In this book John Hamwee offers an eloquent description of this subtle and increasingly popular therapy - together with convincing evidence of its effectiveness .... After working with Dr Friz Smith, who wrote the foreword for this attractive and engaging book, Hamwee became a practitioner and, later, one of 30 qualified Zero Balancing teachers. He explains that the technique employs gentle traction or finger pressure at various places on the trunk, neck, legs and feet. The pressure is not on acupressure points, nor is its effect on the muscles - which differentiates it from therapies like shiatsu and massage. The traction and pressure are directed to the bones and joints underlying soft tissue, but without manipulation - Zero Balancing works with both the structure and energy of the body to improve what Hamwee terms its 'organisation as a whole'.
The benefits may not immediately be apparent .... But after a couple of days I (Andrew Shields) began to feel less pain, and a palpable sense of well-being. Good health's indeed all a matter of balance. -- Time Out, June 1999
In this timely book, John Hamwee meets the need of a growing number of people who, either from personal experience of Zero Balancing of from interest in the growing edge of health care possibilities, wish to know what it is and why it works ....
John's Hamwee's writing style held my attention with such lightness, often at a deep level of lucid intellectual enquiry, that I read the book in a single sitting ... Whether the reader is directly involved in ZB, or open to understanding its place in a wider movement, this book will likely prove illuminating and inspiring. -- Caduceus, September 1999
Zero Balancing is a form of healing, but one with a clear theory and practice that can be taught and repeated. It is based on the Eastern concept that energy flows through the body and, in particular, through bones and joints. It is believed that emotional problems and physical ailments block, disturb or interrupt this force, leading to pain or incapacity.
'It is like having a blockage in the fuel pipe of a car,' says John Hamwee. 'The engine might be fine, but if the juice is not getting through, the vehicle cannot work to its full potential.' The 'zeebee' practitioner places his hands on particular parts of the client's body ... and briefly supports them. This apparently releases the blockages and rearranges the energy so that harmony is restored .... 'You are not looking for what is wrong with somebody,' says Hamwee. 'You are aiming to amplify their wellness. Instead of pulling out the weeds in the garden, you are trying to grow bigger, more beautiful flowers. It is good for people going through difficult times who want to enhance their potential. I also find it is brilliant for people with bad backs, painful hips and stiff necks.'
The therapy is also said to address emotional problems that have been stored in the body. Practitioners claim that it can bring about the sort of profound and lasting changes usually associated with long-term psychotherapy. One of Hamwee's clients, a distinguished psychotherapist, had suffered from migraines every 10 days for 20 years. She had three sessions of Zero Balancing four years ago, and has not had a migraine since. 'What really knocked her out was not just that the headaches disappeared, but that, during the session, she recalled a critical event in her childhood which had not surfaced before ... When something bad happens to us, we react. If we can't react, the event is taken into the bone.'
The idea that memory is stored in the bone may be difficult to swallow. Hamwee points out that we all know what it is like to feel physical symptoms of emotion - anxiety as sickness in the pit of the stomach, or fear as a fluttering in the chest.... 'Experience is stored in the mind, but why should the mind mean only the brain? Experience is absorbed right through the body.... It is amazing what range of suffering responds to this therapy. I am constantly astonished.' -- The Daily Telegraph, July 19th 1999
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
This is the first book about Zero Balancing - a form of bodywork which combines knowledge of anatomy from the west with knowledge of energy from the east. It gives a lively account of this form of therapy and how it works, illustrated by a host of examples and stories from clinical practice; but it also does much more than that...
First, the principles and concepts of Zero Balancing embody real wisdom about how to work safely and effectively with another human being, and will be of real interest to anyone who is involved in health care. They will strike an immediate chord with practitioners such as doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors, physiotherapists, acupuncturists, reflexologists, masseurs, nurses and so on; but psychotherapists and social workers have found it helpful to apply them to their work as well. Regardless of whether or not the reader ever chooses to become a practitioner of Zero Balancing, its basic ideas are of immense importance to the whole business of serving those who come to him or her for help.
Second, the book also explains simply and clearly the whole business of energy in the human body, suggesting that there is a great deal of unnecessary suspicion, confusion, and mystification about it. To demonstrate this, the book explains how anyone can learn to recognise it and touch it. This, it transpires, is not some esoteric skill demanding psychic ability; it simply requires focused attention on what is routinely noticed.
About thirty years ago Fritz Smith, an American osteopath and doctor, was asked to be present when an Indian man walked barefoot for twenty yards on burning coals; it would be his job to provide urgent medical care if necessary. Fritz watched the man perform the fire walk and examined him immediately afterwards. He could find no trace of any injury, nor any damage to the skin on the soles of the feet. At that moment he realised that what he had been taught at medical school was not an adequate explanation of how the body works, and he knew that he wanted to understand more. He qualified and practised as an acupuncturist, and as a result came across an added difficulty. It seemed that western and eastern descriptions of the body were both true, and both partially true; was there some theory or principle from which they could both be derived? He worried away at this question for some years, and when he got the answer he also got Zero Balancing.
The Basic Idea
Fritz Smith saw that the skeleton, the body's structure, and its energy are intimately related. For example, if the bones of the skeleton are not well aligned, then the flows of energy through the body will not be effective. And that causes problems because it is these flows which, in his view, maintain the integrity of a human being as a separate functioning entity and also connect that being to the life force which is in all things. Similarly, if there is a disturbance in the energy flows, for example following a fracture or an emotional shock, that would leave its mark on the skeleton. As a result, it would not provide the optimum combination of stability and flexibility; a combination which is so essential to our well-being.
In other words, he saw that restoring a balance of energy and structure to the body would have a powerful healing effect. In fact it turned out to be much more powerful than he realised. Initially, he saw potential only for the relief of pain and the improvement of muscular-skeletal problems such as back ache, stiff knees and so on. However, after some years of clinical experience, he noticed that many of his patients were returning for sessions long after their pain had gone away; they were coming because it helped them feel well, robust, clear and confident. This was particularly marked at times when his patients were going through difficult and stressful times. He realised that it wasn't just the body which worked more effectively when energy and structure were balanced, so did the mind.
Some time later, he discovered that during a session a considerable proportion of clients were moving into states of consciousness which could normally only be reached through prolonged meditation. In those states they were experiencing the kinds of insights, calm and well-being similar to those reported by thousands of meditators over the centuries. So this kind of balancing, he hypothesised, also has a powerful effect on what is normally called the spirit.
Perhaps it is the fact that Zero Balancing works on all these three levels at once that makes it such a powerful therapy; some combination of all three will be involved in healing for a person who is not well. It will also be involved in reaching and maintaining a state of real well-being; a state which is commonly overlooked and undervalued in everyday life.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.