Mar 06, 2014 05:08AM
Zero Balancing (ZB) can be explained as the art of balancing body energy with body structure through the use of skilled touch. ZB is therapeutically unique, as its aim is to work with energy and structure simultaneously, maximizing the potential of both and creating amazing possibilities for healthcare professionals.
ZB is performed on a clothed body. A session begins with a conversation about the client’s health history and current issues. The practitioner will evaluate and balance the body (actively engaging both energy and structure) using gentle finger pressure and traction. Because ZB focuses on both the physical body and energy body, the result is much greater than the sum of its parts, allowing the client to feel connected in body, mind and spirit. A typical session lasts 30 to 40 minutes. It is quite common to see energy and physical function improve after a session.
ZB creator, Dr. Fritz Smith, was trained as an osteopathic physician and surgeon (1955) and received an M.D. in 1961. His medical training could not fully explain the healing he witnessed in the human body, leading him to explore on a quest to gain understanding for a variety of modalities, including cranial osteopathy, clinical hypnosis, Rolfing (with Ida Rolf), yoga, meditation and much more.
Later at Esalen, in 1971, Smith attended a presentation on traditional Chinese acupuncture, given by J.R. Worsley. His foundation of how things work in the world shifted and expanded to a new view. Smith’s western training did not address the concept of energy, which is a vital component of Eastern philosophy with regard to health, wholeness and human potential. Smith studied acupuncture with Worsley in England from 1971 to1978, earning both a bachelor and master’s of acupuncture.
By 1973, Smith’s search for an understanding of how energy and structure relate in the body led him to formulate a single therapeutic system using the innovative structural acupressure protocol of what eventually developed into Zero Balancing. The name Zero Balancing came about after a client described her experience of the work as “being brought back into balance—back to zero”.
ZB incorporates eastern concepts of energy and healing, as well as principles of acupuncture and osteopathy. Aligning energy and structure in the body creates clearer, stronger fields that override and release imprints left by trauma and stress. The practitioner works with bone energy, using touch to evaluate where energy is blocked, dense, held or disturbed and balances it using acupressure (fulcrums) and traction. ZB touch works on a deep level to engage the body’s innate wisdom and promote reorganization and integration.
Zero Balancing feels good, promotes pain relief (great for backaches, headaches, fatigue, depression), contributes to feelings of well-being and helps with tension, insomnia, nervousness. ZB is also convenient being that you remain clothed. During each session, the touch is respectful, with clear boundaries, so you feel safe and supported. ZB is empowering, enhances energy flow in the body and can clear the body of negativity by creating inner quiet. Each session is customized for you and will leave you feeling grounded and balanced. Think of ZB as “Table Nirvana”—experience how good it feels to feel good.
Lisa Schumacher is a licensed massage therapist who practices in Tenleytown and is currently the only certified Zero Balancing practitioner in Washington.