I have spent my entire career in the healing arts. First, armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, I spent several years working in various positions in a locked, acute emergency care, psychiatric facility.
After becoming disillusioned by the society’s ability to come to grips with mental illness and the reliance on pharmacology as it’s fundamentally single approach, I experienced a period of personal growth after starting Tai Chi and meditation. I learned of and became trained as a Biofeedback Therapist. Using applied psychophysiology (read: mind-body connection), I spent the next decade teaching people how to control pain and overcome anxiety by use their minds to better control their bodies. The outcomes were great and the work rewarding.
When I later learned in chiropractic school that classic chiropractic philosophy states that, as chiropractors we believe that an Innate Intelligence organizes and flows through the body… that resonated with me. I am not particularly religious but I do believe that we are spiritual beings having a human/physical experience.
I also learned that at about the same time that modern chiropractic was being developed and codified (about 100 years ago), a debate raged in scientific circles regarding the nature of life and its creation/creator. Indeed, I’m sure this debate impacted Drs. D.D. and B.J. Palmer and others in the early days of our profession.
In this struggle, there were two very different and opposing views, one might go as far as to call them world views: mechanism vs. vitalism. The mechanistic community believed that the universe was a giant machine, set into place by mere chance and sheer accident (Classic Newtonian physics), and therefore anything that could not be examined, measured or explained in that context was superstition and unreal. Vitalists, on the other hand, believed that there was a special quality to life beyond mere “action/reaction”, that other unseen forces may be at play and that implied the existence of some cosmic designer/creator. Sadly, this became a not-so-subtle platform for debating the very existence of God.
In the end, the mechanistic viewpoint eventually won out. (Or is it the end?) One reason that the debate was put to rest was because given the primitive state of technology at the time, certain currencies, frequencies and other measurements were unheard of at the time. Microcurrents were considered totally inconsequential. We now know, 100 years later, (with all of our integrated circuit chips functioning on microvolts; cell phones, desktop and laptop computers, etc.), just how powerful these microcurrents can be in our lives. We also know much more about the electroimpulses of the brain and of the heart and that these are self-generating. But to 19th century scientists, none of this existed therefore, no evidence existed. And so, this is how the sociopolitical opinion gradually shifted to an accidental and incorrect view that the mechanistic view is the only viable scientific approach of value. The vitalists were dismissed or merely ignored. Research direction and money flowed only to the model that supported this biomechanical view and therefore reinforced itself over time.
But the story isn’t over. New thinking in the world of quantum physics has lead to a reexamination of this once settled argument. The vitalistic paradigm has been resurrected, partly out of growing research being done overseas and partly out of a failure of the mechanistic approach in many cases to improve the quality of life for those suffering.
Having spanned the bridge both professionally and personally, I posit that chiropractors are uniquely qualified and positioned to lead the charge in the public demand for more encompassing health care. Our study of the mechanistic physical aspects of the neuromusculoskeltal system and our philosophy that joins a Universal and Innate Intelligence puts us right at the bridge of this ongoing debate. For more information on how I personally work with the subtle energies to promote greater health and genuine healing please feel free to visit our webpage at www.collegevillechiropractic.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- May 31st, 2013