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Polarity Therapy: Linking Ancient Knowledge and Modern Physics

by Will Wilson(more info)

listed in polarity therapy, originally published in issue 53 - June 2000

What is Polarity Therapy?

Polarity therapy is a system of holistic healthcare based on an understanding of the flow of life energy. Life energy must flow correctly to maintain optimum health. The body reflects in its structure and function the sum total of our 'history'. This is encoded in the energy fields that surround the body and interpenetrate it. So one can regard the physical body as being 'woven' from these energy fields.

Dr Randolph Stone (1890-1981) was the creator of Polarity Therapy. Born in Austria, he emigrated to the USA in 1903 and trained as an Osteopath, Chiropractor and Naturopath. He found that the gross physical approach to healing was insufficient; for example his Osteopathic and Chiropractic adjustments would often not 'hold' and would need to be repeated. He reasoned that these therapies were not addressing the root cause of the problems, and set out to discover more. His enquiries took him on many travels, particularly to India, and through many healing philosophies, notably the Indian Ayurvedic tradition and the Hermetic knowledge of the West. What emerged was a synthesis which that although at first glance disparate, actually unites ancient cosmologies and concepts that modern physics are just elucidating.

There is no avoiding that some concept of a primary energy field is necessary to understand life, although conventional biology and orthodox medicine seem to manage to deny this, dismissing it as 'Vitalism'. They seem to ignore many basic questions such as how does life take on its many forms (Morphogenesis) and how do we go from a disordered state (i.e. illness) back to order (i.e. health). Yet, the life energy concept has been around for thousands of years, under various names as has the idea of a 'universal energy field'. The latter is also known in modern physics under different names: Quantum Vacuum, Zero-point energy, the Fifth force, the Higgs field.

Life is Pulsation

There seems to be a polarity principle at work in the very fabric of the universe which can be seen in everyday life: Hot/cold, black/white, up/down and so on. However there is also a third principle – warm, grey and middle in the examples above. This can be seen in the ancient sacred geometry of the Vesica Piscis (Fig. l). Imagine two superimposed circles, then move one to the side so that the circumference crosses the centre. The shape formed between the two is the Vesica Piscis, the third component. All Creation myths that I know of contain these elements. Typically there is the void, out of which one arises, which splits into two and thus creates the third element, in this case the Vesica Piscis. The geometry of the Vesica contains Golden Mean proportions which underlie all life, from the spirals of seashells and the proportions of the human body, to the galaxies themselves. We are looking at the very fundamentals of creation of form here. These three energies are the Holy Trinity, the triple godhead of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva, the Yin, Yang and Qi, and so on.

Figure 1 Vesica Piscis

Figure 1 Vesica Piscis

In Polarity therapy the Sanskrit terms Rajas, Sattva and Tamas are used. In this terminology, these are the Gunas, or the three life principles (in Sanskrit 'guna' means attribute), but don't be confused, you could just as easily call them positive, negative or neutral.

The Rajas(+) energy (Sanskrit=action) is envisioned as centrifugal energy flowing outward from the neutral centre Sattva (Sanskrit=truth) to the periphery and then returning to the centre as a centripetal Tamas(-) energy (Sanskrit=inertia). All life contains this essential pulsation. If we consider another ancient symbol, the Caduceus (Fig. 2), you can see it consists of two snakes winding around a central staff. The two wings represent the two cerebral hemispheres in the brain and the knob at the end of the shaft the pineal gland. The intertwining snakes represent the positive and negative energies and the central staff the neutral (in this case they are given the names Pingala, Ida and Sushumna respectively).

Figure 2 The Caduceus

Figure 2 The Caduceus

If one imagines a two dimensional pulsation from centre to periphery and back again and then adds a third dimension of movement at right angles (like the x, y, and z axes of a 3-dimensional graph) we will create a double spiral or double helix, which is the Caduceus. You have to visualize it in 3 dimensions; unfortunately we only have 2 dimensional paper! So we have 2 spirals of energy, which cross over. At the crossing points, or nodal points we have the Chakras, places of harmonic resonance, which are stepped down frequencies of the universal energy field we discussed earlier. One can envisage the chakras as spinning wheels of energy currents (this, apparently, is how clairvoyants see them) which develop to form longitudinal currents in the human body – the 'long line' currents of Polarity therapy (Fig. 3) so as to form two circuits flowing in opposite directions. The double helix energy currents of the Caduceus form spirals of energy around the body, known as the East-West currents in Polarity therapy. Finally a spiral of energy radiates out from the umbilicus, an echo of the primary energy pattern created when the physical body was formed in the womb. If you can imagine these fields interacting to give interference patterns (like the ripples on a pond but in 3 dimensions) rather like a hologram; these create an energetic template which the physical form of the body 'grows into'. Morphogenesis explained!

Figure 3 Long line currents form two circuits flowing in opposite directions

Figure 3 Long line currents form two circuits flowing in opposite directions

The Ultrasonic Core

The ultrasonic core is the name given by Dr Stone to the central shaft of the Caduceus. He writes "The central core is the ultrasonic energy current of the Soul. It is the primary energy which builds and sustains all others… (it is) located anatomically within the central canal of the spinal cord and resonates with the 'Eternal Sound Current' … the Unitive Field of Cosmic Intelligence." This Unitive Field I believe to be the very same all-pervading field of modern physics. The Chakras represent nodal points in the ultrasonic core, a step-down mechanism into the lower fields of the body. (It's rather like an electrical transformer reduces mains voltage to a lesser voltage to run many devices that would be 'burnt out' by the high mains voltage.) These stepped-down voltages create the fields which are known as the Five Elements which maintain and inform the physical body. These fields comprise energy, information and the Cosmic intelligence. Dr Stone again "The cerebrospinal fluid(CSF) seems to act as a storage field and a conveyor of the ultrasonic and life energies." We know that water, which is the major component of CSF and other body fluids, has a 'memory'; it can store information. This seems to be the basis of homoeopathy, flower essences, gem elixirs and so on. We also know that hydration of tissues improves energy flow in them. So CSF and other bodily fluids may be vital in transmitting the stepped-down energies through the body. Water is truly magical. Keep drinking it!

Five Elements

The concept of the 5 elements has been with us from ancient times. The particular nomenclature in Polarity Therapy is derived from the Ayurvedic tradition. The elements are Ether (Akasa), Air (Vayu), Fire (Tejas), Water (Apas), and Earth (Prithivi). Although traditionally called 'elements' I feel it is easier to think of them as fields. The 5 elements have many correspondences (I like to think of them as resonances) with body areas, organs, systems and processes; levels of consciousness, psychological states, the food we take in, as well as resonances in the world around us, e.g. colours, planets, minerals and so on. If one remembers that all of creation is vibration and the universe is a vast harmony of waves (both ancient knowledge and modern physics agree on this) then this idea hopefully becomes clearer.

To give an example, the Air element resonates with the chest, lungs, nervous system, kidneys diaphragm, and ankles. The sense of touch, sour tastes and the foods fruits, nuts and legumes and so on. Combinations of the elemental resonances also occur – leading to further harmonic correspondences – e.g. combinations with Ether element relate to emotions Ether/Air = Desire, Ether/Fire = Anger and so on. So life is a great balancing act between the elements, the Cosmos, and the great Pulsation that drives it all. Sometimes it goes wrong.

Disease Processes

Dr Stone said that all disease results from blocked energy flow. I would modify this slightly and say it results from a destabilization of energy flows, which would include 'blocked' energy. Living systems obviously have the capacity for self-organization; the parts work together for the benefit of the whole. The parts exhibit Coherence, their activities are Correlated, they are separate entities but they work together for mutual benefit. Our individual parts e.g. our organs, endocrine glands are like parts of a great orchestra playing together; they can make great music, but sometimes individual instruments may go out of tune, affecting the whole performance. What Polarity Therapists can do is spot the dissonance and help with retuning.

There are many ways that we can generate dissonance or incoherence; then we don't receive the input from the omnipresent Unitive Field so well. There are many and various physical and psychological stressors, chemical, electromagnetic and geopathic effects that put us out of tune.

What Polarity Therapists Do

All therapists will work differently, but many will begin by taking a case history. The therapist will not only be interested in the problem that brought the client to their office, but their general health, family history, diet, sleep patterns, emotional state – in other words a holistic view of their life to date. This information may continue to be gathered over the first few sessions. Some therapists will want to make a structural assessment also, and for this outer clothing will need to be removed, but most Polarity bodywork will be done with the client fully clothed.

The bodywork aspect is usually a substantial part of most therapists' work. Many techniques are used, mostly very gentle and with an energetic rather than a manipulative approach, facilitating the free movement of body energy. Some techniques are like a whole-body reflexology session, releasing areas which are functionally and energetically related. There may be gentle rocking and articulatory techniques, cranial holds, fascial releases. Some may look similar to osteopathic or chiropractic techniques, but without forceful manipulation. Some work may be even be performed off the body, working in the energy field. The experience of the bodywork is usually deeply relaxing and may release deeply held emotions and trauma.

In addition, specific exercises may be prescribed. These exercises are designed to release specific elemental blockages and come from a range of exercises termed Polarity Yoga.

Dietary advice is often given to help balance the 5 elements (foods also are classified according to the 5 element theory). Special cleansing diets are often given when toxic overload of the liver is suspected.

Attention is given to thought and emotional patterns and belief systems that are detrimental to health. Polarity therapists often have some counselling skills. However, they must not be thought of as psychotherapists. Astute therapists will be able to recognize the need for psychotherapy when it arises and will refer the client appropriately, as they would for any condition that seems outside their competence. Polarity therapy will complement most other health care approaches, including conventional medicine. However, other energy-based approaches, such as acupuncture, should not be used in close conjunction.

It is difficult to effectively describe the practice of Polarity Therapy since the range of techniques are so many and so varied. Generally, Polarity Therapy can be used to help engender increased body awareness, to contact their own self-healing mechanism via contact with the Unitive Field of Cosmic Intelligence. Life flows more freely through the body and its field, and specific dysfunctions correct themselves.

Case Study

Since Polarity therapy works at the level of the body's energetic systems, it can be of benefit in almost any health problem. The case study presented here is of necessity a simplified and abbreviated version of the presenting circumstances and the treatment. I choose this case since it is fairly typical of many digestive problems. Veronica (not her real name) was in her early thirties and came to me with an 8-year history of digestive problems, predominantly gas, bloating, and bouts of constipation. She had seen a Naturopath, a Homoeopath and had taken probiotics and various herbs which aid digestion, done the Candida diet and the Hay diet, all to no avail. Barium meal X-ray and endoscopy showed no problems and she was not Lactose intolerant. Although she never received a medical diagnosis, the label usually attached to such symptoms is Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

From both case history information and physical exam it soon became obvious that she had marked problems with Fire and Air element disturbances, and to a lesser extent Earth. This is a common finding with digestive problems. If one thinks of the digestive system as a furnace supplying energy to the body, one can see that for the fire to burn well, good Air supply is necessary. So the Fire element problems are often secondary to Air. In addition, the thyroid gland (related to the throat and the Ether element) acts as the regulator of the furnace (i.e. metabolism).

Veronica had a number of symptoms related to Air element imbalance: Backache (relating to kidneys, aching shoulders, tight chest and diaphragm, poor circulation, adrenal exhaustion (due to her highly stressful work), and swollen ankles.

Secondary Fire symptoms included sore eyes, angry feelings she felt unable to 'get out', sluggish liver. She also had sore throats often, and a sensation of a lump in her throat.

Initial treatment was aimed at relieving the most unpleasant symptom, that of trapped gas in the digestive system. I knew many of the other symptoms would be secondary to this and would also be relieved. Over the next two sessions I used some of the many Polarity 'gas release' techniques and showed her some exercises to do at home that would enhance the bodywork. She was so improved she considered herself 'cured'. I had to explain that although we had relieved the symptoms, we still had not dealt with the causes.

Iris diagnosis showed a chronically overloaded liver, probably secondary to a toxic colon. I assessed her body structure, looking for confirmation of my findings of elemental imbalances (too complex to discuss her, but the body is a map of our inner being). I suggested various dietary supplements to help support her adrenal glands, added some small dietary changes to balance her elemental intake (remember all foods relate to the 5 elements), and suggested a short liver cleansing program (the Polarity Liver Flush). I continued the bodywork over the next few sessions, particularly aiming to improve liver function and breathing. A number of emotional outbursts (mostly anger!) occurred during these. As the anger gradually ebbed away over these sessions, so did the bowel symptoms. She came back for the occasional follow-up, and there was no significant recurrence.


John Beaulieu. The Polarity Therapy Workbook. Biosonic Enterprises (US import). 1994.
Lawrence Edwards. The Vortex of Life. Floris Books. 1993.
Randolph Stone. Collected Works Vols 1 and 2. CRCS Publications. 1986.
Alan Siegel. Polarity Therapy – The Power that Heals. Prism Press. 1987.
Franklyn Sills. The Polarity Process. Energy as a Healing Art. Element Books. 1989.
Phil Young. The Art of Polarity Therapy. Prism Press. 1990.


  1. ANN said..

    hi will
    I get a lot of these symptoms to re ibs and shoulder tension , also top of the spine
    I saw you about 15 years ago in London when you were an osteopath.
    had short hamstrings-a developmental issue, do you think its connected?
    just realized recently that the exercise you gave stretches the quads
    its almost like doing a tricep excerise to relieve a bicep problem
    I have tension in ribcage too, also top of the spine
    recently I had pilates 0ne to one- the psoas muscle seems really important

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About Will Wilson

Will Wilson practises CranioSacral Therapy and Polarity Therapy in Exeter, Devon Tel: 01392 427370

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