The Transformative Power of Vitalistic Philosophy
By Arno Burnier, D.C.
If it were not for the powerful transformation that I experienced in every aspect of my life as a result of my exposure to Chiropractic and the philosophy of life it embodies, I would not be writing these words.
Chiropractic changed my connection to my body and the way that I honor, respect and care for it. It gave me the drive and incentive to treat it like the temple that it is. Our body is a “give away” from life, a gift we received at conception. We have a duty to take care of it with utmost love, care and attention. Being well, healthy and fit is a moral, social and spiritual responsibility we must uphold throughout life. In today’s world it has become an economic imperative. Sickness and disease and the so-called “health care” system, are bankrupting individuals, families and the country at large while making people sicker. The need for an emerging wellbeing care system is the only feasible solution.
It gave me a new understanding of health and the true meaning of being healthy. We are all accountable for our choices, actions and solely responsible for our health and wellbeing. No one can do it for us; we must do it for ourselves. Health is not something that we can gain from drugs, medications, injections or surgeries. As much as those avenues may sometimes be necessary, they do not provide health. Health comes first and foremost from within. It is our God given birthright. Our being is run by an Inborn Intelligence, that has been running human beings for thousands and thousands of years. Health comes from abiding and respecting the laws that govern all life. Health comes from a wellness lifestyle, from engaging and investing in proactive, life enhancing care and services.
It changed my relationship to symptoms, moving from fearing them, to trusting them. I discovered their purpose, wisdom and message. Symptoms are part of the inner language of the body. They are designed to guide us. They can be healing, cleansing, adaptive or messages to change our life style. We frequently view symptoms as an abnormal response to a normal lifestyle, when they are mainly a normal response to an abnormal lifestyle. Of course they can also be signs of pathology; signs that something is not functioning right. In such instances symptoms are still following a path of logic as the wisdom and intelligence within is making every attempt to prolong life and ensure the survival of the most vital organs.
The presence or absence of symptoms is not a valuable gauge to determine our state of health or wellbeing. We can have no outward symptoms and be severely diseased internally. We can also have symptoms and actually be functioning perfectly; we are just responding and adapting to life. Symptoms are only resourceful in determining our state of illness or injury. This shift in understanding is paramount in motivating people to take care of themselves, to do something positive for their being and body on a regular basis, whether symptoms are present or not; whether they are feeling wonderful or not.
I acquired a different perspective on illnesses and diseases. I started seeing them not as abnormalities, but as opportunities for growth and transformation. I also recognized that in many instances, they might be necessary evils to challenge our bodies to new levels of health. I no longer seek to move away from symptoms or sickness but rather toward healing and wellbeing.
Whenever I fall ill, I embrace it with all my being, detach myself from it and become a passive observer of my own physiology, witnessing my bodily processes as my body heals. As a result, I no longer ‘mind’ the discomfort, but learn about the magic of the inner workings of my body. I gained respect and reverence for the Inborn Intelligence that permeates my entire being.
I was enlightened as to the true nature of the healing process. Healing has little or nothing to do with suppressing symptoms or not feeling them by numbing ourselves. Healing is a process of cellular replacement. Sick or damaged cells never heal. They must pass away, die and be replaced by new ones. This process is intangible to our senses; we cannot feel it from moment to moment, yet it is happening. Healing is the creation of new cells and tissues; just like growing hair or nails.
It is only in retrospect that we can perceive that healing has taken place. Healing is not linear, but convoluted. It is subject to the effects of many cycles (within and without) that influence our physiology. Consequently, we may feel better one day and worse the next, yet the overall trend is upward. Strangely enough symptoms are the last to come and the first to go, because healing persists long past their disappearance. Healing is truly the creation and recreation of cells, tissues and organs. Creation comes from Spirit. Spirit is life, which is light in the body. The greater the vitality, the faster healing takes place. Watching a scratch heal in a newborn versus an elderly person makes evident this time difference and the importance of vitality. Vitality is a function of life force flow throughout the body.
I realized through this vitalistic philosophy that outer ecology starts with inner ecology and a deep respect for one’s own biological integrity. The sanctity of the human being, chemistry, blood and body must be guarded, if at all possible. Seeking life enhancing care and services protects our internal environment. To the degree that we respect ourselves is the degree that we respect the environment and all life.
Soon, the media became a distant voice, replaced by the inner voice of my soul and heart as I unplugged from the “weapon of mass persuasion”. I disconnected from television, newspapers, magazines and media in general in the early 80’s.
The content of the news in general has not changed a bit since early civilization: crime, war, rape, murder, corruption, fire, human drama and natural disaster. I do not feel the need to feed my consciousness with such inputs at six and ten o’clock, only to read about it again, in black and white, by the morning and then again, in color, a week later in a magazine. If I should know about it, I am sure someone will tell me. In the mean time I cherish my quiet mind, serenity and peace by not contributing to, or joining in, the mass hysteria. There is an inner signal that broadcasts laws, guidance, creativity and wisdom. I find it soothing and more entertaining than the degrading, debasing outer media.
My connection to spirituality skyrocketed as I began to live from the inside out.
The understanding that there is an Inborn, Innate Intelligence residing within every human being, permeating every speck of matter, from cells to atoms and subatomic particles, proves to be more real for me than some religious miniature God living within me. The books of anatomy, physiology, biology and pathology became spiritual texts dispensing the wisdom and intelligence of the universe within. I connected with a tangible, practical, applicable spirituality that I could revere on a daily basis, not just on Sunday.
My trust in life became unwavering. I gained a greater awareness of the language of life, the outer messages that we are constantly exposed to, yet are frequently blind and deaf to. Life speaks within and without when we are connected. There is a matrix, a blueprint and a purpose for each one of us. My connection to the life force within engendered a connection to the larger flow of life. Inner guidance appears to be reinforced by outer messages from life showing up as providence, synchronicity, serendipity and grace.
Without discrediting formal education, I began to favor the teachings of nature and the school of life. Between the bird and the book, I shall follow the bird. Nature has a voice; it dispenses laws, knowledge and wisdom. It is in stillness and silence that we can listen to the voice of nature.
Finally, my comprehension of death and the dying process evolved. I moved from fear and dread, to witnessing death as a beautiful, natural process. There is no need to hide death behind closed doors. It can be a conscious, peaceful process, better suited for the privacy of a home or a hospice when possible. It can be natural, rather than postponed at all cost, though artificial means, in a frequently degrading manner to the dying person.
Chiropractic philosophy has been a huge gift to my life. It has created a lasting shift and transformation. I have gained peace and solace amidst a confused and chaotic collective mind and world. It is my hope to tease your curiosity. It is my heart’s desire that you will seek and discover the world of possibilities that can open for you by dwelling in the natural principles and vitalistic philosophy of Chiropractic as well as into the service it has to offer.
Arno Burnier, D.C., Educator, Mentor & Public Speaker, has been a leader in the chiropractic profession for over 30 years. He founded Masterpiece Seminars and developed of the Café of Life Vitalistic practice model. Visit http://www.cafeoflife.com or http://www.zeechi.com.