Dr Bankole Johnson believes beauty begins in the brain

“Have you ever looked for the word happy in the dictionary?” You should. That’s the strangest definition, ”says acclaimed brain specialist Dr. Bankole Johnson as he guides a taste of his soon-to-open Miami wellness spa, Private Clinics.

Johnson’s interest in happiness stems from the belief that he can, indeed, help people be happier. He wants to achieve this by using his unparalleled expertise in brain science to connect the dots in spaces of beauty and wellness to help people achieve general well-being with a brain-focused mindset. He calls it: Where science meets well-being.

To understand its mission, it is first important to understand its journey.

Dr Johnson was a practicing physician at the age of 22, when he became an intensive care physician. After that, and after completing the necessary schooling, he became an anesthesiologist, then a psychiatrist. He continued his graduate studies with two further doctorates in addition to his doctorate in medicine and a master’s degree in neurological disorders and computational mathematics. While practicing medicine and making groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of psychopharmacology in the treatment of drug addiction, he rose through the academic ranks to become professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioural Sciences at the University of Virginia, followed by a similar role at the University of Maryland where he was president of psychiatry and professor of pharmacology, medicine, psychiatry, anatomy, neurobiology and neurology.

What does all of this have to do with the wellness spa he creates?

Basically, Privée Clinics is a medical center and offers the usual checks to monitor the body like blood tests, physical exams, and nutrition services, but unlike a typical medical clinic, Dr Johnson’s clinics put a heavy emphasis on emphasis on happiness, self-esteem and mood regulation.

“Most people come here to optimize their well-being and happiness is an important part of well-being,” Johnson continues. “And unfortunately, traditional medicine doesn’t deal with happiness. Doctors are not trained to keep people healthy, they are trained to treat disease, and because we focus on disease, we are very good at diagnosing disease and we are very bad at developing and maintaining disease. health. “

He knows that by combining everything he understands about the brain and applying it to wellness, the end result would be happier people. How? ‘Or’ What? He understands that this happens through the combination of various treatments and modalities which, when applied together, improve both internal and mental well-being as well as external beauty. That’s why at Privée, clients can also benefit from injectable or EmSculpt treatments, in addition to more traditional medical treatments like psychological therapy and neurocognitive assessments.

“It’s very difficult to get people to have high self-esteem if they’re not feeling well. Our perception of ourselves, the way we believe our inner core is, is to look at any reflection that comes back to us and see it as part of ourselves, ”he says. “Even though it’s not part of us, we still attribute our appearance to a part of our personality. ”

Which goes back to his prompting to define happiness. The doctor starts to search his phone for various online dictionaries and comes back with several definitions, all of which he thinks are wrong.

“Everything about the definitions of happy in any English dictionary is external, and it’s one of the most difficult definitions in any language. The definitions speak of feeling pleasure or excitement. If happiness is all pleasure, does that mean that if you have no pleasure, you are not happy? he asks.

“The way to make people happy at the brain level is not to focus on creating pleasure, but on creating a set of positive experiences, and it is those positive experiences that translate into a vision. more lasting happiness. ”

According to the doctor, these positive experiences don’t have to be major events or companies, they can be very small things that add to this general feeling, like taking a long shower, using a pleasant cream or listening to music. .

At Private, he has organized a host of services and modalities to help create this set of positive experiences, many of which can make clients feel good about their appearance.

“Everyone needs attribution and validation of how they look or how they see themselves. So if you can do little things to enhance their beauty, you will actually improve their mood, ”says Johnson.

Until Privée Clinics officially opened, Johnson opened an intimate pop-up space in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood where he administers EmSculpt Neo treatments – which is an EmSculpt machine, but more intense for faster results – to clients to give them a taste of the clinic’s point of view of service and well-being.

Once the clinic is fully open, clients will be able to choose from a wide range of treatments including intravenous infusions, estrogen / testosterone therapy, vampire facials, hyperbaric chamber sessions, DaVinci infrared light therapy and much more. . He has also developed an all-natural skin care line that includes ingredients such as rubies and crushed diamonds and a line of all-natural soaps designed to deliver a sensory experience (see below) through scent. Johnson also plans to launch a biometric device in the form of a watch capable of reading facial expressions and deciphering the mood of the wearer.

“Happiness is of utmost importance for all of us to be able to negotiate the world, and also to achieve the best results in the world,” Johnson said.


There are ways to improve the functioning of the brain in everyday life, and here are some of the doctor’s suggestions for starting the brain’s journey to happiness and well-being at home:

  • Brain optimization: “The brain works in such a way that even though it is not a muscle, it has to be optimized, it has to be challenged.” According to Johnson, in order for the brain to stay at its peak, it has to experience some sort of mental gymnastics, and he understands that the most powerful way to optimize the brain is to learn a new language.
  • Mood regulation and emotional intelligence: “We all live in a very stressful world, which is why we must continue to develop emotional intelligence, or the elimination of negative influences, to regulate mood and stress.” Dr. Johnson suggests taking at least 5-6 minutes of every hour for yourself. He also suggests trying to listen to the heart throughout the day, which relieves stress as it distracts attention from consciousness. He also suggests something he calls the 8-1 rule, which is very helpful in interpersonal relationships. It involves saying 8 positive things before conveying a negative thing, which reduces the intensity of the negative thing.
  • Nutrition: “A lot of people are used to eating a lot of what they want to eat, but they don’t focus on nutrition, which is important for brain health.” There are essential foods for brain health including plant products, nuts, and different types of fish that the doctor says are important for giving the brain certain trace minerals like chromium, selenium, zinc, and calcium. magnesium. He estimates that more than 3/4 of people are deficient in necessary elements.
  • Personal development: “Individual development is an ancient art and if you don’t develop individually or on an intellectual level you can’t really be happy, that’s my point of view.” Johnson suggests that small things can add up to big things in terms of personal development. It can be as simple as watching a play and learning about its creator or actors, reading a book, or learning a new skill. Individual development also involves developing better mood regulation, such as learning to react more positively to difficult situations.
  • Self-love: “It starts to depend on beauty, because how we feel about ourselves affects our self-esteem. According to the doctor, the way you see yourself is essential to self-esteem and, as mentioned earlier in this article, it can be achieved through small beauty enhancements, like wearing a new perfume, getting cut. hair or use a lotion that makes one. feel better about yourself.
  • Sensory perception: “We are very much governed by our perception of our natural environment. According to Johnson, all of the different things we take in from our environment are important for brain health and mood. He focuses a lot on smells at Private Clinics because it is the fastest sense on its journey to the most sensitive part of the brain, from the nose to the orbitofrontal cortex, and also has a strong association with memories and events. Through positive scents, like candles and other scents, people are able to create positive sensory experiences.
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