We all carry with us physical and emotional issues. It’s part of being human. People with cancer deal with different levels of distress. Some look for ways to alleviate some of the burdens of the disease using complementary therapies paired with their medical treatments.
Wanting to help people alleviate suffering is what inspired John Newton to study and practice complementary healing techniques around the world for almost 30 years.
He became interested in the science of epigenomes and the possibility that our genes may store prior adversity—that cellular memory can be passed from our ancestors. “These ‘footprints of trauma’ that we carry with us may affect us day-to-day, in terms of stress, immune function and accomplishing our life goals,” says Newton.
Today, Newton incorporates simple peace-making prayers as the principal modality in his work. “These are not ordinary prayers, but are specific and involve forgiveness along with humility and gratitude. It’s like a recipe: repeatable. And very effective,” he says.
A little far out there? People don’t have to believe it’s possible for it to work, but they do have to want help, Newton says. “I personally feel there is a higher power, but that doesn’t mean my clients have to. I work with their personal beliefs. Who am I to tell them what’s true for them?”
Newton currently works alongside doctors and other health care professionals to help patients with issues like stress, pain management and post-surgery quality of life. His work is complementary—not alternative—to a doctor’s care.
“If it causes no harm, let’s add it to the medical care we are already receiving. If these techniques help, how incredible! And if they don’t, no harm-no foul,” he says.
Interested in the mind-body connection? Learn about our Mind-Body Medicine Program.