MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

As you know, my ambition is to cover all (or at least most) alternative methods on this blog _ by no means an easy task because there is a sheer endless list of treatments and a sizable one of diagnostic techniques. One intervention that we have not yet discussed is ZERO BALANCING.

What is it?

This website explains it fairly well:

Developed by Fritz Smith, MD in the early 1970s, Zero Balancing is a powerful body-mind therapy that uses skilled touch to address the relationship between energy and structures of the body. Following a protocol that typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes,  the practitioner uses finger pressure and gentle traction on areas of tension in the bones, joints and soft tissue to create fulcrums, or points of balance, around which the body can relax and reorganize. Zero Balancing focuses primarily on key joints of our skeleton that conduct and balance forces of gravity, posture and movement. By addressing the deepest and densest tissues of the body along with soft tissue and energy fields, Zero Balancing helps to clear blocks in the body’s energy flow, amplify vitality and contribute to better postural alignment. A Zero Balancing session leaves you with a wonderful feeling of inner harmony and organization.

Did I just say ‘fairly well’? I retract this statement. Zero Balancing turns out to be one of the more nebulous alternative treatments.

The therapy might be defined by lots of nonsensical terminology, but that does not necessarily mean it is rubbish. Judging from the claims made for Zero Balancing, it might even be a most useful therapy. Here are just some of the claims frequently made for zero balancing:

  • Increases feelings of health and well-being
  • Releases stress and improves the flow of energy in our bodies
  • Reduces pain and discomfort
  • Enhances stability, balance and freedom
  • Amplifies the sense of connection, peace and happiness
  • Releases mental, emotional and physical tension
  • Supports us through transitions and transformations
  • Improves quality of life and increases capacity for enjoyment

These claims are testable, and we must, of course, ask by what evidence they are being supported. I did a quick Medline-search to find out.

And the result?

Zero!

… now the rather odd name of the treatment begins to make sense: ZERO BALANCING, ZERO EVIDENCE.

44 Responses to Zero balancing … zero evidence

  • I hope that grandpa at least keeps his “finger pressure” above the waistline.

    • Looks like women don’t have to undress at least. I’m guessing that the demographic for this therapy is mostly women. As seems to be generally the case with CAM.

  • And ZERO SENSE!

    To his “credit” (pun intended), the MD, if indeed he is, invented a technique (spelled ‘scam’) which has rid him of the stress of real medicine, gives a steady and lucrative income, as well as placating the many loon bags who walk among us and appear rational.

    • there you have it: perfect balance between zero sense and zero evidence!

      • You clearly haven’t received it. I think by the evidence of your pen, you would benefit greatly from it, along with your interactions and the other guys who haven’t received this treatment.

  • Judging by the two people in the background of the photo with the woman lying on the table, it seems to be good for rather radical weight loss as well.

  • I wonder how practitioners of other forms of quackery (e.g. homeopaths) perceive alternative methods like “Zero Balancing”. Do they think that all CAM approaches are true and equally effective? If not, how do they decide which one is right and which one is wrong? The ideas behind most (if not all) alternative treatment options seem very far-fetched and sound scientific evidence for efficiency is absent.
    How can believers in alternative methods wager their own health (or e.g. the heath of their children) on one of the countless CAM “medicines” without being provided with good evidence?

    • I have often wondered about that too; as far as I can see, quacks of one discipline do not accept quacks from another, but they tolerate them and hardly ever would speak badly about them. there seems to be something like a fraternity of charlatans where everyone supports everyone without ever objecting to things they cannot possibly believe in.
      for instance, a classical homeopath must believe that a clinician using homotoxicology, is complete misguided – and vice versa. yet I have never heard one speak out against the other.

      • I believe even the limited mental-processing ability of quacks & non-logicians affords them an understanding of how dominos work. And of course the “enemy-of-my-enemy is my friend”…and them quacks ALL hate logic and real scientific inquiry.
        I remember being in Catholic school and listening to the nuns not so subtly condemning those Protestants to hell, or at least purgatory…..but no one took the wrath more than the “wretched atheist”.
        In the end Stupid is as stupid does.

    • The answer to Jashak’s question is contained in their bank balances.
      That’s all the evidence quacks need.

      ZB is ideal for patients with zero insight and ability to exercise critical thought.
      But ZB is a registered trademark – though how you can trademark zero/nothing/zilch is beyond me!

      And how you can balance zero/nothing/zilch is even further away from reality than I initially thought.

      Do not confuse Zero Balance with another trademarked technique which is an important tool for wellness screening:
      Zyto Balance (https://www.zyto.com/Products/Balance).

      • “The answer to Jashak’s question is contained in their bank balances.
        That’s all the evidence quacks need.”

        Dr. Rawlins, I refuse to believe that this is true. My questions refer to the CAM practitioners who do not lie to their patients on purpose (who are frauds). I have no doubt that many CAM practitioners truely believe that their “medicine” works and that the underlying theory is true. What is the basis for their confidence to be able to treat (in some cases serious) health problems with their specific CAM method? How can some CAM advocates dedicate their life to exactly this CAM method (let´s say homeopathy)?
        In my mind, this has more to do with belive than with any deliberate financial decision. I am continuously baffled that so many people do not need any objective reason or logic to firmly stick to their belief systems, even if it might harm themselves or other people.

        • Critical thinking is an aquired skill. It needs an amenable mind and practise. Most people would like the world not to be precisely the way it actually is. Most people would have made the world differently had they been God. CAM exists for intractable or self-limiting conditions. Far from getting to the root cause of illness, as many claim to do, CAMsters treat the physical symptoms and above all the mood of sufferers. Psychotherapies by another name is mostly what they are. Psychotherapies can’t cure intractable illnesses but they can offer false hope. CAM offers false hope when it claims to be able to cure cancer etc. This is where CAM gets really ugly. But mostly it’s ablout wishful thinking about stuff that we can’t actually do anything about.

          For practitioners in general, I believe a primary benefit is feeling good about helping others to feel good, or at least to feel better than they otherwise might feel. It’s a congenial way of making a living.

          Then there are the really bad guys who know full well it’s all baloney, and are happy to take the mugs for all they can get. That’s not most of CAM, it’s just the worst of CAM.

          Then there is the question of CAM research. This is a very serious question which too few people seem to take seriously. There is a veritable industry of true believers churning out alt-research. Junk research. And the really bad guys as well as the naive well-intentioned folk take full advantage of it.

        • Jashak, on what basis do you ‘have no doubt’ many camists truly believe that their ‘medicine’ works?
          Given there is no evidence it does, are these camists deluded fools?
          Or is it more likely that they are indeed knowing quacks?
          How can you tell?

          • Dr. Rawlins, I admit that I have no evidence for my opinion that many CAMists certainly believe in their trade. And I would not know how to test this hypothesis scientifically.
            However, I think that many CAMists are rather “good natured” fools than “evil” frauds. This seems to be in agreement with Prof. Ernst, who of course has far more experience with quacks than I do. As he indicated in his recent post about “fools vs. frauds”, many grey certainly scales seem to exist and the consequences of the deeds of the fools are arguably even more severe that the damage that frauds cause, because the former believe in what they do and can be very convincing.
            Maybe I am a deluded fool myself, but as a humanist, I prefer to think that people in the healthcare business in general are rather “good” and do not want to harm other people. But of cause, I am aware that many criminal frauds also do exist.

    • @Jashak

      You’ll find here a naturopath (Hal Huff) who tweeted (to Britt Hermes, no less): “I and many of my colleagues are not defenders of homeopathy or other fantastical concepts (emunctories).”

      A doubly interesting remark, since ’emunctory’ from the dictionary means ‘pertaining to the elimination of waste from the body’. But from this description, naturopaths normally regard emunctories as highly important to their ‘profession’. So Huff’s (accurate) characterization of homeopathy as a ‘fantastical concept’ suggests naturopaths are not homogeneous in their beliefs. Maybe Hal Huff should comment here under the moniker ‘critical_naturo’?

      Of course, it might be suggested that, since all forms of pseudo-medicine (medical treatments unsupported by evidence) seem to be BS, then pseudo-medicine might itself be reasonably characterized as a conceptual emunctory.

    • Are these the words of a believer?

      Knowledge is experience , belief is lack of knowledge. Try these things out then perhaps you can talk about them, no matter what the subject. Simple. Tried Homeopathy? Possibly not. And then only personal experience may be considered.

      Perhaps we can hear axes grinding? 🙂

  • my ambition is to cover all (or at least most) alternative methods on this blog

    It is probably impossible. They mutate like mad, each one crazier than the last.

    This may be a link to a new one or I have just missed a post. I thought it interesting. Well, at first I thought the blogger was joking but Amazon has the book for sale. The credulity of some people is mind-boggling.
    https://ahcuah.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/homeopathic-earthing/

    BTW, would you like to participate in my GoFundMe campaign to develop my proto-type perpetual motion machine? A mere €100 would be of great help.

    • good idea – can I invest £ 10 000 ?

    • had a look at the link – it must be a hoax!

      • @EE

        I thought the same, but the book clearly exists on amazon.co.uk. But it appears in two second editions, published just 3 months apart in 2014. One is authored by Clinton Ober and Stephen T Sinatra, the other by Martin Zucker and Clinton Ober (huh?). The two books have the same cover. Weird! The first edition is dated 2010, authored by Clinton Ober alone and has no Amazon reviews. And there are four translations into languages other than English, (including three Spanish versions separately listed on Amazon).

        We might be looking at a serious hoax that outstrips the famous efforts of Alan Sokal. Or jkrideau might, as he says, have found one of the more remarkable mutations of crazy, health-based, pseudo-scientific nonsense. Either way, a peek at the Amazon reviews reveals in 3D and technicolor the problems this blog attempts to redress. When you read someone blaming their health problems on a newly installed ‘smart meter’ you almost lose the will to live.

        • I missed the multiple editions at Amazon, blast it.

          The original link goes to an advocate of going barefoot everywhere it can be done safely. A trifle eccentric but he’s not a nutter as far as I can see.

          He has had a least one other post mocking the Alt-crazies so, given the Amazon listings, I am willing to think he may be just passing on some real craziness as a joke.

          Given some of the other “miracle cures” we see, this is not all that weirder but it could be a wildly elaborate hoax.

          • It seems that you also missed the date of the article to which you linked.

          • @Pete

            Aha! Me too! 😀

            The original link is clearly a beautiful April Fool. Right up there with the dear old ‘homeopathic bomb’.

            But the Earthing book definitely seems to be the genuine item (despite the anomalies I picked up earlier). 578 reviews on Amazon can’t all be hoaxes. Clinton Ober seems to be the person behind the barefoot approach to prevention of chronic inflammation. You can see the man interviewed here. One thing still puzzles me. Ober has a US background, where ‘earthing’ is usually referred to as ‘grounding’, as Ober does in his interview. So why does he choose to use ‘earthing’ — the usual term in the UK — for his title. Shrewd marketing? After all, ‘Friends of the Ground’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

            For readers who want to spend waste money in an effort to attain ‘vibrant health’, surf to https://www.earthing.com/ where you’ll find lots of products to assist you.

  • Kia Ora, I came across this post as I was searching for reviews on zero balance therapy. A friend recommended I check it out. He has a powerful testimony being healed of years of pain in his knee, it looks quite legit. He is older south-land man who does not even go to doctors and here he got better from just one session, he was was shocked himself, is it a placebo effect or something? I looked online and see more testimonials, are they all made up or psychosomatic? Other then sarcasm can you actually provide a reasonable review worth considering?

    • there seems to be no evidence to review – if you disagree, please show us evidence.

    • have you tried zero balancing? Of course it affects everybody differently just like everything else. I am a zero balancing practitioner and it is an absolutely incredible modality. beyond anything that the physical realm can explain, and that’s the problem if you are a shallow person, and train by Western medicine you will not understand the depth of this modality just like many others

  • I’m a DPT, currently practicing, meanwhile studying to become ayurvedic yoga therapist, and most recently looking to take a Zero Balancing course for some CEU credits. A patient called my clinic asking if I was certified and after looking into it I’m interested, so I will be taking the course and I’ll letcha know how it turns out friends. Don’t knock it til you try it.

  • I’ve tried zero balancing . End of story.?

  • Why did my comment disappear? Your heading says do not comment without evidence. I was the only one who did comment with evidence and even a pretty amazing ZB experience both personally and as a new practitioner and you delete it. Why did you delete it, because it is contrary to your nonsense? You, sir, are the scammer. And you have denied the people who have commented here the chance to hear otherwise. All of those fancy letters behind your name (if they are even real) don’t mean anything if you are closed-minded and can’t have, contradictory to your nonsense, real evidence posted to your sham of a blog. Shame on you.

  • I posted a rather lengthy post, that somehow did not make it on this thread because I think, it had links to a study that showed that the nervous system settles into a state of calm ( a deeper state of consciousness) when receiving ZB. I have had ZB done on me for over 20 years and recently became a certified practitioner of ZB. I had a Hospice client who reported, as did his wife, family, and Hospice nurses that ZB relieved him of his anxiety and agitation so that he could rest/sleep and it changed the quality of the time they had left together, due to the relieve on his nervous system. I will try to post the links again so that the potential of Zero Balancing is evident. Explore ZB. One session is not a cure-all, somewhat regular sessions every 2-8 weeks (everyone is different) helps maintain the grounded sense of well-being. It can also help with posture, some pain, stress, and help with sleeping. I see my comment being angry that the original post with the links, was accepted by the author of this blog but not the one showing evidence. Showing evidence is listed right up at the top of the page.

    https://zbtouch.org/?fbclid=IwAR2V8-aj1y0lGqR43GpmwhXBnIRV_v5ZYEV_EswET4jps3G1ckQ9ro3zym4%20%20%20%20AND%20this%20site%20%20https://

    http://www.zerobalancing.com/

  • The Zero Balancing Touch Foundation finished a second pilot study in 2017. There is further research currently being done on the effects of Zero Balancing.
    Please see the following links:
    https://zbtouch.org/2017-nsi-research-results-and-overview/
    https://zbtouch.org/2017-nsi-research-study/

    Also, please check your facts before posting articles. All healthcare practitioners have the duty to not cause harm. This includes spreading false information. Doing a quick Medline search does not justify that there is no evidence-based research on alternative modalities.

    • a pilot study is not evidence; and research needs to be published in peer reviewed journals, otherwise it amounts to nothing. please check your facts before posting nonsense.

  • The cost to develop, get FDA approval and get a new drug to market in the USA cost between one and two billion dollars. At best, only 14% of studies will make it to market. Not even smaller biotech companies have the money to take that risk, today they usually partner up with Big Pharma to have a chance to make it happen. CAM will never be able to put up the evidence you require…EE. How convenient for Big Pharma… just the way you would like it to stay… wink.

  • Of course they guy and or guys calling zero balancing quakery never received a ZB treatment. I am a ZB practitioner, please stop the ignorance. The proper way to go about this would be to get a treatment or a few treatments yourself, be objective and interview people that have also received ZB, are you paid by big pharma to destroy wonderful modalities that go far beyond our physical realm??? It’s outrageous, even worst are the people on here that are empowering you to spread lies about a modality that you are completely ignorant about. Why don’t you take a class??? You think Drs, and other professionals would spend their time and money learning nonsense??? Then again people study western medicine for many years and barely have a clue on the body or what it is to be healthy

  • This has been a real pleasure to stumble upon.
    East vs. west which is right, which is quackery because it hasn’t been studied by the FDA?
    How many western drugs have been accepted by the FDA only to be pulled off the market after killing off, worsening millions of patients who bought into all those junk meds that have resulted in endless civil action suits?
    The sham blogger who posted this ridiculousness who still hasn’t replied to the last post over a month ago cause they are clearly at a loss for any useful words must’ve really be pondering their next move.
    They should either try Xb themselves then form an opinion or at the least do some independent research of their own or crawl back under their rock and stick with big pharma’s one pill cure’s all approach which is clearly disrupting the signals to the part of their brain that allows them to think for themselves.
    This isn’t a real discussion, this is just childish nonsense not surprised at all perpetuated by over educated close minded western physicians with zero sense whom are probably of no more use to the medical community than what they are claiming as “quackery” to be. My Evidence to support my claim is years of botched surgeries and complications from western medicines. Get over your overinflated egos and try helping someone instead of proving everybody else wrong.
    Do you really think your 6 figure salary is any more earned than $100 for a 45 minute session of fairly minimally invasive holistic treatment? Where is any evidence that zero balance does any permanent damage? Every medical procedure I have ever heard of comes with risks. What a joke of a discussion.

    • I am so glad that we managed to amuse you.

    • @Joe Dobbs

      How many western drugs have been accepted by the FDA only to be pulled off the market …

      Some 460 since the 1950’s: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740994/

      … after killing off, worsening millions of patients …

      Those withdrawn drugs(*) did not kill or injure ‘millions of patients’. Best estimates peg the number at hundreds of thousands – over several decades. Admittedly, that is still quite a lot, but then again, the damage from harmful prescription drugs doesn’t get close to the mayhem wreaked by alcohol and tobacco, with literally millions of deaths every year.

      who bought into all those junk meds that have resulted in endless civil action suits?

      AFAICT, class action lawsuits about harmful drugs are few and far between. Here’s an indication: https://www.i-lawsuit.com/from-zantac-to-seldane-6-major-fda-drug-recalls-of-the-last-20-years/

      Every medical procedure I have ever heard of comes with risks. What a joke of a discussion.

      It would seem that the joke is on you, as there is one glaring problem with your lamentation: you apparently judge drugs and treatments solely by the harm they may do. Which frankly is a bit silly, because the primary reason why people resort to these things is the expected benefit – and if the benefit outweighs the harm, using a particular medicine or treatment is justified.
      The problem with alternative treatments and medicines is that they usually have no benefits. Best case, they make people feel better through the placebo effect, but the don’t make people better.
      Yes, a ‘minimally invasive holistic treatment’ may sound nice, but the only real effect it has is on the patient’s wallet. It does not help them with any health problems that they have.

      *: Also note that to my knowledge, alternative treatments are never withdrawn or abandoned, even if they may cause harm. E.g. many eastern ‘medicines’ contain dangerous amounts of heavy metals and extracts from toxic plants, but are still promoted and sold to hapless patients.
      Also, the very fact that medicines are withdrawn is a sign that there is at least some form of quality control and monitoring of side effects going on – something that is completely absent in the Alternative Universe.
      So in all fairness, you might want to direct some of your criticism that way.

      • @Richard Rasker

        Richard
        The estimated deaths from Vioxx alone are in the 100,000 range.

        Beyond that, I take issue with this statement.
        “Best estimates peg the number at hundreds of thousands – over several decades. Admittedly, that is still quite a lot, but then again, the damage from harmful prescription drugs doesn’t get close to the mayhem wreaked by alcohol and tobacco, with literally millions of deaths every year.”

        Are you serious ?
        You are comparing the deaths caused by tobacco and alcohol to deaths due to FDA approved prescription drugs….. WOW RICHARD…. you know how to spin it. Can we at least stick to comparing remedies ?

        • @Listener26

          You are comparing the deaths caused by tobacco and alcohol to deaths due to FDA approved prescription drugs

          Well, yes. The harm that people do to themselves using legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol is several orders of magnitude worse than the harm done by pharmaceutical products.

          Just look at the list I gave you: some 460 drugs withdrawn in the past 70 years worldwide, most voluntarily, and the vast majority without significant numbers of deaths.
          And, of course, there is a reason why prescription drugs have to be prescribed: their use comes with all sorts of risks and drawbacks. They should only be used when needed, and when their expected benefits exceed the possible side effects and drawbacks. And, as I said, those withdrawals from the market are the result of a working system of monitoring and checking – something completely absent in the Alternative Universe.

          you know how to spin it

          Well, thank you for the compliment, but the one doing the spinning here is not me. You exclusively tout the possible harm of medicines, without considering the benefits at all, painting a seriously skewed picture of reality.

          Can we at least stick to comparing remedies ?

          I believe I already did that. But here’s a summary:
          Alternative ‘medicines’
          Benefits: very few to none.
          Risks: none (most homeopathic products) tot very serious (ayurvedic products).
          Other drawbacks: they cost money, and may delay seeking real medical help in serious cases.
          Annual number of preventable deaths: impossible to say, as no pre-market testing or after-market monitoring or reporting takes place whatsoever.
          Conclusion: not recommended

          Presciption medicines
          Benefits: huge. Without modern medicines, millions of people would die or suffer badly. And e.g. simple infections would become life-threatening again.
          Risks: moderate to serious.
          Other drawbacks: they cost money
          Annual number of preventable deaths: many thousands, mostly as a result of human error or abuse.
          Conclusion: when properly used as and when prescribed, real medicines help millions of people. However, safety testing, vigilance and monitoring are still absolutely necessary, also given the high number of preventable deaths.

          Anyway, you appear to be a victim of the so-called nirvana fallacy: all medicines should be totally risk-free, otherwise they’re no good – and that is something that only applies to homeopathy(*). Ergo: real medicines are Bad.
          I’m sorry to inform you that reality doesn’t work that way. It is very simple: medicines that are guaranteed 100% risk-free are as a rule also 100% effect-free, i.e. useless. That isn’t to say that we should simply accept it if pharmaceutical companies mess up or defraud us, but effective medicine always has possible side effects as well. And sometimes things go horribly wrong, even with tests and monitoring in place.

          I hope this helps clear things up a bit, best regards.

          *: And even homeopathic products sometimes turn out to be quite harmful.

          • @Richard Rasker

            Again sir,
            Legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol are not touted as remedies….. please, use you head. This comparison should not be made.

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