The origin of the MELT Method

Have you ever had pain in your body? I’m not talking about pain like when you hit your knee on the edge of a coffee table. I am talking about chronic pain. A pain that Advil doesn’t seem to resolve, stretching, strength work, resting, icing… not even your doctor seems to help you fix your issues. And what’s worse is when a pain is there long enough, you actually give up on trying to make it better.

Believe me, I know. In1996 I developed my very first chronic pain.

To heal my own body pain, when I found no doctors, no medicine, no exercise helped me resolve the mess I had gotten into, I discovered hands-on bodywork therapy. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it would completely change my life. I transitioned from teaching people how to exercise correctly to teaching people how to stay active, healthy, and pain-free so they could exercise and do whatever made them feel like they were living a full life.

During the next five years, I went on to study not one, but eight different hands-on therapies and in 1999, I open my own private practice, Body Language NYC, that blended all of them, along with a substantial background in exercise science.

Living in New York City is an asset when you are a person who can help people reduce stress in their body. This is a city of stressed-out individuals. My clients became my teachers by helping me guide them to living pain-free. After working on hundreds of people, consistently getting desired results, I found that I could give clients homework that would simulate the treatment I had given them and quicken up their healing process by enhancing their awareness to what was causing their pain.

I found if they treated themselves in between my sessions when they returned I could begin working on new things and truly making permanent changes in their body and eliminate chronic pain once and for all. One by one, my clients came back better and better — without my hands-on treatment. This allowed my clients to get back to their active lifestyles. This also allowed me to see a higher volume of clients.

For years I had brought what I was learning from my journey of self-healing back into the fitness industry. I had been teaching my signature class Body Language in the premiere NYC health club Reebok, Sports Club, NY. This class primarily taught people many structural integrated exercises and movement re-patterning techniques I used in my practice at the time. However, the notion of teaching people how to actually treat the primary cause of a vast amount of specific issues and common symptoms with techniques that I had developed was not fully realized yet.

In 2003 I came up with the notion of teaching bodywork techniques in a group environment. As I had been a group exercise for 15 years I asked if I could teach a class called Body Language. This would be a way for me to teach more people self-treatment techniques to keep their bodies in good alignment. You would think the place would be packed but in a health club in NYC in 2003, people wanted to sweat. They wanted to feel their muscles burn. They wanted to feel pain because, uh, no pain… no gain.

So how could I shift that paradigm?

I started by thinking about how I could treat myself to get the same results I was getting with my clients simply because I could not find therapists who did the same techniques that I was doing in NYC. So I began showing my patients how to self-treat their own bodies. And sure enough, they were coming back healthy, pain-free, and amazed that the work they said “I was doing to them was holding in their body.” But that was just it. It was the work they were doing that was making them well… I was just the messenger opening the door to their own body’s healing potential.

I was beginning to see the light.

That year I also met some of the most innovative educators in human science and movement. This further guided my practice into something totally out of the ordinary.

Combining my own experience and what I was learning changed everything about how I saw wellness and life-long fitness. I am an expert at knowing how to tap into this resource within all of us. It is called the NeuroFascial System and in recent times, this system of the body has only been connected to via hands-on techniques. It took me 10 years of study and practice hands on methods to know this system intimately. Dare I call my self a neurofascial anthropologist. I may just be the first to ever write that down.

melt mat

In 2003 I began teaching techniques in the fitness industry that mirrored what I was teaching my clients. I was quiet about it, slipping it in to general workouts and sculpt classes. Some got it… some didn’t.

Then in 2004 I decided to go out on a limb and attempt to do what was never done: I was going to teach the fitness fanatics who wanted to diet and exercise to stay fit and healthy how to treat the neurofascial system so that they could exercise without getting injured and ultimately stay active, and pain-free for a lifetime. I wanted them to know about hands-on therapy and the benefits of this beyond diet and exercise – but I was going to teach them by making them “Hands-off Bodyworkers”.

What happened was stunning.

People came up to me asking me if this technique could help their specific body pain. My answer was “It will help your body acquire efficient stability. A stable body functions more efficiently. So yes, I believe this can help you eliminate common symptoms of pain”. I was floored at the fact that 85 percent of people who exercised were actually in pain most of the time.

Because I said this method would help them, they came back to the class the following week. The same people a few weeks later came back saying, “I started doing what you showed us on my own and you know what? My back hasn’t felt so good in years. I think your method got to the root of my problems! Thank you!”

Thus MELTing became a method. I have trained hundred of people in the method, I have manuals that the most renowned neurofascial scientists cheer to see, and I have thousands of testimonials of clients and fitness club members who think MELT is the solution to staying active, pain-free, and healthy for a lifetime.

I had a mission. I had a vision. What started out as a belief that I could help people beyond the confines of my office emerged a small company that is slowly growing into an international phenomenon. In my office I have a note posted on the cabinet that says, “Someday I will help the world feel better.” It’s a blessing really. Right before my eyes, along with the near 1000 MELT Instructors, I see it happening.  I can see, MELT has the potential of spanning the globe and growing far beyond the touch of my hands.

I’m off again to train another group of like-minded individuals who have the same desire as I do, “to live a healthy, long life and share that knowledge with others.”

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