In this writer’s experience, apparently shared by others, the “Electro-Magnetic Model” is not sufficient to explain certain aspects of the Polarity Therapy session. Certain questions are just inevitable: How long do I need to hold the points? The answer is always the same: Until the energy balances. How do you know the energy is balanced? Our nervous system senses the energy as several sensations: Tingling, vibrating, heat or pulsation. When you feel these sensations with equal intensity in each hand, you know the energy is balanced. 4
These kinds of questions often arise in Polarity classes, but answers such as the above are subjective and indefinite. Turning to Stone’s books for guidance can lead to even more questions in the same vein. Many more comparisons than are shown in this chart are possible, but it would be too confusing to the mind. To illustrate a few, let us say the liver pole, under the nose, under the diaphragm, extends sideways as the liver does, and we find a very fine contact pole for the therapy over the right jaw, opposite the same area. (Vol. II, Book 5, p. 50-51)
Reading this passage, students may ask the obvious question, "how do I know when I am there?" Does "find" refer to something subjective the practitioner feels internally in some way, or something objective the practitioner notices in the client?
As another example: Contracted tissue is over-stimulated in any field. It needs polarizing with its opposite field because its circuit is broken or inhibited somewhere along the way. This can be easily detected by a sensitive touch... (Vol II, Book 5, p. 76)
Again, phrases are problematic. Is it contracted tissue which is easy to feel, or does Stone actually palpate the broken energy circuit? If the latter, how does it feel and how does feeling it become easy? Are there any prerequisites to a broken circuit being easily palpable? How does one become sensitive?
Suspicion that there is more to Polarity Therapy than fixing broken circuits is greatly fueled by the following account by Richard Heckler, quoted at length because it illustrates the problem so well.
But despite his extensive knowledge and skills, it is [Dr. Stone’s] presence and the way he made contact that has stayed with me the most. He treated everyone both differently and the same. He had a genuine and natural sense of compassion that made everyone equal in his eyes, and at the same time he saw everyone for who they were. Dr. Stone put on no airs, but I felt that nearly all of his patients, at least those I saw, were moved by his powerful love and care. I know that I was. He had a presence that touched people, and it was this presence, not technique, that was the basis of his healing...
Dr. Stone was overflowing with techniques and theories, but his richness came from the presence he brought to a situation. For decades he traveled around the world visiting and researching any healer or system he thought worthwhile. But all of this information was not what made him effective as a teacher and healer, and he was the first to admit it. He would often say that what he did was very simple. "You have to move the energy currents. You have to go beneath the problem, under the symptom, to get at the cause of things," he would say, his large hands smoothing and shaping the air in front of him as he spoke...
When asked how to do this Dr. Stone would say, "You have to feel the other person inside of you. You have to feel their health and their sickness inside of you, and then you understand what to do and you just do it. This comes from the work you do with yourself..."
So despite his vast knowledge and learning, it was really how Dr. Stone brought himself to each situation that inspired life and understanding. In all of the years that I worked with him, I don't think I saw him use more than ten or twelve techniques. He could demonstrate and teach an endless amount of technique, but when he actually worked with people, his spirit simply connected with the spirit of his client. The few techniques he did use seemed almost inconsequential.
To understand what Dr. Stone meant when he said "to feel the person inside of you" and "you have to understand their health and sickness inside you," we must realize that the ability to perceive, connect with, and assist someone else is directly related to the depth of connection we have with ourself.. 5
Based on the above considerations, the problem of how to describe why and how Polarity Therapy works is not fully addressed by the "ElectroMagnetic Model." Other factors seem to be at work, involving processes not clearly articulated in existing literature including the APTA Standards for Practice. Textbooks, conference presentations and school curricula often make use of concepts outside the basic model. John Beaulieu speaks of "tuning into the energy" 6 as a suggestion for session work, though the precise meaning of this is not described.
Many quotations from Stone also reflect this problem. He seems to be describing something beyond wiring, but does not spell it out.
"The true doctor should know Life, feel it and understand its pattern of flow, like a blueprint of life, the same as he knows his anatomy, so he can skillfully direct its wireless currents by removing the blocks and short circuits in the various fields." (Vol. II, Book 5, p. 27)
4. Kiewe, Howard, Polarity Therapy Technique: Basic Protocol, Health Training Group, Toronto, 1998. p. 7
Heckler, Richard, The Anatomy of Change, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 1984. P 113-116
Beaulieu, John, Polarity Therapy Workbook, Biosonic, New York, 1995. p. 197