Zero Balancing is a manual therapy modality in which the practitioner applies finger pressure or traction to tense tissue to enable relaxation and reorganisation. Fritz Smith developed Zero Balancing from applied osteopathy and traditional Chinese medicine. It has been described as "a bodywork modality that claims to balance energy and structure within the body".
Fritz Smith, an American doctor, developed Zero Balancing in the early 1970s. Smith trained and licensed as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in 1955 and received an M.D. in 1961 in the state of California. During the late 1960s, Smith studied with several teachers at the Esalen Institute in Northern California, among them Ida Pauline Rolf, founder of Rolfing and J. R. Worsley, founder of the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in London, England. He also studied with Swami Muktananda, the founder of Siddha Yoga. Smith traveled to London to study with J. R. Worsley, becoming the first American to earn the Diploma of Acupuncture at the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in 1972.
Smith began to integrate principles of traditional Chinese medicine with his osteopathic training. This led him to develop the manual touch therapy system of Zero Balancing. The name came about when someone receiving his work described the experience, "I feel so well-balanced, like I'm zero; zero-balanced."
Smith has been practicing and teaching Zero Balancing internationally for over 35 years. He is the author of many articles and two books, Inner Bridges: A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure and Alchemy of Touch: Moving Towards Mastery Through the Lens of Zero Balancing.
In 2004 The Times reported that becoming a zero-balancing practitioner required less time than many other therapies: "the minimum required is two basic five-day workshops; one five-day advanced workshop; and case work and supervision."
Once accepted, the certification process requires coursework, casework of "at least fifty sessions", supervised sessions with faculty or certified practitioners, 2 research papers, and two final "assessment" sessions with different faculty.
- Murcott, Toby (24 July 2004). "What's the evidence? Zero-balancing". The Times.
- Geggus, Pam (2004). "I ntroduction to the concepts of Zero Balancing". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8: 58. doi:10.1016/S1360-8592(03)00066-4.
- Calvert, Robert; Calvert, Judy (1994). "Interview with Frederick "Fritz" Smith, M.D". Massage Magazine. p. 40.
- Smith, Fritz Frederick (1986). Inner Bridges – A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure. p. 89. ISBN 0893340863.
- Beaumont, Richard (1991), "Zero Balancing", Kindred Spirit: 27.
- Lauterstein, David (May–June 2009). "Reflections, a conversation with Fritz Smith on Zero Balancing". Massage and Bodywork. p. 79.
- "Zero Balancing Learning Requirements". zerobalancing.com. Zero Balancing Health Association. 24 November 2013. Retrieved November 2013.
- Barrett, Stephen (9 May 2013). "Questionable Organizations: An Overview". QuackWatch. Retrieved May 2013.
- Ralston, Amy Louise (1998). "Zero balancing: Information on a therapy". Complementary Therapies in Nursing and Midwifery 4 (2): 47–9. doi:10.1016/S1353-6117(98)80025-5. PMID 10025287.
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