What is Polarity Therapy - to me? In practicing as a Registered Polarity Therapist in the UK I am often asked what a Polarity therapist does and what the system of therapy is. I have honestly tried to answer the question simply and succinctly but have found that a simple and succinct explanation is not that easy to achieve. I have been musing on this dilemma for some time and in so doing have put down on paper my philosophical approach in a series of articles. Each of these articles only really deals with one aspect of Polarity Therapy, a complete system developed by Dr Stone back in the 1950s. Dr Stone coined the phrase that Polarity therapy is "the Science of Health, rather than of Disease!". As the first line of an effective "elevator brief" this is a good start and points to the reality that Polarity Therapy is Outcome focused, rather than problem based and as such has as much to do with choice of perspective of the Client and Practitioner as it does to practical intervention on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.
To me Polarity Therapy is more than the sum of the parts, a synergistic combination of different therapeutic disciplines that cannot realistically be isolated from each other. In this article I will develop an overview of Polarity Therapy that effectively provides a picture of this integrated system and thus provide a simple and succinct description to complete the "elevator brief'.
Ordinarily, using common terms associated with therapeutic systems, one would seek to provide a description such as:
Polarity Therapy is described as a system that seeks to balance the interactions of the Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Realms of an individual's existence, where none of these realms can be taken in isolation as all affect the other, either positively or negatively. A change in one will change another and set off a chain reaction that can be destructive or beneficial.
Now this explanation, whilst accurate, could be used to describe any number of Complementary approaches and does not adequately define the effective and unique character of Polarity therapy, but it is a good place to start.
Most readers will have a view of what I mean by Physical, Mental and Emotional realms and some may think that by adding the Spiritual to the mix I am attempting to input a fudge factor, a nebulus ingredient that will enable me to say and justify anything I like. I can understand why a sceptic may wish to take that stance but I feel that the Spiritual is the key to the inter-relationship of all the others and can be defined very specifically, it is not nebulus at all! It is to me the very heart of the matter and provides a vigorous, tangible and above all realistic, if ultimately subjective, perspective.
The Spiritual realm to me is all about relationship: An individual's relationship with themselves, their physical mental and emotional being and their relationship with their world or their universe from their own perspective, a perspective that is unique to that individual. At this point I will define some terms that have been very helpful to me:
•· Self: Awareness, experienced directly and unencumbered by the senses.
•· Near Self: An individual's unique experience of personal attributes such as body and mind, perceived directly through the senses.
•· Far Self: An individual's unique experience of their world or universe perceived as other than the Self and/or Near Self and including the experience of, or relationship with, others.
So, to me Spirituality is about each individual's relationship with different aspects, or layers, of their experience, their relationship with Self, their relationship with their Near Self and their relationship with their Far Self and, of course, the inter-relationship between all three.
In my ongoing attempt to master the art it has become clear to me that one way I can adequately describe the system of Polarity therapy is that it is an effective tool to genuinely engage with another individual consciousness and assist that individual to allow Spiritual(as carefully defined above) harmony to manifest. This in turn effects all the relationships encountered by the individual, whether with other beings, objects or concepts and enables the individual to develop effective relationships with whatever or whoever is encountered.
Polarity therapy, thus, seeks to deliver a Spiritual harmony that leads to Physical, Mental and Emotional balance. This is important to me because without these attributes, attributes that lead to personal congruence, individual empowerment and a sense of individual responsibility in how an individual views their own, unique existence, this system would hold no value to me, it would not have integrity.
So, to me the definition, the "elevator brief" of Polarity therapy, can be re-presented thus:
... the Science of Health, rather than of Disease. It is a system that redefines the Spiritual basis of our existence as one of relationship (with Self), and relies on the Spiritual and Energetic rapport delivered through an integrated system of body work, counseling, dietary advice and exercise, that enables harmony to return to one's Physical, Mental and Emotional experience.
I believe this description adequately reflects Dr Stone's approach and supports that postulated by Bruce Berger in his book "The body as consciousness", a book that delves into Polarity therapy as a practical extension of the Advaita Vedanta, the philosophical basis of the Aruvedic system.