MELT method: massaging the achy spaces in between

Mon Jun 7, 2010 9:24am EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - The MELT method, a user-friendly system of self-massage using balls and rollers, is gaining popularity among dancers, athletes, seniors and any exercisers who do not like pain.

"I'm sort of a comfort person, I fantasize I could have a massage every day," said Loren Silber, a certified MELT instructor who leads workshops in the method at a studio in New York City.

"If you're into torture, you probably not going to like this," she explained, while directing clients to roll their spines along foam rubber cylinders. "It's manual therapy you can do yourself."

MELT, which stands for Myofascial Energetic Lengthening Technique, focuses on stimulating the connective tissue (fascia) with a set series of movements described as "shearing, gliding, ripping."

It is the brainchild of Sue Hitzmann, a manual therapist and former group fitness instructor who was looking for a way to treat her own achy joints.

"I had to find a way to heal myself," said Hitzmann, "So I started playing around with small balls and rollers to decompress neck and lower back."

She said it worked for her.

"So I started giving clients homework. It got them out of the office, just coming in for tune-ups."   Continued...