MELT Method: A pill-free pain relief

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Relaxing is a luxury for Erin Booth. Her Pharmaceutical Nursing job often has her on the go.

“When I’m not flying, I’m driving,” she explains.  “Carrying heavy bags, sitting in the same positions over and over again.”

Booth is one of the estimated 100-million Americans living with chronic pain, but now she treats herself to TLC in the form of something called the MELT Method. It is a series of moves using balls and a foam roller that can reduce inflammation, aches and stiffness.

Advanced MELT Instructor Heather Umberger says just ten minutes of each exercise, three days a week can ease built-up stress by re-hydrating connective tissue and re-balancing the nervous system.

Heather Umberger has been teaching MELT for a little over two years.
Heather Umberger has been teaching MELT for a little over two years.

“Current science is showing us that these two things are the missing link to living pain-free,” she says a few moments before leading a workshop at Studio D Yoga.

“The MELT technique has some foundations of some of the things that we do day-to-day in the Physical Therapy clinic,” adds Physical Therapist Michael Carpenter, who recommends similar moves to help patients manage pain.

People recovering from injuries, living with Parkinson’s and other conditions have become regulars in Umberger’s classes. “I’ve had a woman with MS be able to increase her range of motion and decrease pain.”

One student, Laura Hall, used MELT following shoulder surgery.

“After my first time MELTing my feet, I noticed relief in my shoulder, I noticed more flexibility,” Hall says. “Everything is connected.”

Carpenter agrees. “If you think your knee is bothering you, you might have an issue in your hip that is actually the leading cause of it. So there is a dynamic to the whole body technique that the MELT technique uses.”

Researchers talked about MELT’s benefits at the Fourth International Fascia Research Congress in Washington, DC last Fall.

For students like Booth, feeling is believing. With MELT, she knows relief is just minutes away whether she is doing it in class, at home or in a hotel room during her travels.

“I definitely can feel the difference immediately, which is really nice,” she says with a smile.

Carpenter says from his medical point of view, the MELT Method is very safe and effective. He does recommend anyone interested in trying it first speak with a doctor or other health professional to make sure it’s appropriate for particular conditions.

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