Fourfold Path to Healing conference opens in California

Healers to discuss the benefits of traditional diets, healing movement, and natural medicine Photo: J. Haney

LONG BEACH, California, February 8, 2013 – Natural living enthusiasts on the West Coast have a rare treat this weekend for up close and personal practice led by Spatial Dynamics founder Jaimen McMillan who joins traditional foods guru Sally Fallon Morell and Fourfold Path to Healing co-author Dr. Tom Cowan at the annual conference of the same name.

At the height of flu season in a culture where hoards rush to pharmacies for vaccines, the conference will discuss ways to heal the body from the inside out through nutrition, movement and other traditional approaches. This year’s conference, which opens this evening and runs through Sunday, will take place on the historic Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, California.

At last year’s annual conference in Baltimore, Cowan spoke about the healing power of fever. Noting that sweat lodges and other efforts to raise the body temperature have long been part of many cultures’ healing traditions, Cowan explained that illnesses with fevers can be beneficial in stimulating the immune system. “When you have bacterial infection,” he said, “you activate forces that result in the making of certain chemicals,” and this, in turn, can improve overall health. If the immune system is too weak to be stimulated to develop a fever, it might be weak enough to succumb to other illness, including cancer. “It’s never the fever that’s the problem,” he said.

Cowan lamented that one of the saddest things about medicine today is that “we’ve given up trying to treat anyone” and instead try to “manage” illness. “We have made a fundamental mistake of which is the therapy and which is the disease. There’s no natural medicine that works against the body.”

One of the ways to work with the body is through healing movement. McMillan, who developed Spatial Dynamics over 25 years ago, leads participants at the Fourfold Path conference through slow, mindful exercises that awaken the energy force within.
“If you enliven and live in every part of the space that surrounds, your body works better,” McMillan said after last year’s conference. “When you give the space around you the correct dynamic, your body will move with greater ease, with more grace and effectiveness.”

In describing the success of professional athletes, McMillan noted that they do not concentrate on their bodies when they move but rather connect with the goal toward which they are striving before their body reaches it. For a perfect example of the idea that “you are the path of your motion,” just watch a cat and notice how it sees ahead to catching a mouse or landing up on a high perch. It has already arrived in that space before its body is there. The projection of the intention seems to draw the cat to that place like a slinky, or an elastic band.
When asked if the training to fill out one’s body into its full space could help stroke patients, McMillian shared the story of a man assumed to be on his death bed and unable to move his limbs. With light, targeted, rhythmical contact, McMillan “invited” the man back into and through his arm until the arm and hand were warm and enlivened. The man regained mobility not just in that arm, but in each subsequent limb after gentle, patient, prolonged work on each, followed by long periods of rest. The man’s family members were moved to tears to see him walk again after they’d come to say their goodbyes.

Months later, he was walking largely unassisted. “The techniques gave the man the opportunity of regaining connection with his body and linking again to the world around him through his limbs”, McMillan explained.” His body had become remote, almost foreign to him through the stroke. The stroke had drawn him up and out so that the only part of him that he could experience was his head. The decision to continue to live was his, the correct dynamic down and through the limbs gave him the space to follow his decision.”

The website for the Fourfold Path to Healing conference, February 8-10, 2013, is 



Jessica Claire Haney is a freelance writer, editor and tutor. Her writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. A former high school English teacher, Jessica is mother to a six-year-old son and a toddler girl. She is passionate about holistic health and well-being and is a leader of a chapter of Holistic Moms Network.

Jessica’s blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama,, and her writer’s site is

“Like” Crunchy-Chewy Mama on Facebook, and follow Jessica on Twitter @crunchychewy/ /

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This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Jessica Claire Haney


This holistic mom dreams of a day when all kids -- and adults -- eat foods with only recognizable ingredients. Paying attention is not an option for me; it's a necessity.

A few years ago, my body started breaking down and let me know I wasn’t like all those other Jessicas who were still in their twenties. I began making the rounds of alternative health practitioners and nutritionists to deal with stomach problems, thyroid problems, chronic grumpiness, and infertility, issues that my doctors weren't addressing with any success. With a lot of help and a bunch of lifestyle changes, I managed to work my way back to healthy and happy. And pregnant!

Now a full-on convert to natural family living and a mom to a three-year-old, I’m on a mission to share my insights -- and my persistent questions -- about nutrition and holistic health with other moms and with anyone else looking for something that will work and feel good when other stuff doesn’t. As a leader of a local chapter of Holistic Moms Network, I've tried to build a community that supports other parents in making healthy decisions for their families.

My writing has appeared in parenting publications and poetry journals. I blog about life on the alternative/mainstream divide at Crunchy-Chewy Mama, and I'm a contributor for DC Metro Moms.

Contact Jessica Claire Haney


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