Hellerwork, Hakomi and Counselling in Cumbria United Kingdom
In every moment, even now as you sit, stand or lie down to read these words, you are shaping your body into postures that fit your world.
Each of us falls, often unconsciously, into patterns of body usage, which create postures that reflect our attitudes, thoughts and feelings.
Try imitating another persons walk. ‘What does it feel like physically and emotionally to maintain this particular body movement? By stepping into another’s shoes, its interesting to experience how transparent our feelings and deep attitudes are. We can have great insight into our emotions and personality by becoming aware of our body attitude and expression.
HOW DO WE GET SO TWISTED?
I have often heard the remark, ‘My body is tense and my posture is terrible, but I don’t know what to do about it!’
Our bodies become tense and rigid through the stressful effects of unbalanced movement habits, emotional tension or physical injury. For example, continually carrying a handbag on one shoulder is an ongoing physical stress. It is impossible to hold the bag in place without also holding the shoulder in a slightly hunched position. With repetition, the connective tissue layers begin to glue to one another and the body becomes stuck in that position even when the handbag is not being carried. The whole body adjusts to this imbalance, and soon the impact will be reflected throughout.
Physical trauma also disturbs our balance. If you injure your leg, you may walk in an uneven and awkward way to protect the injury. That movement pattern can remain long after an injury has healed. Injury also traumatises the connective tissue at the site of the injury and the scarring and inflexibility in turn further influence our movement.
Similarly with emotional patterns, a feeling of depression is often characterised by a sunken chest. If this feeling and the bodily stance become habitual, the body will hold this shape.
As life goes on, more and more of these patterns become embedded in the tissue. The body begins to shorten and shrink. We may find ourselves twisted body. In our misalignment gravity becomes the enemy, compounding and magnifying any stress into restrictive postures and moving more slowly with less comfort as we age. While this is the norm it is not necessarily inevitable.
OUR NATURAL INTEGRITY
Hellerwork is based on a guiding principle that by rebalancing the human structure within gravity and freeing natural movement an individual’s innate wholeness is revealed.
Sessions involve dialogue in an exploration of how your body affects your mind. Over a series of sessions, patterns of stress are released, the body is realigned and lengthened and through movement education, you discover greater flexibility and ease. The goal is not only to produce physical results but also to educate and empower clients to grow, change and continue the process of change themselves.
The benefits begin simply with the feeling of being more open and alive physically and emotionally. Clients also experience improved posture, more freedom, balance and energy in day-to-day life and a deeper quality of relaxation. One client said after his first session that he felt like an absentee landlord finally coming home to his body.
THE ISSUE IS IN THE TISSUE.
Hellerwork primarily affects connective tissue, the fascia, which is a membrane-like tissue that wraps around all the individual fibres that surround bones, nerves, organs and muscles.
The fascial system of our body can be seen as a multi-layered body stocking. When any part of the ‘body-stocking’ is distorted, the stress can be felt throughout the body. For instance, tension in the leg pulls throughout the torso.
In its optimal condition, fascia is moist and mobile. When there is continual movement and balance in the body, the fascial body stocking facilitates the movement between different parts of the body. However, under continual stress and lack of movement, fascia becomes rigid and loses its fluidity. Layers of fascia begin to glue to one another, causing the ‘knots’ you may have experience in your back or neck. Although people most often associate tension and stiffness with their muscles, it is actually the connective tissue that accumulates much of this stress.
Reconditioning the body requires not only releasing the connective tissue, but also bringing awareness to and changing the patterns that caused the tissue to grow rigid in the first place.
THE PROCESS OF HELLERWORK
The hands-on bodywork releases the layers of tension and returns the body to an aligned position. The movement education brings awareness to posture and movement and new options to avoid creating ongoing stress. There is a focus on the use of your body in daily activities, working with sitting, standing and walking as well as your particular movement interests like your favourite sport or your job activity.
The dialogue component of Hellerwork focuses on assisting you to become aware of the relationship between your emotions and attitudes and your body. As you become aware of these relationships, you are able to become more responsible for your attitudes so they are less likely to limit your body and your self-expression.
To find out more please visit bodymindtaichi.co.uk