Who are you? Of course, you are Spirit - eternal, infinite, and universal. When Spirit enters a body, the energy becomes denser as it binds itself to earth plane. The Energy of Spirit appears as streams of consciousness. The ancients called them ETHER, AIR, FIRE, WATER, and EARTH. One or more of these streams (elements) dominate in us today.

Think about the last time you were with a group, and see if you can recognize each element in action. Sue sat quietly, observing, above it all. Someone called her spacey. Her ETHER element was strong! Joe was quick and alert. He came up with lots of ideas. A great inspiration to others, but most of the time he was just full of AIR. Jack was a go-getter, risk taker, and liked being boss. He suggested many creative projects. Sometimes quick tempered, direct, and aggressive, Jack burned with the FIRE of inner creativity. Mary used her deep, intuitive, emotional senses to tell everyone how she, and they, felt. Her WATER element focused on the emotions of the group. Sam came up with practical ways to accomplish all the ideas of others. He was solid, dependable and down to EARTH. We need all five of these personalities blended and in balance, in order to accomplish our goals in life.

Polarity Therapy, developed by Dr. Randolph Stone, D.C., D.O., (1890-1981), is a comprehensive system of balancing these body/mind/spirit energies through bodywork, nutrition, exercise, and counseling


ETHER governs the spaces within the body, and disturbances appear most often as joint problems. AIR rules movement within the body and is associated with functioning of the lungs, heart, and nervous system. FIRE provides the heat for digestion and body temperature. WATER is associated with the genital and reproductive areas of the body, and body liquids. EARTH element rules the bones.

The elements travel through the body in biomagnetic waves, going from positive (+) through neutral (o) to negative (-) poles. Air polarizes in the shoulder (+), kidneys (o), calves (-). Fire in the head (+), solar plexus (o) thighs (-). Water includes the breasts (+), pelvis (o), and feet (-). Earth poles are neck (+), bowels (o) knees (-). Polarity works to unblock stuck flows by connecting the energy between each pole. Similar to cleaning a water pipe of leaves, once the flow is cleared, the body’s own self-healing functions freely.


ETHER is the prime element latent in all things, providing space and balance for all elements to unfold. Ether is essential to our sense of connectedness with spirit and wellbeing. In the body, ether is space, particularly in the chest and joints. Out of balance, we have problems with our breathing, joint pain, and difficulties expressing ourselves. Balanced ether promotes our sense of joy and union. Lack of ether is connected with the feeling of grief and separateness.

AIR is lightness and movement. On a still day we feel listless and heavy, while on a windy day we feel refreshed and enlivened. Air is associated with the east, a new day, and new beginnings. Air signs include: Gemini (shoulders and arms, lungs and respiration); Libra (kidneys); Aquarius (legs). Imbalances are seen as nervous exhaustion, panic attacks, headaches, gas, bronchitis, heart problems, neuralgia, and leg cramps. Balanced air promotes our sense of love, devotion, and compassion.

FIRE is light and heat. Fire is transformative and is associated with willpower and creative force. Fire is connected with the south, the summer, and purification. Fire signs include: Aries (head); Leo (solar plexus); Sagittarius (thighs). Fire imbalances include headaches, eye disorders, digestive disorders, liver problems, pain and weakness of the legs. Too much fire results in sympathetic dominance or the typical type A personality – stressed and burned-out! Unbalanced Fire shows as anger and resentment. Well-balanced fire is forgiveness and enthusiasm.

WATER, the source of all life, formless and flowing. Water is associated with the west, the fall, the time to go deep and let our emotions flow. Water signs include: Cancer (breasts); Scorpio (genitals), and Pisces (feet). Imbalances show as breast tenderness and lumps, skin, menstrual, prostate problems and foot and back pain. Balanced water allows us to relax and let go, while unbalance reflects our attachment to worldly things.

EARTH is dense, passive, the great provider. It has permanency and stability. Earth is associated with the north, winter, and material affairs. Earth signs include: Taurus (neck); Virgo (bowels); and Capricorn (knees). Balanced earth reflects in strong bones, active assimilation and elimination, and flexible necks. When unbalanced, fear takes over and we experience neck stiffness, constipation and weak bones (osteoporosis). Balanced we find courage and contentment.

Polarity Self-Balancing combines nutrition, visualization, sound, reflexes, and exercise to promote well being. Here are some simple techniques to balance the five elements.

USE YOUR HANDS. Your right hand is your positive or giving hand. Your left hand is your negative or receiving hand. By placing your hands on your body opposite each other (front to back, side to side, or top to bottom) you automatically establish an energy flow between the positive and negative poles. Place your right hand over congested, tender areas and your left opposite it to establish flow away from congestion. Place your left hand over areas that lack vitality and your right hand opposite to draw vital energy into the area.

NUTRITION: Food increases the flow and potency of elements. Air foods grow high above the ground, including fruits and nuts. Seeds and grains growing above the ground (sesame and sunflower seed, corn, wheat, rice, beans) increase the Fire of digestion. Water foods growing nearest to the ground (green vegetables and melons) balance a fiery system adding a sense of flow to the body. Comfort foods of Earth grow under the ground (potatoes, carrots, onions, beets) and provide a sense of grounding and stability.

VISUALIZATIONS: To increase the flow of an element, simply visualize its properties. Imagine feeling the wind moving to increase Air. Watch a blazing campfire to increase Fire. To cool fire, imagine floating on the ocean. When feeling “spacey”, pretend you are moving down into a cave in the earth. Or actually do them! Stand outside in the wind. Take your shoes off and walk on the earth. Walk in a cool mountain stream. The body responds quickly to real or imagined changes of scenery.

SOUNDS: Each element is associated with a particular chakra (spinning wheel of energy) located at different regions of the body. Chakra sounds can balance the elements. Say or sing the following sounds aloud, repeating each 3 times. Sing “HAM” to expand Ether in the throat. Feel Air moving in the chest while singing “YAM”. Feel “RAM”, the sound of fire, in the solar plexus; water, ”VAM“ in the pelvic area; and “LAM”, earth, deep at the base of the spine. When feeling out of balance, repeat the sound that sooths your mind/body state. Water and earth calm air and fire. Use VAM or LAM when under stressful activity to calm down. When feeling low and lethargic, energize yourself by singing RAM or YAM.

POLARITY REFLEXES: The energy of the elements run through our fingers and toes. By holding and massaging a particular finger or toe, we can balance individual currents and flows within the entire body. Ether (o) thumb and big toe. Air (-) index finger and second toe. Fire (+) middle finger and third toe. Water (-) ring finger and fourth toe. Earth (+) little finger and toe. Reflect on the common use of the fire finger for anger and the ring finger for love and you will see their connection with the elements.

POLARITY EXERCISES: A few basic exercises, done daily for 2-3 minutes without stress or strain can balance the elements. Check with your medical advisor prior to beginning any new exercise program.
The SQUAT (All elements): Bend your knees and squat down, with elbows at knees and hands holding the bottom of your feet. Gently rock while in this position. Note that this is an “eastern” squat – your knees must remain behind your toes, with your buttocks close to the floor during this exercise. Dot not strain. Place a book under your heels to make this easier)
CLIFFHANGER (Ether and Air): Stand, place the heels of your hands on a firm table behind you, and slide your bottom straight down, bending your knees and keeping your elbows close together.
PUNCHING (Fire): Stand, both hands in a fist, take a breath and push your right hand our forcibly while shouting “HA”. Breathe in while punching left hand out.
SISSORS KICK (Water): Lay on your stomach, bend your knees, and swing your lower legs back and forth across each other.
CEREBRAL SPINAL BOUNCE (Earth): Stand, feet apart, hands on thighs, arms straight. Bend knees and gently “bounce” body in rhythmical movement.
Listen to your own body and do the exercises within your comfort zone.

Energy Precedes Form. All dis-ease is a byproduct of an imbalanced energy system. Our energy becomes disorganized when we experience mental, emotional, or physical strain or trauma. Energy can easily be realigned. Once the blocks are removed, we can connect fully with the eternal Source of Energy, Balance and Health.

Beaulieu,John (1994) Polarity Therapy Workbook. BioSonic enterprises, Ltd. New York, New York.
Campbell, Morag (1995) Quinta Essentia: The Five Elements. Masterworks, Devon, England.
Chitty, John and Muller, Mary Louise (1990) Energy Exercises for Health and Vitality Polarity Press, Boulder, Colorado
Stone, Randolph (1986) Polarity Therapy, Volume One, Two and Health Building. CRCS Publications, Sebastopol, CA.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Henry is an Associate Polarity Practitioner at Mountain Valley Center and The Otto Labyrinth Park in Otto, North Carolina and author of Energy SourceBook – The Fundamentals of Personal Energy (Llewellyn, 2004) For further information you may call 888-773-2491, write to Mountain Valley Center, 43 Shambala Way, Otto, NC 28763 or visit http://www.mountainvalleycenter.com