Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Vitalism and the future of chiropractic

Let's start with an excerpt from the article below:

“Perhaps ch’i, or prana is related to the quantum fields? Cells within tissues are interconnected frequently by gap junctions. Ebb and flow of sol-gel transitions within cells, perhaps coordinated among cells, would elicit and extinguish quantum states along meridians, for example.

Understanding the influence of chiropractic on the “life force,” then, is a prerequisite for establishing the profession as a 21st century wellness approach. By returning to our vitalistic roots, we are not regressing to the past but forging ahead into a new and exciting future of advanced health and wellness care."

End quote.

.... and this is the foundation and future of chiropractic? So what else is new!


For more about the religious aspects of chiropractic:

D.D. Palmer's religion of Chiropractic, by DD Palmer himself


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Vitalism and the future of chiropractic

by David A. Jackson, DC, RCS Chief Executive Officer


Since its founding by DD Palmer, chiropractic has been known as a vitalistic health care approach, as opposed to the functionalistic or mechanistic paradigm adopted by the medical profession. For many years, in an attempt to mimic the medical profession, some doctors of chiropractic abandoned the vitalistic character of chiropractic in favor of one focused on musculoskeletal treatment only. During the late 20th century, however, the tide began to turn as researchers probed the complexities of quantum physics and the nature of matter and energy.

Cellular biologist and researcher Bruce Lipton, PhD, observed: “In an effort to present themselves in a more ‘scientific’ light, the profession has been gradually moving toward allopathic science for the last 90 years. Interestingly, allopaths have now begun to realize Palmer’s truths. If things continue as they are, allopaths may soon be more ‘chiropractic’ than chiropractors!” (“The Evolving Science of Chiropractic Philosophy”)

Vitalism is the doctrine that living organisms possess a non-physical inner force or energy that gives them the property of life, that there is more to life than the sum of the physical parts that make up a living entity.

Many religions incorporate a belief in a vitalistic force, often called the spirit or the soul. But vitalism has long been associated with secular healing arts as well. Most traditional healing practices recognize a non-physical component to human health. In Eastern traditions, it is called “chi” or “qi” (in China), “prana” (in India), or “ki” (in Japan).

In Western medicine, before the advent of the mechanistic paradigm, the concept was often referred to as the “humours” – a theory espoused as far back as the ancient Greeks and Hippocrates. In the 19th century, vitalists thought the force was electromagnetic in nature, often called the “life force,” “elan vital,” or “life energy.”

Although the concept of vitalism has changed so radically since then, making it almost unrecognizable as the descendent of that original idea, the basic premise that there is a non-physical component of life has been “re-vitalized” by the findings of quantum physics.

Dr. Stuart Hameroff, associate director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona and author of “Quantum Vitalism – Are Consciousness and the ‘Living State’ Fundamental Quantum Processes?” (Quantum-Mind Conference, 1999) notes:

“We believe the dawn of the 21st century marks a paradigm shift in understanding the ancient riddles of consciousness and the physical world. This is because of the impending development of quantum computers and quantum information technology arising from 100 years of quantum theory, as well as a confluence of developments during those same 100 years since the hallmark works of Ramon-y-Cajal (neuroscience), William James (psychology) and Meyer and Overton (mechanism of anesthesia).”

In his course, “Consciousness at the Millennium: Quantum Approaches to Understanding the Mind,” he explains:

“Questioning functional explanations of consciousness has led to consideration of relevant macroscopic quantum mechanisms in the brain. If quantum mechanisms participate in consciousness, then quantum mechanisms of some sort must occur more generally throughout biology, presumably preceding the onset of consciousness in the course of evolution. Perhaps it’s time to question functionalism and consider quantum vitalism. The basic idea is that life derives by direct extension from dynamics at the fundamental level of reality. Is such a drastic leap necessary? What’s wrong with functionalism? As we shall see, mysteries about life persist in the face of functionalist/reductionist science.”

He adds that this theory may have direct implications for health care:

“Perhaps ch’i, or prana is related to the quantum fields? Cells within tissues are interconnected frequently by gap junctions. Ebb and flow of sol-gel transitions within cells, perhaps coordinated among cells, would elicit and extinguish quantum states along meridians, for example.”

Understanding the influence of chiropractic on the “life force,” then, is a prerequisite for establishing the profession as a 21st century wellness approach. By returning to our vitalistic roots, we are not regressing to the past but forging ahead into a new and exciting future of advanced health and wellness care.

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