As of late, I have seen more and more clients who come to me for MELT instructions and who proudly tell me that they own a foam roller. Some of them even bring it along when they see me. I am informed that they would like to know how to use it correctly. Invariably, those are the hard foam rollers, often the white Styrofoam version, sometimes even the black one that to me feels nothing short of lightweight concrete.
About two months ago, I got a call from a young lady named Charman Driver. She introduced herself as a reporter for the “Walter” magazine and was asking me about MELT. She writes the fitness column for “Walter” and only about things after she had gained some personal experience. Well, we spoke, and I explained as well as I can what MELT is all about. MELT is one of those techniques that, while explainable, have to be experienced to ‘get it’. But Charman promised me to attend one of my classes.
We have to admit: nobody ever accused North Carolina of being on the forefront of any trends that trickle out of New York but, for once, things are different. I have been teaching the MELT Method now for well over 3 years here, and we have a few more instructors in the Triad and the Triangle now, even though the western part of the state is still a MELT wasteland. But compare that to other states of the union with no MELT instructors at all, many in the so-called heartland which is still a MELT dessert.
I am currently glued to my DVD player watching a series of 24 lectures by Robert Sapolsky Ph.D. about stress and its impact on the body. The ramifications are truly frightening; there is not a function in the body that is not negatively influenced by the mechanisms of stress. And what is even more notable is that most of the stress originates from thoughts and feelings that are far removed from the initial scenarios for which stress was designed.
Last Wednesday, I had another opportunity to talk to a group of massage therapy students. It was about one of my favorite subjects, MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique). There are many professions, massage therapy being one of them, where the professionals have to rely on the effortless functioning of their bodies in order to pursue their careers. Sue Hitzman, the creator of the MELT method, is a manual therapist herself, and she developed the MELT hand treatment in response to her own problems from overworked hands.
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.