Our bodies strive for balance, too. We learned about symmetry in biology, and it makes sense. It’s balanced. Our internal systems are balanced. Just the right proportion of proteins, of blood cells and of nutrients are required to keep our bodies operating at optimum health.
Bodyworkers will tell us that the body has an energy system that is just as real and as essential to our well-being as the systems we can see. The body electric functions best when the channels for energy are in sync.
Sara Miot is a licensed massage therapist and certified Zero Balancing practitioner with an office in Woodstock. She’s been doing massage therapy for 35 years. Despite that fact that few people have heard of Zero Balancing (or ZB, as it’s known to those who do it), Miot says it’s an amazing tool for restoring balance to the body’s energy system.
“When people ask me for proof of that energy,” she said, “I give them a simple but very powerful exercise. Put one hand opposite the other, palm to palm but half an inch apart. Slowly separate them. Then come back to that short distance apart. Move farther apart, then back. Within a short time, they’ll notice that they feel as though they’re moving something. And they are. It’s energy.”
That shiver you feel when listening to music?
“Energy moving,” Miot said.
ZB is unlike any other energy work. It is a hands-on technique that works with the energy at the body’s most basic, solid level — the bone.
“It’s a treatment that works with fulcrum points and traction to reconnect body energy,” Miot said.
Even that doesn’t tell you much. Have you received a treatment? I have.
My first ZB experience was when I was a massage therapy student and a friend encouraged me to get a ZB session from Verilee Herpich, a former massage therapist in northwest Connecticut who had abandoned her massage business to teach ZB.
I lay down, fully clothed, on my back on her massage table. In a very quiet, tremendously gentle manner Herpich slowly moved around the table, cupping her hand beneath a bone or a joint, cradling that spot on her fingertips, and then gently sliding her hand away and letting me pay attention to what was happening at that spot.
“A fulcrum,” Miot said, “is the center of the seesaw. Things fall away on either side of it.”
What Herpich was doing with her fingertips was placing a fulcrum. And in that meditative space, I could feel things shifting, flowing in a way they weren’t before.
“I fell in love with the elegance of ZB, with its simplicity,” Herpich told me. She went on to not only become a certified ZBer; she is one of a small number of certified teachers in the country. “With ZB, there is no drain, no exchange of energies. There is a meeting of our energies. And when I am done with a session, I am actually as energized and relaxed as my client.”
Miot said she finds ZB particularly useful for clients after a trauma. In fact, her own pain was what led her to ZB.
“I had been a massage therapist for years and suddenly I developed an inflammation of all my disks. I was in terrible pain. I had access to every kind of modality, and ZB was the only one that helped. It was the only thing that alleviated the pain. And I said to myself, I gotta do this!”
Miot said her clients seldom ask for ZB. They usually don’t know what it is.
“But if someone comes to me after a car accident, or they’re having chemotherapy — anything that’s really shocking to the body — I immediately suggest we do ZB. It’s gentle, it’s soothing, and it helps reconnect the energy and gets it moving again.”
Miot said ZB is also a way to discharge energy, an alternative to the cathartic explosions that can accompany depression or extreme stress. A ZB session can allow that energy to be discharged quietly, putting the body back into balance or, as the client said who gave ZB its name described it, “back to zero.”
ZB is useful for chronic back pain, but Miot said she doesn’t believe in one modality doing it all. “ZB, in combination with other modalities like massage and physical therapy, is effective with all kinds of chronic pain. It’s also a fabulous tool with people who do not like to be touched. The fact that it’s done fully clothed, with a client on their back and able to watch, alleviates a lot of anxiety for people who are uncomfortable with physical touch. There’s more trust and, therefore, more benefit.”
But, she said, the best way to experience ZB is to do it.
A full-hour session with Miot costs the same as a traditional massage. You can reach her at 532-4824. To find out more about ZB, go to http://www.zerobalancing.com.++