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WOW program shows how to melt pain away

 

Last updated 9/15/2017 at Noon

MELT instructor Kat Folger demonstrates a wrist assessment; the hands should form a letter ‘T’. If they form a ‘Y’, that means there is tightness running between the hands and neck which may be causing pain, stiffness and poor posture.

Fallbrook Regional Health District (FRHD) sponsored its latest Woman of Wellness program Sept. 7 with Pilates instructor Kat Folger introducing the MELT Method®, a self-treatment technique that reduces pain.

Folger was introduced by FRHD special projects coordinator Pam Knox, who is taking MELT classes with her. Knox said her own pain and stiffness have improved since starting the class a few months ago, so she invited Folger to explain the method in a WOW program at Fallbrook Library.

More than 60 women and men attended the presentation and were able to use small rubber hand and foot balls to try out the exercises as Folger demonstrated them. The science-based MELT hand and foot treatment puts pressure on targeted locations on the hands and feet to rehydrate the connective tissues in the body, making it feel and function better.

Folger said a lot of people are in pain, even athletes and trainers. The pain comes from the nervous system and, more than anything else, the connective tissue in the hands, feet and spine.

Exercises with the balls can be done daily while sitting or standing. A soft foam roller can be used to treat the spine in similar exercises. “The intelligent body can adapt, improve, get better,” Folger said. MELT addresses the “stuck stress” caused by repetition [of activities], she added.

Even before pain starts, people need to restore and rebalance their connective tissues as they age. “Healthy connective tissue absorbs water,” she explained and, when it is not healthy, it does not function well which causes pain.

As it ages, the body becomes inefficient and barriers develop inside as the connective tissue becomes dehydrated. According to Folger, this is why 85 percent of athletes are in pain. “Rehydrate so you don’t have issues with your tissues,” she advised.

It is important to assess how one’s body feels before starting MELT exercises, and then reassess afterwards, “giving the body a chance to be aware of change,” Folger said.

She had everyone take their socks and shoes off, and drink some water before starting the exercises standing up. She then had them take a deep breath and, eyes closed, allow their bodies to sense any tension present. Next, she instructed them to lift all 10 toes and feel how the body’s autopilot supports it as its center of gravity is altered.

Kat Folger shows how to use a rubber ball to put pressure on the ball of the foot in the MELT treatment.

Using different size rubber balls depending on the exercise, Folger had the participants lean on the ball at several different points in the bottom of their feet and the palms of their hands. Each person determined how much pressure to use; “we don’t create pain to get out of pain,” she said.

Just as the hands are constantly used every day, the feet carry the body’s weight throughout the day. The MELT treatment not only relieves foot pain, it also helps alleviate tension in the low back and spine, Folger said.

In one exercise, a rubber band is used, around the two big toes together, along with one of the small balls between those toes, to lubricate the tendon of the big toe and prevent or reduce painful bunions in just a few minutes a day. These exercises can help with issues in other parts of the body too, Folger said.

For more information about the MELT program, go to meltmethod.com. The next WOW program will be held Oct. 5.

 

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