Polarity therapy was developed in the late 1940s by an Austrian osteopath, chiropractor and naturopath called Dr Randolph Stone, who ran a healing practice in Chicago.
Dr Stone studied many Eastern health systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and yoga, all of which work with the body’s energy. But he wanted to know what stimulated the flow of energy.
Consequently, he formulated his theory of positive and negative poles within the body which he likened to a living magnet:
the head and right side of the body being positive
the feet and left side of the body being negative
the center of the body being neutral
For life to flow, he reasoned, there must be poles for it to flow between, just as the Earth needs its North and South Pole. He also believed that the body’s electromagnetic currents flowed around the outside of the body, as well as internally.
How Polarity Therapy Works
Like traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, polarity therapy works on the assumption that impeded energy flow can lead to illness. Polarity therapists help restore the flow by placing their hands on the ‘poles’ of the client’s body, whilst encouraging client awareness of any physical and emotional sensations they may experience. “People often cut themselves off from parts of their bodies where they are experiencing, or have experienced, pain,” explains Elizabeth Welch from the UK Polarity Therapy Association. “This could be a physical experience, or an emotional memory locked into the tissue. We move our hands intuitively over the client’s body, using them as a means of communication to help them reconnect with these areas and allow the healing energy to flow again. But the client’s input is paramount to the healing process.”
During A Polarity Therapy Session
After asking about your family background, medical history, lifestyle and the nature of your problem, your therapist will ask you to lie on a couch. She will place her hands on your body (this can be done through light clothing) to assess energy flow and then use varying degrees of pressure on the relevant poles to help correct any imbalances. Certain osteopathic and reflexology techniques may also be used. You will be asked to focus on how you are feeling and to talk about it if you feel it would help. Your therapist may also offer you counseling, dietary advice, a herbal detoxification program and/or a series of yoga-like exercises to do at home. These are all designed to help release blocked energy and the body to work more efficiently. Practitioners are often trained in other therapies, such as craniosacral therapy, nutritional therapy, psychotherapy, counseling and massage.
What To Expect
According to Elizabeth, people often feel very relaxed during and after a session. However, some do have a physical ‘release’, feeling a tingling or aches and pains as their energy starts moving. Others may experience an emotional release, for example feeling angry or upset. “But there is usually a great sense of relief at finally being able to let go of previously unexpressed emotions,” reassures Elizabeth.
Polarity Exercise To Boost Your Energy
From a standing position, lower yourself slowly into a full squat. Focus on your breathing. Keep your feet about 1 foot apart, pointing slightly outwards and, if possible, flat on the floor. Alternatively, place a small cushion or book beneath your heels. Lean forward, with your knees in your armpits, so you are in the fetal position. Fold your arms loosely around your knees. Stay in this position for as long as is comfortable, breathing right down into your pelvis. If it helps, hold onto something while lowering yourself down.