(Investigator 185, 2019 March)
Polarity therapy is described by its practitioners as "energy
balancing", its purpose claimed to "balance and harmonise an
individual's physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels".
Developed in 1948 by Dr Randolph Stone, (1890-1982), who believed
that energy fields and currents exist everywhere in nature and that the
free flow and balance of this energy in the human body is the
underlying foundation of good health. This is similar to Qi in China,
Prana in India and Wilhelm Reich's "orgone energy".
Dr. Stone's works are published in three volumes: Polarity Therapy Vols. I and II, and Health Building: The Conscious Art
of Living Well. In 1948, Dr. Stone blended aspects of Eastern and
Western healing systems to create a new and unique system called
Polarity Therapy and published Energy: The Vital Principle in the
Pierre Pannetier, a former student took over when Dr. Stone retired in
1973, assuming the leadership of the Polarity Therapy Movement until
his death in 1984.
One therapist advertises Polarity Therapy as follows:
"Polarity Therapy is the art of balancing the body's energies to
restore the self-healing process ... It is designed to help the whole
person, not just the part that hurts.
Polarity is the law of opposites that governs all expression of life.
For energy to flow, there must be a neutral source, and positive and
The entire human body is an intricate and beautifully woven energy
field with very specific currents and patterns. 'Life energy' is
believed to flow between the positive (head) and negative poles (feet)
of the body.
When anyone of these currents is blocked, the entire field is affected
and tension, pain and .disease result. It is only by understanding the
nature of the different currents that they can be balanced. This can be
achieved through gentle manipulation, simple yoga exercises,
appropriate diet and meditation."
Proponents claim that to facilitate the balancing, the patient's needs
must be assessed from body clues, intuition and comprehensive
Treatment is mainly confined to massaging the back and the aura above
the body, "negative energy" being "snapped away" with the fingers, and
directing the flow of energy in a patient. This is supposedly
accomplished by the practitioner placing his hands on two designated
spots or energy centres on the patient's body and redirecting the
receiver's own energy.
The various pulse points are felt to bring them into balance and this it is claimed results in harmony and well being.
Following the treatment, the practitioner gives a diagnosis to indicate
the state of balance of each of the chakras or energy centres and
advises on a short term diet.
I note in the advertisement above, the therapy is referred to as an
"art". It has no scientific basis. The whole concept of energy centres
comes from Eastern philosophy and is based on the idea that problems
are caused by "energy blockages". Apart from advocating sensible diet
and exercise, basically what you get for your money is a some highly
suspect pseudoscientific nonsense involving energies unknown to
Positive and negative energies and the concept of a "life force" exist
only in the mind of the practitioner and those gullible enough to
believe. Any success claimed for this therapy would be (1) faith in its
efficacy, (2) the placebo effect, (3) natural course of the problem,
and (4) inaccurate reporting.
Although there is nothing physically dangerous about Polarity Therapy,
there are times when, particularly in the case of severe depression
where psychiatric treatment should be sought, it would definitely not
be the time to experiment with this kind of alternative therapy.
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_______________ 1992. All About Auras. The Skeptic. 12(2):41-42.
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Kastner, Mark and Burroughs Hugh. 1993. Alternative Healing. Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, California.
Weinman, Ric A. 1988. Your Hands Can Heal: Learn To Channel Healing Energy. New York, New York: E.P. Dutton.
Wright, Pamela Amelia. 1978. "Chakra Cleaning." The Holistic Health Handbook
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