Zero Balancing

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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 osteopathy, Rolfing, yoga, and traditional Chinese medicine.[1] It has been described as "a bodywork modality that claims to balance energy and structure within the body".[2]


Fritz Smith founder of Zero Balancing
Tutorial image used to show common element with Zero Balancing's work on the bones of the feet

Fritz Smith developed Zero Balancing in the early 1970s.[2] Smith trained and licensed as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in 1955 and received an M.D. in 1961 in the state of California.[3]

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.[4] Under Worsley, Smith became the first American to earn the Diploma of Acupuncture at the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in London, in 1972.[3]

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.[4] The name came about when someone receiving his work described the experience, "I feel so well-balanced, like I'm zero; zero-balanced."[5]

Smith 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.[6]


In 2004 The Times reported that becoming a zero-balancing practitioner required less time than many other therapies, about 15 days of classroom time plus additional case work and supervised sessions."[1]

As of 2009 there were about 700 practitioners.[6]


QuackWatch lists the Zero Balancing Association as one of about 750 "questionable organizations." [7]


  1. ^ a b Murcott, Toby (24 July 2004). "What's the evidence? Zero-balancing". The Times. 
  2. ^ a b Geggus, Pam (2004). "Introduction to the concepts of Zero Balancing". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 8: 58. doi:10.1016/S1360-8592(03)00066-4. 
  3. ^ a b Calvert, Robert; Calvert, Judy (1994). "Interview with Frederick "Fritz" Smith, M.D". Massage Magazine. p. 40. 
  4. ^ a b Smith, Fritz Frederick (1986). Inner Bridges – A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure. p. 89. ISBN 0893340863. 
  5. ^ Beaumont, Richard (1991), "Zero Balancing", Kindred Spirit: 27. 
  6. ^ a b Lauterstein, David (May–June 2009). "Reflections, a conversation with Fritz Smith on Zero Balancing". Massage and Bodywork. p. 79. 
  7. ^ Barrett, Stephen (9 May 2013). "Questionable Organizations: An Overview". QuackWatch. Retrieved May 2013. 

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