Polarity Therapy is a natural health care system based on the human energy field. The undisturbed flow and balance of the electromagnetic energy in and around the body is the basis for health and well being on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. Blocked currents and disharmony in the energy field result in manifestations of tension, pain, disease or illness.
With Polarity Therapy the blockages and restrictions are cleared. The client's energy field is restored to its natural state of balance. The result manifests as a release of holding patterns on mind body levels. The client's system gains an opportunity to return to its inherent fluid state.
Polarity Therapy incorporates body work including reflexology, gentle and firm touch, energy exercises, diet, and open communication facilitating self awareness. Factors such as environment, attitudes, relationships, life experience and trauma affect the functioning of the human energy field. The Polarity practitioner assesses a client's energy system with tools such as skilled observation, communication and palpation.
Polarity Therapy is very compatible also with Craniosacral Therapy, and the two can easily be practiced within the same body work session. Since Polarity Therapy involves such a broad spectrum, it interfaces with the practice of many therapeutic disciplines. It is an adjunct, but never a substitute for supervised medical care.
Polarity Therapy has been useful with conditions such as allergies, arthritis, asthma, burn out, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, emotional trauma, fibromyalgia, headache, health maintenance, hormonal imbalances, infertility, inflammation, injury, insomnia, major life changes, menopausal symptoms, menstrual disorders, neuralgia, PMS, pre and post surgery, pregnancy and postpartum, sciatica, skin disorders, spiritual growth, stress management and stress related symptoms.
A typical Polarity session will take between 60 and 90 minutes. During the body work the client will stay fully clothed except for the shoes. Due to the subtle character of this work it may take a client time to get used to what he/she senses. The practitioner encourages the client to stay tuned to the ongoing experience of his/her energy sensations. This might include tingling, expansion, wavelike or push/pull movements, heat or cold sensations. The results of a Polarity Therapy session may bring a sense of deep relaxation, relief from specific symptoms, clarity or new insight.
Sometimes the condition a client initially seeks treatment for may not be the first thing that changes. The effects of Polarity Therapy are cumulative, and it may be necessary to arrange for a series of sessions. The time span over which a client comes for regular sessions is unlimited. It depends only on the needs of the individual client. The protocols followed vary a great deal, and depend upon the practitioner's assessment and competence, style and intuition, and again on the client's needs. This open ended process shapes the client/practitioner relationship in a distinctive way. The fact is that when the client is ready, the necessary transformation occurs. Healing and profound change cannot be controlled by any practitioner nor client alike. It happens by the Grace of the Universe, granted to those practitioners and clients who humbly seek it.
The Origin of Polarity Therapy
Polarity Therapy was founded by Dr. Randolph Stone a practicing physician of Osteopathy, Chiropractic and Naturopathic Medicine. It is the result of working with patients over a period of 60 years.
Polarity Therapy is a successful synthesis of eastern and western therapeutic disciplines. The ancient healing art of Ayurveda as well as the Chinese tradition of Acupuncture are integrated into this unique system. Dr. Stone applied his energy approach in his practice with patients exhibiting a wide range of symptoms. His remarkable success with patients lead him to continue his research and studies. Starting in the late forties he published several books, and began teaching in 1960. When Dr. Stone retired he moved to India where he continued his practice in a free health clinic. His extraordinary vitality was a tribute to his health building methods and his teachings.
Today Polarity Therapy is taught internationally. The American Polarity Therapy Association (APTA) sets standards for practice, and accredited schools. Upon completion of all requirements fully trained Polarity practitioners apply with APTA for the professional status of Registered Polarity Practitioner (RPP).
The Five Elements
An important aspect of the energy approach in Polarity Therapy relates to a concept the ancient Vedic philosophy from India calls the five Tattvas. It is a theory based on the five elements ether, air, fire, water and earth. As energy moves from the Source into physical form it follows a step down process from the subtle to the denser forms of the manifested Universe. This is where energy expresses itself through the five elements of our physical reality. This gradual process from the subtle to the denser patterns is found in all life forms.
The following is an attempt to describe how the Tattvas may be experienced in everyday living:
Approximately two thirds of the human body consists of water. It makes sense to consider that to some degree our existence has the qualities of water. Another percentage of the human body is solid tissue, such as the bones, organs or nails, hair and teeth. This percentage then can be considered earth. We are also breathing air, and have a circulatory system. Our heart is in constant motion. You could safely say the we are to some extent made of air. Without a fairly steady body temperature we are definitely not alive. The warmth generated by our body is what gives us good candidacy for fire.
One can apply the same principles on a mental/emotional level. Some days you may have so many thoughts that it is hard to concentrate. This is when the air element has taken the upper hand in you. Air is quick, like the mind, always in motion. Another time you may have good ideas. You may start this or that project, but find a week later that you seem to be unable to carry any of them to completion. This is when you realize that you had a close encounter with the fire element. Fire likes to expand, yet it burns out quickly without consideration for what is left behind. Some other day everything seems to be a drag. You end up with the tying of loose ends, but the more you get done, the clearer you see that you have to invest another day or two to work the issue through. It feels depressing. This is a day water and earth elements have taken over. Just like on a rainy day you may get stuck in the mud, and you have to struggle to get out. Water always flows to the lowest point. This isn't all bad, because it forces us to look for ways to work things out, to get to the bottom of it. The earth supports the water, but if too much of it is mixed with water, it becomes heavy and drags us down. If on the other hand there isn't enough earth available, you may find yourself flooded with feelings. Without appropriate earthy boundaries the water is everywhere. We drown in the emotional turmoil of circumstances that life presents to us from time to time. Ether is space, the element that gives rise and integrates the other four elements. If too much is present in a person's system, he/she becomes ungrounded, "spaced out". Sleep disturbances or difficulties with communication are two of the other symptoms that closely relate to an imbalance involving the element of ether. Many different combinations of elements and elemental imbalances are possible. They all have certain characteristics a trained Polarity practitioner is equipped to identify and work with.
Elemental imbalances in a client are addressed with specific body work protocols, nutritional guidelines and energy exercises.
The Interrelatedness of Polarity Therapy
Another way to gain insight into the element dynamics at play is to consult the ancient divination of Astrology. Through the planets, the zodiac signs and the house system Astrology works closely with the elements.
Every element is linked also to a color. The color system of Aura-Soma offers yet an additional avenue toward balancing the whole person.
Last but not least, the elements are attributes to the chakra system related to the yogic philosophies. This system is used extensively also in Polarity Therapy. Chakras are energetic relay stations of the human energy system. They aid in transforming and distributing the subtler, higher energy frequencies into denser and slower ones. Every element expresses itself through the vibrational frequency of a specific chakra. The ancient discipline of Kundalini Yoga incorporates techniques to balance the chakras.
Each of the above methods supports the inherent wisdom and healing capacity of the body mind continuum. Practiced in synergistic relationship, it is possible to address the challenges of health and illness from a diversity of standpoints. This approach is unsurpassed by any single method.
Katharina Wehrli has been involved in the Healing Arts and Holistic Health since 1977
This article was originally published in Spirit of Change Magazine—not to be confused with OfSpirit.com Holistic "Internet" Magazine & Resource. We thank Spirit of Change, New England's Premiere Holistic "Print" magazine, for allowing us to give new life to this article and share it with OfSpirit.com visitors for education, entertainment and empowerment.
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