Hellerwork

Definition - What does Hellerwork mean?

Hellerwork is a system of bodywork developed by Joseph Heller in the 1970s. Heller trained in the related discipline of rolfing, but integrated more consideration of the mind-body connection in his development of Hellerwork.

It includes soft tissue manipulation, movement education and dialogue to improve body alignment and awareness, aiming to restore natural ease in the body. It is considered by its proponents to be effective both for easing localized discomfort or tension and more chronic patterns of imbalance. Since the development of Hellerwork, its principles have been integrated into Divya yoga, a modern style of yoga recognized by the Yoga Alliance.

Yogapedia explains Hellerwork

The three main elements of Hellerwork treatment are:

  1. Bodywork — through "hands on" soft tissue manipulation, the practitioner aims to release tension to improve posture, mobility and comfort.
  2. Movement education — the practitioner will help build awareness of existing movement habits and help with finding a new movement balance and alignment in everyday movements as well as sport or activities. This is intended to stop tension from returning to the body once the treatment is over.
  3. Dialogue — through exploring attitudes and emotions and their effect on the body, the practitioner gives insights into how to better manage the influence mental health and stress can have on physical wellbeing.

Hellerwork is considered a comprehensive and holistic approach, in that rather than looking at individual symptoms and treating them in isolation, it aims to re-balance the whole body system. It is considered to be especially beneficial in treating:

  • Poor posture
  • Muscular tension
  • Chronic back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Stress-related conditions
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