Whether you’re the average Joe or a finely-tuned, elite athlete, we often all have this in common: aches, pains, strains and stiffness that can creep in, seemingly out of nowhere. For some of us, the pain affects the quality of our daily lives, and pinpointing the cause can seem like a wild goose chase. This was the case for the creator of the MELT Method, Sue Hitzmann. Developing MELT’s innovative approach to self-care—after an extensive dive down the rabbit hole of neurofascial research—was her ticket out of pain and many symptoms of aging. Two decades later, thousands of people have joined her on that journey.

But let’s go back to the beginning of Sue’s career—one you might relate to, since her first job was as an aerobics instructor at the local YMCA and, eventually, a sought-after fitness pro, earning a name for herself as host on ESPN’s CRUNCH TV and as a cover model for Muscle & Fitness Magazine. As she wrote about that time: “By all measures, I was in perfect health and a success. I had made it.”

That’s when the plot line shifted and chronic pain entered the picture. Pain can be a confusing experience for anyone, but especially for a fitness professional who believes they’re doing everything right when it comes to health and wellness. Sue iced. She stretched. She strengthened. And her foot still hurt. Soon, it hurt 24 hours a day, even keeping her up at night.

The secret no one in fitness tells you is this: You can’t exercise your way out of pain. In fact, depending on the issue and the body in question, exercise can actually strengthen the dysfunction that’s behind the pain.

Sue’s search for answers eventually led her to hands-on bodywork—first as a treatment for her debilitating pain, but the experience was so profound that she began to train as a manual therapist and opened a practice in New York City. Her experience and drive to understand the cause of pain led to countless hours of research, study and training. She found herself in a six-day dissection course with Rolfer and Integral Anatomy creator, Gil Hedley, and through his unique method of dissecting tissues layer by layer, learned the connective tissue system in an intimate way. She intuitively knew this was the missing piece in our pursuit of whole-body health and pain-free living—and subsequent research and trial confirmed it. It led her to refine what is now the MELT Method, a clinically proven technique for pain relief that boosts performance and restores balance, stability and a sense of vibrancy to both body and mind.

“She teaches you to take care of the body you actually have, as opposed to the ‘muscle body’ upon which much of the fitness industry is focused,” Gil Hedley wrote in the foreword of Sue’s New York Times best-selling book, The MELT Method. “There is so much more to our bodies than just muscles, and Sue’s efforts represent a great stride in expanding our awareness of our whole body.”

We’re sharing Sue’s personal story here because it illustrates that no one (even the fittest among us) is immune to pain from the repetitive motions of daily living. And this is what makes the MELT Method an integral practice for everyone—for you, as a fitness professional, and for all of your clients, regardless of their age or their physical abilities.

Today, Sue is an internationally recognized manual therapist, exercise physiologist and founding member of the Fascia Research Society. She shared more about herself and her experience getting and staying out of pain—watch and learn for free at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9wcBbm7q1s

If you’re interested in learning to teach the MELT Method to your clients, registration is now open for Level 1 training, beginning in September. Learn more here.