What is vitalism?

Since Dr. Blackketter keeps using this term “vitalistic” or some form of the word, it makes sense to define it clearly (and outside of certain comic applications, it seems that ambiguity never serves us well).

SIMPLE Definition–
>Vitalism is a philosophy (way of thinking about life) which understands that Someone or some intelligent energy source or some non-material force or inborn power makes us alive and coordinates all functions of life.
The truth about how the body works is simple: We are self-healing self-regulating organisms. Health and adaptation comes from inside us.
This inborn innate intelligence sustains every vital aspect of life in your body: including growth, healing, cellular function, reproduction, immune system, breathing, balance, heart beat, etc.

Vitalism is foundational to everything we do at GENESIS Chiropractic. We restore your vital connection to that innate power source so you can fully express life to your potential.

What is Vitalism? video intro. by Dr. Sarah Farrant, Chiropractor

COMPLEX Definition–
**Vitalism (noun) Vitalist (adj & noun) vitalistic (adj)
The theory or doctrine that life processes arise from or contain a non-material VITAL principle and cannot be explained entirely as physical and chemical phenomena.
You have everything within you to produce HEALTH and normal function because the vital LIFE force inside you (seen most basically as mental impulses) uses the nerve system to direct and coordinate every aspect of life.

This concept of vitalism can be further clarified by looking at some antonyms:
mechanism and reductionism and allopathy.

**Mechanism (noun) Mechanistic (adj)
The belief that natural wholes (principally living things) are like machines or artifacts, composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other, i.e.
1 a : a piece of machinery b : a process, technique, or system for achieving a result
2 : mechanical operation or action
3 : a doctrine that holds natural processes (as of life) to be mechanically determined and capable of complete explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry
Mechanism is opposed to an organic conception of nature recently elaborated as vitalism.

**Reductionism (noun) Reductionistic (adj)
1 : an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things
2 : a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents.

**Allopathy (noun)
This term describes a particular time period in medical history where many doctors and/or quacks used “…harsh medical practices of … [a specific] era which included bleeding, purging, vomiting and the administration of highly toxic drugs.”
Allopathic Methods of TreatmentAllopaths used bleeding, leeching, cupping, blistering, purging, puking, poulticing, and rubbing with toxic ointments to treat their patients.

**Allopathic (adj)
This term as I just used it refers to the broader scope of conventional medicine. Today’s physicians, MDs, therapists, surgeons, and osteopaths base their approach on the ideas from the period of “Heroic Medicine” or “Allopathy.” The true foundation for all modern “Biomedicine” or “Scientific Medicine” or “Modern Medical Science” is NOT health care…sadly it is the same sham the old time quacks were using centuries ago…”sick care” or symptom-based treatments, which are often harsh and plagued by violent side-effects.
I won’t deny that we have cleaner methods now, but all the current options for physical therapy, treatment, surgery, drugs, shots, vaccines, etc. are identical (in philosophy if not methodology) to the old system of BURN it Off, POISON it, CUT it Out, PUKE and Cleanse, BLEED it Out, KNOCK him Out, and of course Rx (drug) therapy abounds in this “Outside-In” mindset.

Just because the fancy new drugs are more expensive and were paid for by tax dollars doesn’t mean they’re good for you or even helpful! Drug side-effects are a real growing concern as you can see from the many websites talking about unwanted or “undesirable secondary effects” of drug use.

If you want to study these popular non-vitalistic ideas (mechanism and reductionism and allopathy), just find any typical biology textbook, university classroom, laboratory, medical research article, drug advertisement, or college debate hall. Unfortunately many people have been fooled into accepting this dogma as the best way to view life, when in fact, it is a dangerous way to live and grossly incomplete and inadequate at explaining health, healing, and proper function.

VITALISM IS NOT…a religion, nor is it necessarily spiritual. Plenty of atheists and agnostics and seekers alike adhere to and follow the vitalistic lifestyle and belief system, regardless of their spiritual opinions.

VITALISM IS NOT…”anti-scientific” just because it is holistic. In fact some could argue that a vitalistic understanding of life processes is more up-to-date with science than the more common allopathic methods of thinking so prevalent in modern medicine.

Whew!! That is a lot of words and hopefully did not become more confusing for you…

Thankfully, vitalism is making inroads in the healthcare world. Vitalistic living will regain its rightful place as the superior worldview as evidenced by Dr. Sarah Farrant’s videos and books. It is so intuitive and simple that even children can understand it. Maybe our scientists will eventually catch up and recognize that truth and reality and cause and effect may actually exist in a metaphysical realm and not their mechanical playpen of chemical reactions and pharmaceutical experiments.

Powerful ideas about Vitalism for moms by Dr. Farrant
**Some of these quotes and definitions come from “A History of Allopathy.
Also, here is a link for those of you who might be interested in seeing Genesis Chiropractic’s blog in the original format since its inception.

  1. […] 7. ChiropracTIC and the Palmers gave us a progression forward over eons of time, trial & error, and many new experimental ideas. Eventually they added a NEW improved way of improving health and life–vitalism. […]

  2. Ratenkredit says:

    What is Vitalism? | Genesis Chiropractic…

    I like this blog it’s a master piece! Glad I found this on google….

  3. […] scoliosis or stopped a 14 year old kid from wetting his bed. Her body fixed itself (this is called vitalism or the principle of restoration). This process of balancing the spine is accomplished with a […]

  4. […] ability to tell the chiropractic story and get results. Before we [many modern Chiropractors] began thinking and acting like the allopaths, B.J. Palmer taught us about cause and effect, Above Down Inside Out, accumulative constructive […]


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