Self-care comes in many different forms:
- Eating healthy foods
- Prioritizing sleep
- Breath work & meditation
- Exercising on a regular basis
There is a new kid on the self-care block that I am dedicating this post to:
The MELT Method is a simple self-treatment technique developed in just the past 15 years by Sue Hitzmann, a exercise physiologists, manual therapist and founding member of the Fascial Research Society. Fascia is a hot topic in the fitness world today. The simplest definition of fascia is “the biologic fabric that holds us together.” (thank you Tom Myers for explaining fascia so elegantly) Recent research has revealed that fascia is not some sort of inert “scaffolding” in the body but that it is functional and inextricably linked to the nervous system. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Is MELT helpful for nervous system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsons and FIBROMYALGIA? YES.
While proper diet and exercise are good commonsense strategies for alleviating pain and fatigue, conventional approaches are not enough to eliminate the stuck stress of every day living. The fascia, or body’s connective tissue, becomes dehydrated by repetitive motion and physical strain. Simply drinking more water won’t rehydrate the tissue (the connective tissues needs to be stimulated with MELT techniques, but that’s a subject for another post). Meditation is nice for achieving a zen-like outlook on life to better deal with the daily pain and discomfort. Massage therapy and stretching may relieve muscle tension for a short time but they aren’t a cure either. The same aches & pains, fears, worries and frustrations keep coming back. Why is that?
These strategies don’t address the underlying cause of imbalance. When something is out of alignment or not working right, the body creates a way around the problem (a-hem: compensation) without you ever realizing it.
Compensations cause more stress, pain and fatigue over time. MELT helps you identify the “real issues” that go unnoticed because the consequences (pain, insomnia, digestive problems, etc) scream a lot louder.
One common cause of organ dysfunction and insomnia is improper breathing patterns. The interesting thing about breathing is the fact that it is the only involuntary function which you can consciously control if you choose to. As a result, Sue calls the diaphragm the “gateway into the nervous system.” There is a very simple MELT technique called the “Rebalance Sequence” which can help improve your breathing and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, or the rest & repair aspect of the autonomic nervous system.
The Rebalance sequence is a MUST if you want to improve the quality of your sleep.
Fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions are notorious for messing with your slumber. One of the hallmarks of fibromyalgia is waking up after 8 hours of sleep and still feeling groggy. Since I started practicing the MELT Rebalance sequence religiously every morning as soon as I wake up, my sleep has dramatically improved. I am sleeping through the night and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. I encourage everyone to try it for 30 days. When you realize the difference it makes, you won’t want to skip a day of MELT.
Check out the MELT Store for books, instructional DVDs and all the MELT Method products you’ll need to feel better. You can also look up certified MELT Instructors, like myself, on the MELT Method website.