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Polarity Therapy - Part II

by Anthony Deavin(more info)

listed in polarity therapy, originally published in issue 12 - May 1996

Touch and the Fascial System of the Body

In Polarity Therapy, we work with our hands lightly touching the patient’s body. This relieves congestion to the flow of energy and facilitates the return to a state of balance and well-being. From an anatomical perspective, touch makes contact with the fascial system of the body. By fascia, we mean thin sheets of connective tissue which are often like “cling-film” in appearance. The “superficial fascia” underlies our skin and “deep fascia” surrounds and penetrates muscles.[1] Fascia are drawn out to form ligaments and tendons and surround all bones, nerves, and organs. Fascia also line the body cavities to form the peritoneum, pleura, and the meninges or “membranes” of the central nervous system. The fascial system is inter-connected and continuous, from the top of the head to the toes and from the outside to the inside: e.g. Fig.1 shows a cross-section through the forearm: by touching the arm, we are in contact via the fascial system with the muscle, bone, nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels within. We can think of the fascial system as providing a “highway for touch”, indeed the meridians pass through the connective tissue of the fascia.[2]

Trauma, Fascial Constriction and Body Memory

The effect of trauma on the body results in fascial constriction. This constriction may take the form of adhesions or scar tissue, ie, denser, shorter tissue formed during the healing which follows the trauma of accident or surgery. These are “physical” constrictions. However, most of the trauma we experience are mental or emotional. They are impressed on the fascia which acts as the memory store of the body, recording all experiences. As a result, the fascia become constricted and congested, e.g. when stress leads to a stiff neck, tight shoulders and back pain. The consequence of this situation is an impediment to the flow of energy, from which ill-health may arise.

Facilitating Energy Flow

In Polarity Therapy, light touch is used to free constricted fascia and facilitate energy flow. It is as if, by placing the  hands on the body in certain positions, we are reminding the body of how its energy is designed to flow. Indeed, the therapist  bears in mind at all times that the body retains a memory of its state of balance and harmony. As the fascia release, the  trauma which caused the constriction may rise to the conscious  level to be available for understanding and resolution. In Polarity Therapy there are clear guidelines for deciding on the most efficacious position for the hands. These guidelines include the polarity zone chart, reflex points and elemental relationships.

The Polarity Zone Chart

When energy flows into form (see Part l), relationships within the body are set up which are like inner harmonics[3]. These inner harmonics are represented in the Polarity Zone Chart (Fig. 2).  In this chart, the symbols +, o, - stand for positive, neutral, and negative and represent relationships, not charges. Thus, for example, all zones marked positive have a relationship to each other. In practice this means that we can release an area of constriction by connecting that area to the equivalent point in one of the corresponding zones, e.g., we can connect the  hip (iliac crest) to the shoulder on the same or opposite side, as shown in Fig. 3. Holds such as those shown in Fig. 3 are  often used to balance the flow of energy after release of constriction. Another example of balancing by using related points is shown in Fig. 4 in which the polarity connection between big toe and thumb is used.

Reflex Points

Reflex points are points on the body which have an effect on a distant part of the body when stimulated by touch. If sore to touch, energy congestion is indicated. Reflexologists make use of this fact by working on sore spots on hands or feet to  treat the related organs within the body. Polarity Therapy recognises and uses reflex points all over the body, including the hands and feet. For example, if the diaphragm is tight, it can be released with one hand under the rib-cage and the other in contact with the corresponding zone chart point just under the ball of the foot (Fig. 2). As the diaphragm releases, the tissue under each hand can be felt to relax. In general, connecting reflex points to the corresponding organ is very effective in Polarity Therapy.

Elemental relationships

In Polarity Therapy, the elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth form the basis for discussing energy and the positions of the hands to be used in therapy. As discussed in Part l., the elements are different qualities of energy: ether-space, air-movement, fire-transformation, water-bonding, and earth-materiality. The Polarity Therapist assesses which elements require treatment and places the hands in the appropriate positions. These positions, called triads, are as follows[3].

For each element, there is one position towards the top of the body called the positive pole, one in the centre, called the neutral pole, and one towards the bottom, called the negative pole. As an example of the use of these positions, we can consider the case of lack of energy. Often in such cases, the outer thigh (Fascia lata) will be sore, ie, there is energy congestion at the negative pole of fire. This can be relieved by pressing firmly with the thumb of one hand into the sore places with a pressure that can be borne without discomfort. At the same time, the other hand maintains contact with the Solar Plexus, the neutral pole. The Fascia lata will be felt to relax and the soreness dissolve during this process. For balancing, the Solar Plexus may be connected to the positive pole, as shown in Fig 5.

The Aim of Polarity Therapy

In Part I, Polarity Therapy was seen as a way to help patients connect with their Source, their inner core of Stillness. Carlos Castaneda in his book: “The Power of Silence”, speaks of this Source as the Place of Silent Knowledge.

“Silent Knowledge is something that all of us have. (It is) something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything. But it cannot think; therefore it cannot speak of what it knows. Sorcerers believe that when Man became aware that he knew, and wanted to be conscious of what he knew, he lost sight of what he knew. This Silent Knowledge, which you cannot describe, is, of course ——— Spirit, the Abstract. Man’s error was to want to know it directly, the way he knew everyday life. The more he wanted it, the more ephemeral it became ———— Man gave up Silent knowledge for the world of reason ———— The more he clings to the world of reason, the more ephemeral Spirit becomes. Modern man, being heir to that development, therefore finds himself so hopelessly removed from the source of everything that all he can do is express his despair in violent and cynical acts of self destruction. ———- The reason for Man’s cynicism and despair is the bit of Silent Knowledge left in him, which does two things: one, it gives Man an inkling of his ancient connection to the source of everything and two, it makes Man feel that without this connection he has no hope of peace, of satisfaction, of attainment.”[4]

In Polarity Therapy, we are concerned to help the patient establish connection to the source of everything. We avoid an intellectual approach, with its limitations described above, but rather focus on the feelings held within the memory store of the body[5]. Focusing on feelings is often powerfully enhanced  by the use of touch on a constricted, tense, or vulnerable area of the body. When the patient is consciously aware of the nature of the traumatic feeling, and does not resort to confusing analysis, the way forward becomes clear. It is like a communication from Silent Knowledge which resides just beyond the veil of feelings and sensations[6]. I am reminded of a patient who could not face going back to work. Focusing on the feelings associated with her work, she suddenly became very still. “I have remembered who I am. I just have to go back, face them and resign.”

References

1. Deane Juhan. Job’s Body. A handbook for bodywork. Station Hill Press. 1987.
2. Mantak & Maneewan Chia. Chi Nei Tsang. Internal organs chi massage. Healing Tao Books. 1990.
3. Franklyn Sills. The Polarity Process. Energy as a healing art. Element Books. 1989.
4. Carlos Castaneda. The Power of Silence. Further lessons of Don Juan. Black Swan. 1988.
5. Eugene Gendlin. Focusing. Bantam Books. 1981.
6. Gay Hendricks & Kathlyn Hendricks. At the Speed of Life. A new approach to personal change through body-centred therapy.

Fig 2 from the book The Polarity Process by Franklyn Sills. Published by Element Books. Available in book shops.

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About Anthony Deavin

Anthony Deavin BSc PhD RPP RCST has a BSc and PhD in chemistry and research experience in the biological sciences. Anthony then studied Ayurveda (Indian Medical Science), qualified in Medical Herbalism, and lectured in Anatomy and Physiology and Pathology. Subsequently he qualified in Polarity Therapy and Cranio-sacral Therapy, and established a Training in Polarity Therapy. More recently, Anthony's focus has shifted to gaining the skills necessary to help his clients overcome the trauma, limiting beliefs and turbulent emotions which prevent them realising their direction and purpose in life. To this end, Anthony has qualified in Journey Therapy and Theta Healing and has studied many other methods, most recently Reference Point Therapy. Anthony now teaches Causal Healing, which integrates all the methods he has studied and practised into one unified approach. His clinic work combines Herbal Medicine, Polarity Therapy and Causal healing.

Anthony may be contacted by on Tel: 01737 842749; anthony.deavin@btopenworld.com   www.causalhealing.com

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