Get to know the MELT Method: Bodywork to reduce stress, improve connective tissue, and find pain relief.

For those new to or not familiar with the practice, bodywork is a form of alternative medicine to improve the mind-body connection. Bodywork techniques can range from energy work and yoga to manual therapy performed by physical therapists.

I think of the mind-body connection as being in tune to how you physically feel. For me, this can manifest itself in two ways.

It’s understanding how something feels when I’m engaged in movement and being able to adapt my body if I don’t get that same sensation. It’s also knowing when there is pain or illness in my body and finding the exact location.

While Sue Hitzmann’s MELT Method can also be used to improve the mind-body connection, I prefer to use her techniques as massage therapy that I can do at home with my own OPTP roller.

The MELT Method has personally helped me with joint stability. It has also helped me find pain relief and release stress, especially after a long day of caring for a baby. After I do an assessment, I’m much more relaxed. I think it’s great for self-care and times when you have trouble sleeping.

As I currently manage kneecap issues and have been working on strengthening other muscle groups to support my knee, I use the MELT Method to regularly massage my quads after every pilates workout.

The MELT Method is also great for pregnancy. Whether you’re suffering from pelvic pain, sciatic nerve pain, or just having trouble sleeping, MELT can help.

Assessment with your foam roller

Start by lying on the floor with your palms facing up, eyes closed, and sensing where you might be off balance in your body.

Ask yourself: Does one side of the body feel heavier than the other? Is your back flat on the floor or do you feel adduction with your shoulder blades? Do you notice more or less tension in your neck? Are you experiencing lower back pain? Try to pinpoint where and what you feel.

Then lie down on your foam roller in this position:

Sue Hitzmann

Start by doing pelvic tilts on the foam roller.

Practice marching or lifting one leg up at a time so that the knee is bent at a 90 degree angle.

With your arms lifted in the air, bring down one at a time to your side and then alternate. You can also do circles with your arms on the roller.

The goal is to warm up the body and relax. Do whatever movement feels good and natural to you. Then return to lying flat on the floor, eyes closed, and palms facing up. Do you notice a difference? Do you feel more balanced on both sides of your body? Have you relaxed in any areas? Are you still feeling tense — if so, where? Are you still experiencing lower back pain? Or have new issues presented themselves?

Now that you’ve assessed, it’s time to massage with the MELT Method.

The MELT Method

I could take pictures and walk you through this step-by-step, but I’d rather leave it to the expert. She has so many great videos to introduce you to the MELT Method. For a professional example of what this process looks like, watch Sue’s video on releasing neck tension:

If interested in learning more, you can find a MELT instructor near you. I’m fortunate to have access to a pilates instructor who also specializes in the MELT Method. It’s been life-changing in helping me manage my connective tissue disease and the daily stress that is part of being a mom.

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