As the MELT Method continues to spread to the fitness industry more and more members of the Pilates community have become curious, intrigued and fascinated by the program. This Examiner is no different, I was so intrigued that I took the training class and I am now a trained Hand and Foot MELT Method instructor.
The journey to becoming a MELT instructor is filled with science that goes well beyond the science of traditional exercise physiology. Sue Hitzmann’s research delves deep into the causes of pain and what we as instructors and individuals can do to help ourselves and our clients. We learned that “a healthy body is one where all systems effortlessly, connect, support and maintain balance.” The key to obtaining a healthy body is to obtain and maintain stability in the body which is achieved with stable nervous and connective tissue systems. Each of these systems work together to provide stability, the nervous system works to support, protect, and stabilize while the connective tissue holds the body upright and supports bodily movement.
Sue went on to further explain that connective tissue is the single most abundant material in the body and is vital to helping individuals live a healthy life. We also learned that activities of daily living (i.e. walking, running, lifting, and aging) over time adversely affects our connective tissue and if left unchecked can adversely affect our overall function. These adverse effects are caused by connective tissue dehydration which if left unchecked can morph into chronic pain, other chronic symptoms and sometimes disease.
As Pilates professionals our jobs are to help strengthen our clients and help them achieve core strength and good posture through proper training. However, if we are training clients who have aches and pains there is some connective tissue dehydration. The MELT Method is an invaluable tool that Pilates instructors can use throughout entire sessions to help assess and create safe effective programming for clients on a uniquely individual scale.
An example of using the MELT Method during a Stott Pilates assessment would be as follows:
1.) Perform your Stott Pilates visual assessment to identify and record postural deviations.
2.) Take your client through a MELT Method assessment followed by a MELT Method Hand and foot treatment.
3.) Re-assess client with both MELT and Stott Pilates assessment.
4.) Design Pilates exercise program.
I ran this formula by Sue Hitzmann and she concurred that this would be an effective way to use the MELT Method in Pilates assessment and program design. Sue also advised, “MELT puts the body in a more grounded, balanced state before you strengthen bilaterally with Pilates.” “MELT has been shown to increase the benefits of Pilates, while reducing the risk of pain and injury.”
Using the MELT Method before and after workouts is a great way to insure that workouts will be performed correctly with minimal discomfort, help clients to progress at a faster rate with well hydrated cells.
When asked what she considered to be the three most important points that class participants should remember from training, Sue left me with these three important facts.
1.) Connective tissue dehydration is happening every day at the cellular level.
2.) If we don’t address connective tissue dehydration personally and with our clients we will all experience adverse effects.
3.) The MELT Method is a self-treatment designed to address the issues caused by connective tissue dehydration.
Finally, you owe it to yourself to use the MELT Method to take care of yourself, walk the walk and pass this on to your clients to insure overall optimal health for all.