I want to pre-warn you that my inner chiropractor will be coming out in this post. This post is philosophical, but it is something near and dear to how I view the body. It was revolutionary to my thinking of how our bodies heal and function (and were created to do so). If it blew my mind I think it has the potential to do the same for yours!
We have amazing bodies. Stop and think about that for a second. A real long second. (Are you thinking?) Do you get that we were created magnificently? Amazingly? Wonderfully? It’s true and I want to explain this concept in the idea of our body being created to be a vitalistic body and not a mechanistic body. Bear with me through this philosophy because this will come full circle and apply to you.
We have a vitalistic body. That means that our bodies are self-healing and self-regulating. That means that our bodies are dynamic healing machines that heal from the inside out (Not the outside in!).
Others believe that our bodies are only mechanistic. This is our medical systems belief. The basic definition of mechanism is that our body is NO greater than the sum of its parts. If you take all of the parts out, each of the parts are just as strong and powerful as the whole thing working together. It’s like a mechanic and your car. They take apart the car and find the bad part. They focus only on that part (because our cars are mechanistic) and fix that part. Then the car runs better. The parts are only parts in a car.
What is Vitalism?
Vitalism can be defined as the belief that we were created by God who makes us alive and coordinates all functions of life. That means that we are self-healing and self-regulating. We are born with an innate intelligence that sustains and nourishes every part of our body. That includes growth, cell function, healing, the immune system, digestive system, breathing, thinking everything else.
Our bodies are vitalistic.
What is Mechanism?
Like I said above, this is how our medical system thinks. Mechanism is the opposite of vitalism. Mechanism says that the body is the sum of its parts. It doesn’t believe that they work intrinsically together. (In vitalism the body is much greater and more powerful than the sum of its parts.) Here are a few examples in how our medical system uses a mechanistic view.
- Our genetics are our destiny
- What we eat doesn’t matter
- Calories in vs calories out equals weight loss
- Drugs and surgery make us healthy and are necessary
- Having specialists that know more and more about less and less. For example you go to a specialist for your thyroid. They don’t look at anything but the thyroid and don’t take into consideration the other parts of the body intertwining itself into thyroid function (ex. gluten, vitamin D, heavy metals, other halogens like fluoride and chlorine, the gut). Vitalism looks at how these all go together.
Before you start to think I am totally against the medical system I want to clarify a few things. I believe there is a time or place for medicine. It is an emergency medical system. If I get hurt and deeply cut my arm, I want to be in this system. They have all the tools to get me back to where I need to be. But don’t be fooled. This is not a health care system. Looking at our bodies in a mechanistic way does not build health.
How does this Vitalism thing apply to me?
If you have an understanding of vitalism you have a greater understanding and appreciation for your body. How does this look like in every day life?
- You believe that your body is doing the right thing at the right time (example is a virus raising up your temperature creating a fever. It’s normal and is there to kill off the virus by raising it above the temperature the virus needs to survive)
- Knowing that colds, the flu and other viruses are a part of building a natural immune system and WILL produce a stronger body
- You know that healing takes time. There is time needed to heal an injured muscle because all of the parts need to regenerate to make it strong again
- You know that if your body is a robust healing machine it is capable of healing with natural means. Drugs are not what makes us well. You can work with your innate intelligence with herbs, nutrients, healing foods, chiropractic, acupuncture, and other healing modalities to get well (and truly healthy)
- Food is powerful medicine and what we eat makes a huge impact in our health. Can I get an AMEN on this one?
- Our bodies are science factories and not calorie counters. Weight loss is not just about calories in vs calories out. There is way more to it! (Inflammation and hormone resistance)
- The knowledge and understanding that our bodies are interconnected. For example our gut and our brains work together. So if we are experiencing brain things, then it is probably stemming from the gut. And then learning about how the gut works to heal that to in turn help brain health.
Are you getting excited about this? I hope you are because I am excited for you to be reading this as I type this.
If you aren’t convinced yet or want more information think about how we are created. Let’s rewind to the beginning. We start with two small cells: the egg cell and the sperm cell. The cells joined and they grew (and grew and grew) into millions of different cells. And these cells started early on to form organs in the body (heart and nervous system being the first). This all happens without any input by us. And about 40 weeks later our bodies start labor (once again on our own) and we give birth to this beautiful and perfect human being. That is the true example to me of an innate intelligence given to us by God that knows how to grow a human being. No doctor or scientist (or chiropractor for that matter) can do this!
I want to leave you with the understanding that we have amazing and dynamic bodies. With vitalism we can utilize our innate power to heal our bodies. We can view nutrition as a source of nourishment of our bodies to build them as strong as possible. We can look as exercise as a way to strengthen our bodies and not only to lose weight. It affects our whole decision making process in our health.
I hope this article has helped you GROW in your understanding of our amazing bodies!
What’s one way you can apply Vitalism to your health?