Hellerwork was created by Joseph Heller. He was born in Poland in 1940 and received his early education in Europe. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 16, settling in Los Angeles. In 1962 he graduated from Cal Tech, and spent ten years as an aerospace engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he gained extensive experience of structural stress.
Joseph became a Rolfer in 1972 and continued to study through 1978 with Dr Ida Rolf, the originator of Rolfing Structural Integration. In 1973 he became a Structural Patterner after learning Patterning from Judith Aston. He received advanced training with Brugh Joy, a noted physician, author and innovator in the field of preventive medicine and the use of energy as a means of healing. He became the first president of the Rolf Institute in 1975.
As a result of his unique combination of expertise and training in structural integration, movement education, and body energy awareness, Heller began to synthesize a new form of bodywork. In 1978 he left the Rolf Institute and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he founded Hellerwork which expands on Dr Rolf’s method.
What is Hellerwork?
The Hellerwork method of Structural Integration focuses on three main components:
- Deep Connective Tissue Bodywork- releases core tensions throughout the many layers of fascia helping the body return to a comfortable aligned position to move with ease within gravity.
- Movement Education- helps the individual to become aware of their body and their movement habits and patterns within gravity. By exploring how this tension was created, we know how it can be uncreated for complete and lasting change.
- Self Awareness Dialogue helps a person to become more alert and aware of how their feelings, thoughts and beliefs that impact their posture and overall health of the body.
Joseph added components of Somatic Psychology, Active Therapeutic Dialogue and Movement Education. E-motion is how we feel as we move, Hellerwork provides a deeper exploration into the psycho- emotive aspect of the person. For example, if we are unconsciously clenching our teeth, that tension affects not just the jaw but the whole body.
“The body stores the trauma of our lives in muscular rigidity, thereby keeping us stuck in the past.
When we release the tension in the body and align ourselves with gravity, we take a new stand in life. This allows us to be as ease with ourselves and in harmony in our relationship to others and to our planet.”