Experience MELT: The What, How and Why of MELT
MELT Method isn’t foam rolling, stretching, or a workout. So what is it really?
MELT Method is a gentle self-care technique that enhances mobility, stability, and performance and is clinically proven to reduce chronic pain. Developed by manual therapist and exercise physiologist Sue Hitzmann and detailed in a New York Times best-selling book, MELT is now offered through streaming classes on MELT On Demand as well as through thousands of certified instructors trained through MELT University.
If you’re wondering what MELT is all about, it’s not a silly question. Chances are MELT will feel familiar but also unlike anything else you’ve done before. We use a soft roller, yet MELT is not foam rolling. We’re moving our bodies, but it’s not stretching and we don’t even consider it a workout. So, no wonder there’s a bit of mystery around what it’s actually like.
Let’s start with some basics: In case you’re not already familiar with the MELT Method, it’s a science-backed self-care technique that anyone can use to stay active, enhance performance and get out (and stay out) of pain. We use a few tools, including specially designed hand and foot treatment balls and custom made soft rollers, to tap into our nervous system and connective tissue system to restore stability and balance to the body. These two systems work
together as the neurofascial system, and we believe it’s the missing link when it comes to understanding how our bodies move, function and maintain overall wellbeing. We’re going way beyond the muscles and bones here!
So, how exactly are we addressing those systems during a MELT class? When we MELT, we’re performing what we call the 4Rs—Reconnect, Rebalance, Rehydrate and Release. These 4Rs distill a ton of complex neuroscience and fascial research into an accessible, simple protocol. They’re the essence of what MELT Method is all about and you’ll experience them in every class using just your body and a MELT tool or two.
In a typical class, you’ll be led by a trained MELT instructor (or Sue Hitzmann herself, if you’re streaming via MELT On Demand) through these 4Rs.
Reconnect is taking time to assess and learn where stuck stress lives in your body. Each session begins with some form of Reconnect—assessments are often done lying down or standing, before and after your class. Awareness of the change you’re creating is integral to reaping the full benefits of your practice.
Rebalance works to restore whole body balance and spinal stability. You may work on diaphragmatic, multidimensional breathing or position point pressing with a soft ball—these are examples of subtle, simple Rebalance techniques that are incredibly profound when it comes to restoring balance and the neurological core system.
Rehydrate is where we’ll use gentle compression to help fluid flow in your fascia, usually with the aid of a MELT tool. We’ll gently compress and create tension through specific techniques—Gliding, Shearing, Rinsing, and Friction. This is good news for anyone who dislikes the sometimes painful sensations often synonymous with foam rolling. The key to rehydration is maintaining light, tolerable pressure; never more. Cells, collagen fibrils and fluids are all stimulated and create a rehydration effect like a good session of hands-on therapy.
Release is all about powerful decompression techniques that relieve tension and pain. We always prep the tissue with Rehydrate work before decompressing. Release is key when it comes to living pain-free and staying active. You’ll feel a difference right away when it comes to range of motion and your posture. Hand and foot treatments use the MELT balls to mobilize joints and release tension, and for areas like the neck or low back, you’ll follow simple moves on the full soft roller.
The 4Rs sound very much like a recipe, and in many ways it is—the recipe for stability, mobility and a healthy, active life. But when you participate in a class, you’ll find it feels more like an easy flow, and it’s one you can only really experience by doing it. MELT classes move slowly, intentionally and always gently. This makes them accessible to any age or ability—and there are many modifications that can be made for anyone who needs additional aid.
Another incredible feature of MELT is that you’ll feel an immediate difference after every class
when you perform your assessment—people often report feeling lighter and freer when they move, more balanced in their body, and (depending on the class) either relaxed or energized. Ready to try it? Head here to watch a class filmed live with MELT creator Sue Hitzmann!
Interested in teaching MELT in your wellness practice? Or maybe looking to start your own business teaching self-care techniques? Certification is just 90 days with our MELT Online Level 1 Course. Click here to learn more and register for the next upcoming training.
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