I watch intently as Christine Baldwin stands over Joelle Cote-Powell, who is lying on the treatment table.
“Let’s take a moment to consciously align with spirit,” says Christine quietly. “Before we start a Zero Balancing session we pause, ask, and allow guidance and support from spirit.”
Beginning at her feet, she gently touches various points on Joelle’s body and observes where she feels tension. She notices that her eyes are flickering and remarks, “It’s a working sign that she is starting to drop in.”
A physical therapist for more than 30 years, Christine is the proprietor of Summit Spring Holistic Health Center and Adaptive Movement Services in Poland Spring. Christine is also a certified Zero Balancer practitioner and teacher. Developed by Dr. Fritz Frederick Smith in the early 1970s, Zero Balancing is a hands-on therapy that balances the relationship of energy and structure within the bones and tissues. Using finger pressure and gentle traction on key joints throughout the body, the therapy has a primary goal to release blocked energy.
Christine’s interest in Zero Balancing grew out of realizing that when she worked on someone in her physical therapy practice, there was more going on than met the eye. She could feel it.
She “listens” to Joelle’s bones and ligaments, getting a sense of how energy is moving.
“I’m curious about the tension I feel on the right,” she says, stopping for a moment. “When I feel where energy is being held, I offer something to free it up.”
That something is a fulcrum or a point of balance, which Christine says is a working tool that releases held tension and allows energy to move. She will press softly on the specific area with her fingers or gently pull until she makes a clear connection with energy. She has just put in a fulcrum where a rib meets Joelle’s spine.
“I can feel her energy movement,” asserts Christine. “I feel a vibration and warmth. Energy expresses itself in many different ways. Now, for Joelle, it feels smooth and clear. I felt a vibration and then she had a nice deep breath.”
Christine uses a sailing analogy to describe how Zero Balancing works.
“If you have a structurally sound sailboat, but there is no wind or energy, you won’t be able to sail,” she explains. “If you have great wind but no sail, you won’t go anywhere either. To move, you need structure and energy. It’s the same with our bodies. With Zero Balancing, I work directly with the body’s energy and structure and their relationship to each other. It is not about fixing anything,” she continues. “The cells in our body want to be in harmony. Zero Balancing creates a point of stillness where the mind quiets, the energy fields organize, and internal reorientation begins.”
When she puts in a fulcrum and holds it still for several seconds, Christine goes into her own point of stillness.
“It’s my job to stay as neutral and present and clear as possible. I meditate every day and take care of myself. If you can touch someone with full attention you will be able to tap into something else on a deeper, spiritual level,” she says.
Their session at an end, Joelle sits up slowly and dangles her legs over edge of the table.
“It is incredible. I feel very relaxed, as if everything is in its place and I’ve come back to myself. It’s like saying hello to yourself again,” Joelle says of Zero Balancing.
I find it especially interesting that I experienced a shift in the energy in the room as Christine worked on Joelle. One moment I was watching closely and taking copious notes and the next, something was clearly different. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but realized I felt as if I had just taken a deep, satisfying breath. A working sign perhaps, that I, too, was feeling “Zero Balanced.”