Zero balancing

Zero balancing
Alternative therapy
Benefits Placebo

Zero balancing is a type of manual therapy devised by "Fritz" Frederick Smith (born 1929) in the 1970s. Smith proposed that a kind of energy field within the human body could be affected by bodily manipulations, so bringing health benefits.

Zero balancing is pseudoscientific.[1]


According to Fritz Frederick Smith, the founder of zero balancing,

"Zero balancing teaches that the deepest currents of energy are in bone, that memory can be held in tissue, that energy fields in the body underlie mind, body and emotions, and that imbalances in the field precede pathology".[2]

The Zero Balancing Health Association say that zero balancing "uses skilled touch to address the relationship between energy and structures of the body".[1]

The concept underlying zero balancing is based on vitalism and it is a type of pseudoscience.[1] Skeptic and lawyer Jann Bellamy has written that zero balancing is "a perfect example of how a promoter can fabricate a treatment and sell it to credulous clients and practitioners".[1]


Fritz Smith founder of zero balancing
Tutorial image used to show common element with zero balancing's work on the bones of the feet

Fritz Smith developed zero balancing in the early 1970s.[3] Smith trained and licensed as an Osteopathic Physician and Surgeon in 1955 and received an M.D. in 1961 in the state of California.[4]

During the late 1960s, Smith studied with several teachers at the Esalen Institute in Northern California, among them Ida Pauline Rolf, founder of Rolfing Structural Integration and J. R. Worsley, founder of the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in London, England. Under Worsley, Smith became the first American to earn the Diploma of Acupuncture at the College of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in London, in 1972.[4] He also studied with Swami Muktananda, the founder of Siddha Yoga.[5]

Smith began to integrate principles of traditional Chinese medicine with his osteopathic and Structural Integration training. This led him to develop the manual touch therapy system of zero balancing.[5] The name came about when someone receiving his work described the experience, "I feel so well-balanced, like I'm zero; zero-balanced."[6]

Smith is the author of many articles and two books, Inner Bridges: A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure and Alchemy of Touch: Moving Towards Mastery Through the Lens of Zero Balancing.[7]


In 2004 The Times reported that becoming a zero balancing practitioner required less time than many other therapies, about 15 days of classroom time plus additional case work and supervised sessions."[8]

As of 2009 there were about 700 practitioners.[7]


QuackWatch lists the zero balancing Association as one of about 750 "questionable organizations."[9]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Bellamy J (17 September 2015). "Massage Therapy rubs me the wrong way". Science-Based Medicine.
  2. Fritz Frederick Smith quoted at "About Zero Balancing". Zero Balancing Health Association. Retrieved July 2016. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. Geggus, Pam (2004). "Introduction to the concepts of Zero Balancing". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 8: 58. doi:10.1016/S1360-8592(03)00066-4.
  4. 1 2 Calvert, Robert; Calvert, Judy (1994). "Interview with Frederick "Fritz" Smith, M.D". Massage Magazine. p. 40.
  5. 1 2 Smith, Fritz Frederick (1986). Inner Bridges – A Guide to Energy Movement and Body Structure. p. 89. ISBN 0893340863.
  6. Beaumont, Richard (1991), "Zero Balancing", Kindred Spirit, p. 27.
  7. 1 2 Lauterstein, David (May–June 2009). "Reflections, a conversation with Fritz Smith on Zero Balancing". Massage and Bodywork. p. 79.
  8. Murcott, Toby (24 July 2004). "What's the evidence? Zero-balancing". The Times.
  9. Barrett, Stephen (9 May 2013). "Questionable Organizations: An Overview". QuackWatch. Retrieved May 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zero Balancing.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/7/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.