Fourfold Path: Book Review

Here is a rich approach to the topic of health. I think most of us would agree that treatment of health issues should involve more than the use of medicines. But how to organize our understanding of health? And how to bring the whole self into healthy balance?

Author and medical doctor  Tom Cowan’s evolution into a holistic practitioner was heavily influenced by the work of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian mystic. Steiner taught that the human being has four “bodies” or spheres of activity. Humans enjoy good health when these four spheres are in harmony. Each sphere requires a different form of support: (1) a healthy diet for the Physical Body, (2) beneficial medicines or therapies for the Life-Force Body, (3) healing movement and exercise for the Emotional Body, and (4) effective meditation and thinking activity for the Mental Body.

Here are a few of Tom’s words about medicine and patients:

My main disappointment with conventional medicine is not that we don’t have the answers to all of today’s illnesses, for this is a daunting task, but that we have stopped looking for solutions that truly heal instead of just managing symptoms, and that we have confounded emergency action with long-term healing.

Most physicians… do not believe that it is possible to educate the patient in such a way that he can actually overcome his illness. Instead, doctors begin with measures that suppress symptoms and even deny the possibility that patients engage themselves in the process of education and restoration….

We have lost faith in this amazing organism, the human being, to overcome its own illnesses, and we have forgotten that true healing involves education and change. In the process, the joy has gone out of the practice of medicine, and patients have been relegated to the status of mere victims, rather than pilgrims on the path to health.

– Tom Cowan, MD

Consider this a valuable guidebook for your own pilgrimage to health. Part 1 articulates the general outline of the Fourfold approach and is enriched with contributions by Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and Jaimen McMillan, founder of Spacial Dynamics. Part 2 includes individual chapters on fifteen different health issues including arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue, diabetes and heart disease. Each chapter provides practical suggestions on diet, therapeutics, movement and meditation support for the patient in this situation.

If you are fortunate enough to not be facing a health challenge, this book is still a great investment. In addition to helping you maintain your good health, it is also the only currently published material on Spacial Dynamics. This is a fantastic body of work and you will greatly enhance your ease, comfort and sense of well-being if you practice some of these very enjoyable activities on a regular basis. After a brief introduction, I joined the Spacial Dynamics professional training program. It has enriched my life tremendously and my weekly students love the Spacial Dynamics activities and approaches that I have brought to my movement classes.

The Fourfold Path to Healing: working with the laws of nutrition, therapeutics, movement and meditation in the art of medicine is available thru New Trends Publishing and major booksellers.

What about you?

Any comments from your own pilgrimage to health that you’d like to share?

Have you implemented any of the approaches in this book? Observations?

Have you attended past Fourfold Path Conferences? Any comments?

Jan 03

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