The Vital Force - A Directing Intelligence and its Stimulation
The vital force is an innate wisdom within nature which provides the human organism with the inherent ability to protect, regulate, adjust and heal itself. The origins of vitalistic philosophy extend from Hippocrates through Paracelsus to the Physiomedicalists, with credit due to shamanic concepts of a directing intelligence in nature.
The principles underlying the vitalistic approach to health are observation and communion with nature, ignorance of which leads to complex theory and practice of medicine out of harmony with actions of the vital force.
The fundamental vitalistic principles of stimulation relates to herbs that support the actions of the vital force in a general systemic sense and in individual organs and tissues. The pharmacological perspective of stimulants is limited to a small number of herbs with strong action upon the central nervous system and precludes a view of stimulants working positively in harmony with the vital force.
Using a pharmacological approach to modern herbal practice results in the use of devitalised and non-holistic theory. Without the aid of stimulants, among other herbs, to support the vital force such practice may lead to the use of herbs contrary to the action of the vital force.
The vital state assessment is fundamental to vitalistic practice in order to determine how the vital force is dealing with disease and ascertain the most appropriate treatment to offer in support. An appreciation is required of a person’s state of reserve vitality that dictates the strength with which they are capable of responding to medicine.
Applying vitalistic methods of assessment and analysis aids in understanding the true nature of lifestyle stimulants such as coffee. The vitalistic actions of coffee are divided into “primary” and “secondary”, with the conclusion that it should be taken infrequently at low doses to avoid depletion of vital reserves.