It's not what you think, I promise. Although its name sounds unfortunately like what can happen during a bout of nausea, rolfing is actually a form of deep-tissue work (practitioners don't call it massage) named after its creator, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Rolf's light-bulb moment came when she realized that, while traditional massage treats the body as made up of separate parts, those parts are actually all held together by connective tissue, so adjusting any one muscle indirectly adjusts them all. In order to relieve stress and pain and relax muscles, she worked with connective tissue to realign the entire body. Although rolfing itself has never quite made it onto most spa menus, a lot of its techniques have, and Rolf's ideas about connective tissue have contributed to our modern, more holistic view of massage and body care.
In a nutshell Hellerwork is part Rolfing, part emotional therapy and movement reeducation. It is a form of "structural integration." Now, if that explanation means nothing to you, then read on.
Hellerwork is a potent form of body therapy developed by a former aerospace engineer for NASA Joseph Heller, hence, the name “Hellerwork.” Heller studied with Ida Rolf, the creator of Rolfing – a type of massage focused on releasing the connective tissue fascia. Fascia wraps around muscles, separating the individual muscles. Normally, fascia is pliable allowing muscles to glide freely; but when injured, it can become rigid and “sticky.” It is that lack of mobility that can cause pain.
Similar to Rolfing, the focus on the manual work is to release the fascia to create more space and less muscular strain, but Hellerwork goes beyond massage. Practitioners of this type of bodywork also teach body mechanics and basic movement principle: how to stand, walk, sit, and bend. Heller also noticed emotional patterns followed injury patterns, so there is an element of “talk therapy” involved. Believing that emotions are stored in our bodies, the “dialogue” helps injured clients to mentally move past their pain.
The standard eleven session series usually does the trick for most people. However, sessions are pricey and cost anywhere between $150 and $200. To find out more about Hellerwork or to find a practitioner in your area check out Hellerwork International.
I have to say I am intrigued by Hellerwork, but have never had a session let alone eleven. Have you tried it? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.
Ever heard of Rolfing? Well, let me tell you it is a kind of bodywork involving soft tissue manipulation. Named after its creator, Dr. Ida P. Rolf, it can dramatically alter a person's posture and overall structure.
Rolfing is similar to deep tissue massage, but it is also so much more. Using deep manipulation of the body's soft tissue and bones, it realigns and balances the body's muscular structure.
Rolfing can also help relieve chronic pain, improve breathing, increase energy, and decrease physical and emotional stress. A basic Rolfing treatment consists of 10 sessions that last between 60 and 90 minutes and cost about $100 each. The sessions are spaced a week or longer apart.
Fit's Tips: The bad thing? Since Rolfing involves vigorous deep tissue manipulation, it is often described as uncomfortable and sometimes painful, especially during the first several sessions. Talk to your Rolfer first to find out what your experience might be like.