Bone Deep Energy

The Revitalizing Effect of Zero Balancing

The bones of the body carry a particularly strong current of qi that when our body is moving optimally, can help us to feel lighter, clearer and more grounded. “Zero Balancing [ZB] is a structural and energetic hands-on mind/body therapy which enhances the flow of energy, or qi, through the body’s structure, especially through the skeletal system,” states Mary Murphy, owner of Wilmette-based Zero Balancing Wellness Center.

“Received fully clothed on a massage table, the Zero Balancer uses gentle finger pressure or a comfortable amount of stretch through key joints that act as the body’s shock absorbers, and which conduct and balance forces of gravity, posture and movement,” she says.

Murphy has been using ZB for the last 20 years in her therapeutic bodywork practice, and her center provides ZB sessions to clients and ZB training classes to healthcare professionals. She is a certified ZB instructor and practitioner and licensed massage therapist, holding advanced certification in multiple bodywork methods.

“ZB has a very integrating effect, as it is always working with both structure and energy,” says Murphy. “Unlike modalities which focus primarily on improvement of physical functioning or on the body’s energy system, ZB works with both. ZB practitioners use the analogy of a sailboat, with the boat being the physical body and the wind being the energy of the body. The goal is to enhance how well the client is ‘tacking into their own wind,’ or in other words, how aligned they are within themselves. ZB addresses the whole person.”

ZB is unique in its focus on the relationship between our structure and energy. Murphy adds, “Touching energy and structure simultaneously engenders the sensation of feeling both energized and relaxed.” A ZB session is holistic, respecting the unique essential health of each person and supporting optimal coherency, ease and balance.

ZB was developed by Dr. Fritz Smith, M.D., in California in the 1970s to harmonize the relationship between the structure and the energy of the body. It works by gently touching and stretching bone and other tissues that conduct electrical currents through the biofield of the body.

“The client’s own energy movement then provides an opportunity for the held tension in those tissues and in fields of body energy to reorganize,” notes Murphy. “Held tension is synonymous with vibration and can hold information. When releasing, organizing or balancing vibration, a higher level of self-organization can occur, which leads to harmonizing the mind, as well as the body.”

To really begin to feel the benefits, Murphy recommends three sessions initially, over the course of three to eight weeks, to address a client’s immediate need. “If a pattern of physical or emotional tension has been held for a very long time, it may be appropriate to continue sessions beyond that time,” notes Murphy. “Many clients have initially come for a short series to get over the hump of a difficulty they are experiencing, but find they enjoy coming for maintenance sessions for their own well-being on a schedule that works for them.”

Murphy states that clients appreciate receiving sessions that allow them to feel the quality and vibrancy of their bones and enlivening empowerment that comes from having the inner architecture of the musculoskeletal system addressed. “Benefits include improvements in postural alignment, joint mobility, ease of breathing and reductions in biomechanics imbalances, musculoskeletal pain, tissue trauma and stress-related symptoms,” she adds. “Many client receive ZB sessions for the mind/body effects of enhanced clarity and self-actualization, reducing anxiety and experiencing a more spacious mental and emotional sense of well-being.”

The Zero Balance Wellness Center offers classes that provide information on the principles and techniques for touching structure and energy simultaneously and how to facilitate expanded states of consciousness through touch. “Inherent in the training is the philosophy that the body’s innate healing ability can be facilitated through enhancing the energy flow and coherence within the body’s structure,” she says. “As a person’s energy flow is balanced, a state of deep relaxation occurs; tensions are more easily released and states of dynamic equilibrium can be clarified and stabilized.”

In addition to ZB classes, the Zero Balancing Wellness Center also offers programs that are open to the public on health and wellness topics.

The Zero Balancing Wellness Center is located at 809 Ridge Rd., Ste. 200, in Wilmette. For more information, call 847-920-9292 or visit

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