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Rivers of Spaciousness…Across Oceans An Interview with Gary Strauss, BCPP, RPE, MS

by Meredith Zelman Narissi, MS, BCPP

Polarity Therapy is on the cutting edge of this revolution – bringing the study of energy out of the esoteric realm of quantum physics and nuclear particle accelerators into, quite literally, the palms of our hands…Gary Strauss

It was a spacious room…a yoga room. I was sitting on a massage table awaiting my first real Polarity Session to begin. He entered the room. There was a lot of space between us. He looked a little wild with his long hair and steady gaze. (Check out the above photo!) His wild nature comes naturally, because he loves Nature. He has been known to teach classes among the Redwoods. I remember thinking…  “Is he judging me…how do I appear…do I make a good impression…what does he see?” That was only the first few seconds of the session. This is what I remember the most.

Whatever happens in spaciousness is significant. These days I’ve been known to tell my own clients: “There is enough space in the Universe to hold any emotion you may have.”

I suppose back then Gary Strauss was giving me space…a respectful distance…time for both of us to observe. To observe the observable and the observers!

I had other sessions with him when he came to New York, and some wisdom was always shared; the kind that stays in one’s memory. His thoughtful insight, in few words, is still with me. He does this kind of sharing worldwide. Gary’s unique perspective on healing, energy and “holding space” is profoundly powerful.

Gary B. Strauss, BCPP, RPE, MS is a Master Practitioner and world-famous Polarity Therapy and CranioSacral Unwinding Instructor. He is the founder and director of Life Energy Institute and Polarity Healing Arts of California. Gary’s schools, listed in more detail below, are in Topanga, California, Tempe, Arizona, New York city, Long Island, and Kobe, Japan; as well as classes and retreats held in places like Budapest, Switzerland, and more. His compassion and devotion to helping people through his work is deeply poignant, and with over 40 years of experience in the Energy Medicine field, his expertise, techniques and skills in the Energetic Healing Arts are renowned and admired globally. He says:

In the US, Life Energy Institute is in Culver City, CA: our main school. It is often taught in Nature… in the Santa Monica Mountains under redwood trees! Over 20 years in Nature is the perfect setting…close to all things.

The latest laws state: California and Arizona both regulate massage on a statewide level, and classes in Polarity can count toward the Arizona Massage License or California Massage Certification. (California only licenses massage by local municipality in addition to the statewide certification.)

You can get an Associate Degree in Occupational Studies in Holistic Healthcare with a core study in Polarity. Classes have become very integrated with the traditional world, so we partner as a school with other entities, and we bring our work into hospitals and clinics. People from colleges often come to us too. As far as electives go, we have a large cranial program in Arizona and we include other electives like Hypnotherapy, Yoga, Myofacial, Lomi Lomi, and many more. 

We are incredibly progressive in our work. We have never stopped improving…we keep making things better; like APTA upgrading the profession! The work of Dr. Stone is still the tradition, but we have evolved in how we use the work.

Gary goes on to say that, “Most mature practitioners are eclectic!” Pointing out that we have a “unique landscape in the picture of the energy paradigm.”

He offers retreats all the time…intensives in different parts of the world. “We just finished a retreat in Japan. We even translated Polarity work into Japanese…thousands of people everywhere can read this work. We offer RPP (Registered Polarity Practitioner) and RPE (Registered Polarity Educator) programs that include over 100 people a year. It is a big school. In 40 years, we have trained more than 10,000 people. We have had a robust program for many years. Next, we are offering a silent retreat in Ojai, California, in late July.”

His schedule is robust! He just completed a course in NYC where 32 new people opened their eyes to Polarity. Gary Recently took on a huge endeavor to help the Polarity community. He points out that many small schools could not survive the shifts in requirements with the new laws. Recently he took over IPSB, which was known as the Institute for Psycho-Structural Balancing, Los Angeles’ premier bodywork school for over 40 years and integrated it into the Life Energy Institute. He invested heavily in keeping the school alive.

“Like APTA with BCPP (Board Certified Polarity Practitioner) it is a profound thing, like giving birth. We did it for Polarity and the community. My schools flourish without BCPP, but we did it for integrity. It will be profound in our world. We are taking our place in our community. We have made a place for Polarity in our profession”.

I began to notice that the word Integrity kept popping-up. So, I asked him what integrity meant to him. His response was beautiful:

“Everybody has a different idea about the secret of life. The most powerful thing you have is your conscious intent; in the space for your life becoming what you want it to be…and being in alignment with it! That is integrity”.

He went on to reference this quote as a key to happiness:

Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny.   


Gary Strauss offers up his gratitude for this understanding in a big way. As a child he remembers that:

 My parents came through WWII and they were grateful to be alive…they passed this on to me. Now when somebody comes back to me and says: ‘You helped me change my life,’ or ‘You saved my life’…that’s everything. I am grateful. I am touched by the spaciousness of things.

We have something that is so precious: Life energy/Polarity/ Dr. Stone…now it is grounded in accreditation. We have the freedom to use this how we want to, in integrity!

Sometimes we get lost, but this is the bigger picture. I wish for people to wake up. When you wake up to this you are more connected with the flow of the Universe. Polarity does that very elegantly.

I am filled with gratitude.

When I asked Gary what he would tell members of APTA here is what he added:


It is a great moment for us!

It has been a long time since that early Polarity session with Gary Strauss. Recently, he was also my mentor in helping to study for the BCPP exam. For all his “space,” up close and personal, even over the computer, he is humble and intimate, sharing his knowledge, love and gratitude generously.

 Like rivers of spaciousness…across oceans, he touches the world deeply with his gifts.

Life Energy Institute is a resource and educational center

for the advancement of Life Energy based therapies.

Contact Us:

IPSB at Life Energy Institute
For all California classes, programs and related info:


For all other classes and programs at any of our other locations:

Gary Strauss, BCPP, RPE, MS

Life Energy Institute
Polarity Therapy & Integrative Craniosacral Unwinding, SWIHA: Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona, or classes in New York City, and Kobe, Japan:


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