I posted a quick picture about the book Melt Method, by Sue Hitzmann a few months ago but now feel that it is in need of a real blog post to do it justice. Melt stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique. I never thought I would actually stay focused for 293 pages of a book just dedicated to a foam roller, but I sure did! And happily. I actually found this book fascinating and also truly helpful in reducing pain (and in some areas) actually resolved pain. For example, if you are someone with shin splints.. WOW, give it a try on your shins.
I first started noticing people using foam rollers (as a real thing) a few years ago. I thought they looked a little weird, lying there on a mat, in an odd position and just rolling on the ground. Today, it’s my obsession and no matter how odd I look, I am rolling!
After seeing people in and around the gym, I figured I give it a try. I grabbed a roller. Luckily a nice person in the gym warned me that I had grabbed the “advanced” foam roller and that if I had never tried it before, I should go with the blue softer one. Who knew?! Yes, there are different levels of foam rolling. I do recommend starting with a softer foam roller before moving on to the harder, more advanced foam roller :).
I started to roll. My own version of it. I liked it. It felt like a nice little massage. I was doing it “wrong” and for only about 3 minutes, so pretty much decided it wasn’t for me.
A year ago, I suffered a back injury. I initially thought it was an issue with my hip. But after a lot of pain and about 6 weeks of misdiagnosis, I was told I had a herniated disk, my L1 S3. It wasn’t fun. I immediately started physical therapy twice a week and that started to help relieve the pain. I had announced in my Barre classes that I could “teach” but had to take a break from demonstrating for a few weeks to let my back heal. One of my barre students came to me after that class and suggested that I should try foam rolling. She highly suggested I read the book MELT before I start to really learn about the benefits of rolling, get directions on how to roll, and more interestingly, to discover how the book describes your fascia (the connective tissue that is everywhere in your body) as its own “body system.”
The book does get a little scientific and medical, though easy to follow. I got sucked into learning more and more about relieving pain, re-hydrating my muscles, rebalancing my nervous system and body, reducing inflammation, improving flexibility, resolving pain, the list goes on and on.. all the way to reducing cellulite. Oh yes, foam rolling has been said to reduce the appearance of cellulite by rehydrating the connective tissues in the back of the legs.
I am in no way connected to this book, or any foam rollers. I just have felt the improvement in the reduction of pain in my hips and lower back from being consistent about foam rolling. I also for the first time in years, felt a big reduction in pain in my shins (having had shin splints forever). I also feel that foam rolling is that extra step in keeping the youthfulness of your body and muscles by keeping them hydrated and balanced. So if you haven’t given it a try, TRY IT!