Barbara O’Neill’s 9 Laws for Healing

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In anticipation of Barbara O’Neill coming to London on the 11th of June in London, The Wellness Way podcast had the pleasure of releasing a second interview with globally-renowned natural health teacher Barbara O’Neill last week, to discuss her latest book: SUSTAIN ME as a taster of what to expect on the big day!

Barbara O’Neill Reveals Her Laws for Healing

In this article, we briefly unpack the meaning behind each letter of the acronym SUSTAIN ME and explore what inspired Barbara to write this handbook of natural remedies. SUSTAIN ME will be available to purchase at the event happening June 11th at the Ibis Hotel London!

Keep reading to find out how you can nab livestream tickets..

The book itself addresses all of the different ailments we experience from head to toe; revealing to you what you can do to bring about natural healing. This handy guide has been in the works for quite a few years now, but the name of the book was born during a lunch in Tasmania with Barbara’s daughter Jessica.

The 8 Laws for Health

Barbara’s work has always been inspired by basic laws for health, which she talks about extensively in her lectures. These laws have long guided her principles in regard to healing, especially when she became a Christian on her healing journey at the young age of 26; she wanted to know the relationship between God’s word and that of healing the body.

“Florence Nightingale called them ‘laws of nursing’,  says Barbara in this fascinating discussion on The Wellness Way podcast with host Philly J Lay, “Dr. Jackson in the mid-1800s called them ‘laws of life, and they’re often referred to as the 8 principles.” 

These age-old 8 principles are: 

  1. Air 
  2. Exercise, 
  3. Sunshine 
  4. Temperance
  5. Sleep 
  6. Proper diet
  7. Water
  8. Trust in divine power.

 They are what have informed Barbara’s acronym SUSTAIN ME, and although simple, these principles are lost to today’s generation.

Most of us think very little sleep is normal in a fast-paced world. We douse ourselves in chemicals to protect ourselves from the sun, and ultra-processed food is readily available just about everywhere you look. Can it be a coincidence, then, that Western countries with an abundant amount of ‘food’ and scientific advancement are more depressed and overweight than ever?

And so in this sense, Barbara’s book heralds the return of generations of lost information on healing, which flies in the face of modern medicine and its overwhelming reliance on a pharmaceutical approach to health. 

Barbara and her daughter struggled to make 8 words, and they didn’t want to end up coming up with an acronym that had nothing to do with the book, so they decided on a 9-word acronym in SUSTAIN ME, which encompasses all of these principles, with an added focus on abstaining from adding things to the body that will harm it. 

Putting the acronym to her straight-talking husband Michael who she lovingly refers to as her ‘biggest critic’, he and everyone else she put it to gave the book title the green light.

And so SUSTAIN ME was born!

SUSTAIN ME – What Does it Stand For?

But let’s go into a bit more depth about what SUSTAIN ME stands for, using Barbara’s unique approach, and how we can apply these principles to our daily lives to bring about healing.

In her interview with Philly, they only managed to get to the SUSTAI part of the 9-word acronym because of Barbara’s understandably busy schedule, but the rest will be explored in full on the big day, so make sure you book your virtual seat for the live stream, as tickets are SOLD OUT


Sunshine, says Barbara, is not the enemy. It’s actually ‘the doctor in the sky, and you need to visit that doctor everyday.’ 

We are advised to wear sunscreen to protect us from its ‘harmful’ UV rays that are said to cause cancer, premature ageing, and of course sunburn. Barbara advises moderation instead of using sunscreen.

Many people in the natural health movement are against sunscreen. Numerous studies have exposed the toxic chemicals found in many of the bottles we use without thought that can disrupt hormones, and cause allergic reactions and skin cancers. Chemicals like Titanium Oxide which is classed as ‘Safe and Effective’ by the FDA have a ‘possibly carcinogenic effect’ if inhaled. All the more concerning when considering the fact that sunscreen chemicals sink into the bloodstream and last there for weeks.

In her interview with Philly J Lay, Barbara states that she instead takes her watch instead of lathering on chemicals, and takes a ‘15 minutes in, 15 minutes out’ approach. 


Barbara’s approach to this part of the acronym differs in that our relationship with water is about more than just drinking it. It also encompasses when and how we should use water to optimise our health.

The body is 60% water, and it loses about 2.5-3 litres of water a day. That water of course needs replacing in order for its optimal functioning, repair and healing. But there are also other ways aside from drinking where water is useful such as hydrotherapy, hence the ‘use’ element to the acronym. 

There are also times that we should not consume water. Barbra recommends abstaining from drinking water 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after your meal, as drinking too soon can alter your digestive juices. This is also an ayurvedic principle, which has an age-old history since the 2nd Century BC! 

A glass or two if you are thirsty after your meal is fine, says Barbara,but if the stomach is already full of water, it can water down our digestive juices and thus make it more difficult for the body to digest our food. 


 In a culture that celebrates overworking and lack of sleep, this one might be a bit difficult to digest! 

But Barbara is adamant that 8 hours of sleep are important and non-negotiable in order for the body to be given the time it needs to recover and restore itself. Getting less than this can have catastrophic effects on the body.

Barbara herself initially also boasted about only needing 6 hours of sleep, she says in the interview. But after reading Dr. Matthew Walker’s book: Why We Sleep, ‘her eyes were opened’. ‘You can feel okay on 6 hours of sleep,’ admits Barbara. But after learning about what the brain does while sleeping, she realised how important it was to get a full night’s sleep.

One study, for example, found that sleep gives our brain cells a chance to heal. When not given the chance to do so, it can lead to premature ageing, disease and poor overall functioning in an organ or tissue. 

Using Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as examples, these were two people that famously barely slept, claiming to only have five hours sleep a night. And yet in the late years of their life they both fell victim to dementia. It’s very likely their lack of sleep was a significant factor in the deterioration of their brain health. 


Barbara is extremely passionate about her faith. She believes that having an awareness of God and how incredibly unique He made us, enables us to recognise the privilege that we all have in having a mind and a body that ‘isn’t set’. 

We can heal ourselves from not just physical illness using the water, herbs and a brain to figure these things out that He provided for us, but we can also heal ourselves mentally from all sorts of traumas that are inflicted upon us. 

Barbara passionately believes that we all have a God-given ability to heal our minds and heal our bodies, and implores us to surrender ourselves to God.

For many of you that are fans of The Wellness Way, you’ll know that Philly herself holds great trust in the Universe and believes that trust is always rewarded.


Barbara teaches that certain things must be removed from our body to prevent harm to it, principally refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, herbicides, insecticides and mould. These things are all scientifically proven to be detrimental to our bodies and have no health benefits.


After reading the book Breath by James Nester, Barbara was able to come up with this part of the acronym, which is all about the importance of getting high-quality air into our lungs. Barbara herself sleeps with her windows open to keep air circulating regularly, stating that many people wake up tired because they aren’t getting enough fresh air. 

This article by St. Mary’s Health System attests to this: ‘Fresh air not only cleans your lungs, but it can also boost your mood, lower your heart rate, increase energy levels and even improve digestion (yes, that’s right). Florence Nightingale knew the benefits of fresh air long before any scientific study’.


Nutrition is one of the most important if not the most important part of sustaining good health. Barbara refers to this as the Garden of Eden diet in her lectures: it’s a high-fibre diet, full of proteins, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.


With that in mind, it is absolutely key that everything is done in moderation, even good things. This ties in with the temperance aspect of the 8 Laws of Health, being patient with our body and not overdoing it. 

The process of healing is a natural one and should not be rushed – which also ties in with Trust in God. When you trust that these things happen on a divine watch, so to speak, you’ll trust that you will get there eventually. 


And last but not least: exercise. The most powerful way to oxygenate the body. Exercise is essential for all aspects of health: our mental health because of the endorphins that are released while exercising, and for our skin because of the increased blood flow circulation. Not forgetting to the detoxifying benefits of sweating, but also our heart health, bone mass and muscle mass. The only way to develop a stronger and thus more resilient body is through exercise. So get moving! 

Want more?

If you’d like to hear an in-depth lecture on these laws of healing by Barbara O’Neill LIVE in London, you came to the right place!

Barbara’s book SUSTAIN ME is available to buy on 31st May and will be available at The Wellness Way x Barbara O’Neill event happening on the 11th of June in London!

Tickets are almost completely SOLD OUT

However, there are livestream tickets available to buy on the website.

Click here for in-person (only VIP tickets available!)

And click here for the live stream!