Important note: You MUST have a soft foam roller and very small, very soft ball to use the techniques in this book. And, this therapy is not a replacement for strength training, aerobics, or muscle stretching. The workshop isn't a requirement; you can definitely learn the technique from the book. All you need is 10 minutes a day once you learn the "method. This is an excellent book! It's going to cost about $95 for book and equipment, so check my overview of pricing at the bottom of my review for more info.
I just happened to be watching Dr. Oz and he had Sue Hitzmann on his show talking about and demonstrating her new "MELT" Method. MELT stands for Myofascial Energetic Length Technique and focuses on hydrating your connective tissue and easing pain. Connective tissue is just below the surface of the skin and is a component of the whole body that is typically overlooked. This book will definitely help you understand and work with your connective tissue to improve health and well being.
Since I have my own home yoga, fitness, and meditation practice I was intrigued by Sue's theories and purchased the Kindle version of the book right away. I also got on her web site meltmethod dot com to find out more and was pleasantly surprised that she was having a workshop/class right here in Portland Oregon the same weekend! I signed up for the Sunday noon, 1.5 hour class with book signing afterwards.
Workshop: I attended Sue's workshop which was well attended by many people in my same age group 40-65, both males and females. Sue came in and with her high-energy she explained in very simple terms the theories behind her MELT method. She is a very captivating speaker! Then we learned all about the hands and foot technique which uses a small, very soft rubber ball (measures 1-1/2 inches across). You use a series of point compressions and various movements what she refers to as pressing, gliding, shearing, rinsing, and friction. Then she moved on to similar techniques using a soft roller. Excellent workshop and well worth the time and money if you can attend, check her web site!
FYI: All of the material presented in her workshop is also covered in her book. The book includes more techniques than the workshop covers.
Sue's MELT techniques are not new, they are traditional techniques of reflexology, chi, somatic-movement, self-massage, and even dry brushing and uses pressure-points and movement of lymphatic fluids. However, Sue's approach is a very unique combination of these traditional techniques in a high-energy, quick-fix, yet body-gentle environment. Her methods will help you get in touch with your body's alignment and you could very well heal yourself or at least reduce your amount of chronic pain. Using her methods over a period of weeks will definitely help you with pain management.
MELT addresses the four effects of "stuck stress" (which accumulates in the connective tissue and causes pain) with the "Four R's" which are: Reconnect (Body Sensing), Rebalance (whole body balance), Rehydrate (restore hydration in the connective tissue), and Release (decompression) in an absolutely wonderful combination that will get results!
I initially ordered the Kindle version of the book, but was concerned if I was actually getting as much as the printed book. So, at the book signing I also purchased the hard-bound, printed book, so I have both the Kindle and Paper book that I am reviewing.
The book is broken into easy to follow Parts and Chapters, but I would definitely recommend reading the first 100 pages of the book to fully understand the MELT method before starting the practice. Part four is excellent once you understand the methods and gets you going with your own self-treatment plan. All the movements are lined-out and include a short description and photo of each the positions and movements.
Comparing Kindle to Paper Book:
Note: I am using Kindle on an iPad
1. The tables in the book are easy to read, but in the Kindle version the columns don't line up very well and they are difficult to follow, especially in landscape mode.
2. You get all the same demonstration photos (Sue is the model) in both the Kindle and Paper versions. Both are of low-quality and although you can click on the Kindle version photos, they are quite grainy and do not provide any enhancement over the smaller photos in both Kindle and Paper versions.
3. I would opt for the kindle version over the paper version both for ease of reading and cost.
Reason for my Amazon 4 start rating:
I marked down this book for quality reasons, not content. The paper version is printed on very low quality paper, brown-ish newspaper print in simple black ink (no color photos and the black and white photos look low-quality/low-res). I was disappointed that page 157 was ripped out of the book down the center of the page, so this page is completely unreadable ...not a big deal since I have the Kindle version too :) For $26 I would expect better quality paper. I was disappointed since it had a full-color glossy hardcover, but when I opened the book it was cheesy, poor-quality I would have opted for softcover over hardcover and used better, longer lasting paper. Also, I don't believe the book was printed in the USA, but it's not apparent anywhere in the printed book. It doesn't say "printed in China," but my guess is that it is printed somewhere overseas. I believe her rollers and balls are probably also manufactured in China :( For these reasons I marked it down by 1 star.
I have to mention, I think Sue Hitzmann has a good thing going here that will probably help a lot of people by avoiding surgery related to chronic pain and getting off pain medications, but I also feel like it is somewhat "gimicy" that she's trying to sell her balls and roller. I understand everyone's trying to make a living and be successful, so I really can't knock it, it's just an observation. I believe in her heart she is truly trying to help people heal themselves, so in this regard the book and Sue's work deserve a 1000+ stars!!!
Sue's techniques are truly helpful. I learned so much from her in the workshop and reading and following her book. More than anything her book, instructions, and techniques really helped me to know and get more in touch with what connective tissue feels like over plain muscle stretching. I will definitely integrate her techniques into my home practice.
Sue definitely knows her stuff and she learned about connective tissue from the experts and even by dissecting cadavers! I'm still wondering if she found any sign of chi in there ;-)
Retailed Price (and price you'll pay for the book from Sue at her workshops): $25.99
Book price on Amazon, Paper: $14.29, Kindle: $12.74 (over half off Sue's price!)
MELT 3-ball set: Included if you buy a book at Sue's workshop AMAZING DEAL!!!
Workshop: $35, if you register online you get a $10 discount
YouTube Videos: She has lots of short-clips on the internet for free!
MELT 6-Ball Set with Video (on Sue's website: $40 (* see note)
MELT Body Roller: $40*
Alternative Roller: You MUST use a very soft roller for Sue's technique. I have a OPTP Foam Roller, soft/pink, $42 on Amazon OPTP Pro Foam Roller - Soft Pink Marble Full Round 36" x 6" and IN STOCK on Amazon :-)
*Note: Unfortunately Sue's balls and roller are not available on her web site and are on back order, so if you want balls, you must attend her workshop. I have NOT been able to find her soft small balls anywhere else, it's definitely a unique and very effective product!
See my other reviews on yoga, meditation, and exercising by clicking on my YogaKat Amazon name and going to "frequently used tags" along the left side under my photo and interests. Please check out my reviews and let me know if my review was helpful! Namaste'