It is a book, Maya’s Enchanted Thread, written to a 7-9 year old reading level and intended to be read with a parent or other adult.

The book follows the framework of Samueli Institute’s evidence-based Optimal Healing Environments research as it tells the story of a young girl’s journey toward optimal health. The tale is told through colorful characters and in clear, simple prose—created by talented author and illustrator Marzia Motta—in a way that makes conversations about important topics such as exercise, nutrition and friendship fun.

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Healing Practices in the U.S. Military


Since Samueli Institute was founded in 2001, our core mission has been to uncover the science of healing, build the evidence base for traditional and complementary medicine, and translate that evidence into action. This month marks the end of a large program completed by the Institute over 8 years investigating and helping to implement healing practices for our Service members and their families.

Healing practices have found a home is in the U.S. Military because more than a decade of war has left them in a crisis. The shortcomings of the American medical system are nowhere more apparent than in the overstressed military and veteran’s health care systems, and military leaders are motivated to find and deploy what works.

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