I find myself noticing all the little tensions in my body. Especially when I slow down enough to drop out of busy mind. One of the techniques I’ve been sharing with my clients is a simple self massage using only your breath.
Imagine your ribs. They move in numerous ways but not very far in any direction individually. As a coordinated team they can make a grand motion that stretches your entire torso to it’s maximum potential. Every organ, every muscle and every bit of connective tissue is going along with your full inhale stretch, smoothing out and releasing the wrinkled compression we get from sitting too much, scrunching our necks to see screens or distant objects, and cringing from the hourly news.
Try it now.
Take one long full breath and sniff a wee bit more air in until you feel like you’re going to burst with air. Hold your breath at this peak to a count of 3 – 10. (Build up to a comfortable number so it’s a fun challenge- not painful!) During the hold consciously let your arms and shoulders drop and your low belly, hips & face soften a bit.
Then release the breath with control through your nose. At the bottom of this breath use your abdominal muscles to squeeze a bit more air out through your nose with a quick snort. Now hold your breath out to a count of 3 – 10 so it’s a gentle challenge.
Let your next inhale come in naturally and feel the inspiration both physically and energetically! Repeat 3 at a time many times through out your day. Your whole body is refreshed with oxygen, you’ve expelled additional toxins from your lungs AND many muscles have been given a self massage!
Try it when you can lie on the ground and look up at a brilliant summer sky!
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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