Your Secret Weapon!

If you are an athlete and want to get the most from your sport, you need to be treating your connective tissue system directly. While movement itself is hydrating to the water based system that supports, protects and stabilizes your cellular body (muscles, bones, and organs); repetitive movements, as required in most sports, contributes to dehydration of these support tissues. When the tissue that surrounds your body parts becomes dried out and brittle (think, dry sponge) your body motion becomes unsupported, inefficient, and pain may ensue. Keep your fascia and all connective tissue healthy with the techniques of The MELT Method.

I had a 25 year career as an athlete and teacher, in dance. Dance requires motion in multiple planes of motion, extreme plyometric capability (jumping) and precision. I had countless hours of hands-on bodywork as I performed and toured around the country. After all this experience I was, nevertheless, bowled over upon meeting Sue Hitzmann (creator) and MELT. The stiffness that had begun to set in and the old injuries that seemed they would never leave me, were gone or alleviated after just a few months of regular practice. Literally, and figuratively, the "spring in my step" was being restored. And what's more, in order for my muscle tissue to be available to my nervous system, the fascial tissue surrounding those muscles better be in tip-top shape as the sensory nerve endings are embedded in this tissue. That's right, they live there! So I am able to be more active with less strain and pain.

Watch a fun, very short video at Sports Illustrated of the creator of The MELT Method working with a woman about to run the NYC marathon. Go to www.si.com, "How MELT Method uses Self Treatment for Body Recovery". Enjoy! And, let me know if I can help you get out, and stay out of chronic pain.

Teaching dancers at Cornish College in Seattle. They were introduced to both The MELT Method and MELT Neurostrength, 2 fabulous modalities I teach.

Teaching dancers at Cornish College in Seattle. They were introduced to both The MELT Method and MELT Neurostrength, 2 fabulous modalities I teach.

In Praise of Household Chores

Housework: the grind, the endless work never done, the “I just cleaned that and now look at it”, thankless work indeed. This is a fitness blog, what’s up with the topic of housework? There must be a movement story to tell. What if we approached household tasks, from taking out the garbage, to dusting, climbing ladders and doing dishes, as a chance to move our bodies in a variety of ways? Reaching up to dust a ledge, that’s shoulder circumduction, how exciting! Well, okay, not obviously. How about if we look at it from the perspective of cellular health?

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How Do You Define Feeling Fit?

As a much younger person, if I had been asked “how do you define feeling fit?” I would have given a dismissive response. The word “fit” or “fitness” was for hacks. I was a professional dancer, living in NYC, teaching and touring. An artist! After teaching at leading institutions, working as a certified professional trainer with a wide variety of clients, studying the newly developing science in fitness, and motherhood, I have a new perspective. Developing conviction about what fitness is, as it pertains to my own life and my work with clients, influences answering the question.

I spend many hours sifting through the high volume of fitness related information readily available. This research, continuing education required training, and my extensive background as a movement educator have led to emerging concepts that now drive my vision. Namely,

  1.  the body that sits too much has lost its reflexive ability to move well and pain free
  2. that connective tissue, which includes fascia, is influential to whole body stability and ease of movement courtesy of a well functioning nervous system which depends on healthy, springy, hydrated connective tissue; and,
  3. that the relatively new science of “mechanobiology” is astounding and must be considered, which deals with applied force and its effect on each body cell, including the force of gravity. Just moving around, not necessarily “exercising”, provides squish input to every cell, followed by translation into chemical signals (a process called mechanotransduction).

Our health and longevity may be dependent on cell behavior in response to this signaling; and, it could mean that daylong (volume) and diversity is more important than traditional fitness programming. 

How do these concepts affect the way I train my clients, and my own behavior? Keeping at the forefront that programming for longevity and athletic performance can and should go hand in hand, we rock, crawl, spring off the wall and load tissues in a variety of ways with a variety of tools. We stimulate body-wide reception and hydrate at the cellular level with MELT techniques, which improves nervous and muscle system function and follow with MELT Neurostrength to refine our muscle-firing scheme to enhance healthy joint positioning. Now we are ready for heavier push, pull, squat and core work. This programming develops bodies that are  better-aligned and more responsive to moving in a variety of ways throughout every day.

How do the key concepts (restoring reflexes, hydrating tissue, and movement being input for my cells), help me define for myself what feeling fit is? My answer is a series of questions I evaluate on a regular basis: how quickly do my heart rate and breathing recover after climbing steep hills on my long walks? Do I feel stiffness or pain when I wake up in the morning? Am I sleeping enough to restore my body for better metabolism, waste removal and repair? How’s my vestibular balancing and proprioceptive stabilizing capacity during my yoga class or doing strength work with my TRX? Trying to limit my sitting to 20 minutes at a time, can I easily spring up from the floor, or a chair? Am I able to load my body with good alignment and for enough cycles to do a good run, or any other body weight fun?

How do you define feeling fit? Drop me a note.