Movement education and deep-tissue bodywork are the major components of Hellerwork, named for founder Joseph Heller. Emphasizing vertical realignment of the body and release of chronic stress and tension, Hellerwork involves 11 sessions of 1.5 hours each. In each session, one hour is devoted to bodywork and 30 minutes to movement therapy. The therapist also uses dialogue to explore emotional factors that may be contributing to tension in the client’s physical make-up.
If you’re like most people, you are looking for ways to bring more balance into your life. When we think about creating a balanced life, we might start by cutting down on work, enjoying more pleasurable activities, and spending quality time with family and friends. These are all wonderful things, but they may be ignoring the obvious if your body is struggling to find its own balance, too.
Humans are creatures of habit, and one of our most enduring habits is the way in which we move our bodies throughout the day. Generally, we move without even thinking about it. This can be a good thing, in that we don’t have to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. But moving mindlessly, without conscious body awareness, also allows us to perpetuate dysfunctional movement patterns that can negatively influence our health and well-being.
As one who has used and abused my body for more than half a
century, I barely give it a passing glance in the mirror, figuring what’s done is done. But on this particular morning, as I donned a two-piece swimsuit in preparation for my first Hellerwork session, I paused to take stock. Reflected in the mirror was a disturbing sight. My right shoulder sagged at an angle. Body weight obviously shifted right to protect an arthritic hip. From top to bottom, the entire side looked like it was pulled taut by a rope.