Sound intriguing? It’s more than intriguing — MELTing will help you relax, repair and rejuvenate the connective tissue in your body. In many cases, this simple exercise rou-tine can restore mobility and reduce pain in just one session. Over time, adding even just ten minutes of MELT three times a week to your usual physical wellness routine can dramatically improve the results from other diet and exercise choices you’re making to live healthier, longer, and live free from chronic fatigue and pain.
Bigos has been teaching the MELT method for four years — won over to the practice thanks to experiencing almost immediate relief from knee pain after one session. Physical therapy had helped, but her days still revolved around ‘managing’ the pain and stiffness in her knee, until one day a friend recommended she MELT.
“I felt relief, real relief from pain — that very first session. I was hooked and I knew I had to become a MELT instructor and share this (MELT) with others. Physical injury and simple wear and tear is a fact of life for most of us, and when I found something that is this simple, intuitive and accessible —that actually works — I started my training right away.”
The MELT Method was created by Sue Hitzmann, a nationally recognized manual therapist, exercise physiologist, and founding member of the Fascia Research Society. Like Joseph Hubertus Pilates, the creator of Pilates, Hitzmann developed MELT to address the need for a program that develops physical resilience and encourages the body’s natural ability to heal from injury and stress. Pilates focuses on developing the body’s core strength. Hitzmann’s focus is on the connective tissues and the impact that damaged or ‘dehydrated’ connective tissue has on the rest of the body’s function. This is how Hitzmann explains MELT:
“Daily repetitive movements and postures cause connective tissue dehydration, and over time, “stuck stress” and inflammation. What starts out as a small ache can escalate into sleeplessness, digestive issues, anxiety or depression, and ultimately a chronic state of disarray. It’s a complex molecular and cellular issue that diet and exer-cise don’t address and medication can actually make worse. I believe that when you address the dehydration, your body stops sending cries for help to your brain in the form of pain.”
When practiced in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle choices such as a healthy diet, good sleep habits, exercise and the incorporation of a mindful practice such as yoga or Pilates, the MELT Method can help heighten the body’s ability to repair and heal itself.
Introduced in 2001, to the program’s success isn’t only supported by the anecdotal stories of practitioners. There is also growing body of scientific evidence to back up Hitzmann’s claims that connective tissue issues are the culprit in much of our chronic pain and fatigue issues:
“This is a relatively new area of research… not that many people are looking at the fascia and that needs to be looked at more.” said Dr. Helene Langevin, the director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “[Fascia] literally forms a network in the body and connects everything with everything else. I think that is might play a role in the interface between body systems. We can have a better understanding of the body if we understand connective tissue better.”
What scientists do know is that people feel more pain in their fascia than they do in their muscles.
“Fascia has a lot of nerve endings in it,” Langevin said. “When it is inflamed, it can feel painful. It’s a part of the body you don’t think about very much. The nerve endings in the fascia are more sensitive than the nerve endings in the muscle.” ABC News site, Article By Juju Chang, Claire Pedersen, Lauren Effron, March 7, 2015
One of the biggest advantages to “MELTing” is that its a simple, self-directed practice. Once a person learns the MELT Method, they can practice it anytime in their home or office — making it a perfect fit for nearly anyone no matter what their lifestyle or demands on time.
“When I began MELTing, I found a lot of value working with an instructor,” Bigos says. “It’s a discipline that emphasizes small, focused movements that exert ‘pressure’ on our ‘stuck stress’ points. But we’re not supposed to be in pain,” she says emphatically. “That’s the whole point of MELT…to relieve pain! An instructor with experience can help new practitioners learn the right positions and movements and tailor their practice based on their unique goals. Instructors also help experienced MELTers to update their practice based on their current physical state and goals. But yes, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to MELT in your own home whenever it’s most convenient for you.”
Bigos tells a story of a 70 year old woman who had given up taking her trash to the end of her driveway because of pain and dysfunction in her legs. After practicing MELT for a few months, she experienced relief so profound that now, she is not only taking out her own trash again, she’s also adding back many of her favorite physical activities. Thanks to a growing confidence in her physical health, she also has a renewed sense of optimism about her overall health.
And it’s not only the 40 plus crowd that can benefit from MELT. Bigos asserts, “I teach at several local high schools — the football team, basketball team, men’s and women’s sports. It’s a great regimen for young people and athletes who want to experience their best performance and protect their physical health while they demand more from their bodies than the non-athlete.”
If you’d like to see these results for yourself, join Janine Bigos and Sandi Villacoba, owner of the Pilates Project in Fair Haven, for the next session in The Body Care Project Workshop Series, RELEASE YOUR NECK AND SHOULDERS.
The workshop is being offered in The Pilates Project studio at 560 River Road, 11/20/2016 at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call: 732.530.5050. REGISTER HERE. >