I took my first MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique) class this past weekend at a local yoga studio. I'd heard amazing things about MELT and had wanted to try a class for some time, but hadn't had a chance yet to experience it myself.
During the class we used a long, soft foam roller, multiple small, different-sized balls on our hands and feet, and a variety of short, repetitive movements on different areas of the back, legs, hands, and feet.
There was no big, overt movement, yoga poses, or breaking a sweat required, but by the end of the class my body felt noticeably balanced, rested, and remarkably calm.
I asked the instructor, Roeshan Shadravan, a certified MELT instructor and licensed holistic practitioner, to share some of her insights about MELT and how it works.
MM: Roeshan, what is MELT and how does it actually work in the body?
RS: In a nutshell, without getting too technical, MELT Method gently stimulates or excites cells to produce more ground fluid (the stuff that makes joints juicy) through the use of a soft roller and hand and foot balls, thereby tapping into the connective tissue of your body to Reconnect, Rebalance, Rehydrate, and Release; the four Rs of MELT.
It then rinses or pushes the fluids into the areas of the body that commonly hold imbalances (areas that typically tend to be dehydrated, compressed, or unstable due to stuck stress in the body from active living and aging) which over time cause pain and instability.
Biomechanics reveals "you can't be efficiently mobile if you are inefficiently stable," and science shows us "connective tissue hydration is required for the extensibility necessary for whole-body stability."
Thus, by learning and following the MELT Method techniques and sequences, you gain the tools to learn how to push and drive the fluids naturally produced and found in your body through your connective tissue, decreasing the number of barriers (stuck stress or restrictions in the body) and redistributing the fluids in your body more efficiently and evenly so that your connective tissue can return with ease from a taut, dry, brittle state back to a smooth, fluid, liquid state that moves and functions more efficiently, aka MELTing your connective tissue! Simple, noninvasive, and effective. It's brilliant!
MM: How did you get interested in MELT? What was your first experience with it?
RS: Where to begin? I look back to the Spring of 2011, when I was first introduced to MELT by Sue Hitzmann, the creator of the MELT Method. I had heard good things about it but wasn't sure what exactly it was. So I decided to go to the source, Sue, and take a class, see what all the hype was about.
The roller was soft and comfortable to use and I actually enjoyed using it. (My previous experiences with foam rollers were painful and unpleasant to use.) This MELT roller was different, and I felt the positive shifts in body instantly.
For years I had been experimenting with any ball I could get my hands on (tennis, golf, lacrosse, etc.) on my hands and feet, knowing the importance and role the hands and feet play in relation to whole-body wellness. It's like it is innately ingrained us; give someone in pain a ball and the first they do is roll around on it. But again there was something different, unique, about these MELT balls.
The immediate change the MELT balls yielded in my body was noticeable. And they were easy to use, no harsh, sharp, unpleasant surprises, as I followed the MELT sequences on my hands and feet.
My life has never been the same, in a good way, since that day.
MM: Can you talk a little about connective tissue, its role in the body, and how MELT works on it?
RS: In all my years of studies as a holistic practitioner I was familiar with connective tissue, its importance and connection to the nervous system and the role it plays in creating a healthy, free moving, sound body.
I had been practicing and studying for over a decade how to address connective tissue through hands-on bodywork, but never had I seen or experienced how to address connective tissue so effectively through hands-off bodywork. This really opened my eyes and swung the door wide open on how I could help, not only heal my own body, but help others alleviate pain and tension (aka stuck stress) in their body through self-care via the MELT Method.
With all that said, truly the best way to really begin to grasp and comprehend the question "What is MELT Method?" is to experience MELT. Let your body answer the question, give you feedback, validation, and feel of how it all works. Trust me. Your body will thank you.
Really this is just the tip of the iceberg. As you dive deeper and deeper into your connective tissue via MELT, your body will being to reveal and unveil what is truly happening inside this delicate ecosystem we call the human body.
Monique Minahan is a writer and yoga teacher offering her heart to the world through words that motivate, inspire, and encourage. Connect with her at mindfulmo.com.