By Tim Newman

This is a short case because the session arose out of circumstance and so there was no presenting complaint – rather there turned out to be a history of trauma and bone-graft surgery, which I then addressed in the context of a “try out” session. The man is in his late thirties and a craftsman and I had asked him to make me a sign, which included the word fulcrum in it. In the course of conversation he asked me about my work and I told him something of Zero Balancing.

Although I tend not to offer people sessions, as I was new to my village and felt a friendly gesture was appropriate, I then offered to do a session with him to see what the work was like. The initial framework was relaxation and release of stress from the skeleton – which in Zero Balancing we do by means of fulcrums (so there would be a, complementing of my explanation with a body felt experience).

The initial interview in ZB can be quite short – a matter of checking-in and assuring that there are no contraindications through medication or sensitivity – or it can expand into a more thorough evaluation as a result of something that is presented or which arises spontaneously and seems significant. It is standard in ZB to ask about “structural history” i.e. any impacts or jolts to the skeleton, any fractures, falls from the most recent back until the person’s birth. With Alan this question revealed a major injury to his left arm in which all three bones were fractured in a car accident (he has not driven since). One of the fractures failed to heal normally and so bone was taken from the pelvis and grafted into the arm. This was successful but the site of the bone graft remained sore ever since and for more than 5 years Alan has had disturbed sleep because he cannot lie on his left side and wakes with the discomfort when he moves the wrong way. I had no way of knowing whether the session would help this but it is certainly the kind of territory in which ZB can be rather effective and would clearly be interesting in that it is a clear marker in terms of body comfort to compare before and after.

Alan enjoyed the session and was obviously strongly aware of things happening in his pelvis and leg when I was working in that area. From my point of view I could feel areas of tension held in the bone -for instance around the back of the hip socket (acetabulum), the ischium, the posterior superior iliac crest and the lateral surface of the trochanter. In the wider context of the general transmission of forces and stresses through the skeleton there were a number of other places where tension was held – namely the Sacroiliac, Dorsal Hinge and lumbar areas, the tarsal bones of both feet and the upper ribs between the spine and the scapula. It is not important from the ZB practitioners point of view to establish a causal or sequential relationship between these areas of tension – rather the tensions are observed as phenomena that exist and can be palpated, and, in as much as they interfere with the integrity and function of the skeleton it is assumed that the clearer stronger fields created by the fulcrums will allow the tissues to reorganise themselves more harmoniously and in whatever way they decide is best for them. No corrections are made in ZB – rather we support the person in making their own changes.

The next day Alan told me that the discomfort was much diminished and he had had a wonderful night’s sleep. By a week later he reported all discomfort gone and remains free at the time of writing some 6 weeks later.

This was not a miracle cure – simply a positive outcome that in this case only needed one session to set things in motion for thorough healing. The next person who presents with similar history would have to be addressed as if from scratch, and there might be no change or only some change over time. Logic up to a point may satisfactorily explain how this improvement could occur. If you take it at its simplest some aspect of the graft site had been disturbed by the surgery and had failed to heal it. As most therapies do not engage directly with the energy of bone (and Alan had not tried any other therapies) it may be that it needed that particular dynamic to release whatever was interrupting the bodies capacity to heal itself. Or it could have been ready to shift the first time anyone did anything that gave Alan’s body the support it needed. We know that working purely energetically can effect the physical body and vice versa and most modalities tend to focus more on one side or other of the energy/structure equation. In Zero Balancing we engage both aspects simultaneously and deliberately and work the overall relationship or interface rather then with specific pathology. This can appear vague in theory and amazingly precise in practise because it truly makes no division between body/mind/spirit and engages the receiver in the undivided experience and allows them to experience the experience of themself within themself (and themself within the world).

I began learning Zero Balancing (ZB) in December 1984 during my final clinical year of acupuncture, training. I was so intrigued and pleased by the experiences of both learning and practising that I didn’t hesitate to enrol for the first teacher-training program led by Fritz Smith in 1988.Although I enjoyed and had good responses to my ZB sessions I knew that I didn’t really know much about what I saw demonstrated in the workshops – it was a necessary challenge to have to articulate to others everything that until then I had taken on trust for myself.

Instinctive, animal trust (referred to in the ZB community as Donkey-Donkey) is very important in any hands-on work -especially where people are tense in an unknown situation, or in fear, pain and anxiety. Until I studied ZB I hadn’t taken on board the idea that ‘ not to respond IS a response ‘ (not relaxing, not co-operating, not understanding, not agreeing): It may be less obvious than a no but it still needs to be recognised and respected. In ZB a key skill is a conscious, listening sensitive approach and touch that establishes, maintains and releases a clear interface between client and ZB’er.

Although Zero Balancing is a bodywork skill in its own right which is the core of my practise and teaching, many of the guiding principles can be understood in the broader category of Life Experience and the dynamics of everyday situations and relationships. With its emphasis on combining both structural and energetic aspects, whether of human, animal, plant or ‘inanimate’ objects ZB has its roots as much in the world of quantum mechanics and chaos theory as in the laws of physics and applied science. It is this combination of grounded intelligence and ‘magical’ thinking that have continued to excite and inspire me – and I am currently in the process of developing some of these ideas into experiential workshops of basic life education.

I love the fact that ZB theory recognises both the essential underlying unity of life, the world, and the cosmos AND accepts that there are contradictions and paradoxes that are not necessarily reconcilable through logic or the need for things to make sense! In not trying to be perfect, in not trying to make all systems and models fit, and above all in not making a belief system out of its precepts and observations Zero Balancing encourages us to be in the experience rather than interpreting it: And it shows how to use conscious touch and procedures to clear individual and group tensions (‘fields’) on the way to our own and the worlds evolution.

About the Author

Tim Newman: Acupuncturist (Lic.Ac.) & Zero Balancer (Cert.ZB.)

I practise near Penzance in West Cornwall and sometimes in London. I teach about half-a-dozen 28 workshops from my home on a residential basis each year, as well as about the same number in various European countries. I also run individual retreats from time to time in the exceptionally quiet and beautiful village that is Perranuthnoe(with the option of bodywork on the spot combined with nestling in) I can be contacted at:
“West Cottage”
Churchtown
Perranuthnoe
Cornwall
TR2O 9N0
Tel: 01736 711405

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