Being more inclined towards a glass of wine and Mad Men re-runs than pilates and meditation, my acceptance was tentative when I was offered a session of Zero Balancing – a treatment billed as ‘body-mind therapy’.
At the time, I was suffering from a stubborn bout of RSI (repetitive strain injury) and wearing a wrist support, which, during the heatwave, was absorbing sweat like a needy sponge. After moving my mouse to the left-hand side of my screen, switching from a smartphone to a retro-brick phone and peeling myself away from Twitter, I was fed up. Then, I met Jeff Lennard.
When I arrived at Natureworks, just behind Oxford Street, I felt like a knotted ball of melting rubber bands. Make-up had dripped two inches south of acceptable, and looming deadlines were playing ping-pong inside my head. So when I first saw Jeff – a Zero-Balancing evangelist – I was bowled over by his serenity. I soon learned he was trained by the founder of Zero Balancing, Dr Fritz Smith, and had over 25 years of experience. My bones were in safe hands.
Before the session started, I had to ask: what is Zero-Balancing? Apparently, it’s a treatment that aims to release tension from your body (and mind) by putting gentle pressure on bones and joints. Technically, it gets a lot more complicated than that. But all you really need to know is that it unblocks tightness, improves posture and leaves you with a deep, deep sense of calm. From emotional trauma to back pain and stress, I soon saw why Jeff’s clients use Zero Balancing to treat a multitude of problems.
Initially, he asks me what I’m looking for from the session – other than material to write about, that is. I tell him that I’d like my wrist to stop hurting and that I’d like to be calmer. Later, during the session, he lifts my head with both hands and asks if I think a lot. Too much, I say. I don’t explain further, but I sense that he can see my knotted rubber bands. ‘Your head is heavy,’ he says, before asking me to ‘drop’ all my thoughts. They slip out of my skull and through my skin, like sand. I can’t explain it any better than that.
Jeff works his way around my bones – from head to toe, pushing and pulling joints. It’s difficult to trace his movements in my meditative state, but when I finally stand up, I stand taller.
We are often sceptical about holistic treatments that aren’t well known or embraced by the masses, so I’ll just tell you this: a week later, I am typing, Tweeting and clicking without pain. Was Zero Balancing solely responsible? I can’t prove a thing. But I know for a fact that I’ll be saving Jeff’s number.
Jeff Lennard at Natureworks
16 Balderton Street
Tel: 020 7629 2927
Image credited to Paige Birney