You’re not feeling well. You are in pain. You have chronic headaches, feel run down, suffer from allergies, asthma, or GI issues. You are ready to feel better. What you do next depends upon which health care philosophy resonates with you – Mechanism or Vitalism.
Mechanistic/Allopathic philosophy is the belief that the body is nothing more than a sum of it’s parts and that symptoms are to be eliminated or suppressed by drugs or surgery. It follows the tenets if genetic determinism – that your health is determined by the genes you are born with and there is little that you can do to change your health destiny, therefore you need drugs that alter biochemistry of your cells to keep you functioning properly.
Vitalistic philosophy recognizes, respects and trusts in the innate intelligence and self-regulating capacity of the body. It recognizes that we are much more than the sum of our parts and that every system in the body is intricately interconnected. Far from believing that you are powerless over your health, vitalism acknowledges that what you eat, how you think and how you move your body all have major influence on your state of health and well-being.
When it comes to dealing with your health concerns, it is important to work with the appropriate practitioner for your specific situation as well as one that operates from a philosophy that resonates with you. If I am in a car accident, have a heart attack or a raging infection – take me to the medical doctor. If I am struggling with chronic symptoms – symptoms that are telling me that my body is out of balance – I want a chiropractic or holistic practitioner who understands how to remove what is interfering with my body’s ability to heal, add in what may be missing, and steps out of the way to allow the innate wisdom of my body to restore health and balance.
Throughout history the pendulum has swung between vitalistic and mechanistic health care paradigms. For the past 100 years, mechanism has been the dominant paradigm in this country with pharmaceuticals as a centerpiece for treatment. As a result, we are experiencing an epidemic of chronic physical, inflammatory and mental illness. The time has come for the pendulum to swing back towards a more holistic approach. An approach that puts our bodies back into harmony with the natural world that we belong to.