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What is connective tissue?

The power of The MELT Method comes from an untapped resource in your body: your connective tissue. Connective tissue, or fascia, envelops all of the muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, organs and nerves of the body. It supports and protects every individual part of the body, and is highly innervated with sensory receptors that play an important role in whole-body balance, stability and movement.

Healthy connective tissue is made-up of a delicate balance of fibers and fluid. Collagen fibers provide support and containment, while elastin fibers allow movement and flexibility. Your body depends on the health of its neurofascial system (connective tissue + nervous system) for high-speed communication and responsiveness between all of its parts with every move you make, and in all environments. It is connective tissue that responds first—even before your deep core muscles—when you go to step off a curb or reach to open a door.

What does it mean to "rehydrate" connective tissue?

Daily living creates stress and tension within your body. Physical stressors may range from sitting at a desk to running a marathon. Emotional, mental and environmental stressors also put strain on your body. The repetitive stress of daily living literally gets stuck in the connective tissue, which surrounds every joint, muscle, nerve, bone and organ. "Stuck stress" accumulates and causes dehydration in the connective tissue, which interferes with the nervous system's function, reduces whole-body stability and slows down the body's natural healing abilities. This creates a domino effect that begins with pre-pain signals such as aches and stiffness, and leads to common health issues such as neck and low back pain, headaches, insomnia, digestive problems and injury. Chronic health problems can follow, leaving us with limited options such as medication, surgery and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

MELT techniques work to improve the hydration of the connective tissue by stimulating the cells that are designed to create collagen, elastin and other fibers that give this vital tissue optimal tone—or the ideal balance of fiber and fluid required to support our bodies from 'bone to skin.' We cannot simply 'drink more water' to rehydrate our connective tissue, because tissue that has poor tone cannot absorb new nutrients—including water. With ample fluid, muscles glide easily over one another, the joints stay centered, the nerves fire quickly and the organs work efficiently.

Why should I MELT?

MELT quickly rehydrates connective tissue and allows the body to release long-held tension and stress that leads to chronic pain. MELT is easy to learn and offers you results that you will see and feel the first time you try it. Over time MELT heightens your body's ability to repair and heal itself, creating benefits that are long lasting and key for the best possible quality of life.

Adding MELT to your current routine can boost the results of whatever else you're doing. If you get hands-on therapy such as massage, osteopathic treatments, chiropractic or physical therapy, MELT helps to prolong your practitioner's intervention and lets you practice self-care between sessions. If you practice a particular sport or do strength training such as Pilates, MELT can help you maximize your performance by improving your alignment and facilitating proper sequencing of muscle activation.

People who MELT regularly find that they want to exercise more often. It's just more fun to move when your body feels good, has more energy and is free of pain.

When should I MELT?

When you exercise, MELT before strength training (including Pilates) to improve muscle performance and joint alignment, or after a cardio workout to reduce joint compression and stiffness and enhance muscle recovery. Your CorSano Pilates Instructor can help you identify which MELT Treatment Maps are best for your needs, including the optimal time of day to MELT.

How often should I MELT?

MELT is so gentle that you can do it everyday. It takes just 10 minutes, three times weekly, to experience immediate and lasting benefits. Drink a glass of water before and after you MELT to achieve the maximum results.

How do I begin with MELT?

Although MELT is a self-care system available to the general public, most people find that they benefit from taking a class or private session with a MELT Instructor. Michele Carini has trained in the MELT Method with its creator, Sue Hitzmann, and has been working with this modality in her private client practice since 2013. She can help you learn the MELT techniques, assist you with proper placement of the MELT balls and/or roller and provide you with take-home MELT Treatment Maps designed for your needs.

Who created The MELT Method?

Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is the creator of the MELT Method. A nationally recognized educator, manual therapist, exercise physiologist, and founding member of the Fascia Research Society, Sue is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The MELT Method: A Breakthrough Self-Treatment System to Eliminate Chronic Pain, Erase the Signs of Aging, and Feel Fantastic in Just 10 Minutes a Day! Michele Carini, owner and principle instructor of CorSano Pilates, completed her MELT and MELT NeuroStrength instructor training with Sue Hitzmann in New York City.

Has MELT been reviewed by experts?

MELT has been reviewed by internationally respected doctors, neuroscientists and connective tissue researchers, including Ben Domb, M.D.; Tom Myers; Gil Hedley, Ph.D.; Robert Schleip, Ph.D.; and Jean Pierre Barral, D.O. Each expert has recognized that MELT is grounded in scientific principles and offers extraordinary benefits. MELT is currently being used in hospitals and physical therapy offices as a rehabilitation tool to accelerate patient recovery.

Research is proving that MELT restores the elasticity of the connective tissue and reduces unwanted stiffness that causes this tissue to become less able to stabilize joints and support daily movements. Scientific research into the efficacy of the MELT Method has been presented at the Fourth International Fascia Research Congress in Washington, DC, in September 2015, and further research studies are on-going.

Is MELT like other modalities?

Although MELT is a complementary self-care technique that can be combined with other therapeutic treatments and exercise workouts, it is unlike any other modalities because it directly addresses an entirely different system of the body. MELT is to the neurofascial system (nervous and connective tissue system) what exercise and rehabilitation are to the musculoskeletal system. The MELT Method is introducing the scientific principles behind direct self-treatment of the neurofascial system to the general public for the first time.

Can't I just use a golf ball, tennis ball or hard roller?

No! Manual therapist Sue Hitzmann created MELT to stimulate the amazing results she offers her clients with her hands. So we never use hard rollers or hard balls on the body in MELT, and we respect the connective tissue's inseparable relationship with the nervous system. Part of the connective tissue's role in the body is to protect it, so going in too hard, too fast and too deep triggers this 'protection mode'. We strive to keep the parasympathetic nervous system dominant (your body's 'repair and relaxation response') that you receive the long lasting benefits of MELT. This is where valuable alignment changes and deep healing occur. If you want to rub your foot over a tennis ball to massage your feet—super, but MELT is way more than a foot massage! Importantly, MELT should never hurt…. It should feel good!

Do I need to purchase the MELT balls and the roller?

Most people begin with the MELT Hand & Foot Treatment Balls and eventually purchase a soft MELT roller so that they can take more of a 'whole-body approach' and/or treat specific issues more directly. The Hand and Foot Treatments are more beneficial than you might think. For example, the “position point pressing” technique mobilizes the joints of the hands and feet, but also stimulates what we call “myofascial meridians”, or connective tissue 'wires' that create a seamless connection from your toes and fingers to your spine and organs. Whether you have neck pain, arthritis, neuromas or are recovering from any type of injury from knees to shoulders, strains or sprains, the MELT Hand and Foot Treatments are simple ways to improve your body's natural healing abilities. When you MELT with the balls or the roller, you stimulate the connective tissue cells (as well as your muscles and bones), but you also wake-up the aspects of your nervous system that allow you to sense and feel your body while quieting down the stress levels.

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