Massage & Bodywork

May | June 2014

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While the mystery of the human energy system was challenging to discuss not that long ago, more and more evidence for its existence accumulates every day. The details of human energy, and its application to health and wellness, continue to be explored in various studies— among the earliest were the "Copper Wall" experiments conducted by Elmer Green, PhD, from 1991–1993. 1 Polarity therapy and biodynamic craniosacral therapy (BCST) are two different bodywork systems that endeavor to create a deeper relationship with this mystery, and to help us understand the real essence of the healing process. Interestingly, both have their roots in osteopathic medicine, which has always professed to be both a philosophy and a science. When used in conjunction, both therapies strive, in their different ways, to understand—or at least appreciate—the mysteries of life. Polarity Therapy Polarity therapy was developed by Randolph Stone, DO, an osteopathic physician, chiropractor, and naturopath who also studied cutting-edge trends in medicine during his time, as well as ancient medical systems from multicultural sources. Assembling this knowledge, Stone came to believe there was one common denominator to health and healing —energy. He wrote: "Energy is the real substance behind the appearance of matter and forms." 2 Stone developed polarity therapy as an integrative health system aimed at balancing the human energy system, leading to more balanced physiology, increased vitality, better self- regulation, and greater self-awareness. The name itself refers to energetic charges as the basis of all interactions: chemical, physical, structural, and so on. The system includes fi ve arenas of therapeutic work: polarity therapy bodywork, energy exercises (sometimes called polarity yoga), energetic nutrition, self-awareness, and the healing power of love. All fully trained polarity therapists are familiar with these fi ve arenas of health, though many choose to specialize in just one—for example, bodywork. Polarity therapy bodywork uses three styles of contact, or engagement, with the client, in resonance with three principles that govern energy movement: • Sattvic is neutral, or balancing, and involves light contact on the surface of the body or working in the energy fi eld around the body; sattvic contacts do not manipulate the soft tissues. Polarity therapy is sometimes practiced entirely sattvically, with an emphasis on balancing the energy dynamics in the fi eld. I t p a y s t o b e A B M P C e r t i f i e d : w w w. a b m p . c o m / g o / c e r t i f i e d c e n t r a l 75 By Roger Gilchrist As we practice therapeutic bodywork, we inevitably come up against the mysteries of life. All of our training, our experience in practice, and our continuing education can be—in a moment—challenged and humbled when we encounter such mystery. � By Roger Gilchrist � By Roger Gilchrist By Roger Gilchrist � By Roger Gilchrist � Exploring Polarity TherapY and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy

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