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The Healing Process: A Polarity Therapy Case History

by Anthony Deavin(more info)

listed in polarity therapy, originally published in issue 75 - April 2002

This case history was presented by a student after completion of the Foundation Course in Polarity Therapy and shows just how effective Polarity can be after a relatively short period of training - ten days in this case. (The full practitioner's training is much longer than this, of course.) For each of the six sessions a commentary has been included so that the reader can follow the reasoning behind the sequence of moves that unfold during a Polarity session.

While reading this case history, the distinctive feature of Polarity Therapy should be borne in mind, namely, the maintenance of touch at two places on the body until energy moves and tissues release. A relevant bibliography is given at the end of the article.

Background to the Case

This case concerns a 21-year-old man, whom we shall call John, who was fit and active until one year ago. In the space of one month he experienced a variety of trauma: an operation on his right knee, sitting A-levels, splitting-up with his girlfriend, leaving home and moving six times. He became chronically tired, had no energy and suffered with general malaise. The doctor diagnosed myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and prescribed antidepressants. John recently married, with his wife expecting a baby in eight weeks. He does not like his work and has not worked for two months since the ME diagnosis as this only makes his condition worse.

Neck 'unwinding'

Neck 'unwinding'

ME is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS). It is a vague and ill-defined illness which often begins after an upper respiratory or gastrointestinal tract infection from which the person does not make a full recovery. The most common symptoms are:

* Severe fatigue precipitated by minimal exertion and not relieved by rest;
* Generalized aches and pains, especially muscles;
* Depressed mood;
* Gastrointestinal disturbance - nausea, flatulence, diarrhoea.

In severe cases, people remain in bed all day and can, literally, do nothing. John's case was not as serious as this, but could have become so had he not taken action.

Session 1 (25.07.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* Stomach bloating, pain and cramp;
* Grinding teeth;
* Emotionally lost, anxious, low in confidence;
* Tense breathing;
* Low back pain; stiff neck; aching knees;
* Tired; no energy.

Summary of Bodywork

* Ether work to open up space. Pain intensified during the head cradle hold;
* Air work: cleared sore lower leg reflexes by relating them to the colon;
* Attempted neck unwind: John felt like he was "on the edge, but not ready to release."

Client Feedback

* Very relaxed after treatment; slept six hours on getting home;
* Slightly more relaxed next day; overall, a little less tense.


* In Polarity Therapy, the element ether governs space. When events and problems crowd in from all sides, the sense of space is lost, to be replaced by confusion, tension, hopelessness and possibly depression. We can open up the space by making Polarity contacts between the joints and holding the head gently between the hands - the 'cradle' hold;
* The element air governs movement. This becomes chaotic in stressed, 'nervy' states. One way of bringing air into balance is to make Polarity contacts between lower leg reflexes and the colon;
* Neck tensions will release themselves by spontaneous movements if the head is held gently, a process often called 'unwinding'. In this case, the time was not right for release. In Polarity Therapy we always follow the process of the client; the body's own wisdom knows when it is ready to let go.

Session 2 (01.08.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* Lethargic and tired;
* Fluctuating body temperature;
* Feels in a turmoil and anxious;
* Lower back pain and tight shoulders.

Summary of Bodywork

* Breathing exercises to aid relaxation while holding the heels;.
* Fire energy work to counteract lethargy and tiredness: Polarity contact between lateral thigh and navel;
* Contacts between the sitting-bone and lower back;
* Hands above and below the shoulders;
* Chakra balance;
* Checking the auric field.

Client Feedback

* Less tense, lack of energy changed to calmness and ease of sleeping;
* Pain had dissipated;
* Felt he was on "on the edge" of something and needed to deal with his underlying trauma;
* Little more energy the following day. Felt really good for two days and went for a run. Then the energy crashed again!


* Concentration on abdominal breathing with awareness of the breath is very helpful in stressful, anxious, conditions. Holding the feet aids 'grounding', which is lacking in states of stress;
* Fire energy is necessary to support action. If blocked, there are particular parts of the body that must be worked on, especially the lateral thighs;
* Sitting-bone contacts are very effective for clearing pain due to energy congestion;
* Polarity contacts between the chakra centres engender calmness and balance;
* The quality of the auric field is a useful guide to the energetic status of the client, and will clearly indicate if the therapy has resulted in positive changes.

Session 3 (05.08.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* Achy on the right side and really tired.

Summary of Trauma Work

* John was clear by this stage of his therapy that he needed to tackle his underlying trauma. He decided that he would be happier trying William Redpath's 'Trauma Energetics' rather than Brandon Bay's 'Journey Work';
* During the Trauma Energetics, John resolved five different black locations within his brain, after which he sat quietly for ten minutes. During this time, his body twitched, and his state changed from confusion to total relaxation and calmness.

Client Feedback

* Extremely tired following the trauma work. Developed flu-like symptoms, just as he had experienced prior to 'crashing' a year ago;
* Slept in the afternoon, later feeling depressed and unusually emotional;
* Slept very well during the night and woke feeling really relaxed, "something which I rarely experience".


* Polarity Therapists will often focus on the resolution of trauma where this surfaces during bodywork, or is felt to be hindering progress. As always, the client knows and decides that such a step will be in their best interest;
* Journey Work requires experiencing emotions very deeply and revisiting traumatic scenes. Because the client also connects with their Source, the approach is safe and usually leads to trauma resolution at a deep level. The technique of Trauma Energetics does not require experience of emotional states or traumatic events, but focuses on black areas in the field of the mind or body, resolving these into colour or white light. John felt safer with the latter approach. However, emotional states are affected using Trauma Energetics, as John's experience shows, often with very beneficial results;
* 'Twitching' in a body is a sign of movement of energy;
* The flu-like symptoms following the trauma work suggest that John had reconnected with his experience of one year ago when the same symptoms appeared. Such an experience is often a prerequisite for positive change, expressed as a rare experience of relaxation in John's case.

Session 4 (07.08.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* No energy;
* Nasal congestion with flu-like symptoms;
* Return of tight shoulders, neck pain and lower back pain.

Summary of Bodywork

* Calming work: cradle-hold for a long time followed by Polarity contacts involving the lower leg, diaphragm, scapula and shoulders to balance the air energy;
* Painful inguinal ligament released by Polarity contact to the navel;
* Polarity contact between the navel and the right knee - the site of the operation. While maintaining this hold, the leg unwound and the lower back pain dissipated;
* Chakra balance with chakra colour visualization.

Client Feedback

* Tired after the treatment and slept;
* Slept well that night and felt "great" the following day;
* More energy, and able to go for two runs without the energy crashing!


* There are now clear signs of progress, although John's condition at the start of the treatment seemed to belie this;
* Visualizing the colours of the chakra during chakra balancing can enhance this work. Chakra balancing is a wonderful way to harmonize energy.

Session 5 (15.08.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* More positive; a little low in energy;
* Tight neck muscles and tense shoulders;
* Tight lateral thighs and lower back, attributable to running.

Summary of Bodywork

* Fire energy work: thigh, inguinal ligament, and shin soreness were cleared by Polarity contact to the navel;
* Discomfort in the right knee eased by Polarity contact with the tight neck;
* Chakra balancing;
* Note: Therapist suggested gentle activity only, to avoid John exhausting himself by running or working-out as soon as he had any energy.

Client Feedback

* Slept well the night following treatment;
* Has had lots of energy, but generally does not sleep well;
* He feels he has come a long way since commencing the therapy sessions.


* In general, 'stuck' energy in any part of the body can be cleared by Polarity contact to the navel, the focus of 'fire' energy. 'Stuck' energy is expressed as pain, aches, tightness and vague discomfort;
* The knees and neck are related as places where 'earth' energy may be contacted and harmonized. 'Earth' is grounding, a quality lacking in situations of stress and turmoil;
* People suffering from ME often find it difficult to avoid a 'crash' of energy, due to a tendency to 'push' themselves. They need to enquire what emotional drive causes this, and take steps to resolve it.

Session 6 (28.08.01)

John's Condition at the Start of the Session

* Tired; lack of sleep;
* Tightness between the shoulders; sore sternum;
* Unsettled colon.

Summary of Bodywork

* Cleared sore points on the edge of the sternum by Polarity contact to the medial scapula border;
* Sore lower leg reflexes dispersed by Polarity contact to points under the ribcage;
* Settled the colon by Polarity contact to the medial scapula border;
* Concluded with chakra balancing, including colour visualization for each chakra.

Client Feedback

* Tension built up in the neck during the session. He has come to realize that this kind of condition runs in his family. He "senses that something wants to get through, like something is knocking at the door";
* Felt "real calm" during the treatment, despite his neck;
* Sleeping better and more relaxed;
* Experiences a general sense of optimism, and is thinking about going back to work. He has more energy, although every now and then he suffers from flu-like symptoms which pass quickly. He has stopped smoking and no longer takes antidepressants.


* Discomfort at a place on the body can often be resolved by Polarity contact to the opposite side, e.g. connecting sternum to scapula in this case;
* When 'stuck' energy is released from one part of the body, pain or discomfort may manifest in another place, as in the build up of neck tension in John's case. This is due to the released energy becoming 'stuck' at another place along its pathway. It is generally only necessary to maintain the contact and wait for the energy to move - the body's intelligence is often able to achieve this without further intervention by the therapist;
* The tendency for a complaint, neck stiffness in this case, to run in a family is quite common, the result of 'picking up' family trauma. There may come a time when John needs to resolve this trauma.


Overall, there is no doubt that John has made considerable progress, although at times he seemed to regress somewhat. This is often observed as the client integrates inner changes within the fabric of his being. This case history illustrates just how life transforming alternative therapies can be when the client is ready for change and the practitioner has the necessary sensitivity to follow the unfolding of the client's healing process.


Bays B. The Journey. An Extraordinary Guide for Healing and Setting Yourself Free. Thornsons. London. ISBN 0-7225-3809-X.
Deavin A. Releasing Trauma through Bodywork: The Power of Awareness. Positive Health. August 2000.
Deavin A. Universal Application of Polarity Therapy: The Application of Universal Principles of Energy and Healing. Positive Health. August 2001.
Redpath W. Trauma Energetics. Positive Health. January 2001.
Sills F. The Polarity Process. Energy as a Healing Art. Element Books. Shaftesbury, Dorset. ISBN 1-85230-052-3. 1989.


The author wishes to thank Jane Seaman for providing the details of this case history and Helga Frank and Jo Scrimshaw for their help during the preparation of the article.


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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;

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