Who Invented Polarity Therapy?
Polarity therapy is a system of energetic bodywork developed by Dr. Randolph Stone, D.C., D.O which blends several traditions, including:
- Ayurveda – The traditional Hindu system of medicine, which is based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.
- Naturopathy – A system of alternative medicine based on the theory that diseases can be successfully treated or prevented without the use of drugs, by techniques such as control of diet, exercise, and massage.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) – A broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage exercise, and dietary therapy.
- Chiropractic – A system of complementary medicine based on the diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, especially those of the spinal column, which are held to cause other disorders by affecting the nerves, muscles, and organs.
- Osteopathy – A branch of medical practice that emphasizes the treatment of medical disorders through the manipulation and massage of the bones, joints, and muscles.
- Reflexology – A system of massage used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands, and head linked to every part of the body.
- Cranial Sacral Bodywork – It’s a type of bodywork that relieves compression in the bones of the head, sacrum, and spinal column.
What’s Polarity Therapy Used For?
The underlying premise is that when the energy in the body’s energy fields is flowing freely, there is health, and when there are blockages present, there is dis-ease causing symptoms such as pain to appear.
Polarity therapy utilizes many of the concepts from these various traditions, including the idea of chi, from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and prana from Ayurveda. Both chi and prana translate to energy, or life force, which Dr. Stone believed gave life to matter (the body).
It is that energy that animates the body and brings the mind and soul to life, making balancing that energy a primary concern in regaining health.
Other concepts brought into polarity therapy include the nutritional ideals of Ayurveda and TCM, zones and reflexes from reflexology, bodywork techniques for balancing the physical body from reflexology and cranial sacral work, and even some ideas from physics about the properties of energy.
A major concept in polarity therapy is that energy has 3 states:
- a positive (outflowing) aspect
- a negative (receptive) aspect
- a neutral (integrating) aspect
Part of this idea includes the Ayurvedic principles that Raja is the positive energy that stimulates action and motion and responds to stimulating touch and heat.
Tamas is the negative energy that resonates with inertia and resistance, and responds best to deep, penetrating touch.
Satva is the neutral energy, and is soothing, requiring light touch.
The idea in this system is to balance these energies in the body and surrounding energy fields.
Polarity Therapy’s 4 Areas of Focus
- Stretches and Exercises
- Verbal Counseling (Mind)
The right half of the body holds a positive energy field, with the left being a negative field. Fingers and toes then correspond to Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth and are either positive or negative poles on the body. These positive and negative poles create constantly circulating zones of energy in, around, and throughout the body.
Using a variety of bipolar holds similar to reflexology and cranial sacral, polarity therapists will stimulate the flow of energy and the release of blockages. Holds may be on reflex points, with the intent of affecting the corresponding organs, or may be more like cranial sacral techniques, with the intent of adjusting and manipulating the structures of the body. Varying types of pressure may be used, along with rocking, vibration, and even sound.
Because the mind, emotions, and soul are energetically intertwined with the energy that animates the physical body (life), it is common for there to be emotional outbursts from clients receiving polarity therapy.
Squirming, jumping, twitching, coughing and even crying are all considered to be emotional outbursts, signs that blocked energy is breaking up and what is no longer needed is being released.
Polarity therapy recognizes, too, that the practitioner’s energy field will impact the healing session and should also be considered. By following the nutrition, exercise and counseling principles of polarity therapy and receiving regular bodywork, practitioners are encouraged to maintain their own energetic health as well.
Dr. Stone recognized that movement can be healing, because it can free up stuck energy and restrictions in the body (matter). One common exercise in polarity therapy is to take the squatting posture and rock gently, which opens the pelvic outlet and frees energy in the nervous system.
Dr. Stone utilized a lot of yoga poses, including gentle rocking to free up energy, but many of the stretches and exercises are not specifically from that tradition.
The energy in matter indicates the nature of that matter. So, too, does the energy in our food indicate the nature of that food.
When treating conditions, using food with the opposing nature will reduce a condition; and foods with like nature will increase it.
Both Ayurveda and TCM recognize the importance of diet, and that food can be used to modify physical conditions. The body will crave certain foods that it needs, but it is important not to consume anything in excess, as that may further unbalance the system.
One example from polarity therapy includes the idea that potatoes are highly alkaline and draw out acid irritations with external application.
They can be used for:
- Sinus Trouble
- Hay Fever
Another example from polarity therapy pertains to red beets. The idea is that raw red beets have a drawing effect when grated and applied as a compress, and will draw out:
4 Properties of Food
Dr. Stone recognized that our mind informs our reality. Stone considered counseling to be a vital part of health, incorporating many ideals of tolerance, spirituality, and that of working toward a higher calling. Even his own work in polarity therapy was in pursuit of the goal of making significant gains in our understanding of the true nature of man, of health, and of life.
Polarity therapy is a comprehensive system based on many traditions, some ancient and others much more modern. Dr. Stone developed this approach based on the energy fields of the body to address the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of the living being.
Would you like to find out more about polarity therapy? Check out our 18 CE hour Polarity Therapy course that includes an engaging 2-hour DVD.