Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dr. Randolph Stone; Body Mind Spirit Pioneer

Dr. Randolph Stone, the founder of Polarity Therapy, a body mind spirit therapy, emigrated to America as a youngster around 1898. He completed his primary medical certifications in the early 1920s, including Doctor of Osteopathy, Doctor of Chiropractic and Doctor of Naturopathy, but he was a lifelong student, eventually adding certifications in a wide range of topics including massage and midwifery.

His love of travel took him in search of medical insights from other cultures. The good doctor maintained a medical practice in Chicago for over 50 years, where his motto of “Whatever works, works!” established his reputation for taking otherwise hopeless cases, many of whom responded to his unconventional techniques and multicultural approaches.

Endlessly curious, Stone was fascinated by spiritual studies and mysticism. In the 1940s he deepened his knowledge of and commitment to esoteric (body mind spirit) understanding by accepting initiation in a meditation system based in India. His dedication to this yogic path continued uninterrupted for almost 40 years, and he made frequent visits to India to study and develop his inner knowledge.

By the late 1940s Stone had synthesized his collected information into his first book, Energy, published in 1947, theorizing that the polarized fields of attraction and repulsion, as found in all magnetic relationships and in the atomic sub-structure, were the underlying reality of all physical phenomena, especially health. A series of seven books and pamphlets followed, further explaining his basic ideas about energy and providing numerous healing techniques.

In the mid 1950s Stone tried to interest the medical community in his body mind spirit ideas, offering free lectures, writing journal articles and repeatedly attempting to engage his colleagues in dialogue. These efforts were largely unsuccessful, as medical professionals from that era confidently pursued the miracles of drugs and surgery that characterized Western treatment.

In the 1960s, already in his mid-seventies, Stone suddenly found popularity for the first time with a new generation of body mind spirit health seekers for whom his blend of science and spirituality was not so unpalatable. In seminars in California he vigorously preached his message of holistic health. The seed of Polarity Therapy finally found enough fertile soil to survive. Dr. Stone retired in 1974 and moved to an Indian meditation community, where he offered free medical services in a public clinic. He gradually withdrew from public life, dying of natural causes.

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