Neuro Synchrony Institute – 2016

Presentation of the Neuro Synchrony Institute on Electrodermal Activity during a Zero Balancing Session

With the introduction of Stuart Reynolds and James Strickland of the Neuro Synchrony Institute from Austin, Texas, a powerpoint and video presentation highlighted the physiological data collection project from September. Hosted by David Lauterstein at the Lauterstein-Conway School of Massage, the researchers collected data through wireless wrist sensors from both the ZB clients and ZB practitioners before and during each session. The measurement of electrodermal activity (EDA), temperature change and movement were then analyzed with intriguing interactions. Simultaneously, each session was videotaped for additional understanding and points of interest.

ZB practitioners for the study, faculty members Tom Gentile and Mary Murphy, then reviewed each video session and made notations as to when a “significant therapeutic moment” occurred. Their notations of “working signs” were compared with the clients EDA, temperature, and movement as well as correlations of their own sensory measurements. The data led the researchers to some interesting and exciting observations.

Far from complete, one finding seemed to indicate a connection where the client and practitioner came into balance with one another through EDA measurements of sympathetic nervous system awareness. You can see this in the graph below where the red lines are measurements of the Zero Balancer and the blue lines are the measures of the client and the vertical dark line is when the session starts. You can see the ZBer “seeking out” the client to connect with the client. After the colored lines come together they stay together and the ZBer and the client both get quieter and stay together.

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They also demonstrated an example of how a ZB client in the study during a deep state of relaxation did not demonstrate the expected startle response that may be due to some form of an expanded state of consciousness engendered by the session. Although preliminary, promising and ongoing discussion with Stuart Reynolds and James Strickland are underway for a further study involving a larger number of clients that could lead to a scientific hypothesis and refinement of Zero Balancing suppositions.

A lively discussion followed with the whole faculty as the researchers learned more from these experienced ZB faculty members sharing what their clinical experiences in a session have been and the researchers noted that the interaction between client and practitioner in a ZB session has an unusually high degree of synchrony compared to other interactions between individuals they have studied in other professional settings. This preliminary study, entitled Electrodermal Activity During a Zero Balancing Bodywork Session: An Exploratory Study of Synchronous Behavior, will provide the basis for further research and the ZBTF will collaborate with Stuart Reynolds and James Strickland to review the feasibility of a more expanded research design. We will also be continuing discussions with the research group at IONS to see what might be possible in terms of studies there on whether a series of ZBs might show other physiological changes such as epigenetic changes.

Later in the day, the whole group gathered to swap ZB sessions with a shared frame of empowering the future of ZB through connecting with our passion about ZB and its work in the world.