Polarity therapy envisions the body as five elements. As a whole, the five elements create balance in the body. Every body contains all of the elements (air, fire, water, earth, and ether), however, one element is dominant and establishes our body type or dosha in Ayurvedic terms. For example: a naturally thin, narrow skeletal frame, and fast moving person is an airy body type. Each body type affects specific areas of the body. Using the example, an airy person will generally carry shoulder and ankle discomfort. They tend to have rounded shoulders as a protective measure for the heart. Identifying a person’s body type helps the therapist zone in on energy blockages in their client’s body. Balancing the five elements produces a free-flowing system which is the basis of polarity therapy.
There are three types of touch used in polarity therapy. Sattvic --- light to no touch:rajasic --- moderate to deep touch with a rocking motion: tamasic --- deep, penetrating touch.
Sattvic touch does not challenge the client’s resistance. It is gentle and calming: guiding the energy system into a neutral state of balance. This type of touch is applied at the beginning and end of a treatment to calm the client. In the beginning, it allows the therapist to "tune in" to the system without invading it. At the end of a treatment, it provides space for the client to look inward, giving them an opportunity to feel their bodies in a new state. This is very light physically, but it is core deep.
Rajasic touch is a stimulating directive touch. It awakens the energy flow and directs it from one area to another. Rocking is used to help the client take their mind off a painful area as well as move energy. Rocking for short periods of time with purpose stimulates the area, while rocking for a longer duration with light contact soothes the body.
Tamasic touch is applied to disperse deeply contracted and knotted areas. It is used in dense areas of the body that support deep touch. For example: deep contact in the head is not appropriate while it is well received in the feet or pelvis area. The science of reflexology utilizes tamasic touch most often due to the density of the structure being manipulated.