Polarity therapy is a holistic system of healing that draws on elements of both Eastern and Western medicine to promote well-being. The body is seen as made up of universal energy or Qiy which forms both the material and spiritual universe. The body is a system of energy fields which keep the life energy in constant motion, and it is believed to be the disruption or stagnation of this energy that leads to illness. Developed in the late 19th century by Dr Randolph Stone, an osteopath, chiropractor and naturopath working in the USA, polarity therapy combines different healing techniques to bring about the state of balance and health in the body, mind and emotions.

There are four aspects of polarity therapy: body awareness, posture and balance which are all retrained; cleansing diets and nutritional advice; awareness and counselling skills; and stretching exercises with specific bodywork based both on superficial and deep massage. Touch and manipulation are used to relieve stagnation and encourage energy to flow round the body. Since poor nutrition and digestion may often be a factor in physical problems, detoxifying diets are prescribed, followed by a health-building dietary regime. The patient’s state of mind has a direct impact on physical health, and so counselling is used when the practitioner feels that negative thoughts are impeding energy flow. Stretching exercises, or ‘polarity yoga’, are prescribed to release and harmonize energy.

Polarity therapy is not designed to treat specific symptoms, but to encourge healing through rebalancing the flow of energy. It requires some effort on the part of patients, who are asked to take responsibility for their own health by changing harmful habits. Polarity can be used to benefit many conditions, including allergies, ME, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular problems and aches and pains caused by stress. It may be used either by itself or in conjunction with other forms of more medicinally orientated therapies such as herbal medicine or homeopathy.