Ask Me How I Know
August 16, 2012
I've had my hands on literally thousands of people over the years. I've had more bodywork done on myself than anyone I know. In learning how to treat others with hands-on bodywork, having others treat my body is one of the best learning curves I've had. Although it's costly, it seems like a business expense worth spending money on. It's also helped me refer many of my clients to other practitioners with specialized skills beyond my training.
I've personally endured multiple acute traumas and chronic, unexplainable pain symptoms over my lifetime. I've needed intervention many times in my life. So when people ask me how I know what will help them, frequently it's because I've either experienced it myself or I've seen and helped someone with the same issues before.
When I began developing my signature Hands-Off Bodywork modality MELT, I didn't really have anyone to learn from. Although there were many self-massage techniques I sought out in the earlier years for my own personal improvement, simulating what I did with my hands using props instead of my hands was totally unique.
My body was the test subject. I spent hours everyday experimenting with different balls and rollers made of different textures, sizes, and density. I used rocks, pvc and metal piping, kitchen utensils, other people's products... basically anything I could find to manipulate my own body.
In the earlier years of my experimentation I not only figured out how to simulate what I did with my hands... I also learned what NOT to do. In other words, I hurt myself - A LOT.
So when people ask me how I know the things I know when it comes to hands-off bodywork, well, this is why.
I've learned many things about manipulating the human body. Here's a few things I can share with you in a simple blog that you should consider before you try to come up with your own ideas and administer therapeutic intervention to yourself:
1. Just because it feels good doesn't make it good for you.
Sad but true. For example, I see people arching as far as humanly possible over the roller on their mid back. Yes, it may feel good while you are doing it but if you think it's going to help you stay out of pain, think again.
When you arch your body entirely over a roller, (shown here) more often than not, your mid back isn't moving any further than if you simply differentiated your ribs from your neck and low back. Most of that pose is setting your neck and low back curves into hyperextension - and that could cause catastrophic effect.
Ask me how I know.
2. Self-inflicting pain helps you get out of pain.
I swear, this isn't a good idea. Actually, dare I say it's a stupid idea. I see it though all the time. People want to step on golf balls because "WOW! It really hurts! That's doing something good for me!" The idea that the more it hurts the better it's working is a flat out myth.
Rolling on tender spots until you practically cry, scrunch your face and make painful sounds doesn't help your body restore balance. In fact, it over activates the protective mechanisms of your nervous system and can cause negative effect.
Bottom line here, the more you EASE into compression and allow tissue to naturally adapt the bigger the benefit, the longer the lasting results.
Ask me how I know.
3. If your neck and low back hurt, roll on them.
Putting compression on the primary spaces of the body isn't recommended (incorrect roller placement on the neck shown here).
Actually, when your low back or neck hurt you, the last thing you should do is go directly to the space or joint that is bothering you. That's the victim, not the culprit that is causing the space to compress and cause you pain in the first place.
Spaces are vulnerable areas of the body. These are the regions where we lose the most space. In my experimental years of developing MELT I actually bruised my right kidney rolling on a firm ball and arching over it on my low back. It hurt for about a month and I couldn't take a full breath for weeks.
Again, ask me how I know.
I know what I know because I spend the greater good of everyday doing self-treatment as well as researching scientific concepts and then applying it to hands-off bodywork. I am an expert in this field.
I am excited that the MELT Method book is going to be available January 2013. The streaming videos and DVD's are also coming this fall and into 2013.
Do me a favor. Don't be the guinea pig and experiment on yourself. Take it from someone who has most likely tried using any prop or product on my body already. I'll save you time, pain, and money.
MELT works. It's simply, easy, and the lasting benefits are profound...
Ask me how I know.