Ancient Medicine Traditions
It all began quietly one day in June, 1959, when a legend literally came to life. Out from under a cloud-wrapped mountain that had kept these mysterious people secret for 500 years, they emerged:
Keepers of the highest healing arts of the ancient peoples of the Andes.
Ancient Medicine for a Modern World
Little did the villagers know, as they prepared for an annual celebration in their misty mountain valley in Peru, that they would be joined by unexpected guests.
And then they appeared.
Down from the dizzying heights of mountains 18,000 feet or more, they came. According to legend, they were called the “Laika” – the high medicine men and women, lost to the world since the onslaught of the Spanish conquistadors.
For 500 years these wisdom keepers had closely guarded sacred healing practices of their ancestors.
Ancestors who had built the 3,250 mile Inca Road along the Andes to connect a powerful empire from Ecuador to Chile.
Ancestors who, despite earthquakes, torrential rain and landslides, had erected magnificent temples and palaces on some of the tallest mountains in the world – architectural wonders whose ingenuity baffles engineers today.
Ancestors who kept all their people well fed and healthy, cultivating a wide variety of crops - including the potato and the highly nutritious quinoa - on about a million hectares of elaborate terraces built on steep mountainsides. Ancestors who had extensive knowledge of healing herbs and used advanced procedures – including 90% successful brain surgery – to treat a vast array of medical conditions.
The ancestors of the Laika had built the advanced civilization of the Andes with astounding technological achievements, but more significantly they demonstrated healthy communities - physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
For 500 years the Laika had completely cut themselves off from contact with the rest of humanity. And now they knew the long-awaited time had come. Time to share their wisdom teachings with us. After centuries of religious persecution from the people of the West, they came to offer us a unique way to bring balance and wholeness to our Western world.
How The Four Winds Began
In a quest to find the link between the body and the mind, Cuban researcher Alberto Villoldo founded and directed the Bio-Self Regulation Laboratory at San Francisco State University.
His investigations were part of a new study of the chemistry of mind. Combining Psychology, and Immunology, this pioneering field is called Psycho-Neuro-Immunology, or PNI for short. It analyzes the way areas of the brain controlling emotions interact with hormones and regulate the many systems in the body, including the immune system, in a 2-way communication.
The more deeply he probed into the mysteries of health on the molecular level, the more he sensed that the answers he sought were on a much grander, larger scale. As he tells his students:
"One day, I realized that perhaps I had been looking out of the wrong end of the microscope. That instead of going smaller and smaller, that I had to go bigger and bigger, perhaps to discover a world view even in which the notions of time and space as we knew it in the West were different."
Determined to continue his quest, Dr. Villoldo took off his lab coat, put on hiking boots and trekked into the Amazon, ready to put his training as a psychologist and medical anthropologist to work. Steeped in Western science, Dr. Villoldo approached these healers at first with a great deal of skepticism. Patiently these medicine people of the deep jungle, who had mastered the “journey beyond death,” helped him see that their teachings could not be confined within the constructs of his Western paradigm. As the quest continued, he traveled to the high mountains to study with the elusive Laika, high shamans of the Andes.
During the twenty years of living and rigorous work with these medicine men and women of South America, Dr. Villoldo became convinced of the power and validity of their practices. Going beyond symptoms and their physiology, these very special healers taught him to treat illness by traveling upstream to the level of the energetic – even before it manifests in the physical body.
The Four Winds Society Today
In 1984, Dr. Villoldo founded The Four Winds Society to bring the teachings of these master healers to the West. The Four Winds Society respectfully transmits a 50,000+ year old tradition of knowledge to achieve personal and planetary healing. This tradition has roots all the way back to the Himalayas. This highly renowned school offers courses around the world as part of a thorough 2 year training program leading to certification in the practice of energy medicine.
Dr. Villoldo's books include: Courageous Dreaming; Power Up the Brain; Mending the Past, Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval; Shaman, Healer, Sage; Dance of the Four Winds; Secrets of the Inca Medicine Wheel; and many more.
To order his books, please go to Resources page on this website.
"The Four Winds journeys are not mere vacations, but spiritual expeditions where we immerse ourselves in the rich culture of the Amazon, Andes and Sacred Valley. We work with the Laika, some of the most extraordinary medicine men and women in the world who are the keepers of luminous healing, soul retrieval and the prophecies. You will be welcomed as friends as they lead us in ceremony at the most sacred sites in the Andes.
Our highly trained staff will be there to guide you on a path of transformation and beauty in a land filled with new experiences at every turn.
Join us… and come ready to step outside of ordinary time. Come sit with us in ceremony at lost temples where you have the opportunity to rediscover your essential nature, and come into right relationship with these sacred sites and the spirit of the land."
In loving spirit of reciprocity, Stephen donates a percent of your payment to support the indigenous peoples who have shared their healing traditions with us.