Massage & Bodywork

November/December 2012

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true story Our energy expands outward to experience life, and we feel the results of that experience as sensations when the energy cycles back toward us. Without opposite charges, or poles, no energy could flow, and no movement would be possible. Expansion. The first impulse of life is outward expansion, as our cells reproduce geometrically in the womb (two, four, eight, etc.) to build a physical form. This is a positively charged impulse. Contraction. Energy continues to expand until it is exhausted (like ripples in a pond) or until it is pulled back by an oppositely charged electromagnetic force toward its origin or source. This is an inwardly directed, negatively charged impulse. Chester was bedbound and underweight when he invited me into his home to see if touch therapy would make him feel more comfortable. He experienced relief from migraine headaches, shortness of breath, and belly pain during my visits. The effects lasted well into the next day, and eventually he began to get up and about again with his walker. We then did polarity therapy to work out the kinks in his right knee and shoulder that occurred as he increased his activity. Neutral Center. The third impulse is for balance between expansion and contraction. This is a neutrally charged point of stillness—the eye of the storm. Because of the nature of energy to move between oppositely charged poles through a neutral field, Stone named his modality polarity therapy. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ENERGY MOVEMENT Stressors stimulate our body's fight, flight, or freeze responses as a way of meeting the challenges of life. Any of these responses serves us well in the short term. When the stressors are unrelenting or greater than we can emotionally, mentally, or physically process, stress causes symptoms of distress. Many of the symptoms we consider stress-related are somatic and can become debilitating over time if unrelieved. Hospice clients often experience these symptoms due to their disease process and the stress of dying. Some examples of stress-related symptoms are: • Anxiety or panic attacks. • Breathing changes. • Changes in appetite. • Constipation or diarrhea. • Increased muscle tension and pain. • Indigestion. • Over- or underactivity. • Sleeplessness. Stone taught that pain and distress are the results of blocked energy. Relieving the energy block allows the body to self-correct, balance, and heal, thereby relieving the symptoms of distress. POLARITY THERAPY AND END-OF-LIFE CARE Polarity therapy is an ideal modality for end-of-life care. The use of touch in itself is therapeutic in a culture that tends to isolate the dying. Since hospice clients also tend to have physical challenges, a touch modality that is gentle is desirable. Polarity therapy can be done with the client in bed or in a chair, making the treatment easier for the client and the therapist. I quickly discovered that offering polarity foot reflexology was an acceptable form of touch for my clients and that it brought quick results in symptom relief. I bring a portable stool to assist me in achieving a comfortable position. POLARITY THERAPY AND ZONES OF ENERGY Stone learned that as energy pulses outward and back inward, zones of positive, neutral, and negative energy are set up. Energy congestion in any zone will resonate with the corresponding zones. Therefore, relieving congestion in one zone will also relieve congestion in the corresponding zones. Massaging the foot in the zone that corresponds with the symptom brings relief of the symptom. See what benefits await you. 111

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