Whole Body Well Being

Body Ease • Serene Mind • Joyful Heart


What is Zero Balancing?

It’s a question I get asked all the time. And truthfully, it’s not that easy to explain. I do know that the first time I experienced it I wanted to learn how to do it and knew I could.

I was sitting in the cozy wood fire warmed kitchen of my friend, Ida Smith, while my husband received his session. She didn’t even touch me or tell me anything about what she was doing. What I felt in the room was what hooked me. Yes it felt peaceful and relaxing but a very, very, deep grounded presence was what spoke to my inner being.

During my first class, six months later, in 1994, Ida helped me to understand that the depth of what I felt was partially because Zero Balancing focuses on touching the bone. Dr. Fritz Smith, the founder of Zero Balancing, grew up with his chiropractor father touching his bones regularly and went on to become an osteopath as an adult. Dr. Smith had a thriving practice for patients with back pain in California in the early 1960’s.

I learned the rest of the reason that I felt the deep presence was that Zero Balancers connect with the natural energy flows through the body tissues as understood in Eastern medical traditions such as acupuncture, ayurveda and yoga. Most people are now familiar with healing practices that come out of these traditions. Chi gong uses slow fluid body positions to move chi in the meridians, MBSR, mindfulness based stress reduction, uses the breath to support quieting the mind both support the body’s natural movement toward homeostasis and health. The internal energy flows Dr. Smith incorporated in Zero Balancing came from his training as an acupuncturist with Dr. J.R. Worsley and studying meditative techniques that use the breath energy.

So when I give a Zero Balancing session my touch attention is focused on bone, the core of the body, in areas where the energy should flow clear and strong. The spine is a prime example of where structure and energy meet. If you look at a profile view of a healthy child you can see the natural curves moving forward and back from the base of the skull to the pelvis. You can compare the spine with the flow of a meandering stream. The water (energy) moves easily and fastest around a bend yet when debris or stones build up the flow is impeded and an area of stagnated water pools behind the debris. As I move my fingers along the ribs and sacrum I lift gently and feel for differences from side to side and for the pliability of the bone and connective tissues. If I get the sensation of density (debris) or stickiness in movement (stagnation) I can use my touch to share that information with the bone and let my client’s body reorient and make changes as appropriate. Unlike some techniques we don’t force any changes. The session continues and I feel for any other or related structural or energetic imbalances.

Since Zero Balancing touch is clear and very attentive our clients take that attention in as being listened too deeply even though they don’t often talk much during a session. That in itself can be very healing in stressful times of constant requests for our attention from the outer world. So a short answer to, “What is Zero Balancing?” is “It is a gentle system of touch that connects with the deep energy flow of the full skeletal system and the whole person.”

Experience Zero Balancing for yourself and develop your own definition! Many clients that find it relieves chronic and occasional stress, helps them sleep well, significantly reduces pain and helps untangle mis-alignments in joints that they’ve had for many years. Almost everyone leaves feeling their feet on the ground and with a smile on their face.

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Snowy cape
Cedar in a snowy cape ©2014

Equilibrium, equivalent. So many descriptions of balance lead us to believe that it is a state to achieve and then stay there. Yet that isn’t really desirable as we need a bit of imbalance to encourage us to move forward for growth and change. It is also nice to step back at times and re-group, make course adjustments or to contemplate how where we’ve been can lead us to where we want to go.

I encourage you to play with a little meander in the spring woods getting off the beaten track before coming back to the comfort of the familiar trail or to try leaning side to side and forward to back and finding that most comfortable balance on your sitz bones or your feet. What other ways can you find to stretch a little past your comfort zone? Remember to review what it feels like when you move back to your everyday routines. Here’s to the ability to find equilibrium and equanimity in ever changing experiences. And when you can’t, give me a call for a Zero Balancing session to help you move forward with ease to your next opportunity to grow.

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A Letter to the Men in the Lives of Zero Balancing Recipients

ImageLet’s face it tough guys don’t need help. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Those messages are everywhere in our culture. Are you being a responsible do it yourselfer with a work ethic?

These messages can be very damaging if you are talking about your primary mode of transportation in this life. Mogul kings revered their elephants, Arabs and cowboys their horses, teenagers their first car. These vehicles got the best that could be offered. What about your body? Do you go back and forth using it like it’s always going to stand up to excessive pressure and then cratering when it finally seizes up or breaks down?

Most of us go out and immediately polish up the first scratch on our new car.  And make sure the first oil changes get done on time. Just as a car isn’t built to withstand continued ignoring of lubrication, worn tires and shock absorbers the human body needs a certain amount of high quality maintenance. Routine preventative care is better than living with limiting disabilities or having major surgery.

Zero Balancing practitioners use tools chosen by Fritz Smith, M.D. who is fully trained in osteopathy and acupuncture.  He found that combining the best of Western anatomy with Eastern views of healing led to the greatest recovery of his patients in his busy general practice clinic. Zero Balancing is effective at both preventative maintenance and can assist in trauma recovery particularly when traditional care doesn’t get you back to full normal.

One of the hallmarks of Zero Balancing is that it uses fundamental principles of nature to effect deep long term healing at the pace each body is comfortable with. When a person feels deeply relaxed at the bone level all the biomechanical processes can move toward better health. Forty minutes of aware touch, lifting and tractioning bones and joints, is a booster (higher octane) to your hard working body. As the current tensions are released you feel more energetic and begin to find the limiting patterns that you’ve been holding and are holding you back from living the life you deserve. A full life with those you love.

You don’t have to live with your aches and pains limiting you. Zero Balancers world-wide are standing ready to support you in your journey to well being.

www.zerobalancing.com  Find a practitioner.

© Cindy Allred-Jackson January 2014




You know that little spark you get when someone touches you just right? Dr. Smith built that into a Zero Balancing session. Through awareness of the rhythm and tension in the skeletal system many of the places that Zero Balancing practitioners fingers lift into have a little zing. At other times you may feel deeply quiet and spacious. These are just two ends of the scale of your body’s harmony. I like to call them the “Feel Fabulous” sensations. When you feel energized and relaxed at the same time your body is in wellness mode. Stop by Tabor Presbyterian in Crozet this Saturday 10-2 for a chance to feel your Whole Body Well Being.  See my previous post for more details.

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What is wellness? Pondering #1

As I sit propped in bed unable to sleep I feel myself relaxing just as I contemplate how I can slip back into my wellness. It’s been a busy couple of weeks. My husband retiring, my son at home after big adventures in his first overnight camp, me trying to settle into to the routine of a new office mate and new patterns of opening and closing a shared building. I’m spending a lot of time planning for the future that is a bit unknown.

What I haven’t given my self, in the busyness of play dates and shopping for school supplies and supporting my husband’s move forward into his consulting business, is the chance to just be. Ahhh, a big inhale and even bigger exhale. My headache is easing and shoulders are relaxing. I can hear the silence again and my being is moving to wellness.

This is my exploration. I also know I need to let go of my chaos survival eating habits. I need to cut up extra fresh veggies when making salad, plan a few meals ahead for leftovers we can all enjoy so we don’t eat out where temptation abounds. Be sure my water bottle is filled and ready to go for the car. Drop sugar and gluten again and nourish myself with local veggies.

Most of all I will go back to sleep by breathing deeply and feeling the refreshment of fully oxygenated cells from head to toe. My whole body can engage in well being and wake up to a new day full of conscious choices.

Good Night.

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New location

July First has come and gone and at last I feel settled in my new “home.” The Shala Healing Arts Community at 800 E Jefferson Street in downtown Charlottesville is beautiful, welcoming, convenient and full of compassionate practitioners who want to bring health and happiness to all who step in our door. The practice website is shalacenter.com and you can download directions from the bottom of the page.

If you mention this blog when you make an appointment I’ll give you 20%off your Zero Balancing Session.

Three Zero Balancing practitioners share this room so look forward to lots of great experiences on the table. each session just adds a little healing energy to our collective space.Image

Here I am with Dr. Fritz Smith, creator of Zero Balancing. He had many lovely presentations during the Zero Balancing Health Association Benefit at the Claggett Center near Frederick, MD. May 2013. I think this photo shows his warmth and generosity. It is always so inspiring to be with him and to bring back new understanding and skills to my clients, students and mentees.