This article is reprinted from PolarityEducation.org, the online resource for polarity practitioners worldwide, created and maintained by Philip Young and Morag Campbell.
As the pharmaceutical industry's "one pill for every disease" concept loses credibility among medical professionals and researchers, author and researcher James L. Oschman writes, many of the most thoughtful clinicians are beginning to look at organisms and cells as physical/energetic systems rather than as "bags of chemicals."
In this atmosphere, Oschman writes, Randolph Stone's concepts of polarity -- and the fundamental causes of inflammation and disease -- take on primary significance. He explains why in this article, originally written for those who interested in his workshops on the same subject. (If you are, click on the link under his name to go to his web site.)
By James L. Oschman, Ph.D.
Nature's Own Research Association
The fundamental aspect of Polarity Therapy is the term, polarity. The founder of Polarity Therapy, Dr. Randolph Stone, D.C., D.O., was referring to the essential attraction and repulsion phenomena that go to the heart of particle physics and the organization of all matter in the universe, including living things. Stone predicted that science would someday provide a deeper appreciation of the unseen forces and energies he was drawing attention to, and this has begun to happen. Recent medical science has documented a fundamental polarity involved in virtually all chronic diseases and disorders. It is the neutralization of electrically polarized molecules called free radicals. Inflammation is an essential step in the injury repair process, and free radicals are involved in destroying bacteria, viruses, and damaged cells. But when the inflammatory response persists longer than it is needed, healthy cells and tissues are damaged. A series of studies has led researchers to conclude that many if not most common chronic diseases and disorders and many of the problems associated with aging are actually the result of inflammatory responses that have outlived their usefulness. This workshop concerns the science behind this concept and ways therapists can facilitate the balancing of free radicals by means of energy techniques such as Polarity Therapy.
When Dr. Randolph Stone formulated the principles of Polarity Therapy, some 40 years ago, the academic field of biophysics was in its infancy. Stone's ideas were based on his understandings and perceptions of energy, a decidedly physical concept. His therapeutic approach involved an appreciation of the ways energy and biology and health interact. Considering such matters, of course, placed him ahead of his time, and entirely out of step with trends in modern medicine. Only recently has academic medicine begun to look into the questions Stone posed. The reason it has taken so long: the historical dominance of the biochemical/pharmaceutical/mechanical models of disease.
As the 21 st century begins, we are witnessing an abrupt decline in the biochemical/pharmaceutical paradigm. In essence, this approach has run its course; it has exhausted its potential. An industry has grown up around the concept of "a pill for every disease," and the financial future of pharmaceuticals is based on perpetuating an illusion that there are still greater advances to come. However, thoughtful clinicians and researchers are realizing the real future of medicine lies in the new possibilities that open to them once they look at organisms and at cells as physical/energetic systems rather than as bags of chemicals. In this expansive and creative atmosphere, Randolph Stone's concepts of polarity take on fundamental significance.
One reason for the modern significance of Stone's discoveries is that he was attempting to derive a more complete system, a system that would encompass some of the important but poorly appreciated discoveries of his predecessors who had already explored the frontiers of therapeutics. Hence Stone's synthesis takes on a historic as well as a practical significance. This is not a minor issue, for Stone and his predecessors made some remarkable discoveries of timeless importance that fit in with modern perspectives.
The fundamental aspect of Polarity Therapy is the term, polarity. Here we are referring to the essential attraction and repulsion phenomena that go to the heart of particle physics and the organization of all matter in the universe, including the matter making up the human body. Polarity is thus a foundation principle that has implications at all levels of the cosmos, from the galactic scale to the level of organisms, tissues, cells, molecules, and atoms. It is inescapable, for example, that we are composed of atoms, and that a complete medicine must include an appreciation of the properties of those atoms. And atoms are composed of yet smaller particles, such as electrons and protons, which exhibit a high degree of electrical polarity. Atoms and all of the molecules and cells and tissues formed from them exist by a balance of huge forces created by electrical polarities. Finally, a dominant feature of atoms is that they are mainly composed of space. But that space is far from empty, it is a place of vast activity, of huge forces and potentials. It is the medium through which the enormous polarities of nature express themselves. And Randolph Stone correctly pointed out that the space within the human body is continuous with the space comprising Nature as a whole.
On a practical level, Stone recognized that the energetic polarities within the human body result in essential streams or flows. When the various energies are flowing freely and are in proper balance, we are in a state of health. Our living systems are then poised to respond quickly to any outside influence that might tend to create an imbalance. But when there are obstructions or crosscurrents or short circuits in the energy flows, we experience pain and/or limitation of motion and decreased physiological functions. Stone's therapies aimed to restore and optimize the natural flows of energy within the organism. Broken or shorted circuits must be found and corrected, just as in the wiring of a home.
This background sets the stage for a discussion of polarity therapy from a biophysical perspective. A recent discovery relates to all of our theoretical and therapeutic approaches, regardless of the discipline or modality we identify ourselves with. It is a discovery of a fundamental polarity that has been correlated with all of the so-called "diseases" modern medicine has described. The term, "diseases" has been placed in quotation marks because we are coming to understand that there may actually be a single "disease," a deficiency or imbalance in energy that is correctable via energetic means. All of the different diseases described in the pathology books are then seen for what they really are: descriptions of different symptoms that arise when certain tissues are not properly energized. And we are coming to understand precisely what we mean when we say a tissue is not properly energized.
In previous writings on this subject I have attempted to describe the term, "energy," in a more precise manner. We can refer to different kinds of energy that have been well characterized by physicists: magnetism, electricity, heat, sound, light, elasticity, vibration, chemical energy, and so on. I have often emphasized magnetic or biomagnetic energies because they are relatively easy to measure and we know much about them, but I always point out that the other forms of energy are probably equally important in the operation of the organism. Now I discuss another type of energy that ties right in with the polarity concepts of Randolph Stone.
There is a fundamental reaction that takes place when the body is injured. When I use the term, "injured," I am not just referring to falling off a bicycle or accidentally bumping my head. I am also including the countless "injuries" that take place during the day, when we carry a weight, physical or emotional, longer than we need to. In a sense, all of our daily activities introduce wear and tear into our tissues, and we must somehow recover from all of this. We are, in essence, continually recovering from microscopic injuries or wear and tear or generalized stress produced when we attempt to accomplish all the things our chosen life style demands of us.
The healing of physical or emotional trauma is one of the most remarkable of living processes. Any injury or disease triggers the migration of a variety of kinds of cells toward a problem area, to fight infection and replace damaged tissues. A variety of factors stimulate tissue repair and then wind it down when healing is complete. Some of these activities persist for weeks or even months after an injury.
The inflammatory response is an essential part of the healing process, and is activated immediately after a trauma. In addition to lymphocytes and other blood cells, highly reactive proteins called free radicals accumulate at the site of an injury or infection. Free radicals are electrically charged molecules that are involved in all tissue healing and in many other living processes. The production of free radicals is a normal part of the immune system's response to injury or trauma of any kind. The reaction of free radicals with tissues is an ultimate expression of polarity, of the coming together of opposite charges.
In essence, a free radical is an unstable molecule lacking an electron. Electrons typically come in pairs, and to restore the pair a free radical must grab an electron from another molecule. This process, called oxidation, is violent: it is destructive to the molecule attacked by the free radical. This destructive process is vital to life when the damaged molecule is part of a bacterium or virus or a cell that has been injured and needs to be broken down and replaced. Problems arise, though, when free radicals persist after they have done their clean-up job. This is when a beneficial acute inflammatory response turns into a persistent chronic inflammation, and the free radicals begin to attack normal cells. This results in redness, heat, swelling, pain, tenderness, and limitation of joint motion, as well as a spectrum of symptoms that are usually identified as specific "diseases."
Free radicals can damage normal cells by attacking proteins, DNA and lipids. To prevent this, living systems have antioxidant defenses that scavenge the free radicals and render them harmless. And the body has repair systems that restore molecules that have been moderately damaged by free radicals. But when the production of free radicals continues longer than necessary, and is not balanced by the antioxidant defense systems, a serious problem called oxidative stress can arise. Scientists are recognizing that this "inflammation syndrome" is the immediate cause of many chronic problems.
Hence chronic inflammation appears to be the result of a failure to completely wind down the natural healing process. It is characterized by a vicious cycle in which residual free radicals continue to damage healthy tissues, which triggers further inflammatory responses. Such persistent inflammation seems to be the common thread in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and many of the problems associated with aging: atherosclerosis, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis. Key evidence comes from many studies showing that people who regularly use nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are less afflicted by diseases of aging than those who do not. Further extensive research from Harvard Medical School has shown that a biochemical marker for inflammation, known as C-reactive protein, is a potent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other chronic problems in both men and women.
The traditional way of viewing chronic inflammation is chemical, and a whole variety of antioxidant drugs have been developed. But we are coming to understand that there is also a biophysical perspective in which physical methods can be used to balance free radicals. The key physical entity that can balance free radicals is the electron. Supplying electrons to inflamed tissues then becomes a natural method of treatment. Removal of free radicals after an injury has been repaired is a matter of supplying electrons that balance charges. Anti-oxidants are scavengers of free radicals; they donate electrons to reestablish charge balance in the atomic structure. The electron is the ultimate antioxidant. And the ultimate and abundant source of electrons is the Earth. Hence these concepts take us to a concept most therapists are familiar with: grounding.
What does all of this have to do with Polarity Therapy? The answer lies in the potential of one organism to provide another with the electrons needed to neutralize free radicals, and to open the natural circuits and pathways of electron flow within the body. Practical ways of accomplishing this will be the subject of the workshop.