Polarity has four related aspects
- Polarity stretching postures
- Cleansing diets
- Awareness facilitation.
It is a truly holistic health system which sees ill health as a process and not as a syndrome, demanding active participation in his/her own health-building approach. We need to accept responsibility for our own well-being and foster a positive mental attitude.
'It is only the Energy in Matter that makes matter seem alive. When this energy escapes, only the shell is left…..A cure constitutes reaching the life current within and re-establishing the free flow of its energy'.
Dr R.Stone. ‘Health Building’. Chapter 1
Polarity Therapy had its beginnings in the research, insight and practical application of Dr Randolph Stone D.O., D.C., N.D., but its roots are thousands of years older and the origins of its knowledge are shrouded in the veils of time. As a youth he became interested in the healing arts, and did his degrees in osteopathy, chiropractic and the natural therapies. He felt that man was given all the healing tools needed, if only he could encourage and allow their natural functioning. Natural healing became his life-long quest and practice. To him it was more than just a medicine: it was a healing art and at a deeper level, a spiritual quest.
Health, he believed, is based on our tuning in to deeper truths and a way of life which expresses these truths.
It is the Polarity Therapist’s role to act as a facilitator, encouraging this harmonizing process, which implies that the therapist must also be working towards this same goal.
What is Polarity Therapy?
'True health is the harmony of life within us, consisting of peace of mind, happiness and well-being. It is not merely a question of physical fitness, but rather a result of the soul finding free expression through the mind and body of that individual. Such a person radiates peace and happiness.'
Dr. R. Stone. ‘Health Building’. Introduction
POLARITY THERAPY was developed by Dr Randolph Stone, who was a Chiropractor, Osteopath and Naturopathic Doctor. Polarity is a natural health care system based upon the universal principles of energy: attraction, repulsion and neutrality. Polarity Therapy addresses the inter-dependence of body, mind and spirit, the importance of relationships and the value of creating a way of life in harmony with nature.
It is a gentle method of treatment, applicable to many health problems and also useful in maintaining health. Central to Polarity Therapy is the concept of a life energy which is in constant pulsation from positive to negative poles via a neutral position, creating fields and energetic lines of force.
Disease, according to Dr Stone, is a process which occurs when the life energy is blocked, or out of balance, and also results from improperly dissipated energy. To overcome these problems Polarity Therapy works within four related aspects. Like the four legs supporting a chair, which keeps the base balanced and strong, so do these aspects work together in maintaining balance in the human body, they are: gentle bodywork, supported by a set of exercises (Polarity Yoga), diet/nutrition and awareness facilitation, all within the energetic concept. All these aspects of Polarity look at the whole person for the purpose of restoring and maintaining a balanced energy flow throughout the body/mind system. When one of the legs of a chair are weak or broken, it disrupts the natural flow of energy, and we fall off the chair! Some bodywork techniques are derived from Osteopathy and Chiropractic, but use minimal mechanical force, relying on the life energy to do the work.
'The difference between health and disease lies in the relative freedom and balance of the energetic and physical movement patterns in our mental, emotional and physical fields.'
Franklyn Sills. ‘The Polarity Process’. Page 34)
Dr Stone formulated the East-West synthesis, combining his knowledge of Western healing with the wisdom and healing from ancient India, which became known as Polarity Therapy. The 6,000 year old Indian system of Ayurveda (Ayu=life, Veda=study) forms the cornerstone of Polarity energetic theory. Ayurveda perceives all form in the universe as a manifestation of five energies, or elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. The human physical and energetic bodies are woven from these 5 elements. It is the disruption of the flow of these energies which result in 'dis-ease'.
Dr. Stone chose the staff of Caduceus as representation of the elements in the body. The wings represent the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain, the two currents flowing are the dual aspects of human nature, the positive (right side) and negative (left side) currents, where they cross over- create a neutral point where energy centers (chakras) are created. The central staff, Dr. Stone called the ‘Ultrasonic Core’: the higher vibrational aspects of the 5 elements, manifesting physically as the spinal cord and central nervous system.
Polarity's Four Aspects - 'Legs of the Chair'
1. POLARITY THERAPY BODYWORK
There are three different types of touch in Polarity, a gentle (satvic), stimulating (rajasic) and a deep (tamasic) touch. The intention of either touch has an energetic rather than a manipulative focus. Bipolar contacts, using both hands, with any of the three types of touch, can be deeply relaxing and may lead to an emotional release. Since we store our emotions, thought patterns and memories within our bodies, a body session may bring emotions to the surface, which is part of the healing and elimination process.
The intention of Polarity is to establish a free flow of energy, through all four of the aspects of Polarity (touch, nutrition, exercises and awareness counseling) and by so doing, whatever old stuck energy is locked within the body’s cells will be released and thereby raise the level of awareness in the client.
The role of the Polarity Therapist
The Polarity Therapist looks beyond the symptoms of the client for the real cause of complaint. The Therapist takes a case history of each client, to pin point fundamental elemental imbalances. This may take most of the first session. The Polarity Therapist also makes a structural assessment to note imbalances in the body: spinal, muscular and postural, a ‘body reading’ of sorts. The therapist’s relationship with the client is one of support, confidentiality, respect for the clients boundaries and be a team in the clients healing process and ‘hold the space’ (ether element) for the client to let go and ‘allow the life energy to do its work’.
2. AWARENESS FACILITATION
Energy follows thought: as we think so are we. The Polarity Therapist helps a client become aware of negative emotional patterns detrimental to health, allowing the client to take responsibility for their choices in life.
Dr. Stone said it is these finer mental, emotional and spiritual blocks which cause the physical blockages and with a growing awareness, positive attitudes of thinking and healthier life styles, we can experience good health on all levels
Dr. Stone asks, in his wonderful writings on Polarity Therapy: 'What has gone wrong with this lusty life in our body, the springy step, the light in the eyes and the song in our hearts? Has the flame of life receded so far because of neglect, or has it left the house of flesh entirely?'…..he continues 'The search goes on, but Life is silence itself. We are moved and know not the Mover. We think, and know not the Thinker, and hardly know our own thoughts.'….'We look for it externally in matter, when it is the very heart and core of all living things. It is a unit we have missed in our search for detailed proof.' …..'Has life changed, or have we, in our search for it and in our purely material viewpoint of it, failed to tune into its REAL WAVE LENGTH?'
Dr Stone. chart 1. the vital creative flame
Every situation and person is different, with their own particular set of parents, childhood and patterns of thinking. The Polarity Therapist therefore needs to be flexible in their approach, assessing each person’s energy system, habits and personalities, although the cleansing and health-building diets will help almost every human being to be healthy for the following reason: Dr Stone said: 'There are over 15,000 diseases, and only the transgression of Nature is the cause of most of them. Therefore, by removing the cause, a multitude of symptoms will disappear.'
Dr. R. Stone. ‘Health Building’. Page 51
Dr Stone's Purifying and Health building guidelines further support the other aspects of Polarity. What we eat, especially natural foods keeps our vitality levels high, while on the other hand, when eating processed lifeless foods our energy system becomes depleted and ill. This saying is applicable: ‘Eat from a tree, not a fac-tory’. Cleansing foods help to eliminate toxins from the body/mind system and transform the body’s acidic state to an alkaline one.
As the 5 elements of ether, fire, water air and earth permeate all the aspects of Polarity, what we eat may balance or stimulate our body as well as mind. For example if one’s fire element is out of balance, signs may be: arthritic joints, boils, feelings of intense anger or even suppression of it, bad circulation or weak digestion, to name but a few. Besides doing bodywork to balance the fire energy, being aware of what’s happening in one’s life is important to address and be aware of, for Therapist and client alike. If the fire is over stimulated perhaps more cleansing, watery, and cooling foods would calm the fire down (like salads and fruit and less curries, spicy or processed foods).
Corresponding to the subtle energy pattern of the chakras (5 elements) which start from the ether chakra in the throat centre moving down towards the earth chakra at the coccyx area and towards gravity; so do the lighter foods grow on trees, like fruit which are airy foods. Stepping down, the grains grow in the grasses, like wheat and millet which are fiery foods, they aren’t watery and require heat and water to expand and digest in the body. Next we find lettuce, tomatoes, spinach and most vegetables filled with water, requiring fire from sunlight and oxygen from the air and grow above the ground, absorbing its water from the earthy roots. Lastly we find the root vegetables like carrots, beetroot and potatoes which make us feel ‘slowly’ energized, are filling, nurturing and grounding. As energies above are lighter they become denser as they go down towards the earth’s gravity, scientifically manifested as solids/ice, liquids/water and gas/air.
Sometimes we feed our imbalances by choosing those foods which further support this imbalance, the same as we are humans of habit and keep repeating even negative, destructive physical and emotional patterns. Awareness is the first step to changing long term patterns.
4. POLARITY STRETCHING EXERCISES
Dr Stone’s exercises are fun and gentle and create a more concrete awareness of the body, having a grounding affect. They also relate to the 5 elements. There are photographs of Dr Stone doing the squats and other Polarity yoga postures, until his 80’s. The various stretching postures really need to be experienced to feel their benefits some being to release shoulder, back and neck tension. Others assist to release pent up emotions, anger & frustration and get the ‘fire’ element flowing in a balanced manner. The Polarity Therapist may suggest Dr. Stone’s ‘ha breaths’ or ‘woodchopper’ exercises to bring the fire element into balance and in its polarity of opposites, to open the heart; instead to feelings of kindness and compassion. The scissor kicks open up the sinuses and calms the parasympathetic nervous system, releases tension in the hips, pelvis and legs as well as pumps blood from the pelvis up the spine to the brain, increasing circulation of blood flow and fresh oxygen to the brain and cells.
The basic squat and spinal stretch has many benefits: by gently stretching the spine and muscles surrounding it, any blockages are naturally released and posture is re-aligned, internal organs are massaged helping the efficiency of the elimination of waste products & toxins. Prana (the subtle life force energy) is activated doing the squatting posture. Dr Stone’ circular fetal chart shows all four elements connecting to one another, similar to the basic squatting posture, adopted by almost all tribal cultures who live close to nature.
Franklyn Sills, Dean of Polarity Therapy Educational Trust in the UK, said: …'Prana is the vital force in the body. It is the activator which flows through the 5 ovals of the body'…'or 5 fields of matter for specific functions of sensory and motor expression.'
Franklyn Sills. ‘The Polarity Process’. Page 34