is a practitioner of alternative health practices
who works with, rather than against, the natural recuperative self-healing properties of the body, called vitalism
. Healers are said to heal
because all healing
comes from within the body. Healers heal the body by applying therapies or alternative methods from without the body.
While Western medicine started out embrassing vitalism, physicians formally renounced any such connection with it during the 1500's in Europe. Conventional physicians generally have no desire to call themselves healers, since they associate healing with quackery.