I was reading about the Melt Method in the New York Times last week. I've heard of the program - but decided not to pursue it in the group format, as it would involve a whole new world of props - and none of us wants to go there just now. It's a good system though - foam rollers are really nice to roll around on, I have one myself.
If you read the article you will probably recognise the kinds of things that I talk about - how restriction of our connective tissue affects circulation and patterns of tension can lead to inflammation and pain and so on.
Here's a good quote that sums up the link:
"Researchers describe connective tissue as a three-dimensional, fluid-filled support network that surrounds the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. As we age, our bodies endure wear and tear that is thought to result in dehydration of this system. Even in young people, repetitive motions like running can compress and dry out the fascia, creating areas of ... “stuck stress.” Sedentary behaviours can have the same effect."
So sitting in chairs too much, rounding our shoulders and hunching, flattening out the lower back, shuffling when we walk - all of these things and more cause congestion and dehydration within our connective tissue network and the result is discomfort, increased risk of injury and potentially even osteoarthritis.
So no matter what you are doing that helps rehabilitate your connective tissue - whether you are doing a yoga class, pilates, having a massage, a long hot bath...it is most likely going to make you feel better.
To me though, the most important part of this article was the last few paragraphs.
"A fellow student... said MELT had helped her low back and pelvic pain. “But it doesn’t last,” she said. “That’s frustrating.”
By the time I’d walked a few blocks to my subway entrance, I knew what she meant. The feeling was gone. But I was already planning my next MELT session."
Ok so why does that resonate so much? Well to me that is exactly why we are here doing what we are doing. It is why I have spent so many years researching and trying to find the answers to why so many people are in pain - and why, when they do their homework and/or see a range of practitioners regularly, they are not always getting the lasting results that they hoped for.
I think Albert Einstein sums it up here:
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
What if the lady with the low back and pelvic pain slips straight back into her old habits moments after leaving the class:
- if she shuffles along looking down as she walks
- sits hunched over her book on the train home
- collapses into her chair as soon as she gets there, tailbone habitually tucked, her head coming forward of her shoulders as she watches TV
The ongoing load onto her joints is still disfunctional - causing inflammation and pain. This cannot change unless she changes the way she moves every day.
If you have an achey knee there are ways to assess why and then steps to take to reverse the degeneration of your cartilage. But you have to be willing to make some changes in your lifestyle - and accept that it will take time to repattern healthier ways.
It's brilliant to go and do a class or anything else that makes you feel good and freer and so on. Wouldn't it be even better though - to feel good most of the time. And know that when something did feel a little achey you knew what to do about it.....and that you actually did it!
So if that sounds good come along for the ride in 2015.