Zero Balancing

I had a zero balancing session earlier this week – my first one!  I didn’t really know what it was or what to expect, but it was a really interesting experience.  The rundown: sit on the massage bed, talk with the practitioner about health issues/what you’d like to get out of the treatment, lie down on your back, and enjoy the treatment!

The practitioner uses touch to readjust the energy and structure of your body and its different joints.  It seems kind of like massage, but you are on your back and the practitioner reaches under you to get to your spine and other joints.  It took me a little bit of coaxing and reminders to relax and let the practitioner do her work (my body is always tightly wound!), but by the end of the session, I felt so much more relaxed and calm.  I slept so well that night!

Zero Balancing was founded in the 1970s by Fritz Smith, both an osteopathic doctor and medical doctor.  He trained in acupuncture as well, so he created this technique that combines acupuncture’s focus on energy found and Western medical practices’ focus on the body’s structure .  He found that readjustments to the body’s bone structure is helpful for the flow of energy through the energy body and structural body.  Smith created the “fulcrum” – a tool that works as the therapist’s structural and energetic “interface with the structure and energy of a client” [1].   This corresponds to Wolff’s Law that says that “when pressure is applied to a bone, the bone responds. An example is maintaining or increasing bone density with weightbearing exercise” [2].  Sessions are supposed to help create, or restore, balance to the body’s two bodies – the skeletal body and energetic body.

I appreciate how he does not discourage anyone from continuing their Western medicine regimens; I have found that when an “alternative” therapy practitioner discourages me from continuing with my pharmaceutical treatments (ones that have really saved me from horrible disease), I tend to distrust her.  This form of bodywork is non-diagnostic and is not meant to replace other forms of medical therapies; it is meant to work as a complement.

To check out Zero Balancing, click here.

[1] David Lauterstein, “What Is Zero Balancing,”

[2] Kate Chase Ryan, “A Whole Person Approach: The Zero Balancing Technique,” Massage Magazine (Oct 2009).


I had to get stitches this morning – 7.  well, something like that.  deep ones and top-layer ones.  i don’t know how many of each.

in the past couple weeks i’ve been poked, scraped, cut, etc., etc.

A cervical biopsy one day because of a consistently recurring dysplasia (an abnormal development or growth), acupuncture the next day (where i had 12 needles: one in each ear, one in my forehead, one in each foot, one in each forearm, one in each shin, and three on my belly), blood labs drawn the next day (my usual bimonthly labs, but this time i was also being screened for diabetes), and then a mole removed.

This mole came back dyplastic as well, so this morning i had more tissue removed and stitches put in.  mind you, this week i have been participating in the brutally exhausting Stone Summer Theory Institute at the Art Institute of Chicago.  let’s just say that conferences are not very accommodating for those with autoimmune disorders.  does this mean that i shouldn’t participate fully?  or that they should be more accommodating in the first place?  who knows.  whose problem is this really?

it is also interesting to note that all of these doctors/practitioners know about the other cuts/incisions/invasions, and still participate in that activity.  when can we say that there have been enough invasions?  i understand that all of these activities are suggested with my best interests in mind and that essentially i make the decision to be cut, but sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.

suggestions don’t always feel like suggestions.