Joseph Heller started Hellerwork in the late 1970's. Heller had originally trained with Ida Rolf and became president of the Rolf Institute in 1975; however, he wanted to explore the mind/body connection further and left to start his own school.
Hellerwork has three basic concepts:
Hellerworkers believe that not only is memory held in the brain, but also in the muscles and tissues of the body - therefore by changing someone's body on a structural level, you will affect their being on an emotional level and vice versa. The massage used concentrates on the body's fascia (the connective tissue that contains and links the muscles and muscle fibres, as well as forms the tendons and ligaments of the body) the movement education works on the principle that the body must be straight and evenly balanced, with the line of gravitational force running down the centre. Specific exercises are given to remedy any problems. Verbal dialogue is a psychotherapeutic technique that attempts to identify and remedy the cause of any troublesome state of mind, in order to release areas of the body that may be affected.
Hellerwork has a rigid structure of eleven sessions lasting 90 minutes each. The first session will include a detailed history, and a study of how you walk, sit and stand. Before and after photographs may also be taken. Further sessions will be divided into three main groups targeting certain areas - the Superficial section, the Core section and the Integrative section. After the eleven sessions are completed, advice will be given on exercises to do at home, and follow-up sessions will be recommended after any physical or emotional trauma.
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