"Polarity therapy is an alternative therapy that involves balancing the flow of energy in the body to improve or maintain health. It was developed by the chiropractor and osteopath Randolph Stone. Polarity therapy is also known as polarity balancing and polarity energy balancing. This type of therapy is somewhat influenced by the concepts of energy flow used in Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. However, polarity therapy differs from those types of medicine given its theory that positive and negative energy charges in the body's electromagnetic energy field govern the flow of energy. Those who practice polarity therapy use a number of techniques, including bodywork and stretching exercises, to balance energy flow and restore health to the body.
How Does Polarity Therapy Work?
According to practitioners of polarity therapy, illness is caused by disruptions in the body's energy flow and the resulting stress and trauma. Polarity therapy is based on the idea that there are three types of energy fields in the body:
Long-line currents that run north to south in the body
Transverse currents that run east-west in the body
Spiral currents that start at the navel and expand outward
To find the sources of energy blockages, polarity therapy practitioners scan the body for symptoms like pain, discomfort, muscle spasms, and muscle tension, especially in the shoulders and back. Once blockages are identified, the practitioner uses a variety of techniques to clear the paths of energy fields, including spinal realignment and movement exercises. In some cases, practices like deep-breathing, yoga, and hydrotherapy may also be incorporated into polarity therapy.
It's important for people with cancer and certain chronic conditions, including heart disease and arthritis, to consult their physician prior to undergoing polarity therapy. It's also important to note that using polarity therapy in place of standard care for a chronic condition or major illness like cancer may have serious consequences.
For help in finding a qualified practitioner of polarity therapy, ask your physician for a referral, or contact the American Polarity Therapy Association for more information.
Uses for Polarity Therapy
In alternative medicine, polarity therapy is said to help with the following health problems:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome
Additionally, proponents of polarity therapy claim that it can also improve range of motion, increase energy, alleviate pain, relieve stress and reduce swelling. Some also suggest that polarity therapy can stimulate the immune system and fend off diseases, including cancer.
Health Benefits of Polarity Therapy for Cancer and Stress
There is a lack of scientific support for claims that polarity therapy can treat specific health problems and conditions, but some studies suggest that polarity therapy may offer certain health benefits. Here's a look at some key findings from the available research on polarity therapy:
Polarity Therapy for Cancer
Preliminary research indicates that polarity therapy may help offset some of the adverse effects associated with certain cancer treatments. In a pilot study published in Integrative Cancer Therapies in 2005, researchers found that polarity therapy may help alleviate fatigue and improve quality of life among women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer.
In the study, 15 women receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer were assigned to one, two or no polarity therapy sessions. Results reveal that those assigned to polarity therapy experienced a significantly greater improvement in fatigue and quality of life compared to members of the control group.
In a 2011 study also published in Integrative Cancer Therapies, researchers assigned 45 women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer to receive either standard clinical care, massage or polarity therapy over the course of 3 weeks. At the study's end, members of the massage and polarity therapy groups reported greater improvements in fatigue and quality of life than members of the group assigned to standard care.
Polarity Therapy for Stress
Polarity therapy may help reduce stress, according to a 2009 study published in The Gerontologist. The study involved 42 caregivers of people with dementia. One group received eight sessions of polarity therapy, while a second group had a short-term relief of their caregiving duties. After assessing each participant, the study's authors determined that those given polarity therapies experienced a significantly greater reduction in stress levels. In addition, members of the polarity therapy group showed greater improvements in depression, pain, vitality, and general health.
It's important for people with cancer and certain chronic conditions (including heart disease and arthritis) to consult their physician prior to undergoing polarity therapy. It's also important to note that using polarity therapy in place of standard care for a chronic condition or major illness like cancer may have serious consequences."