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HomeHealth articlesnaturopathyWhat Is the Role of Vitalism in Naturopathy?

Role of Vitalism in Naturopathy

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4 min read


Vitalism is an integral part of naturopathy; it provides different healthcare philosophies. Read the article below to know more.

Written by

Dr. Dheeksha. R

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vishvendra Singh

Published At May 23, 2023
Reviewed AtJanuary 11, 2024


Vitalism is not an isolated class of naturopathic medicine; but it is an integral part of naturopathy and is the foundation of many principles. It provides different philosophies of health, healthcare, and healthcare providers. The vital force is seen in the tissues, mental and emotional state of mind, and spirits which can heal various problems when given the opportunity.

What Is Vitalism?

Vitalism is a vital force that operates the living organism, which physical or chemical factors can not explain. It is an operating force that is not an inorganic substance, which helps to differentiate living organisms from the chemical world.

What Are the Clinical Implications of Vitalism?

Clinical vitalist philosophy transforms naturopathic treatment procedures that do not act on the symptoms but moves the organism from its current state to better health care. Treatment that targets the symptoms without even considering the underlying cause is known to be suppressive and is not a permanent measure.

Proper treatment should be based on targeting the underlying cause instead of symptoms for prolonged improvement, even at the cost of short-term suffering. This helps to re-establish healthcare when conventional medicine has failed.

What Is Vitalism Naturopathy?

Vitalism naturopathy emphasizes on:

  • The laws of nature are fixed, flawless, and can not be worked or improved.

  • Life is not only of biochemical and physiological actions; it is the vital forces like; changing, growing, and developing which make up life.

  • No treatment can bring natural healing and restorative health effects if there is no design and function in the human being.

  • The purifying and healing effects of nature results in every acute condition.

  • Chronic disease may be caused due to the suppression of acute conditions.

  • The worthwhile effort to restore balance results due to the symptoms of the illness, which are not to be suppressed.

  • The work of a vitalist physician is to remove the obstacles that act as a hindrance to stimulate the natural healing process.

  • Some cases are unsuitable for naturopathic treatment and can not be treated; such cases are referred to surgeons.

How Is Naturopathy Different From Conventional Treatment?

Conventional medicine is very definable; the four assumptions are the scientific truth that holds the physician's primary role in diagnosing and treating the condition. They are-

  1. There are 12,000 entities known as diseases, such as tuberculosis, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, etc. These entities are known to be the root cause of ill health and the reason for a person to seek treatment.

  2. These entities, known to disease, can be identified through diagnosis.

  3. A person’s health status can be restored by removing the disease entities.

  4. Proper treatment of these entities is an evidence-based application of other interventions.

Vitalism naturopathy depends on four different assumptions, which help restore a person's health. These are-

  1. The universe is intelligent and is evident through anatomy, chemistry, and biology; the universe reflects the order and intelligence that is seen in the body.

  2. Humanity is the natural state of health, and the cause of illness is due to disturbed function.

  3. When the disturbance of the function is corrected, it should result in a return to a normal healthy state.

  4. The minor force of intervention should be enough to attain it.

What Is a Therapeutic Order?

When conventional and vitalism naturopathy is compared, it is evident that conventional medicine is disease centric, whereas vitalism naturopathy is heath centric in its approach towards healthcare. Therefore, to practice vitalism naturopathy worldwide, a well-trained person who understands the difference between conventional and vitalism naturopathy is required.

What Is the Influence of Vitalism on Integrative Healthcare?

Integrative healthcare is a diverse discipline and system which shares a common factor known as vital energy. All living organisms sustain through vital forces, which are more important than physical and chemical forces.

How Does Vitalism Play a Role in Ayurveda?

The 5,000 years old field of medicine refers to vital energy as Prana, which is the “breath of life,” which acts as a unifying life principle of Ayurveda. Breath of life is known in many forms from the birth of life, which hold body, mind, and spirit together till death. Prana comes from the heart, where the sense of human emotions and consciousness reside. Therefore, Ayurveda emphasizes a healthy lifestyle throughout the lifespan.

What Is Traditional Chiropractic?

Vital force is said to be a natural healing force that is present in living organisms, which helps in the healing process naturally. Chiropractic and naturopathy continued to practice vitalism in their healing procedure. In some cases, vital energy is known as spirits, whereas in naturopathy, it is known as ‘‘order and intelligent.’’

What Are the Features of Vitalism?

The features are

  1. Metaphysical- A fundamental concept of being.

  2. Ontological- Enhance the belief like reality.

What Is Spiritualism?

An integrative healthcare system believes in vital forces, spirituality, and holism. In the case of spirituality, people develop from the culture in which they develop. There are a few healthcare concepts that share integrative healthcare and naturopathy; these are:

  • Self-healing is most important.

  • Work with symptoms, but not against them.

  • Give individual care, as the cause and symptoms of each individual are different.

  • Illness has no particular beginning or end.

  • Remedies comply with universal principles.

If the body can self-heal, therapy's role in stimulating and supporting the healing process becomes easy. The aim is for minimum treatment to restore healthcare. Vitalism accepts pause in nature and the dual phase between life and matter. Mechanists do not accept any discontinuities or pauses.


Vitalism is an innate intelligence that controls all areas of health. They are present in the tissues, mental and emotional state. Vitalism is a vital force. It usually targets the underlying cause of an issue rather than the symptoms, which may not result in a permanent cure. It is an integral part of naturopathy. Vitalism is the only option to be followed when conventional medicine fails, which targets the symptoms and not the underlying cause. Vitalism is based on the natural healing process, which helps to heal the underlying cause.

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Dr. Vishvendra Singh
Dr. Vishvendra Singh



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