Our Story

Hellerwork was created by Joseph Heller. He was born in Poland in 1940 and received his early education in Europe. He immigrated to the United States at the age of 16, settling in Los Angeles. In 1962 he graduated from Cal Tech, and spent ten years as an aerospace engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he gained extensive experience of structural stress.

Heller became involved with humanistic psychology and eventually left engineering. He became the director of Kairos, a Los Angeles center for human development, and participated in year-long training programs in bioenergetics and gestalt, as well as shorter workshops with Buckmister Fuller, John Lilly, and Viginia Satir.

He became a Rolfer in 1972 and continued to study through 1978 with Ida Rolf, the originator of structural integration. In 1973 he became a Structural Patterner after learning Patterning from Judith Aston. He received advanced training with Brugh Joy, a noted physician, author and innovator in the field of preventive medicine and the use of energy as a means of healing. He became the first president of the Rolf Institute in 1975.

As a result of his unique combination of expertise and training in structural integration, movement education, and body energy awareness, Heller began to synthesize a new form of bodywork. In 1978 he left the Rolf Institute and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he founded Hellerwork.

Heller currently lives and works in Mount Shasta, California. He continues to innovate and encourage the expansion and development of Hellerwork, worldwide.

Joseph Heller’s personal website can be visited at www.josephheller.com