It’s morning of my presentation at the British Fascia Symposium. There’s a buzz in this hotel. People smile and say hello. I’m not surprised as the community of wellness is, bar none, the best industry of like-minded kind people looking to serve others in need. My expectations are high and I’m ready to do this.
James Earls kicks off the morning with an amazing talk about how we went from a Neanderthal type form to an upright posture, “Born to Walk,” as his book is entitled. A group of over 300 participants tightly packed into a room look enthusiastic and excited to learn.
Next up the always brilliant and amazing Gil Hedley as one of two Keynote Speakers. He bedazzles us with his poetry, kind energy, stunning images and videos of this brilliant layer under scrutiny that some nomenclature wants to discard and call it fat. The superficial fascia he explains goes from the skin to the filmy fascial layer that some in the industry want to call superficial fascia.
Gil differs (as do I) because the tissue adhered to the skin is, in fact, the superficial fascia and should be discussed and understood in our conversation about the connective tissue system. He shows some brilliant slides and videos on how he’s managed to take out all of the fat in this layer looking most of fatty adipose tissue to show the tensegrity architecture of this multimicrovacular layer chuck full of collagen and elastin. He expresses his language and how layers don’t slide, rather glide against each other during movement and the layer just beneath this sheath he’s described is where some significant gliding occurs—and when it doesn’t, we have issues.
I’m gushing because this gliding layer he’s describing has been my fascination over my lifetime of feeling what I call the buzzy, vibration of fluid flow vital to our wellbeing. It’s what MELT Recovery works to restore prior to working deep into muscles or myofascial restrictions. In what seems a 10-minute discussion, his one hour talk is coming to an end. As I’m up next there’s a part of me wanting to yell out “Keep talking, I don’t need to do my presentation!” But I’m there to share my work so I let the crew there decide what to do. An additional 15 minutes gets tacked onto his presentation yet so much more could be learned from him. Luckily in another day from now he will be doing an all-day talk on this system and stun those that attend.
They reset the stage and futz with my PowerPoint presentation. I’m introduced with a very warm welcome.
My talk I’ve entitled, “Breaking the Pain Cycle” begins with my intention of always wanting people to understand what I’m saying.
“I’m going to simplify the most complex systems—nervous system and the gut, and the most abundant material—the connective tissue system and how these systems, together provide whole-body stability and are the key culprits to chronic pain.”
I dive in to my simplified story from problem to solution. How connective tissue dehydration alters the fluid flow of this dynamic system causing a disruption in the fine balance of fascia’s stiffness and elastic properties. I explain how that alters sensory nerve function and ultimately exhausts the autonomic nervous systems ability to effortlessly support, protect, and stabilize us.
As I look at the crowd I see smiles, head nodding, and a room with 100 percent attention to my lecture.
I end with “So is there a solution?” The answer in my mind is “Yes.”
That’s what MELT is: a simple solution to chronic pain. I make the disclaimer that it’s not the only way to achieve this outcome but it seems the easiest way to make immediate changes and reduce pain symptoms. I share my stories, my beliefs and our research paper.
I end with this thought: “When it comes to hands-on bodywork, there’s no replacing any of us so don’t be afraid of sharing Hands-Off Bodywork with your clients. It’s homework beyond your touch to keep your clients helping themselves. It doesn’t replace anything, not you, not foam rolling, not ball rolling. The unique approach of the more gentle touch MELT offers is here to first stimulate the more superficial layers that all of the other things tend to overlook. It is my focus so I hope that if anything, you are now curious to know more and for those of you taking my class later today, I can’t wait to hear your feedback. Thank you so much for letting me share my work with you all today.”
In one instance a HUGE applause, cheers, whistles, and sound erupt. I’m taken back. I look over at Julian and Gil who are smiling ear to ear like proud dads whose kid just hit a home run. The applause continues as I walk off the stage Gil stops me and says, “Take this in Sue. This doesn’t happen in England. That was amazing.”
I feel so appreciative.
That afternoon was filled with hugs, thanks, and excitement from so many at the event. The 90-minute MELT Session also went brilliantly well. So many curious minds, so many people with positive energy, how could it go wrong? People simply asked, “When are you coming back for a training?!”
Though I didn’t quite realize that evening the “dinner gala” was a real to-do as I watched people walk past wearing full-length gowns, I said, “I didn’t get the memo this was formal! I don’t have my Jimmy Choos, and I’ve got only white jeans and sneakers…”
Gil and I spent the first hour or two of the event in his room chatting about life and how we don’t really do galas. I ask if he would come down with me. A smile and a “yes” sent us downstairs to a room of beautiful people.
We had an amazing meal, great live music, and laughter (these Brits can drink I tell you). I’ve never felt so a part of a group, so welcome like I was hanging out with old friends, letting loose and having fun dancing.