Bienenfeld’s Focus is with Hellerwork
You have body aches and you carry stress, but massage, acupuncture and a visit to the chiropractor haven’t helped. Dan Bienenfeld, who specializes in Hellerwork Structural Integration, offers a different way of treating the discomfort, as well as teaching you about your body posture and how that might be a result of your mental state.
Bienenfeld, author of ‘Align For Life,’ has opened an office at 881 Alma Real and specializes in structural integration. Put simply, those aches that one experiences might be tied to emotional issues and until those are examined, no amount of manual manipulation is going to make the pain go away, or let us live life as fully as we might like to.
He uses the Heller method, which was developed by Joseph Heller, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, who studied humanistic psychology, including Rolfing.
‘The method is more long lasting because we teach people how to use the body,’ Bienenfeld said. ‘We align and balance. The result is different than what you’d get with a chiropractor or massage. ‘ He explained that as we age, the way we move determines what our bodies become, and thus it is important to be self-aware. ‘We need to learn how to use our body to move it effortlessly.’
As an example, Bienenfeld noted that if someone has been in a car accident, that person may tense up every time they drive, unaware of what they’re doing. ‘That person is still living out an old event. These tensions can be cleared out of the body.’
Bienenfeld said that although Hellerwork is in the here and now, ‘our bodies are completely stuffed with past events that were not completed and not processed. It gets stuck in our body, filed away.’
Working with a client, Bienenfeld moves different parts of the body, while also applying pressure. He asks the client to focus on breathing while he tries to loosen the rigidity that is stored in the body. Surprisingly, while focusing on the person’s breath, different memories surface, which Bienenfeld listens to and asks for the client’s introspection about the memory.
Bienenfeld’s father, Mickey was a cantor and helped start Kehillat Israel on Sunset Boulevard in the early 1950s. Growing up on the Westside, Bienenfeld attended University High and graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1980 with an major that included anatomy and psychology. He then attended the Hellerwork Institute in Santa Monica, and for many years ran the Alternative Medical Center in West Los Angeles, which included acupuncture, homeopathic doctors, biofeedback, Rolfing and Hellerwork.
In 1997, Bienenfeld joined his brother Joel, who was a Pacific Palisades chiropractor. The two worked together until Joel accepted a position at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
This past April, Bienenfeld moved to the Alma Real building, where his son, Jesse, who just finished his Rolfing training, will soon join him. Bienenfeld and his girlfriend, Anne Stifter, live in Topanga.
Visit: www.danbienenfeld.com or call (310) 459-2140.
By Sue Pascoe, Staff Writer, Palisadian-Post