I tried it: Hellerwork
In keeping with full disclosure, I should preface this article by saying that I've been in my share of accidents. A handful of car accidents have left my body a bit out of whack and fragile. When I learned that Hellerwork was designed to bring the body back into balance, I signed up for a sample session.
Hellerwork was developed by Joseph Heller in the late seventies. Heller, who began his training in Rolfing, decided to create Hellerwork as a healing modality that encompassed more than the body, he wanted to also address the emotions and attitudes we harbor about our bodies. Hellerwork focuses on three components: deep connective tissue bodywork, movement education, and verbal dialogue, the latter being one of the main differences between Rolfing and Hellerwork.
My session with Boulder, Colorado-based Hellerwork Practitioner, Anne Rojo, CHP, LMT, began with a series of questions: have I been in any accidents (yes), where do I hold tension in my body (all over), etc. She then asked me to strip down to my underwear and bra (you can also sport a swimsuit), and walk around her office. Although I felt a bit self-conscious, Rojo talked me through my insecurities, explaining that our habitual movement patterns, including our stride, can imprint our body, creating imbalance, tightness, and fatigue. While I've always know that my gait is a bit, 'one foot is turnedout'. I've always blamed it on my dance background. But as Rojo demonstrated how this small foot problem also contributed to my tight hips, low back pain, and shoulder pain, it became much more obvious that my foot problem wasn't so small afterall.
From there, she took me to the massage table where she used deep tissue massage techniques and dialogue to release tension in the fascia, or connective tissue of my body. Tightness in my feet and legs prompted her to ask about my ability to stand up for myself, a question that initiated not only quite a bit of dialogue, but also an acute awareness of how my thought patterns were truly felt by my body.
Hellerwork is designed to be experienced in eleven sessions; although my one session didn't bring me permanent relief, it certainly brought me a new awareness of my body, my movements, and ultimately, how everything is always related. For more information on Hellerwork or to find a practitioner near you, visit Hellerwork