The Morning Show

When we have stress in our neck and shoulders, or if we injure our hip, it seems only natural that we might choose to receive a massage. But when we are struggling with our mental health it doesn’t often occur to us to seek out bodywork. However, researchers are finding more and more that human touch is essential to holistic health and healing. Gillian Gabriel is a local Licensed Massage Therapist who specializes in a treatment called Zero Balancing.

What is Zero Balancing?

Zero Balancing is a form of somatic bodywork, which just means that it operates with an understanding that the body and mind are intrinsically connected. It is based off of similar principles as acupuncture, and focuses both on the physical structures of your body as well as energy movement.

How is your Zero Balancing session uniquely suited to helping with mental health needs?

Our bodies are how we experience the world. Often when go through a traumatic event or are in a situation where there is sustained stress for a long period of time, it can be too much for our brains and bodies to process all at once. So sometimes these emotions get stored and become things like a tight shoulder or digestive issues. 

At the beginning of a Zero Balancing session we will have a talk about what is on your mind as well as some intentions that you would like to set. This can be as simple as just wishing for community or more patience with our co-workers. Often talking about these things in tandem with receiving bodywork can be more effective than traditional talk therapy or just receiving a massage alone. The idea being that if we are releasing old emotion or thought patterns, we can replace them with something that might be more useful to you in your current situation. It’s like an energetic reprogramming of sorts.

What can people expect during a session? 

A session usually lasts about 90 minutes altogether, with the receiver fully clothed on the table. After we have our chat, I will first do an evaluation of your movement and posture, and then you will lie down and I will gently palpate your body, applying gentle pressure to areas of tightness or congestion, just to say hello to them and help them to release on their own. It’s very relaxing, there are lots of little stretches and massages on your head, shoulders, neck, hands, and feet interspersed throughout.

And what are some effects or benefits someone might feel after the session?

You’ll definitely notice an increase of calmness and groundedness. Often you might find that you are sleeping a little better, feeling less stressed, and have a greater sense of balance and flexibility. If you have been dealing with physical symptoms or some pain issues you might find some relief from that as well.

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