The Art and Science of Self-Care™
MELT is a proactive approach to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle, at any age or fitness level.
The MELT Method uses a specially designed soft body roller and small balls to simulate the results of hands-on manual therapy treatments. These techniques hydrate and lengthen connective tissue (fascia), rebalance the nervous system, promote healing and detoxification, decompress the neck and low back, mobilize joints, stimulate organ function, increase flexibility, and much more.
Whether you are an athlete looking to achieve peak performance and avoid injury or someone looking to move and feel better, you can learn easy self-care techniques to support your body’s own restorative properties. Bonus: MELT focuses on all gain all the time, and feels great!
Learn how to reduce accumulated stuck-stress in your body and move/feel better:
• Improve mobility, flexibility, balance, stability and alignment
• Enhance proprioception (Body Sense)
• Reduce aches, stiffness, pain, tension - as described by Sue Hitzmann here
• Improve athletic performance and reduce recovery time.
• Stimulate collagen production - MELT 50-Second Facelift here
• Support physical therapy or bodywork treatments
• Improve sleep cycle
What’s the science behind MELT?
MELT techniques stimulate and rehydrate local regions of the connective tissue system (fascia) to affect the body globally. This light-touch therapy helps the body release physical tension and stuck-stress, rebalance the nervous system (fascia is densly populated with nerve endings), and facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms.
Working with our connective tissue - the three-dimensional fiber and fluid-based web that surrounds, supports, and stabilizes every structure in the body (including our organs, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers) - is critical to our well-being. It's the stuff that holds us together!
“Understanding fascia is essential to the dance between stability and movement - crucial in high performance, central in recovery from injury and disability, and ever-present in our daily life from our embryological beginnings to the last breath.” - Tom Myers
Video: Faszien: What is Fascia? (beautiful/graphic)
What else do we hire our connective tissue to do?
• Maintain an upright stance
• Hold organs in their proper position
• Disperse external force throughout body (with an elastic spring-like quality)
• Provide a gel-like matrix allowing muscles and organs to easily glide with contact
• Prevent or minimize localized stress on the structures that it supports
Sound like a vital body system? It's also our largest sensory organ. Housing 6-10x more nerve endings than muscles; connective tissue is fundamental to our sense of proprioception (knowing where we are in space), which leads to easy, graceful movement.
Our mobility, integrity, and resilience are largely determined by keeping our connective tissue system well-hydrated.
Whether we sit-too-much, engage in repetitive-use hobbies or professions, train for sports, or recover from injury, the movements and postures from daily living cause stress and dehydration in the connective tissue system. This can then lead to adhesions, thickenings of muscle fibers, or loss of glidability. As we move, compression and pulling at adhesions or areas of stuck-stress result in discomfort or pain.
Connective tissue responds favorably to gentle and brief compression and lengthening techniques.
Using consistent and tolerable pressure, MELT techniques:
• Stimulate connective tissue cells to yield a fluid exchange, rehydrate areas of dehydration, restore fascial elasticity (improves glidability of muscles)
• Release joint compression (which may cause chronic pain, inflammation, discomfort)
• Rebalance and de-stress the nervous system
• Address common alignment imbalances to help promote healing
Has MELT been reviewed by experts?
MELT has been reviewed internationally by doctors, neuroscientists, and connective tissue researchers, including Ben Domb, M.D.; Tom Myers; Gil Hedley, Ph.D.; Roberts Schlep, Ph.D; and Jean Pierre Barral, D.O., who recognize MELT as grounded in scientific principles and offering great potential for healing.
November 2014: the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved a year-long initiative to study the short-term and long-term benefits of MELT at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).
… and the results are in!
September 2015: Faria Sanjana presented MELT's research paper Effect Of Melt Method On Thoracolumbar Connective Tissue at the 4th Annual Fascia Congress in Washington DC. This clinical research concluded that MELT significantly reduces non-specific chronic low back pain, decreases connective tissue thickness, and increases flexibility. More info here.
(For me, the true value of MELT is expressed in the personal results achieved. While the science of MELT is extremely important - and fascianating - what really gets my attention is the results that I and so many others have achieved with this practice.)
(Some people are worth MELTing for!)
Who benefits From MELT?
If you’re interested in preventing or healing from injury or improving athletic performance, MELT is for you. MELT is an effective complement to your current wellness program, and appropriate for all fitness levels. How much would you pay for a great massage? MELT's hands-off-bodywork is similar to getting a great therapeutic massage. Treat yourself to self-care.
How often should I MELT?
To experience long-lasting benefits, MELT for a minimum 10-15 minutes, 3x weekly (max 60 minutes). MELT before strength training to hydrate connective tissue and improve muscle performance and after cardio workouts to decrease joint compression and stiffness. I MELT daily!
Advanced-level MELT NeuroStrength Techniques help reduce compensatory patterns of movement as we increase range of motion and improve functional stability in the shoulder girdle, pelvic girdle, and core.
An example of a compensatory pattern would be the way our body moves to support an injured body part, but then doesn’t stop that compensatory pattern of movement after the injury has healed.
As we repattern movement from a more functionally stable base, our bodies become more functionally mobile. Stability precedes force production, so we can then move with more ease, grace and flow.
MELTastic! Here’s what folks are saying about my MELT Sessions...
This was the best hour and a half that I have spent in a long time. Susan is well informed, professional and very enthusiastic about teaching the MELT Method Intro to Hand and Foot Techniques. Her class presentation was energized, well organized and her sense of humor made for an awesome event. I am looking forward to taking her MELT Roller class! -DL
I do the foot exercises from time to time and it has helped to strengthen and release the muscles in my feet which immensely helped my yoga practice. -MT
I took the hand and foot workshop with you a few weeks ago, and my feet have not hurt since then! I've been practicing the MELT techniques every other day since the class. It's hard to believe that has taken me from constant foot pain to no foot pain! Looking forward to another great class with you! -DH
I'm so glad that I attended. And so glad to have a substitute for my pain-producing hard foam roller! The MELT philosophy makes so much more sense. I very much enjoyed your training; it was well-paced with a nice mix of lecture and demo and practice, and an engaging introduction to the three focus areas. I especially appreciated your very generous time in answering individual questions afterwards. I feel like you know your material extremely well and are able to cherry-pick what to share as the main point as well as interesting tips as you go along. -JW
Great workshop yesterday. I am so glad I came! The true test was how I felt this morning. I feel great! I am sold. -BK
What I was hoping to get from [a similar] workshop, I got from yours. When I practiced last night it was helpful that you were so thorough. I could hear your directions as I was practicing. -JA
The session was terrific!! There are no words to adequately tell you the difference it made. I want to see how I feel tomorrow and then I plan to start a daily program. I told my husband about it and I am encouraging him to call you for a private session. -LH
I'm enjoying my roller & get up 15 mins earlier to MELT before leaving for work. -BM
You are an excellent instructor. It would be great to take another class from you. -VC
I can't wait to take my next session with you. My hips, flexors, and back all feel great! NO PAIN! Just what I need for balance ... -RF
I love melting. Thank you so much for your time and expertise! It’s a life changer. -JD
At the end of class, I was feeling much more energized - I think because I was a lot less aching. And although I didn’t sleep that great, I felt so much better when I got up this morning. Usually when I wake up, my hands feel puffy/swollen and achy. But they felt awesome this morning. And I noticed that I was standing a lot taller (and looser) when in the shower. -CW
You are a fabulous teacher. I followed you well and your passion shines through! My favorite line you said in class was something like… our bodies are maps of our stories and to have patience and love ourselves through the process of awareness and assessment. -LL
It was terrific! She taught us all about the MELT method for hands and feet for pain-free fascia work. It makes me so excited to apply it in my running. In fact, after just one workshop, I won my 5K race today - even beat all the men! Was it from MELT? It certainly helped! Thanks, Susan! - KW
Thanks for your referrals. They are the best compliment!