Polarity therapy is a type of alternative medicine. It is an energy therapy that some believe can help ease stress, pain, and the symptoms of some diseases. However, researchers have found limited scientific evidence for this.

Polarity therapy is an alternative medicine treatment. According to the American Polarity Therapy Association (APTA), it restores the balance of the body’s energy through touch, exercise, nutrition, and self-awareness.

Dr. Randolph Stone, an osteopath, developed polarity therapy over many years, starting in 1948. His aim was to combine conventional medicine with other complementary and holistic health practices.

This article will explain what polarity therapy is, its possible uses and applications, and how it compares to other energy therapies, such as Reiki.

It will also look at how to find a polarity therapist and exercises that people can do at home.

a woman receives polarity therapyShare on Pinterest
ErikdeGraaf/Getty Images

Polarity therapy is a type of energy therapy. Other examples include:

  • Reiki
  • healing touch therapy
  • therapeutic touch

All energy therapy comes from three basic assumptions:

  • that blocked energy flows cause illness
  • that the mind and body have the power to heal themselves
  • that manipulating the internal energy flow, or life force, can help the mind and body to heal themselves

Unlike other energy therapists, those focusing on polarity therapy believe positive and negative charges in the body’s electromagnetic field control its energy. Advocates of polarity therapy sometimes call the body’s energy the life force, life energy, or chi.

Therapists use a combination of techniques, which they sometimes call “polarity balancing.” The Polarity Center says a typical therapy session will include bodywork or touch and a combination of nutrition, exercise, and counseling.

Although it is different for everyone, bodywork might include:

  • the therapist placing their hands above the person’s body to manipulate energy
  • the therapist touching the person’s body to manipulate energy

Polarity therapists believe the practice can boost well-being. They also claim it can help with several health conditions and their symptoms, including:

Many people say polarity therapy has helped them. However, it is worth noting there is little scientific evidence to back this up.

Researchers have conducted some studies, but these have tended to be small. Their results have been inconclusive.

An older 2011 pilot study focuses on a clinical trial of polarity therapy in 45 women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer. The researchers concluded that it might be able to help with cancer-related fatigue but asked for more evidence.

A 2012 study looked at whether the therapy could help with stress and pain in people whose family members had dementia. The researchers concluded it could decrease stress and improve well-being. However, the study involved just 42 people.

People tend to use polarity therapy to:

  • boost well-being
  • help ease the symptoms of some health conditions, such as fatigue or pain

All energy practitioners believe manipulating the body’s energy can contribute to healing.

Polarity therapists believe positive and negative charges in the electromagnetic field control the body’s energy.

Reiki practitioners believe that the body’s energy can run low. Therapists place their hands on the person to manipulate the energy and increase its levels in the body.

Unlike Reiki, polarity therapy also involves nutrition, yoga, and counseling.

The APTA has a directory of certified polarity therapy practitioners on its website.

All those listed have completed an advanced level of education and additional hours of clinical supervision experience. They have also passed the relevant exam.

Polarity therapy includes a range of yoga-type exercises. Dr. Stone designed them to help energy flow more freely throughout the body. Therapists usually tailor the list of exercises to each individual’s energy force.

Examples include:

Polarity exercise for the release of the brachial plexus and neck tension

Dr. Stone explained that the following exercise can release the chest muscles to help with breathing and release neck spasms.

To perform the exercise:

  • Lie with the back flat on the floor.
  • Raise the knees and hold onto the inner thighs, hands resting near the pelvis.
  • Pull the legs up with the hands, then lower the legs, while bringing the head and upper body off the floor.
  • While still holding onto the legs, lower the upper body back to the floor.
  • Continue the exercise in a rocking motion.

Polarity exercise for diaphragm release

Dr. Stone said this exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles and frees the diaphragm.

To perform the exercise:

  • Lie with the back flat on the floor.
  • Straighten and tense the legs, holding them tightly together.
  • Place the hands on the upper abdomen, just below the ribs, and push firmly.
  • Slowly raise and lower the legs several times.

Polarity therapy is a type of energy therapy similar to Reiki.

Dr. Stone developed the system based on the belief that positive and negative charges in the body’s electromagnetic field control its energy. The therapy involves bodywork, nutrition, exercises, and self-awareness.

Proponents claim that polarity therapy can help ease stress, pain, and the symptoms of some diseases. However, there is limited evidence to support these claims.