Table of Contents > Alternative Modalities > Hellerwork Print



Related terms

Related Terms
  • Aston Patterning, bodywork, deep tissue bodywork, massage, movement therapy, Rolfing®, somatic education, Structural Integration.

  • Joseph Heller, a practitioner of Rolfing® (manipulation of the muscles), developed Hellerwork in 1979. Hellerwork is a form of structural integration that uses multiple techniques, including deep-tissue bodywork, movement education and verbal interaction to improve posture. Each session may last from 30 to 90 minutes, and a patient usually attends multiple sessions. Hellerwork professional certification involves a 1,250-hour program.

  • In general, Hellerwork practitioners believe that memory is held in the muscles and tissues of the body, as well as in the brain. Treating a patient at the structural level is thought to alter the psychological or neurological state. Hellerwork is aimed at improving or restoring the body's natural balance and posture. There are numerous anecdotes about successful treatment with Hellerwork, although effectiveness and safety have not been thoroughly studied scientifically.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *

There is no high quality scientific evidence available on this technique.

* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)

Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety/stress, athletic performance, cancers (B-cell), carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic pain, headache, hyperthyroidism, improving breathing, improving mobility, increases energy, low back pain, muscle strains/pain, musculoskeletal conditions, neck pain, osteoarthritis, pain, Parkinson's disease, respiratory problems, sports injuries, stress, tennis elbow, thoracic spine pain, well-being, whiplash.


Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

  • The safety of Hellerwork has not been thoroughly studied scientifically. In theory, Hellerwork may make some existing symptoms worse. Deep-tissue massage is not advisable in some conditions. Patients should speak with a qualified health care provider before starting treatment.

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (

  1. Bajelis D. Hellerwork: the ultimate in myofascial release. Intl J Altern Compl Med 1994;12(1):26-30.
  2. Hornung S. An ABC of alternative medicine: Hellerwork. Health Visit 1986;59(12):387-388.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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