What Is Vitalism?

Vitalism is found in traditional systems all over the world and bases itself on the healing that nature can bring us. It recognizes the connections between the innate intelligence in our unique organism with that of the natural world. Science actually enriches the practices of vitalism and validates bringing nourishment and balance into the individual in many ways (physical, spiritual, psychological…) and as a consequence brings balance to the whole. Vitalism strives to find the root causes of dis-ease and to find long standing solutions, not just palliating the symptoms. As a vitalist practitioner I understand that life exists in rhythms and honor those as a part of the cycle of life rather then suppressing or ignoring them. We each have a deep reservoir of vital life potential and the practices of vitalism help us listen to what is needed to feed that reservoir for optimum function mind-body-soul.


Vitalist practices elevate mood, energy levels, balance the body in general and cultivate a sense of belonging and meaning to life.

Examples include:

  • Adequate sleep
  • Hydro-therapy
  • Meditation
  • Energetically balanced herbal teas
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Walking
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Connecting with nature
  • Consuming adequate vital foods
  • Dance/movement/expression
  • Voice
  • Food connection practices


Vitalism explained by Mathew Wood

“ In order to become whole we must differentiate and unite the opposites we find within ourselves. Both the leafy staff and the serpent must be incorporated into our lives. The healing process is both natural and interventive. The tendency of nature is to restore the injured body to health, but in order for her health to be maintained there must be a change in behavior or understanding. The burnt hand does not return to the fire. Healing includes not only stimulating the regrowth of damaged skin but the learning of a lesson which had previously been unknown.” - Vitalism – Mathew Wood. pg.xi