(an excerpt from “What Causes Disease and What Heals” by NetMindBody.com)
Both camps have scientific support within their own practices and standards. Which camp is more meaningful to the patient is determined by what he or she perceives health to be. If the patient thinks that the absence of symptoms is health, then drugs (mechanistically based) are likely to appear attractive. For example, pain-killing drugs eliminate the symptom of pain.
On the other hand, if the patient knows that most “diseases,” especially the major killers of today, are relatively symptomatically quiet until their final stages, he or she may have a different (and vitalistic) definition of health—which may include the concept of optimum functioning of all cells and systems of the body, regardless of symptoms. This patent knows that a person who is symptom free today may have a heart attack tomorrow. In addition, patients today generally realize all allopathic drugs have side effects. Thus, more and more people are turning to alternative health care.
Vitalistic practitioners do use symptoms to guide them to the CAUSE of symptoms. Within the practice of any vitalistic approach, a practitioner may utilize observable mechanisms to free the vital energy. Allopathic mechanistic medicine does have its place, and emergency medicine is a good example of this.
Thus, if a person has a heart attack or any other symptom, what is the best question to ask? An allopathically minded person may well ask, “What drug do I take?” A vitalistically minded person has at least two questions: “What CAUSED this problem?” and “How do I naturally correct this cause so my body can heal (vitalistically) itself?”
If you ask what caused the problem, then an appropriate course of action can take place. So then comes the question: “What causes ‘disease’?” In the alternative health field, we use the term “dis-ease” to denote that ill health is a lack of ease, rather than an entity. In general, Mechanists are interested in the “disease,” rather than the host organism. In general, Vitalists are interested in the host organism and reject the idea of “disease” being an entity. The bottom line is that Vitalists are interested in causes.