From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “The Zero Balancing Technique: A Whole-Person Approach,” by Kate Chase Ryan, in the October 2009 issue. Article summary: Human self-evolution has taken a big leap forward with major new body-mind therapies, such as body-centered psychotherapy, Rolfing and Zero Balancing. Zero Balancing is a profound addition to understanding the skeletal portion of the musculoskeletal system.

by Kate Chase Ryan

Zero Balancing courses are taught in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and New Zealand by experienced Zero Balancers who have dedicated many years of their practice to the integrity, beauty and cultivation of this work.

The first two courses every Zero Balancer takes are Zero Balancing I and Zero Balancing II, referred to collectively as the Core Zero Balancing Program.

Both of these courses are fun, hands-on trainings where students learn the full Zero Balancing protocol and the theoretical foundation that supports this work. By the end of Zero Balancing I, students are able to give a full Zero Balancing, and by the end of Zero Balancing II, they have a comprehensive understanding of the protocol, theory and principals.

Zero Balancing courses may be taken by anyone with an interest and familiarity with bodywork. Certification, however, is open only to licensed health-care professionals. Acceptance into the certification program is not required to continue past the core classes or to give Zero Balancings, but the use of the title “Zero Balancer” or listing “Zero Balancing” on any printed material is reserved for those who have completed the program.

Certification involves 100 hours of coursework, case studies, written essays and hands-on evaluations with certified practitioners and faculty members. Once you’re accepted into the certification program, the Zero Balancing Health Association connects you with a mentor. Mentors are certified Zero Balancers or Zero Balancing faculty members, who review case studies and essays and offer support and guidance throughout the process. With mentorship, the certification program is uniquely personalized and provides a substantial opportunity for personal and professional growth.

After core Zero Balancing classes are completed, there are myriad electives available, exploring topics from body mechanics for the Zero Balancer, how to integrate Zero Balancing into full-body massage, roots of Zero Balancing in Chinese traditions and how Zero Balancing works with the skull, children or those with disabilities. There is truly no shortage of training and outreach opportunities for the Zero Balancer!

The Zero Balancing Health Association’s (ZBHA) main office is in Maryland, and five regional hubs facilitate local communication and networking. There are currently more than 460 certified Zero Balancers in North America, 100 more internationally and an additional 180 in the certification chute. To find out more about Zero Balancing in your community and to see a schedule of classes, visit www.zerobalancing.com or contact the ZBHA at (410) 381-8956.

Kate Chase Ryan, L.M.P., is a Certified Zero Balancer and certification mentor in Seattle, Washington. She can be found on the Web at www.therapeuticmovement.com. She is also founder and creative director of Advanced Educators LLC. Information on Advanced Educators and the massage workshops it sponsors can be found at www.AdvancedEducators.com

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