A few days ago, an article appeared in our local newspaper on stretching which stated – quite correctly – that the recommendations now are to stretch at the end of a workout. What had me just about jump out of my skin was that the pictures for the article were taken in my MELT class but no further reference was made to MELT.
After both blood pressure and heart rate had returned back to normal, I went ahead and wrote a letter to the editor explaining the difference between stretching and MELT.
I started off by saying that writing an article on stretching while showing a picture from a MELT class is like writing an article about apples and showing oranges.
One of MELT’s goals is to bring the body into better alignment using various decompression techniques (for example for the neck and lower back) after self-evaluations by the participants. The MELT techniques rehydrate the connective tissue (aka fascia) system of the body. Many participants comment after a class that they feel as if they had a massage.
MELT can be done at any time; the recommendations are to MELT after cardiovascular exercises but BEFORE strength training. The last part is particularly important. Strength training is more effective and a lot safer if the exerciser is first aware of the body’s alignment and has taken steps to improve it. The best comparison is to car maintenance. If you notice uneven tire wear, you get it balanced and aligned. Surely, the body deserves no less.
After the workout stretch all you want.