Touch is a natural human reaction to pain and stress, and for conveying compassion and support.
Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. Massage increases the feel good chemicals in our bodies, like dopamine and serotonin, which reduces stress. A lower stress level decreases our chances of getting sick and increases our body’s immune systems capabilities. Massage decreases anxiety, lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.
Structural integration was born out of the genius of Ida Rolf. Rolf was a scientist and a graduate of Cornell University in the field of Biochemistry. Her early influences were hatha yoga, physio-synthesis, the Alexander method and osteopathy. Although Rolf began her work in the late 1920’s her modern form of structural integration took root in the 1950’s, cradled by the ‘human potential movement’ at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA.
Unlike massage, Structural Integration focuses not on the muscles but on their protective layer, called fascia (connective tissue). Muscles are contracting tissues that give the body and organs physical movement. The fascia surrounds muscles, bones and organs in the body. The fascia gives muscles their shape and the body it’s structure.
Structural Integration aligns and balances the body by working with the fascia to allow the muscles to move more efficiently. Practitioners systematically work with the entire fascial system to return the body to its’ most structurally optimal position.
Gravity, daily activities and physical injuries all help to pull the body out of alignment. Fascia gradually accommodates misalignment by shortening and tightening. A body out of alignment can result in stiffness, discomfort and loss of energy.
An aligned and balanced body moves with greater ease, and requires less energy to function. Good posture is effortless and breathing is easier. The body becomes more flexible, more coordinated and athletic performance improves.
Other Schools of SI include: Hellerwork, Rolfing, the Guild for Structural Integration, Aston Patterning, Soma, IPSB, and KMI (Kinesis Myofascial Integration)
Hellerwork is a form of structural integration founded by Joseph Heller. Joseph’s early understanding was that Structural Integration was far more effective when combined with personal processing work. It is a holistic approach to the whole person, integrating mechanical, psychological and energetic traditions. Practitioners are not just looking to treat a condition, but to find fundamental change in quality of life.
Physically, Hellerwork is a systematic process of realigning your body in gravity, and stabilizing your body in space. Generally there is a process of11 sessions, tailored and customized to your needs and body. The series allows a thorough reorganization of your body’s supportive structures.
What Does Hellerwork Do?
- Help Find Freedom from Chronic Pain and Injuries. Reduces the risk of Re-Injury.
- Reduce Stress and Tension in Body and Mind.
- Enhance your Ease and Fluidity in Movement and in Breath.
- Expand your Energy, Vitality and Aliveness.
We work with fascia.
Fascia is the body’s saran wrap. It wraps the tiniest of muscle fibers, to the largest of muscle groups. There are huge sheets that connect your heels to your head and your armpit to your hip, your ribs to your low back. Ideally this fascia is pliable and lubricated, but when movement is restricted it becomes gluey, sticky and stuck.
To restore the vitality of fascia it needs to be re-introduced to movement and circulation and all the juicy goodness that your blood carries around. Hellerwork is designed to free these restrictions and bring ease and comfort to your your body and your life.
Being comfortable in your body and having freedom from pain can have a profound effect on your life and your emotions. When you connect with your body and honor it, you begin a true line of communication to yourself and to the world. The Hellerwork process allows for and supports these changes, making it a very safe place to transform into your very best ‘You’.