There are two major philosophies that shape beliefs about health, Vitalism and Mechanism. Chiropractic reflects the principle of Vitalism.
The core of Vitalism is that life itself is intelligent, that the intelligence that built you from an egg cell and a sperm cell into a fully functional whole human being that can think, love, digest food, and more, is also able to heal itself.
Chiropractors call this inborn potential for self-regulation and healing of the body” innate intelligence” which means inborn wisdom. Doctors cannot create life but can help the body utilize its potential for healing and growth; it is the body and the life force within that does the healing.
Chiropractors understand that their role is to facilitate or support that process. This is a philosophy of health-care, with a goal to help the body to achieve optimum health and maintain it.
Western medicine and Mechanism
Western medicine has its roots in a philosophy called Atomism, or Mechanism.
Mechanism supports the belief that the body is a machine, simply a structure of its physical parts, which can be fully explained and “fixed” through the laws of physics and chemistry. This type of curing works from the “Outside-In,” and doctors typically use drugs and surgery as the primary mode to treat patients.
This is a philosophy of disease-care, one that addresses the body’s function only when it is overtly diseased.