I want to chat about my favourite principle of health called VITALISM.
Vitalism is the understanding and principle that all living systems are self-organizing, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing.
This means that we are more than just machines made up of parts. We have a very specific intelligence that perfectly and beautifully guides our development, our interactions with the environment and responds to the challenges the environment creates. This innate intelligence gives us the power to heal, grow, adapt and live life to our full potential.
Being stuck in a traffic jam makes it hard to see ahead of you. It’s chaotic and seems random. If you had to see the bigger picture you would see traffic lights, intersections and possible accidents that all contribute to why you’re stuck in a jam.
This is similar to your own health when at first glance it may seem like the fevers, headaches or joint pains are completely random. This is not really how your body works. They’re actually our body combating interferences from our environment. Our bodies work hard to express health, to maintain health and to recover from illnesses or other conditions that threaten our health. So when we take a drug, lotion or potion to try and help the symptoms, we are actually fighting our body’s own efforts to heal itself.
My own health journey stems from a very mechanistic approach. I endured numerous muscular and joint injuries playing ice hockey. I managed these symptoms through multiple anti-inflammatory injections, meters and meters of strapping, dry-needling, massage, foam rolling and regular manipulations of my lower back. No matter what I did, the problems kept coming back.
Two years ago I discovered this thing called ‘Vitalism’ and my journey towards becoming a healthier athlete began. After a full physical assessment and full spine x-rays we discovered that my injuries that I thought were ‘unlucky’ were actually because of the misalignment and compromised structure of my spine. This was interfering with my nervous system and brain function so my body wasn’t able to heal properly. Instead, my body laid down compensations, which soon turned into injuries.
I have been under Vitalistic Chiropractic care, with the since October 2015. (My husband and I moved down to Cape Town from Durban so that I could do my first 3 months of care!) By freeing up the interference in my nervous system through chiropractic adjustments I no longer have a need for muscle therapies or drugs. I have begun to understand how important it is to appreciate the intelligence of my body and to trust that my body is striving towards its full health potential.