Polarity Therapy – What Is It?

Polarity Therapy

Polarity therapy is an alternative medicine health system developed in the 1940’s by Randolph Stone. Proponents claim healing can be achieved through manipulation of what they describe as complementary (or polarized) forces, a form of putative energy.

The term Stone borrowed from Chinese philosophy to describe those forces is yin and yang. The practice is unsupported by evidence.


Polarity therapy is a synthesis of ancient Eastern and alternative medicine health care ideas, centered on the concept of a human energy field.

Using touch, verbal interaction, exercise, nutrition and other methods, practitioners of polarity therapy seek to balance and restore the natural flow of energy which, it is claimed, flows from the universe and into the body through the chakras.

The aim is to re-establish “balance”. In addition to polarity bodywork, specific polarity yoga exercises, counseling/positive thinking, and nutritional recommendations are claimed to enhance vitality.

Between 1947 and 1954, Stone published seven books describing polarity therapy principles and applications.

These were subsequently consolidated into three volumes: Polarity Therapy Vol. I and Vol. II (CRCS, 1986), and Health-Building (The Book Publishing Co., 1999), Principles of Polarity

Advocates and practitioners of PT claim that a subtle, invisible and intangible energetic system is the substrate for all phenomena. According to proponents, if the energetic flow is corrected and restored to its original design, the form will follow.

Further, they claim that blockages in the flow of energy lead to pain and disease (directly contradicting the germ theory of disease), or be experienced as stuck emotions and lack of vitality.

They claim that this is similar to the measurable and quantifiable electromagnetic bond between electron and proton that forms atoms, a claim which is not scientific, but pseudoscience.

There is no scientific basis for this belief, nor any reproducible measurements of this system.

While an electromagnetic metaphor is often used, Stone emphasized that the energy concept had a larger context; he referred to it as the “Breath of Life” and used esoteric language (such as ki, ch’i, prana and life force) from spiritual traditions (especially mystic Christianity, Ayurveda, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism and Yoga to describe PT.


Polarity therapists claim to work with the reciprocal, complementary or “polarized” forces, which they describe with the traditional Chinese words yin and yang.

Although the concept of polarity implies two forces in opposition, these dualities are said by some to be mediated by a subtle third neutral factor, leading to the idea that phenomena are essentially triune in nature. In Ayurveda, the three factors are known as Rajas, Tamas, and Satva.

Polarity therapists claim expertise in “energetic anatomy” and claim to work with these energetic patterns (similar to acupuncture meridians, and marma points).

The Caduseus, representative of the ida and pingala, is another aspect of the nadis/chakra system that is thought to be manipulated during certain types of polarity treatments.

Various esoteric energetic patterns inherent in the body, referred to in Kabbalah, and other traditions, such as the five-pointed star and six-pointed star, are traced on the body, allegedly to integrate consciousness and fully connect various part of the being.

According to Stone, the purpose of life is “the fulfillment of consciousness”.

Polarity therapy is often connected with other forms of alternative medicine, such as Oriental medicine, Ayurveda, craniosacral therapy and osteopathy, which all claim to explore the subtle energetic factors in health conditions from their particular cultural viewpoints.

Many chiropractic, osteopathic, and cranial manipulations and naturopathic perspectives and techniques are explored in Stone’s writings and diagrams.

Polarity therapy has four distinct areas of technique, by which proponents believe life force energy can be influenced: touch (massage, acupuncture), stretching and exercise, diet, and mental-emotional process.

Polarity practitioners registered with the American Polarity Therapy Association should be knowledgeable in all four areas.

However, although most current APTA trainings cover the standard curriculum, some practitioners have different interpretations of Stone’s work, and therefore different emphasis and styles of practice.

Other Systems

Polarity Therapy has many branches from its early beginnings, which produce dramatically different practitioners. Many hybrids and other systems of polarity therapy have evolved out of the initial work of Stone, and as such consistency among different schools and consistency in treatments is lacking in the field.

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Information courtesy of wikipedia

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