A type of workout called may be an effective way to build core strength, relieve chronic pain and reduce the risk of an injury to the shoulder or other joint, according to the method’s proponents.
MELT (myofascial energetic length technique) also reputedly improves flexibility and mobility, relieves tension and stress, fights wrinkles and cellulite, aids digestion, boosts energy, prevents insomnia, improves posture, enhances athletic performance and helps people maintain a health weight.
Therapist Sue Hitzmann developed the technique. Since she published her book “The MELT Method” in 2013, the number of MELT instructors in the United States has grown to more than 1,300, the New York Times reported.
The self-treatment involves “manipulating and rehydrating connective tissue” (also known as fascia), the Times explained. The tissue contains fluid that cushions muscles, bones, nerves and organs. It wears away over time, possibly due to dehydration. Sedentary behavior, or physical activity entailing repetitive motions, also can cause fascia to dry. This problem can be addressed with three 10-minute MELT sessions per week, according to Hitzmann. She wrote on her website that the method is helpful “even if you are pregnant, injured, post-surgery, overweight, sedentary, out of shape; or have limited mobility, chronic pain, knee or hip replacements, or bone disorders.” She said people of all ages benefit.
MELT creates a strong, flexible body that maintains its upright posture for life,” Hitzmann claimed. “You will see and feel results after just one session.”
She said “stuck stress” in the connective tissue results from physical activity, emotions, foods, drugs and environmental toxins. The trapped tension damages cells and saps the tissue of moisture, leading to headaches, stiff lower backs, trouble sleeping and increased susceptibility to injury.
“When the connective tissue is hydrated and free of roadblocks, our bodies function at a more optimal level,” Hitzmann wrote. “MELT is a breakthrough technique that keeps our connective tissue and nervous system in top condition, and slows down the aging process. … No other proactive approach directly treats the connective tissue, including nutrition, exercise, yoga, meditation or vitamins.
” The method features simple workouts with soft body rollers and small rubber balls. According to Hitzmann, “it’s like getting all the benefits of a great massage, yet it lasts longer and takes only minutes a day to get lasting results.”
In classes, students stand with their eyes closed. They raise one toe, take three breaths and lower the digit. This is done with each toe. Then, a ball is placed beneath one foot and people push down with each of their toes. The ball is moved to various parts of the heel and arch.
The next three components of the workout are performed while lying on the back. The roller is put under the spine, and rotated forward and backward while the person strongly exhales. That is followed by the roller being placed under the calves, thighs and pelvis. This “gets the fluid moving again in the fascia,” according to the Times.
If you are experiencing pain and decreased mobility due to a condition like a shoulder injury, or simply wish to build up your core strength, MELT might be worth considering. Schedule an evaluation by the renowned sports medicine staff at Orthopedic Surgery San Diego to learn about the best ways to address your symptoms.