Why I Love The MELT Method So Much
As a busy person who wears many hats in the fitness industry, and someone with a background in professional dance, it should come as no surprise that these things can take a toll on my body. As a result, I have had to be proactive and constantly keep an eye out for ways to keep myself healthy, whole and pain-free. From positional release to massage, to even my own early studies into myofascial release, I have tried as many avenues as I could find when it comes to promoting muscle recovery and restoration, and getting rid of soreness, aches and pains. Having spent many years in a gym, you hear lots of people complaining about aches and pains... and most of those complaints are coming from the fitness professionals who work there! We spend so much time taking care of everyone else that sometimes we forget to do what we need for ourselves. After all, the best plumbers usually have leaky pipes. This is why, as fitness professionals and anyone else who takes their health and well-being seriously, you need to know that there are tools available for you to restore and recover from the damage of everyday wear and tear.
Enter The MELT Method
While working at a gym, a fellow instructor who had just taken The New Science of the Human Body introduced me to The MELT Method, and asked if she could practice her newfound skills on me. She showed me the hand treatment; I have had issues regarding overuse syndrome, and she felt as though it would help me out. I liked it. She also walked me through the foot treatment, and explained to me a bit of the philosophy and methodology behind MELT. She continued to practice on me, because she knew I would be able to give her an honest answer about what was going on with my body... something I did not mind at all; these treatments felt amazing! Some time later, when she showed me some stuff on the roller I felt a tiny bit of relief from an ache I have been dealing with for years. We continued to work with the roller, and my soreness and pain continued to diminish.
Later on, while by myself and after a workout, I was stretching and rolling as usual. I thought back, “what was it we did on the roller again?” I tried to recreate the motion of lower back decompression that she had shown me...ahhhh relief. I knew then that I wanted to take the Instructor Training and incorporate MELT into what I could offer my clients, and myself. Unfortunately, I had to have taken the hand & foot/new science training first, and there were not going to be any courses before the instructor training that my fellow trainer was planning to attend, so I had to wait until the following spring.
I took The New Science of the Human Body as soon as the next course was offered, and by the end of the second day - I had my first pain-free day in as long as I could remember. And this was just from the hand and foot treatment - the ball kit! wow! I was so excited - and could not wait to do this for my clients, and to become an Advanced MELT Instructor, and a MELT Strength Instructor. I have had positional release before, with great results, but this was even better; I could do it for myself, and by myself!
Sue Hitzmann works, lives, speaks, and thinks how I have always felt I should. I feel completely in line with her philosophy; finally, someone else in fitness looked at the body the way I did! Keep in mind, she’s an absolute genius - light years ahead of the rest of us in this field. I’ve always felt that it was essential that my clients were “aligned” and injury free before I would give them weights and challenging exercises... and finally someone else felt the same way.
When I met Sue, I was so excited; she’s cool people. In the first day of my Hand and Foot Training, Sue asked everyone to introduce themselves and explain why we were interested in the MELT Method. When my turn came, I iterated not only my feelings about keeping my clients in alignment as mentioned above, but also that I believe fitness is doing what your body and mind needs that particular day... some days it is doing cardio, some days stretching, some days it is lifting weights, and some days it’s a mixture of many different disciplines; don’t just blindly stick to a plan. Sue looked at me and said, “ YOU ARE THE TRAINER OF THE FUTURE.” This has meant more to me than I think she will ever know.
The Benefits of MELTing
The MELT Method has been life changing for me, my clients, many of my friends, coworkers and all manner of people I know; like a pebble sending ripples through still water, showing one person has led to many others discovering the joy of MELTing. I love how it’s an unique tool in that you can do it for yourself, by yourself.
My clients took to The MELT Method very well. As an example, I would like to share with you the story of one of my clients; a 90 year old woman with an extreme case of sunken thumbs and arthritic knuckles. We did the Hand Treatment (only) on her four times over two weeks, and made no other changes to her diet, exercise routine or lifestyle. She began feeling changes in her hands; a return to having some dexterity in her hands, and sensation to places in her hands that she had not had for some time. She could make fists, where she could not before at all, and she felt as though some swelling had diminished, though visually we could not see much change. On the fourth treatment, I had her shake her hands and put them on the table - nothing else. I then took the picture below.
After a ten minute Hand Treatment, I had her shake her hands again, and set them on the table for another picture.
As you can see, some dramatic changes had occurred in just ten minutes. The color difference between the two pictures is amazing, the swelling was obviously diminished, and the fingers appear to be much straighter. Most obvious of all, her sunken thumbs “popped” out; more on her right than her left, though in the sessions to follow the left also completely came back out. To this day, her pain has drastically diminished, and her manual dexterity has returned to how it was when she was younger... limitless.
The MELT Method has been a great way for me to be able to supply my clients and my Summer-Fitters with a tool with which they can take care of themselves, so that I can focus more on their fitness programs. We are able to go farther and reach higher; with the right recovery tool, your fitness will know no bounds.
I’m not going to lie, there are days I’ve done silly things; I’ve over-extended myself and not taken the time to do what's right, like stretching or MELTing afterwards. As a result, I have woken up the next day extremely sore and very well reminded of the fact that recovery is just as important as the workout itself. Even in these dire moments of forgetfulness, you can still throw your balls on the floor (yes, it sounds really bad in all kinds of ways) - do the foot treatment, and voila; you will see your soreness fade! I do not advise you to do crazy workouts without stretching or MELTing afterward and on a regular basis; it is vital!
As a trainer, the MELT Method is a way to take care of my clients without wreaking havoc on my own body in the process. It provides my clients with a set of tools for self-care, allowing them to take charge of their recovery.
As an instructor, the MELT Method is a way of collectively caring for your students from a distance. You are providing them with guidance and the proper tools for self-reliance in self-care.
And for me personally, I no longer have to stretch as much if I don’t want to. I still enjoy it, so I may, but I don’t need to do it every single day any more, which certainly opens up my day, and gives me time for even more amazing workouts. These workouts are when my creative juices flow the most! I recover faster, and it feels amazing. Because of this dramatic change that The MELT Method has given me, I have found it important to stay current with it; not only for myself, but also for my clients, my Summer-Fitters, and for anyone else I meet who has pain and is ready to get relief.
I look forward to the day that The MELT Method is recognized by everyone as the best way to recover from the damages of day to day living, and the world as a result becomes pain-free.
Until then...I’d rather be MELTing.
Later on, I will do another blog on the MELT Method; this time, it will be on MELT Strength. I find it to be a major, fundamental part of staying holistically fit, and it deserves a blog onto itself. stay tuned, and write about your experiences with The MELT Method in the comments below!