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The Fourfold Path to Healing: Working with the Laws of Nutrition, Therapeutics, Movement, and Meditation in the Art of Medicine Paperback – October 1, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

. . . 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. Tom Cowan discovered the work of the two men who would have the most influence on his career while teaching gardening as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, South Africa. He read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, and a fellow volunteer explained the arcane principles of Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic agriculture. These events inspired him to pursue a medical degree. Cowan graduated from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in 1984. After his residency in family practice at Johnson City Hospital (Johnson City, NY), he established an anthroposophic medical practice in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Dr. Cowan served as vice president of the Physicians Association for Anthroposophical Medicine and is a founding board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. He writes the “Ask the Doctor” column in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts, the foundation’s quarterly magazine, and has lectured throughout the U.S. and Canada. He practices medicine in San Francisco, where he lives with his wife Lynda Smith Cowan.

Sally Fallon read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price in 1973 and raised her four children according to the nutritional principles of healthy, non-industrialized peoples, with plenty of butter, cream, meat, seafood, whole raw milk, and cod liver oil. In 1996, in order to put the principles of Weston Price into practical form, she published Nourishing Traditions, a full-spectrum nutritional cookbook, with Mary Enig, Ph.D. Later, she founded A Campaign for Real Milk, whose goal is universal access to clean, raw milk products. In 1999, she became founding president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She is editor of the quarterly, Wise Traditions, and leads seminars on traditional diets throughout the U.S. and internationally. She lives in Washington DC.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: New Trends Publishing (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967089794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967089799
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Victoria Bloch on 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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Format: Paperback
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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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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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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I just attended the Fourfold Path to Healing conference this last weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Tom, Sally Fallon and Jaimen McMillan taught us so much about the human body, nutrition, and medicine--in what ways these all work together. This was one of the most important conferences I have ever attended in my life. (I am an organic farmer). It really rounds out the information I have been applying in my life on the farm from Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions. N.T.

I highly recommend Tom's book because on so many levels, it teaches us how to take care of ourselves and others without invasive "therapies" such as cutting, drugging, or radiating, Additionally, with Sally's research and advice on nutrition, I feel we can truly be as healthy as possible in spite of the many challenges we face, whether socially, economically, internally, or environmentally and so on. We can do it!

Please do yourself much, much more than a favor, and buy, read, study and apply the information in this book! A must is also Sally's book Nourishing Traditions.

As for comments Tom makes on vitamins such as C, it is the synthetic vitamin C that one needs to avoid. Some of the best ways to get vitamin C is through powdered fruits such as rose hips, acerola berries an amalaki. Of course, the first way we should try to get all nutrients is through our food! This is one reason why we eat.
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