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Zero balancing is a health treatment strategy that is considered to be part of the category of treatments known as bodywork. Essentially, zero balancing incorporates the use of therapeutic touch and several other disciplines to restore an alignment between the flow of energy throughout the body.
Dr. Fritz Smith first developed the concept of zero balancing in 1973. Drawing on his background as a practitioner in the fields of osteopathy and acupuncture, Smith developed a treatment series that combined Western understandings about the function of the human anatomy with the Eastern concepts about the flow of energy through medians around the body. By combining elements of these and other treatment types such as Rolfing, zero balancing could be employed to address both physical and emotional issues.
Key to the basic administration of zero balancing is locating blockages in the body’s flow of energy. From this perspective, the process is not unlike the practice of identifying medians in acupuncture, acupressure, and Rolfing. Massaging the pressure points with a gentle but aggressive rotating action helps to clear the blockage and begin to restore a healthy flow of energy. By freeing the energy to flow throughout the body, zero balancing helps to return the body and mind to a state of equilibrium, or a point zero where there is a complete balance.
Along with the rotational massage action, zero balancing often includes a series of long stretches. The stretches are designed to help alleviate stress on the joints of the body and thus clear the joints of any impediments that would tend to slow down the flow of energy. During the stretching process, the practitioner may also slowly rotate the joints as well to relieve any tension that may be present.
Zero balancing can be included in an overall bodywork process that includes the periodic use of acupuncture, acupressure, and meditation. Prior to or immediately after the manipulation process, the patient may wish to enter into a state of meditation in order to achieve the greatest benefit from the treatments. By entering into a meditative state, the energy flow that is now free to move through the body unchecked is able to begin a healing process as the energy nourishes each major organ and promotes function at maximum efficiency.
Because of the emotional healing that many people gain from zero balancing, the treatment has become especially popular in helping to reduce stress. Some have reported that zero balancing is helpful with treating minor cases of anxiety and depression. While the claims of zero balancing are not widely accepted by the western medical community, the amount of anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of the treatment continues to grow, especially among people who prefer to go with alternative forms of healing.