About Hellerwork - Colleen Hensy's explanation of Hellerwork based on an interview with Doctor Posture in 1989 for Natural Choice magazine
The Roots of Inflexibility
Hellerworkers believe that inflexibility stems from connective tissue known as fascia. Fascial tissue consists of plastic like sheets that cover the muscles and muscle fibres and that come together at the ends of muscles to form tendons, which in turn attach muscles to bones.
In a well balanced body, fascial tissue is loose and moist, but under continual stress and lack of movement, it becomes rigid and loses fluidity. Layers of fascia begin to glue together, causing the muscular "knots" familiar to so many people. The sheaths of fascia stick together in a systematic way based on habitual patterns of lack of movement.
Because of the way in which fascial tissue throughout the body is interconnected, stress in any one area of the body affects all other areas. For example, tension in the connective tissue of the leg pulls the torso out of alignment. Heller's treatment works systematically on all the fascial structures to improve the total energetic economy of the body.
Body Stories - Every Body Tells a Story
From the beginning of our lives, we begin to accumulate tensions which affect the structural integrity of our bodies. We are walking testaments of every kind of input, be it physical, mental or emotional; every influence literally becomes "embodied".
Long-term movement patterns such as lopsidedness that comes from carrying a heavy briefcase in the same hand every day - embody particularly strongly and determine the form in which the fascia stick together and become rigid.
These distortions cause further imbalance until the body is chronically tense and out of alignment with gravity.
Habits Count - Various Factors Affect the Body's Alignment
Habitual physical stresses influence the fascia. A history of sitting hunched over a desk or continually carrying a briefcase pulls the shoulders out of line in relation to gravity. With repetition, the body sticks in that position all the time, even when it is not engaged in the activity that caused the misalignment. The fascia glue together and the whole body becomes out of balance.
Habitual emotional stresses operate in the same way. A sunken chest is often characteristic of depression. If negative thought patterns - and the tense bodily stance that these produce over time - become a continual pattern, the body becomes glued in awkward, unbalanced postures.
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 at ease with ourselves and in harmony in our relationship to others and our planet. Joseph Heller
Hellerwork is a synthesis of Structural Integration and personal development which together transform your relationship with your body and your experience of being alive" Roger Golten
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