Massage & Bodywork

SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2019

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demand for classes, and the enthusiasm of his growing and devoted groups of students, led to a series of teacher trainings that resulted in hundreds of certified Zero Balancing teachers all over the world. Smith's growing insights led him to create advanced courses and teacher trainings. "The Alchemy of Touch" explores working in higher energy states to help relieve more intractable problems. "Geometry of Healing" amplifies the experience of spaciousness within the person, using the concept of the "gap" as elaborated by Deepak Chopra. When a person has the experience of a gap between thoughts and of greater spaciousness in the body and in time, they have a greater opportunity for change. Other courses followed. Many were created by Smith, and others were created by his faculty members as they focused on special conditions, populations, or ideas about healing. Zero Balancing has developed quite a structure—there is the Zero Balancing Health Association in America, the Zero Balancing Association UK, other international associations, and the Zero Balancing Touch Foundation, which engages in research and approval of new courses and refinement of the core trainings. There is a long association with the Upledger Institute, the Lauterstein- Conway Massage School, the Traditional Acupuncture Institute, and the many cities and areas, especially in the US, where there are high concentrations of Zero Balancers. FAR FROM DONE At age 90, Smith is still filled with passion, energy, and ideas. "My current passion is the field and how meditation and bodywork affect the energy field. I've been listening to Bruce Lipton, and he says only 5 percent of our mental activity is conscious and 95 percent is unconscious. He goes on to say the first six years of life lay down the blueprint for your unconscious. In those first six years, the child just downloads information; they don't analyze it," he says. "So, if we want to provide the opportunity for change, we need to find a way to talk to the 95 percent of us that is below consciousness. And how do we do that? One way is to quiet the mind, and that is where pauses and longer-held touch come in. When nothing apparently is happening, the person goes to a deeper place, to an expanded state of awareness, and they are more open to change. As to the future of Zero Balancing, Smith has hopes for its place in the world. "Developing Zero Balancing many years ago, I had no idea where it was going to go," he says. "It started out as a biomechanical system that was very good at stopping pain and helping function. But now I'm seeing it as a holistic system. I think it is a therapy that really belongs in this world because it helps a person become awake and break away from their old habitual patterns toward self-actualization. There is movement in the culture to raise the consciousness of the world. I think Zero Balancing is totally in accord with that movement. I think, and hope, Zero Balancing will contribute to a future in which we see a higher level of healing and self-actualization—not just for individuals, but for our whole world." David Lauterstein is the cofounder of the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School in Austin, Texas. He is the author of The Deep Massage Book: How to Combine Structure and Energy in Bodywork and Life in the Bones: A Biography of Dr. Fritz Smith and Zero Balancing. He teaches in Austin, as well as in workshops throughout the US, in Costa Rica, and in the UK. Top: Smith highlights the importance of the sacrum. Middle: Author David Lauterstein and Smith in discussion. Bottom: Smith and wife, Aminah Raheem, at his 90th birthday celebration in Palm Springs. Photos by Giovanni Pescetto.

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