Realizing Energies

Realizing Energies—: Answers for the Taking

August 9, 2007

* This article was originally published in the June/July 2007 issue of Massage & Bodywork magazine. It’s reprinted with permission from Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.

Realizing Energies: —Answers for the Taking* 

By Karrie Osborn

She knew it was out there, she felt it in herself and, later, in her clients. There was an answer, a possibility, waiting.

“I felt strongly there was some other potential that was untapped,” says Nancy Risley, founder of the Polarity Realization Institute in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

From working through past traumas to releasing somatic pain, the energy potential is there to help us in so many ways, Risley says. “We just need to tap into it and use it.” And that’s what she did in creating RYSE—, Realizing Your Sublime Energies, a process that facilitates the full realization of our innate energy systems for better health and well-being.

A Seeker Seeks

From the beginning, Risley knew there was more to this world than what most perceived. She says children have a gift of insight, but it’s usually lost with age and time. “For some reason I kept it,” she says. As an intuitive child, Risley’s desire to understand that part of herself kept her looking for answers. “I had some wonderful teachers,” she recounts today. “I was a seeker and I had an opportunity to seek.”

In the 1970s, Risley studied everything she could on energetic patterns, although most of the information at that time focused on chakras and the aura. When she came upon the work of Randolph Stone—creator of Polarity therapy—which further developed these other energetic concepts, it became the perfect vehicle for the path Risley was traveling. “Dr. Stone taught that these were moving and dynamic energetic patterns.” Risley says. “Health was experienced when healthy energy moved through these patterns unimpeded, illness or disease when the pattern was blocked.”

Risley says it was Stone’s melding of ayurvedic medicine and philosophy that helped her understand the laws of motion and the attraction of energy to create form.

“Simultaneously, I was intrigued with and rigorously practiced meditation to move energy. In meditation, my perception of the energetic systems was heightened, as well as my understanding of the way the energy moved through blocks. If energy got stuck in a block, it produced an uncomfortable physical or emotional pain which could last indefinitely until the energy—or rather the consciousness of a certain level of clarity—was moved.” Risley says she realized early on that by focusing on the energy itself, there was a direct and precise way to “touch” and move or change the energy to get it flowing freely. “There was no need to wait for it to build and maybe push through the block or not.”

The process for this explorer involved building her own “psychic muscle,” she explains, which, like anything else, took practice and development. When Risley would go back to her thriving private practice and translate this knowledge, she found new insight. “Any area of ‘stuckness’ a client experienced—physical, emotional, or in the realm of manifestation in their lives—showed up clearly in their energetic patterns. Changing the pattern alleviated the pain and created a forward motion in their lives. Simple.”

By viewing the energy pattern through the right paradigm, Risley says the pattern was easily perceived and changed. She began changing her work to meld with this higher intention of health.

“I wanted success for my clients in all areas of their lives,” she says. “Even though our professional relationship started out because of their neck or back pain, it would then grow to the personal empowerment issues and personal empowerment always touches on what is working and not working in all areas of life. And I would soon learn that all of that showed itself clearly within the energetic systems of the body.

“Every session I had with new clients, I would tell them that this is the way I work. My goal is to bring you to where our mutual goals are, but I need the freedom to do that.” For those who only wanted a “back rub,” Risley would refer them on, knowing both would be missing an opportunity. Instead, she focused on those clients who were hungry to find answers.

The Birth of RYSE

Risley considers herself an energy researcher. “It’s what thrills me,” she says. So the journey that culminated in the birth of RYSE was, for her, an adventure.

She began to see a bigger energetic picture after she tied Stone’s polarity and ayurvedic philosophies and the natural laws of energy to some of her own perceptions. “I could not have developed RYSE without Stone’s principles,” Risley says in homage.

The drive to push harder to find her answers came about because of three things, Risley says. The first was a desire to take her clients to their next level of accomplishment and well-being and knowing it was possible.

“The second was my own personal choice to keep stretching and finding an effective ‘truth’ in the work I was doing and creating. I was following a feeling that there is a way to get this all to another level. I just needed to find out what it was. Every session drove me closer to what I needed to find.”

The third motivation for Risley was knowing that tying these things into her bodywork sessions would be “fantastically results-based” for her clients.

And so RYSE was born. “Its unique quality is that it identifies how to use your systems,” Risley says. “If used correctly, it is akin to identifying an extra ‘arm’ that you can use to ‘create’ in your life.” The basic premise of RYSE is simple, she says: “We can perceive and affect our sublime energy systems through focused awareness.”

In her 1999 book, RYSE: Tools for Life, Risley says sublime energetic systems are the “anatomy of the spirit,” a phrase she credits to best-selling author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss. These systems are the anatomy of the life force, Risley says. Healthy, energetic systems feed creativity, excitement, passion, and joy. Unhealthy systems do just the opposite.

These energy systems include the chakras, aura, the ida and pingala (ayurvedic concepts of the positive and negative currents that flow between the chakras and work as a cleansing system of the sublime energy anatomy), and the air pattern, which also provides balance and cleansing in the larger energetic system.

When we utilize these innate systems within us, it connects us to our highest potential, Risley explains. These systems are the map of our life-force expression,  “the expression of our truth,” she says. When these energy systems are healthy, everything in our lives vibrates or resonates in line with them. When these systems are in disarray, our life force is in disarray, too. RYSE gives us the opportunity to put things back in order again and live fully. Whether it be a somatic, emotional, or spiritual hurdle, Risley says RYSE offers the opportunity to overcome it and move on.

She explains it this way: “The proper management of this system adds great clarity and insight to your life. For example, it puts you in the ‘zone’ if you are an athlete, or it puts you ‘on’ if you need to be present and working with people.” And more importantly, she says, “it aids you in your own personal transformation process.”

Part of that comes from the empowerment felt after these energy patterns are cleared and restructured, a critical piece of the RYSE work.

Clearing and Restructuring

Unbalanced energy systems reflex into the rest of the body and have a huge impact on the nervous and glandular systems, Risley says. This is why, after first identifying the health of the energy systems, the clearing and restructuring process is crucial to regaining health.

Risley says clear energy systems work to keep unwanted energy from entering our being. In the same vein, they keep our “necessary life-force energy” from draining or leaking out.

If we’re not in a balanced, aligned place, disruptions in the energy pattern occur and the creative process is taken over by discomfort, Risley says. This discomfort may show itself as a lingering depression, a stuck feeling, guilt, or an inability to act. Looking into an energy system, Risley says problems show up as disruptions, damage, dirt or murkiness, leaks, and misalignments in the chakras, aura, and other subtle energy patterns.

“From the energetic perspective, we ask how do you attract more of what you want and less of what you don’t want,” Risley says of the clearing and restructuring work. “You change the pattern that is attracting what you don’t want. You enhance the pattern that is attracting what you do want. This change is physical and stems from a physical knowledge base. The comprehension of this pattern is being able to perceive through a different lens that we all have within us. It simply needs to be identified.”

Risley explains that sublime energetic systems belong to all of us, and all energy is connected. “Sometimes the connections are nourishing and healthy; other connections drag you back into old patterns, or tie you unproductively to old relationships. These energy systems need aligning and clearing and attention.” She says you can change the patterns by introducing new energy system habits. “With conscious habits you are actually aligning your energy system to be the way you want it to be … When your energetic systems are in repair, you will begin to resonate with your highest potential.”

When people get to this point, a world of possibilities opens up. Risley shares a client’s story as an example of RYSE in action. “June” had suffered from a low-level lingering depression, and described herself as being “stuck,” although she couldn’t identify the reason why. “When she was creative, she was very creative. But often she was unable to express her creativity.” In addition June had sugar cravings and low self-esteem. “All of these symptoms were important,” Risley says. “The depression was a signal of being blocked from creating her life or full potential.” While working with June at a RYSE workshop, Risley says she saw that her heart chakra was clogged and pressed open. “It is through the heart chakra that we experience the signal of the soul or the life force,” she says. “This can also be seen as the signal that we are not fulfilling our blueprint or highest potential.” With June’s heart chakra in this condition, she was unable to get the signals strongly enough to recognize them. Risley worked on June’s heart chakra to remove its block and helped her begin the healing process.

Along the same lines, Risley says to imagine a client who is having trouble standing up for herself or is unable to commit to who she is. By identifying the health of the client’s energy systems, the practitioner will likely see a center chakra that is either broken, blown out, clogged, or going backward. This client might have spent years in therapy or assertiveness training working on the issue, yet she will always fall back into the old pattern. When the chakra is cleared and repaired, Risley says the client almost immediately will be able to stand up for herself and hold her power better than she could before. She can then apply her previous trainings and work more effectively.

The reason most people hang on to their faulty patterns is they don’t know how to fix them, Risley says. RYSE not only fixes them, but does so quickly. “An adept RYSE practitioner is able to move the block differently and faster than it is moved in the body.” In fact, unlike other forms of bodywork that might elicit an emotional release from clients, Risley says RYSE will usually make clients feel euphoric, putting them in a deeper, more secure inner state. When the block is moved, it is replaced with a far better quality of energy. “RYSE can move emotional blocks without emotional releases,” she says.

RYSE allows the practitioner to do major work on the various patterns that make up human lives and then give the experience of what it feels like “to be in an aligned and clear space from which to manifest our highest potential.” Risley says just as she built her own “psychic muscle,” to reap the fullest benefits from RYSE, it’s important to use it on a regular basis. Don’t wait until you need it, she says, it will be much harder to do. “Once you have dropped into the lower vibrational state associated with blocked or unclear energy patterns, it is extremely hard to get things working without assistance.”

With practice and development of that psychic muscle, Risley says the RYSE exercises will eventually become spontaneous with life’s ebbs and flows. While some people find balance “checking in” on their energetic selves once or twice a day with RYSE exercises, others clear themselves eight times a day. It’s all about what each person needs. “These energetic components are very deep and their removal is generally significant,” Risley says. “When these patterns are dysfunctional, they take energy; when healthy, they give energy.”

When the energy systems are clear, balanced, and healthy, Risley says life force comes pouring in through the chakras, as well as all the other subtle energy systems, and “blueprints” are realized.

Putting RYSE in the World

After successfully using this technique with her own clients for years, Risley knew she needed to teach RYSE to other practitioners and started doing so in the late 1980s. In fact, RYSE was developed, in part, as a burnout prevention tool, she says. In her own practice, Risley says she was a “healer’s healer,” attracting doctors (especially cardiologists), counselors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, polarity therapists, etc. “They came to me because they saw that this can protect them,” she says. Risley’s clients were able to see how their own clients and patients were affecting them and their energy systems, and wanted to learn how to best allay those effects.

The benefits of putting RYSE into the world were two-fold—therapists could use RYSE to clear their own energy systems, keeping them fresh for each day’s battery of clients/patients, and clients could benefit when RYSE was incorporated into their sessions for maximum empowerment and realization.

For those who practice RYSE, Risley says they gain an awareness of themselves. They see the energetic blocks and are able to fix them and prevent things from “getting caught.” The more someone does RYSE work, the more adept they become at quickly identifying their issues and moving them through the energetic system. “Then they can learn to go into more depth and use this in every aspect of their lives.”

Since it is done with awareness, Risley says RYSE can easily flow into any bodywork session—be it traditional Swedish massage, reiki, or anything in between. “It can be easily integrated into a massage or bodywork session for spot problems,” she says.

“It is very powerful to end any session with an overall RYSE clearing and repair, which takes about two to three minutes when performed by a competent practitioner.”

In her own life, Risley says RYSE has done everything from helping her grow from one school to five, to realizing that teaching this work is her passion and blueprint for life.

For the timid, this energy researcher reminds us that the process is naturally simple. “The sublime energetic systems are either in the condition to hold and enhance your life force, give you energy, and activate your creativity, or they are creating a negative pole which is draining your energies into it. Through the work in RYSE, your energetic systems are being cleared to give you energy and allow you to realize your full potential and have the life you want.”

Karrie Osborn is the contributing editor for Massage & Bodywork magazine. Contact her atkarrie@abmp.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For more information on RYSE, visit

Principles of Energy

Forming the underpinnings of RYSE are what Risley calls the principles of energy. Here are a few of those principles and their relationship to the RYSE process.

* The Principle of Resonance. Like attracts like. “The principle of resonance is fundamental to energy system understanding,” Risley writes. “The energetic systems act by resonance, which is similar to the concept of magnetism. Resonance is another way of referring to the fact that like energy attracts to itself.” She says just as a magnet will attract to metal, energy attracts to resonance. “Heavy, clogged energy attracts more heavy energy, and clear, vital energy attracts more clear, vital energy.”

* You Have a Blueprint of Your Highest Potential. Just like the blueprint of our physical bodies being held in our DNA, Risley says we also hold an energetic blueprint of our highest potential. When we can no longer access that blueprint because of clogged energy, our need for wholeness, growth, and transformation can’t be realized.

* Energy Comes Before Form. Risley says that change happens in the energetic spectrum before manifesting in the physical spectrum. The energetic systems are a blueprint of our nervous system, emotions, and physical body. Before change can occur in these areas, energy must shift first.

* The Law of Entrainment. This principle is what allows the chakra system and other energetic systems to change instantly, Risley says. “Everything naturally follows and takes on the qualities of the strongest energy.” For example, imagine a room full of people asked to clap in rhythm. By the third clap, everyone is in tune to the same rhythm.            “The strongest energy wins out,” she says. “This is something we all instinctively know, and it becomes very important in energy work.” When the strongest energy is that of alignment and balance, it will win out over “hurt” energy, she explains. “However, if it is not (the strongest), we can entrain with hurt energy—and we do, providing we have some level of resonance with this energy. This is why it is important to remove the resonant blocked energy from our system, so that it does not draw more blocked energy into itself and pull us down.”

Perceive Your Energy

In addition to being in your highest vibrational state to do RYSE exercises, you must also be able to perceive your sublime energetic systems. Nancy Risley offers this exercise:

1. Close your eyes and think of a rose.

2. Open your eyes.

Did you imagine a rose? Did you see it in your mind’s eye? If so, you are visual and this is how you will perceive your chakras. At first, it may seem as though you are making these up. However, it is how your subconscious communicates with you. If you did not see a rose in your mind’s eye but felt the rose, you are kinesthetic. You will feel your energetic system. If you heard the rose, you are auditory. When doing the RYSE exercises, you may hear things click into place or into clarity, or you may hear an inner voice telling you, you’re done.

—from RYSE: Tools for Life (ClearPoint Education, 1999)

by Nancy Risley

Leslie A. Young, PhD, (Editor in Chief of Massage & Bodywork magazine and Vice President of Communication for its publisher, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals,) grants reprint permission for the following article to Nancy Risley of PRI Educational Development Company and Spa Tech Institute (formerly Polarity Realization Institute).

Risley are free to use the article in massage and aesthetics books PRI Ed. Dev. Co. creates specifically for Spa Tech Institute, and also for various marketing purposes at Spa Tech Institute. ABMP appreciates credit being given to the author as well as to Massage & Bodywork magazine.