In 1996, I reached a turning point in my career; you could say that this the birth year of my vocation. The government introduced managed care, an attempt to control healthcare costs, but what this meant to me was that I could no longer depend on the insurance industry to reimburse me for my work as a chiropractor.

An insurance-based practice was the only business model I knew. I didn’t know anyone who could advise me on how to run a cash practice, so I had to get busy and creative. My first thought was that I had to offer something unique, something that would set me apart from the competition. The solution came in the form of nutrition sales. Selling nutrition could provide supplemental income, but I did not want to just keep a bunch of pills on the shelf for people to buy. I wanted my patients to connect the dots between the nutrition I sold and their specific conditions. Then I met Dr. Dick Versendaal, a chiropractor from Michigan who had developed Contact Reflex Analysis (CRA). Dr. Versendaal used muscle testing to determine the exact nutritional needs of his patients. I quickly adopted him as my mentor, and I was on my way.

CRA was my first introduction to energy healing, which struck a chord deep inside me. I already knew about this, although I’d never called it energy healing or energy work. Whenever I work on someone and quiet my mind, I am able to sense the nature of their problem. I have been doing this since I was a kid, but I’d never thought of it as a special gift or of using this gift to make a living.

In 1998, fortune smiled on me again as I relocated from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Honolulu, Hawaii, my hometown, which I had left in 1980 to become a chiropractor. Honolulu turned out to be a great place to develop an energy healing practice. First, the cultural influences there support the idea of energy healing, and second, although I had been born and raised there, I had been gone for 18 years and was a virtual stranger, so I did not have to transform my identity from chiropractor to energy healer. This was a fresh start for me.

I decided to call my practice the Center for Holistic Living. “Holistic” turned out to be a buzz word at that time, and for me it was also a play on words (ho-listic, get it?). People were looking for alternatives to traditional medical treatment, so my decision to be a holistic practitioner was well received. To expand my practice, I had to offer more than CRA and designed clinical nutrition. I had to treat patients because that is where the majority of income is generated in the office. I started working this idea of energy healing by doing what came naturally to me while I studied the work of other people engaged in the techniques. But I also had to create a description that I could use to explain and sell my services. It was not wise for me to say that I practiced this technique that would make people feel better or solve their problems. That kind of description could actually lead to more problems than solutions. So I started out by saying that I was going to connect with the energy that flowed through the body and see what it is doing—just a simple explanation to give my patients perspective on what I did.

As I went along in this practice, my awareness of the role of the subconscious and the mind changed. The holistic model considers mind, body, and spirit together. Up to this time, my work had been confined to the body: Chiropractors fixed broken bodies. Yet the body has a mind, and the mind-body unit is the vehicle of the spirit. We know this as chiropractors, so why do we just focus on treating the body?

My undergraduate studies had been in psychology, and I had learned about the conscious and subconscious mind. I had also spent more than 35 years in the study and practice of martial arts, which taught me to develop my intellectual faculties. Influenced by these studies, I began to create a new healing model, a bigger model that incorporated the mind and spirit. The big issue that I focused on was the idea of defense. The body is hard wired for defense. You don’t really have to teach people how to defend themselves; it comes naturally. In martial arts, we practiced quieting the mind so that we could get out of the way of an attack rather than freeze in fear. Freezing in life caused people pain and misery, and that’s what brought them to my office.

I found that by shifting their consciousness, changing their focus of attention, I could snap patients out of their misery without manipulating their bodies. It was like magic. I had made a transformation from clinical practitioner to healer, and I was no longer limited to treating the body—I was integrating the mind-body and the spirit through the energy field.

Don’t get the idea that I was performing miracles or holding weekend revivals under tents in the country. My practice continued as usual, but I busied myself trying to understand what I had discovered, and I eventually developed a seminar to teach it, called Symphony Healing. I think that the best way to expand my work is by sharing it with others so that they can incorporate it into their practice. About this time, I also came across Bob Proctor and began studying his work. Bob talks about the mind-body and spirit. He explains how energy moves to and through the mind to the body from spirit, which is connected to the greater universal intelligence that we know as God.

Now my explanation to patients is even easier and more profound. I tell them that their world is simply upside down; they are under the illusion that they are their body and that their body is using symptoms to control their mind. The treatment is simple; we have to flip their world over so that they are in the right order again. Some patients get it; others are stuck in their paradigms and will not change. All I can do with the latter is work on shifting their consciousness until they change their mind.

From these experiences, I’ve learned much about what it takes to achieve success, but what do I even mean by “success”?  Earl Nightingale defines it as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” I have not found a better definition for that word. So first you have to figure out what that “worthy ideal” is. This is your vision, your dream. Second, you have to get excited about achieving that dream, accomplishing that objective, or creating that invention. Then you have to do the work to make it happen.

The work is the journey. Enjoy the journey and always keep in mind that you are progressing toward your predetermined goal. On this journey, remember to be professional in all your dealings. Being a professional means handling every situation, not avoiding any, regardless of the circumstances. You don’t always have to be right. In fact, you have to know when to say that you cannot fix a problem. It is all right to say, “I don’t know.” Being professional also means that you conduct yourself with the appropriate respect and demeanor. People are depending on you to guide them. Sometimes their lives hang in the balance. This responsibility should not be taken lightly.

I have found that creating a model that illustrates my vision or some aspect of it helps clarify the idea, anchor concepts, and keep the vision fresh in my mind so I am less inclined to give up. A clear model also helps me explain my ideas to others. It takes time and thought to create a model that fits your idea, but once you have, it forms a core from which you can build and adapt without losing sight of the end goal or getting sidetracked by distractions.

Even with a model, confused priorities can be a major roadblock. I cannot abandon everything to focus on my goal. Life becomes a balancing act at times, and I have to allow for other important things. When you own a small business, manage a home, and are involved in community activities, you sometimes become everything to everybody. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the details and circumstances and lose sight of your vision. Aside from building a model, I have overcome this confusion by replacing the two to three hours a day I used to waste watching television with something more constructive, like working on my vision for my business or expanding my mind. There are of course many other roadblocks on the way to success—old habits, other ideas distracting you, rationalization and justification, to name a few. It takes effort and persistence to break through your status quo.

Just remember that no matter what happens, a challenge is a skill not yet mastered. Mastery comes with repetition and application. Yet not every challenge needs to be mastered—pick your battles carefully. For example, I could never master painting landscapes, no matter how hard I tried. I could never master a musical instrument either. I am simply not artistic or musical, so I leave that to others.

Doing things well and allowing others to do the same are essential not only to your success but to your role as a leader, of yourself and others. Strive to be calm, patient, and encouraging—of others and yourself. Be ready and willing to adapt to situations, and in your dealings with people, be fair, trustworthy, predictable, and reliable.

Ultimately, the single most important key in achieving success is to never give up, never let go of your vision. If you give up on your vision, you lose. You might need to change your plans or strategy, but never give up. It helps to fully understand where that vision comes from. Of course it is a product of your imagination, but where does your imagination come from? Recognize deep down that it came from somewhere, that you have a specific and special reason for being where you are and who you are. Understand that you have a responsibility to make your vision a reality.



Dr. Jon Ho

Dr. Jon Ho has spent the past 29 years in clinical practice as a healer and a clinical nutritionist. He has integrated his experiences in martial arts with his knowledge as a chiropractor to develop his unique healing style. Born and raised in Hawaii, Dr. Ho has been exposed to both Eastern and Western cultures and has developed a unique perspective on the human condition. He is the developer of Symphony Healing, a seminar designed for body workers of many disciplines.

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