Why do we use a soft roller when we MELT?
One significant difference between the MELT Method and other roller based self-care modalities is that MELT uses a much softer roller. At Pilates Manitoba we always advise our patrons to have a soft roller in their fitness repertoire. Many clients ask me why we use a soft roller, when much of the fitness industry is marketing harder variations.
Traditional foam rolling on a hard roller targets the musculoskeletal system and creates a blood flow exchange in the muscle. The soft roller that we use in MELT targets the neurofascial (connective tissue and nervous) system, which is bypassed when we use harder tools. The purpose of MELT is to rehydrate our connective tissue and improve nervous system regulation.
Connective tissue communicates through fluid vibrations. Over time, repetitive movements and postures such as running and sitting cause our tissues to dry out.
To wrap your head around connective tissue dehydration, it helps to know a little bit about how connective tissue (or fascia) works. Our connective tissue is a 3D matrix that runs from our skin down to our bones. It supports, protects and stabilizes us, houses our sensory nervous system and is key to mind-body communication. Connective tissue communicates through fluid vibrations. Over time, repetitive movements and postures such as running and sitting cause our tissues to dry out. You could think about it a little bit like a sponge. When is sponge is wet, it has a lot of pliability, but if you left a brick on it overnight, it would become dry and brittle. When our connective tissue is dehydrated a number of things can go wonky, but some of the big ones include low-grade inflammation, irritation to the sensory nervous system and ultimately joint dysfunction, stiffness and pain.
The good news is that even if it does become dehydrated, our connective tissue is a renewable resource that responds favorably to gentle compression and length techniques. The key is to go slow and start with a softer tool, so not to trigger the sensory nervous system to brace our tissues and muscles, which would create further dehydration. The cool thing about MELT is that even though it’s subtle, it allows us to go deeper, faster with less pain. It is so gentle and subtle. We need to honour that more as a way to true fitness and wellness, in our workouts and our culture. Thanks to MELT Seattle for this wonderful article to share with you. Please do not mash your fascia!
At Pilates Manitoba we offer MELT for Pilates classes that integrate the cutting edge science of MELT with Pilates functionality. Come MELT with us!