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Zero Balancing

In this case, nothing from nothing leaves something: Health

by Michael Braunstein


Most "alternative therapies" honor the perception that we are energy first. Usually it is the proper flow of that energy that these therapies address. One such therapy combines an Eastern concept of energy flow with the modern awareness of the workings of the body. It is called Zero Balancing.

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Einstein brought us to a place the ancient rishis ("wise men") of India had reached over 5000 years ago. He taught us that energy and what we perceived as "matter" were actually one and the same. Modern science hence "proved," by having the methods of observation not available to the rishis, what they already knew. Western culture is always trying to "prove" something.

This proof by Einstein is still waiting to sink in for most of us, Western medicine included. We still tend to honor our bodies as matter rather than energy; things rather than processes. There is an obsession with possession and less attention to expression. Of course we talk a good talk about how qualities like love, loyalty, honesty, charity, compassion and forgiveness etc., etc. are important. Yet hypocritically most decisions and actions are based on a "what's in it for me?" mentality. "Hey, all that stuff is nice but this is the real world!" It's typical form over content. Sooner or later even modern science, thanks to Einstein's lead, will come to understand (and practice) that it's energy, not form, that matters.

Most of what we call "alternative therapies" have a foundation in techniques known for thousands of years. Most honor the perception that we are energy first. Usually it is the proper flow of that energy that these therapies address. One such therapy combines an Eastern concept of energy flow with the modern awareness of the workings of the body. It is called Zero Balancing.

Frederick Smith, D.O., M.D., D.C., O.M.D. was the person who combined these Eastern and Western concepts of energy into the therapy known as Zero Balancing. He was, as one can see, a well-educated man. Those letters after his name indicate that he was an osteopathic doctor, a doctor of medicine, a doctor of chiropractic, and a doctor of oriental medicine. He was also a licensed acupuncturist, licensed Rolfer and bodyworker. This multiplicity of disciplines gave him a unique perspective.

By 1975, Smith had drawn from all this experience and developed the system of Zero Balancing. It is described conceptually as an approach aiming primarily at the energetic and structural function of the skeletal system, often resulting in the holistic integration of the client.

Using touch, the therapist clears the energy paths through the body. This results in better function of the body at all levels. It even expands conscious awareness. Energy is obviously necessary for function and improved energy flow improves function of all systems, even mentation.

It has been shown that impeded energy flow has negative effects on a person's physical, emotional and mental well-being. When imbalances occur, the body tends to try to compensate rather than address the imbalance directly. Using touch, a ZB therapist gently manipulates the body to create energy vectors and make fulcrums of balance. In a way, it can be looked on as a very unique form of massage therapy. In fact, many ZB practitioners are massage therapists, but a ZB therapist can be any that incorporate touch with their practice.

When a ZB therapist manipulates the limbs or parts of the body, she closely observes indications of energy flow such as eye movement, breathing, tension and release, etc., to guide the integration. A usual session takes about the same time as massage therapy and can be done through the clothing.

Since ZB is concerned with the flow of energy, its use is not limited to physical complaints. Used by a psychotherapist for example, it is helpful with emotional release and re-integration. An acupuncturist may use Zero Balancing to free paths of energy and thereby make the acupuncture treatment more effective. Physical therapists and chiropractors can use it as a tool in relieving chronic pain.

Zero Balancing therapists are certified by the Zero Balancing Association in Capitola, CA. The training period is quite extensive, requiring a minimum of 60 hours of education. The uses, however, are far from zero.

Be well.

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Michael Braunstein is Executive Director of Heartland Healing and certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners in clinical hypnotherapy. He graduated from the Los Angeles Hypnotism Training Institute and was an instructor at the UCLA Extension University for 11 years.

Heartland Healing is devoted to the examination of various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information and not as medical advice. It is not meant as an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or by Heartland Healing Center, Inc.

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