How can Hellerwork help with injuries?
An injury (trauma) happens on several different levels. Firstly there is a physical trauma, based on an event of some kind that most people would call an injury; the broken bone, or sprained ankle or open wound. When a trauma such as this occurs it often sets in place a series of compensatory changes to the structure of the body and the area around the injury that allopathic medical practitioners often never consider. Secondly, there is an emotional trauma that puts our bodies into “fight or flight”. This state of trauma often does not just go away as it is in many respects a “state”. Being in “fight or flight” also slows down our physical healing by putting greater demands on the senses and immune system. One of the things that bodywork does is calm our nervous system, shifting our state to a more relaxed one, which then makes us much more receptive to physical recovery. Both of these traumas not only tighten the fascia, which prevents us from moving freely but they throw the whole structure off. In other words if you have an injury to the foot, knee, or hip; all of your weight gets shifted to the opposite side of the body and you start to lean to one side causing undue pressure to the opposite side of the body. Once our body has adapted to that shift it becomes normalized in the nervous system such that after your injury heals you now find yourself leaning off to one side, but thinking that you are centered and straight. Even after the injury is healed you have to deal with this new habit of leaning to one side. With lower body injuries it can also start a collapse in the upper parts of the body. Even upper body injuries can cause major structural problems that lead to pain long after the injury has healed, such as rotations that torque in the hip that causes the knee to collapse in. Once the knees start to collapse in the structure is really in trouble. Our structure is a tensegritic figure which means, like the geodesic dome, that each part of the structure is reliant on the other for its integrity and that any fault in one part of the body effects the whole structure. One of the things that Hellerwork does is bring an awareness to those areas of the body that are misaligned for whatever reason and helps a person become aware of how tightly we hold those areas and how it is taking us off our alignment. It also frees the fascia and provides circulation to all of the muscles. Better circulation means faster healing. When the body is in alignment it becomes a very lightweight and efficient structure. When you have an injury you want to address it on many levels, including the emotional - especially if it was something very traumatic like a car accident. Hellerwork provides an opportunity to look at emotional aspect while also attending to the physical aspect of the injury. A STORY: A young boy was fishing with his Dad, a favorite activity. That day he stepped on a piece of glass that cut his foot deeply. As an adult he was still shifted over to the opposite side of his body due to the unresolved recovery from that injury. During his Hellerwork sessions the scar tissue from that old injury was addressed and freed, and a new awareness of the fact that he had been standing on one side of his body came about. While the foot was being worked on the story emerged that when he first cut himself and was treated, the people in his family were very sympathetic but it took a long time to heal. After a while his family members began to tire of it and he would hear things like, “buck up” and “be a big boy” and other statements that denied what he was feeling. As he was still in a lot of pain, the whole experience had been hard on him as a young child. This is a good example of how healing an injury new or old can take place on different levels. This is also why Hellerwork is often referred to as “a complete bodywork system”, and why it is wonderful for healing injuries.