As certified Hellerwork practitioner Jeff Weisman kneads bodies, he alleviates pain and tension without having to hone in on sore areas. Instead, he focuses on the overall well-being of the myofascial system, a network of fibrous connecting tissues that overlie musculature. By balancing this system, Weisman—whose big-picture approach to wellness is dubbed structural integration—disrupts the stress-induced patterns that cause chronic pain, improves posture, and sometimes visibly changes a body's shape.
These effects do not materialize immediately, though; Hellerwork is ideally administered in a series of 11 treatments, which gradually progress from superficial to core tissues. Weisman also does not work alone—he collaborates with patients, who actively participate in their own treatments. Through movement education, patients learn to break destructive physical habits, such as sitting on folding chairs before unfolding them, and through dialogue with Weisman, they build self-awareness.