Once again, I feel the need to mention that this series of posts is not meant to be trash talk anyone who experiences, practices, or believes in the effects of polarity therapy. There are many different types of body work that exist. Some are scientifically backed, and while others may make you feel good, but there is no science supporting the claims that the practitioners make. Polarity therapy is one of those body works. Although it may make you feel good, there is just no evidence to support the idea that it actually does anything for your body.
Created by Dr. Randolph Stone, polarity therapy claims that the qi inside the human body works as a magnet, with a positive “pole” and a negative “pole.” Qi flows through these poles, and the goal of polarity therapy is to achieve a balance of the energy flow. The free flow of this energy through the positive and negative poles creates an atmosphere for optimal health in the human body.
Polarity therapy can be integrated with other forms of body work and exercises, such as massage therapy, or yoga. Unlike other forms of energy work, polarity therapy also includes focus on diet, exercise, and lifestyle counseling.
There are different currents of energy flow through the body. The long-line currents run north and south, the transverse currents run sideways, and the spiral currents begin in the navel and spiral outward. The polarity therapist scans the body to find blockages in the movement of this energy. The practitioner then uses a variety of techniques to clear these blockages. Polarity therapy claims to help with illness such as allergies, mental illness, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, and migraines, among others.
The Wellness Institute claims that “Current research demonstrates that electromagnetic forces are the foundation of life, documenting what the ancients said about life energy, chi, or prana.” No citation is given to direct the reader to research, and in fact there is no evidence to support any claims that are made by practitioners of polarity therapy.
While it is possible that the claims polarity therapy makes are entirely true, there is no evidence to support any claims made. The only evidence to support polarity therapy is feedback from recipients, which as discussed in earlier BWTDW posts, could be the result of a placebo effect.
As I mentioned in my posts on reiki and reflexology, I do not believe that practitioners of polarity therapy intentionally mislead people. I think that they truly believe that what they do helps people.
However, I always have and always will hold the stance that it is incredibly irresponsible for someone to make unfounded claims that a type of treatment can cure or treat any pathology. People frustrated with feeling pain will desperately turn to anyone who claims that they can help. They trust that the information that they receive from the “expert” is researched and factual.
Not all of the facets of polarity therapy are unfounded. It should be noted that exercise and diet can certainly improve a person’s lifestyle, and even ease the effects of mental illness. However, the idea that the human body contains a flow of energy that affects our health is not based on any fact or research.
Of course, I make a lot of claims right here in this blog. I usually give sources, although I will admit that I do sometimes forget to save websites and lose them in the process. However, I challenge anyone who reads this blog to never ever take me at my word, and do your own research. I think that you will find that massage therapy is truly an amazing complementary therapy. Remember that massage is not an alternative form of medicine, it is only complimentary. You should always follow the advice of your primary care physician.
Bodyworks that Don’t Work
Exercise for Mental Health by National Center for Biotechnology Information
Polarity Therapy by encyclopedia.com
Polarity Therapy by The Wellness Institute
What Is Polarity Therapy? by Polarity Center & Shamanic Studies