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The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working with the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement and Meditation in the Art of Medicine [Kindle Edition]

Thomas S. Cowan , Sally Fallon , Jaimen McMillan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Fourfold Path to Healing merges the wisdom of traditional societies, the most modern findings of western medicine and the esoteric teaching of the ancients. The fourfold approach includes: Nutrition using nutrient-dense traditional foods; therapeutics through a wide range of nontoxic remedies; Movement to heal and strengthen the emotions; and meditation to develop your powers of objective thought.

Editorial Reviews


. . . an outstanding example of the naturopathic philososphy of medicine. . . joins an elite group of 'real' books on health. . . Highly recommended. (Irene Alleger, The Townsend Letter, June 2006)

About the Author

Dr. Thomas Cowan has been a practitioner of family medicine for over twenty years. He is trained not only in conventional medicine, but also in homeopathy, nutrition, herbal remedies and anthroposophical medicine. Sally Fallon is the author of Nourishing Traditions and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Jaimen McMillan is the founder of Spacial Dynamics, and a trainer in movement therapy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 7622 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Newtrends Publishing, Inc. (August 31, 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001T9OZKC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,470 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
142 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redefines holistic medicine -- an instant classic! December 13, 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully written book that manages to be both a crystal clear health practitioner's guide and a fascinating philosophical discussion of the nature of disease and health.

The Fourfold Path to Healing offers a variety of very specific ways to restore balance to the human body, all of which are gentle, non-invasive, and sensible.

Four introductory chapters discuss the "paths" of the title -- nutrition, therapeutics (herbs and whole-food supplements), movement and meditation. Then Dr. Cowan applies these foundational principles to a variety of conditions, from arthritis to cancer to weight loss to heart disease.

He invites us to look at health conditions as more than collections of symptoms. He does so skillfully, drawing on the language of myth as well as botany, dreams, the work of Rudolf Steiner, and other insightful metaphors. Each discussion guides the reader into a broader understanding of the ways in which our health reflects our world view, our mental and emotional balance, and, of course how we care for our physical bodies.

The Fourfold Path to Healing invites deeper participation in our healing -- and in the maintenance and care of our good health, as well.
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209 of 230 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Book March 20, 2005
This book is broken into three segments. The first is a nutrition chapter by Sally Fallon. It is short and sweet, and if you're looking for more definetly check out her "Nourishing Traditions" cookbook. Then there is a movement section by Jaimen McMillian. This is pretty good, but it's always hard to fully understand movement excersizes out of a book. Then Thomas Cowan explores a around a dozen of the most prominent dis eases of today. This is by far the best part of the book. His philosophy on healing is well founded in science, but is much more holistic and thorough than alleopathy. Instead of today's mentality of taking a pill or removing it if it doesn't work, Cowan explores the possibility that real healing can take place. One of my problems with this book is the cut and dry approach to dieting. For some of the dis eases they are very anti-green tea because of the caffiene, and with commercially grown green tea, the flouride used in the chemicals that are sprayed. Solution, buy organic green tea, and let it steep for two minutes or more. The tannins in the tea will eventually bind up the caffiene making it unusable to your body. Also, they say to give up white flour completely and only eat sprouted, soaked or soured grains. While I agree with these practices and do them regularly, they are not always necessary. My body reacts adversly to commercial white flower, but I have no problems with white organic spelt, and no problems with white organic pasta. If you do have to make diet changes make sure to really test them out and research, instead of just taking this book word for word. I would certainly reccommend this book to anyone who is interesting in the art of healing though.
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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
The first time I read Dr. Cowan's Fourfold Path to Healing I put the book down thinking it was a bit too far out there for me in terms of how I look at the world and what he was proposing. Several months later on a whim I picked the book up again and read Cowan's explanation of how the heart is not a pump. It shifted my thinking. To understand how 'good' saturated fats can keep our blood pumping is to understand why we have so much heart disease in our fat phobic society. I can understand why those who are religious may have a problem with some of Cowan's insights. However put in perspective, I believe his insights conform to any theologic belief. What I took from the book is that there is a life force, whether that is a god, nature, or some other form, it exists and is an essential element in healing and well being. To reject the book out of hand based on preconceived beliefs, which is what I initially did, is to miss out on some very keen observations. Well done Dr. Cowan.
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56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary and Inspiring August 1, 2005
Having just attended the Fourfold Path to Healing Conference in Oakland, CA, ([...]) I feel absolutely inspired to spread the messages of this book. If you are looking for a new approach to health and well-being, yet not "new fad", if you believe in the wisdom of traditional peoples, and you want to help co-create a beautiful world of healthy individuals and societies, this is the book to read. It is very attractive, well-organized, and will definately introduce you to some new ways of perceiving our bodies and bringing them to wholeness.

I also recommend the other books by contributer Sally Fallon, especially Nourishing Traditions.
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105 of 125 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two stars for the Weston A Price info only May 19, 2011
I'm a big fan of the Weston A Price website, as well as Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Sally Fallon.

But this book... was just not up to that high standard.

For every useful fact on diet there was so many more very ignorant, simplistic and even offensive bits of nonsense, and airy fairy silliness. (About which planet is linked with which metal, and which bodily organ, and how this affects which homeopathic remedies you need, for example.)

The information on vitamin C was of an appalling standard and extremely ignorant and just plain wrong. All the masses of information showing the enourmous benefits of vitamin C were omitted entirely as well.

As for the suggestion that traditional peoples had fewer allergies because they 'took the long view' rather than thinking short term, and the case study of two kids with ear infections where one got well and the other with the same treatment didn't because they had an 'anxious mother' - these were not just eyebrow-raising, but very concerning.

People are abused with this type of 'blame the victim' nonsense all the time, and it is so unfair and can have a devastating impact on the patient, who is just asking to be treated for what is physically wrong with them! In the wrong hands this overemphasis of the mind-body link can be cruel. It is also completely unscientific.

(Sorry if this seems a bit of a rant but just about everyone I know that is ill has had a shocking encounter with a naturopath etc. who loftily expoused these same views and then blamed the victim again when they didn't help, rather than offering any real physical help.)

I'm so so glad I bought Nourishing Traditions and Eat Fat, Lose Fat but got this one from the LIBRARY! It was just not for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a wonderful book. Thank you
Received this book on time. It is a wonderful book. Thank you.
Published 3 months ago by Fanny I Ritchie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Met my expectations
Published 3 months ago by Rick Gillam
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beautiful book packed with super information.
Published 3 months ago by Megan K Danes
2.0 out of 5 stars Great- If you Like Supplements
After many years of not being healthy, being in my 20s and feeling like I'm 80 for example, this year I really started to make some more changes, especially while being diagnosed... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Singular
Good compilation.
Published 6 months ago by Audrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great reference book
Published 7 months ago by kimoko
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't like this book.
Dr Cowan doesn't even use most of these approaches anymore in his daily real world practice, so I would say this book is out of date.
Published 10 months ago by ZJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I bought 3 copies of this book, one for me and 2 gifts.
Published 10 months ago by California Cherries
3.0 out of 5 stars Was a little to "out there" and weird for me
The cookbook is great, but this one is just out there, not usable at all for me. Maybe if you have the weird stuff it asks for...
Published 12 months ago by J&E Hayes
4.0 out of 5 stars helpful
I found this book very helpful, because it gives me a different and holistic perspective on healing and the various illnesses.
i have started with some of the recipes.
Published 14 months ago by helena j. koopman
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More About the Author

As author of the best-selling nutritional cookbook Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell is the leading spokesperson for a return to nutrient-dense diets including raw milk, animal fats, organ meats, bone broths and lacto-fermented foods. She is the founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation ( and a founder of A Campaign for Real Milk ( She is also president of NewTrends Publishing (, which publishes books on diet and healthy, including books in the Nourishing Traditions series.

In 2009, she and her husband Geoffrey Morell purchased P A Bowen Farmstead (, where they produce award-winning artisan raw milk cheese, woodlands pork, and pastured eggs and poultry.


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