POLARITY THERAPY

(Investigator 185, 2019 March)


History

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 Healing Art.

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.


Theory

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 negative poles.

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."


Practice

Proponents claim that to facilitate the balancing, the patient's needs must be assessed from body clues, intuition and comprehensive questioning.

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.


Assessment

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 intelligent man.

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.


References:

Edwards. Harry. 1992. Heigh Ho, Come to the Fair. The Skeptic. 12(1):41-42.

_______________ 1992. All About Auras. The Skeptic. 12(2):41-42.

Gordon. R. Your Healing Hands. Unity Press. 1978.

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


From:  Edwards, H. 1999 Alternative, Complementary, Holistic & Spiritual Healing, Australian Skeptics Inc


http://users.adam.com.au/bstett/

http://ed5015.tripod.com/