Vitalism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is
1. a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions
2. a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining
Where vitalism explicitly invokes a vital principle, that element is often referred to as the “vital spark,” “energy” or “élan vital,” which some equate with the “soul.”
Vitalism has a long history in medical philosophies: most traditional healing practices posited that disease was the result of some imbalance in the vital energies which distinguish living from non-living matter. In the Western tradition founded by Hippocrates, these vital forces were associated with the four temperaments and humours; Eastern traditions posited similar forces such as qi and prana. Vitalistic thinking has also been identified in the naive biological theories of children.
This in light of the news that BC gives naturopaths rights to prescribe drugs.