Often times I feel rather discouraged, looking around the world and witnessing the bitterness and disgust that exists.

This story, however, truly inspires me and encourages me to believe in the goodness of mankind once again.  That goodness comes from somewhere.  I know where it comes from in my life and how He inspires me….


Again….Sue hits the nail on the head:

Water water water. Is it really that important that I drink it? I mean, can’t I just drink coffee and tea… or soda… maybe some vodka…or any liquid really? Why is drinking straight water even that important? Besides, some of the foods we eat are really water filled… if you eat fruits and vegetables, those types of food have water in them. Carbohydrates and refined foods do not have much or even lack water but even some proteins have water like a piece of steak or fish. So again, why is straight water really so beneficial to my overall wellness and longevity?”

What a delightful rant of questions just came out of my brain! Really, why would anyone even bother to argue that drinking water doesn’t just sound like a good idea. The majority of our earth is water. The majority of what’s inside each of our own bodies, similar to our own planet, is… WATER. Nearly 2/3rds of our body is comprised of water. So doesn’t it sound like a good idea to replenish it everyday?

The primary fluid system of the body is the connective tissue system. Outside of blood, connective tissue houses the majority of our fluid state. Other, more intricate and vastly important systems (nervous, vascular, and circulatory, etc…) rely on the fluid in this system to function efficiently. If the Extracellular Matrix (ECM), which is the fluids and it’s components of connective tissue that support, protect, and connect all of the cells it surrounds looses even 2% of its water content, it would cause every cell, structure, and system it surrounds to lose efficiency. This exhausts the body, makes it work harder daily and ultimately taps out your energy, ages you faster, and is the catalyst for most chronic pain.


Read that last sentence a few times and understand I am serious and well educated on this topic. The bigger issue about water consumption is how the fibroblasts in the connective tissue use it. If you become chronically dehydrated, meaning on average you don’t intake the required amount of baseline fluids the cells of your connective tissue actually RESIST the uptake of fluids at all. The fibroblasts are what produce the fluids for the ECM. So if they don’t uptake fluid, they also don’t produce it for the ECM thus the ECM becomes stagnant, lacks support and that further damages all aspects of your body. Once you get into this state, it doesn’t matter HOW MUCH water you drink, the fibroblasts just won’t uptake new fluids and you just pee it all out, further stressing your kidneys and causing more stress and inefficiency in your body. Yikes. So how to resolve these issues?

Seeing most people are in a state of chronic connective tissue dehydration (if you wake up with aches in your back, knees, feet or any other joint, or you pee in the middle of the night, or you feel exhausted by midday most days, those are common signs of connective tissue dehydration) most need to try MELT! The technique’s primary goal is to stimulate the fibroblasts in a very specialized, organized way to improve absorption of fluid intake, and rejuvenate the ECM. This restores support necessary for all system’s of your body so it improves your overall efficiency. This can aid in restoring metabolic functions, posture and movement capabilities, and digestion.

So do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water everyday? Well, on average, your body will lose about 1-1.5 liters of water everyday doing nothing more than basic bodily excretion like sweating, urinating, even spitting. This is how much you would lose if you did no strenuous movements of any kind during a day. So if you get up, shower, drive a car, sit at your desk, get up periodically for short moments in the day, go home, watch tv, eat, and then go to bed most everyday, this is how much fluid your body would excrete… on average. So the average Middle American baseline for fluid loss is 1-1.5 liters of water a day.

As a total personal side note:

Today, I actually ran a little over 11 miles… in a row! I ran with Loi Jordan, a wonderful colleague and lifetime friend who is training to run a half marathon. I weight myself before I run, that way I know how many pounds of fluid I lose running and can estimate how much extra I will have to put back in my body. (Again… little obsessed with the value of the fluid state of my connective tissue). So today I woke up weighing 126.5 lbs before any bodily fluids came out of me. After bathroom activities and the longest run I have ever intentionally done, I came home weighing 123.1 lbs. So from 7am this morning until around 1pm today, I lost almost 3.5lbs of fluid today. Oh, and before I ran, I drank 16oz of water and ate a water filled breakfast. By 4:00pm I drank a full liter of water, ate more water filled foods like veggies, an egg, blueberries, and grapes. So by midday I just resupplied my body with what I lost today. By this evening I will be back on track.

Do you need to drink water? The answer is yes. Do you need to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Well, I’ve heard some people say just take ½ of your bodyweight and that’s around the minimum amount of water and water filled foods you should consume in a day.

For example, if you weighed 150lbs you would want to intake 75 fluid ounces of water each day.

The clinical science I’ve seen and stick to says this:

Pounds in Body Weight  X  0.6(oz)  = Fluid ounces you should consume daily

For example, if you weighted 150lbs you would want to intake 90 fluid ounces of water each day.

So I weight about 125 pounds X .6oz = 75 fluid oz per day. HOWEVER… that being said, this would be the quantity of water at a MINIMUM if I did NOTHING all day. These are numbers on the low end.

Seeing I ran more than 11 miles today, I ate and drank all water filled foods like an apple, grapes, and berries (each containing nearly 85% fluid per gram of weight)

and straight water. I also got a massage yesterday and today… to combat connective tissue dehydration symptoms tomorrow. By the end of the day I will have consumed a minimum of a gallon of fluids consisting of my food and water or 128oz of fluids. So due to my activity today I’ll supply my body with an added 50oz or so of fluids (or an extra 1.5 liter of water).

If you drank eight 8-oz glasses of water a day, you would take in 64 fluid oz of water. If you then ate the USRDA’s recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, you would increase that to an average of about 80 oz, well in a decent range for fluid intake each day. Because some diets restrict the intake of fruits and vegetables (which never sounds good to me but, some diabetic diets and low sugar diets will restrict nutrients to help people lose weight… never sounds right to me…) you might get a little less. However, if you take diuretics, medications, or have injuries you NEED to take in fluids. Not taking in enough can be counter productive!

The real issue with fluid intake is doing it CONSISTENTLY throughout a day. My recommendation is to drink 8-15oz of water first thing in the morning when you wake up and eating water filled foods containing about 8oz of fluid in the morning hours so you can bank on the fact that you have 1/3rd of your recommended fluid intake in your body over the first 3 hours you are awake. Midday try for supplying your body with 15-30oz of fluid. If you exercise for 30minutes to one hour daily, consume a liter of water (some before, some during, the rest when you are done), and then begin to taper your fluid intake around 6pm so by 9pm you are done supplying your body with most if not all you will need to keep your body in a restoration mode while you sleep.

I could go on an on about this topic but for now, let’s end it here. DRINK WATER! But hey, MELT so the fibroblasts USE IT in a way that adds benefits to all that you do. I’ll add a part two to this notion in another blog about Hydration and Collagen!!!


In my group classes as well as with my individual clients, I talk a an awful lot about tensegrity.   Basically – we need it!

We all know that tissue that is too tight is unhealthy.  But, what many people fail to realize is that when tissue is too “loose,” it’s also unhealthy.  We MUST have proper tensegrity in our bodies in order to operate properly and efficiently.  Without some tension, we would simply flop all over the place and fall apart (which sometimes people feel like is the case!)  And, with too much tension, we ache and strain, etc.

That’s why we MELT!!!

My MELTing Mentor explains tensegrity:

What’s a fibroblast? 

Okay, when it comes to connective tissue I’m full of answers. Though many would make a layperson’s eyes roll into the back of their skull, it’s taken me time to do my best to simplify what’s been burned into my brain, causing me to become a Somanaut or inner explorer of the body. Talking about fibroblasts is technical but here’s as simple an idea as I can offer for a blog…

So what’s a fibroblast? There are a number of cells found within our connective tissue system that compose the “fascial network”. A fibroblast is found specifically within the fascial fabric and is the primary cell of connective tissue. They are a reactive cell, adapting and morphing to tensional changes and movement. Each cell provides what’s known as “tensegrity” or architectural support to our entire body. The fibroblasts cytoskeleton is able to transmit forces from cell to cell (intercellular space) and within the cell (intracellular space) and resist distortion – so long as the cells are adequately hydrated. Mechanical forces can influence the fibroblasts to modify their physical and chemical properties so if adequate hydration is absent, distortion of fibroblasts causes a bit of a mess in the architectural integrity of the entire body. The little microtubules and microfilaments in the intracellular system become damaged causing the ultimate change in the fibroblasts integrity.

Okay so none of that is really layman talk. So think of it this way – billions of fibroblasts (along with other cells like mast cells, adipose cells, macrophages and fibers like collagen, elastin, and reticular fibers) create an amazing framework for our blood, bones, nerves, organs, and every other element we can define to exist in. The fibroblasts are responsible for producing the fluids that ultimately create the Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM) or architectural framework that cells and fibers and structures exist in. If fluid decreases (which is caused daily by our general habits, postures, nutrition, and lifestyle) and we don’t actively partake in both adequately hydrating ourselves and stimulating the fibroblasts in a gentle, organized way (like we do with MELT) adhesions, stagnation, and ultimately fixation and a loss of space occurs in all of the spaces of our body like joints and the abdominal and throat region.

Bottom line, our connective tissue matrix is a complex structure with diverse functions. The entire molecular continuum is a tensegrity system reliant upon fibroblast integrity and responsiveness. The ability of cells to adopt various shapes and carry out coordinated movements within the matrix is inherently linked to the fluid state of the ECM and the ability of fibroblasts to continuously produce and transfer fluids from cell to cell.

Once again, drinking water consistently throughout the day, eating water filled foods, daily whole-body movement and of course MELTing helps to keep our fibroblasts in good tone. Stay curious on how to keep these cells healthy. More to come on this topic and other elements of our connective tissue system!

Up All Night – Oh, baby. – Video – NBC.com.


Generally TV shows lose my interest fairly quickly.  I’m very guilty of both multi-tasking while attempting to relax in front of the TV, as well as simply giving up and moving along to next room for something to further occupy my busy brain.  I suppose in most arenas this is a good thing – “they” say that TV is a mindless waste of time.  That may be, but it can also be a great way to unwind and relax – at least according to my hubby!  The poor guy just wishes one day I would relax with him!

I recently saw an advertisement for an upcoming TV series on NBC this fall.  It looks HYSTERICAL!  I can’t remember the last time that I really looked forward to staying home and watching a silly show.  But, I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw this.  It felt SO great!!!  I love laughing – I simply love it.

Now, I must preface this clip of “Up All Night,” stating that, of course, it follows the “up all night” syndrome of new parents.  I’ve never had that experience, but I can certainly laugh about it.  The portion of the clip where the two LOVEBIRDS argue about who was awake the most throughout the night IS the story of MY life.  I have no little baby to keep me up at night, but I do have the love of my life snoring next to me so that I really am UP ALL NIGHT!



MELT Therapy Claims To Ease Pain, Improve Performance – News Story – KRDO Colorado Springs.

This is one of the greatest conversations surrounding MELT that I’ve heard yet:

Wife – “Honey, this is Ashley.  She’s the MELT Therapist here.” (As if her husband is supposed to know exactly what the MELT Method is).

Husband – (Entirely clueless, yet ultra-supportive) “Really, wow!  I need that.  MELTing….does it involve chocolate?”

His comment just made my entire week!

Ever since my last blog entry, I have been waiting for some sort of inspiration for the next posting.  Perhaps it was the curse of the theme about which I wrote, timing and patience.  It also seems that the curse is two-fold.  While I have been anxiously working to develop some sort of interesting thought process without much success, EVERYTHING else in my life seems to be happening at a snail’s pace as well.  Rather, everything that I’m hoping to change and wanting to move forward, is stagnant.  AND, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.  I’ve tried and tried, but none of it is within my power; it’s all beyond my control.  I am convinced, now, that since I’ve stirred the Lord’s pot of timing and patience, I’m in line for yet another one of His lessons.


When I was a child, we planted annual flowers in pots outside the house every spring and summer.  The most plentiful were petunias.  But, I really enjoyed, and still do, the way impatiens look in pots.  They are so vibrant and can be amazingly plentiful.  As things go, though, in my little kid head, I swore that the flowers were actually named IMPATIENCE.  Perhaps even then I was subconsciously aware of this ever present trait of mine!

Of the people that know me best, many, if not all, would attest to the fact that I am an extremely impatient person.  Some may even venture to bet that I might possibly be THE MOST impatient person on the face of the earth!  When I decide that I want something, I want it NOW and there is no turning back.  I move forward with full force and blinders, looking straight ahead.

This trait of mine can certainly serve as both a blessing and a curse in life.  I am highly motivated and driven, and I let nothing get in my way.  As a result, I have accomplished many things in my life that others would judge as rather remarkable.  For me, they were simply things I wanted and went for….

The negative aspect of my impatience, however, seems to plague me just about every day.

As I began my MELT practice, my initial intent was to “fix” myself.  After years and years of distance running and abusing my body, my poor little system had finally given way again, begging for mercy with unexplained leg pain.  For over a year I searched and searched for answers and relief, visiting more doctors than I can count and trying more therapies than I thought even existed!  I found the MELT Method and KNEW right away that there really was something to it.  I set in my mind that this was the answer for me and that this was going to “fix” me.  As I continued through my training and the year went on, I started practicing on others and the results were absolutely astonishing.  Miraculous.  So many people would come to see me and either walk away instantly out of pain, or call me hours, days, or sometimes weeks later and report that their issues had completely resolved.  Fantastic….for them!  What about me?  What about my pain?  Those around me continued to tell me to “be patient.”  Are you kidding me?  It had been over a year. I think that’s pretty darn patient considering the chronic pain and inability to do ANYTHING in the way of activity that I so craved!

In any case, something inside me persisted and I continued faithfully treating myself.  After all, I really had no choice.

Finally, one day, I awoke as usual, and the pain was completely gone.  Nothing had changed in my daily routine.  It just simply was TIME.  Of course, I’ve had to very slowly ease back into any rigorous activity and am still rather cautious.  If I overdo it a bit one day, I have more soreness that I’ve ever had in the past.  But, as soon as I treat and MELT myself again, my body recognizes what is healthy and rapidly returns to its pain-free state.  Over the course of that year, year and half journey of seeking relief for my own issue, I can only determine that the healing was a result of one thing: timing.

I share this story with some of my other clients who seem to be progressing more slowly than others.  One man in particular has struggled with a  different sort of leg pain for several years.  Surgeries and doctor’s visits have done nothing for him.  Our first few MELT and manual sessions didn’t seem to do the trick either.  I explained to him my own story and encouraged his continued patience. Luckily, he was certainly on board with that idea as well.  Sure enough, just this week, the TIMING was right, and he reported to me that the pain has gone.  I believe we’re both a little cautious in our thinking at this point, nervously waiting for some soreness to return, but so far so good.  The time was right.

I have no idea from where my impatience in life stems or if as I grow older I will begin to grow into a more patient person.  Perhaps not, as it seems that all of my experiences and life lessons continue to remind me how much I lack that virtue.  I’ve learned never ever again to pray for patience, as God has been working to teach me about it for most of my life now!  However, as I know I’ll struggle with patience for however long, I have finally come to accept the concept of timing.    I will continue to want, and want it now, but also accept that things only happen according to plan.  Not my plan, but His.  He has perfect TIMING.

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” -Brian Adams




I had the opportunity to have lunch with one of my most favorite clients and special friends this afternoon and it was such a treat. Friendships are so fascinating to me.  I’ve known this woman for just over a month and my husband asked me just the other day, “you’ve known her since when?”  It seems like we’ve known each other for decades – the connection is deep and was almost immediate.  Yet, there are people (“friends”) that I really and literally have known for decades on end, and feel no true connection to them at all.  They are fine human beings, very delightful to be around in all regards, yet it doesn’t seem that there is anything deep inside that draws us together.  I’m left to wonder, then, what is that “connection” all about?  Is it that we simply share common interests?  I don’t think so….  Could it be that we’ve faced a similar history of events and experiences in our lives to which we can easily and mutually relate?  I don’t think it’s that either…. Do we share similar plans for the future or partake in similar aspirations?  I know that’s not it, as my current interests, goals, and ambitions in life are entirely different from this woman’s.  Perhaps it’s honestly just fate – that we were meant to connect and share this small part of our lives together.  I believe that to be the case.  She was put in my life for some reason to contribute to my well-being in some way or another and I in hers for the same reason – for her “betterment” or to further her pathway in some positive way, shape or form.  Everything and everyone must surely materialize for a reason.

Reflecting on that notion, I’m left to wonder about the reason that I am placed in particular people’s lives.  For this friend specifically, I believe it partly to be for her physicality.  The benefit she’s received from the bodywork that I do is remarkable.  Her pain relief, her overall wellbeing, and her strength are BETTER.  She is BETTER due to the work that I’ve done with her, MELTing and manual work as well.  Even if it’s just one person that I can help, I am far better off because of it too.  So, is it that I’m put in her life to help her – or is her “betterment” that’s resulting in my satisfaction the purpose?  Who knows…..

I suppose it’s just a matter of recognizing how beneficial relationships and friendships are in our lives and remembering the importance of reciprocation.  Doing something for someone else certainly makes them feel good, but it makes US feel great too!…which then makes us want to do more for others, and then they feel great and want to do additional nice things for even more people – what a great cycle!  Why not live a life with such a purpose and such an intent.  If we all lived in such a manner, wouldn’t we all just feel BETTER?

Here goes…

When it comes to new projects and ideas, I tend to be overly optimistic and rather “gung-ho.”  The concept of moving my office to a new, nicer, and much bigger location excited me to no end.  The space I was using before was just TOO SMALL and really didn’t have the right energy for me.  So, when the opportunity arose to move my space to the second floor of FitBody Studio, where I already teach my twice weekly group classes, I jumped.  But, as noted earlier, I can jump just a little too high.  Those close to me try to reel me back into reality, reminding me that things don’t always go according to MY plans (the things that go on in this little brain of me are boggling – believe me!), but rather end up turning out just the way they were meant to be.  In any case, the anticipated move-in date for me, following the entire remodel of the second floor of the building, was July 1.  June 29 rolled around last week and, of course, as with any remodel and construction project, there was a hiccup….and then another, and another…. Needless to say, I was getting a bit worried.  BUT, it did all work out this last weekend. There is, indeed, light at the end of this tunnel.  Although the entire second floor is not complete – the second room, bathroom, and landing are still in shambles, my space is peaceful and ready.

Isn’t that the case with most everything in life, though?  We tend to envision things one way and have every intention of life turning out just the way WE see and want.  Yet, WE are NOT in control….  Things change and we have a choice to become frustrated, or to look for the small shaft of light, gleaming towards us from the end of the tunnel.

That said, I believe as I go through life, many days I am searching for an answer or thinking to myself “WHEN” or “IF ONLY,” as if seeking out some destination in life.  No matter how clichéd the saying, the truth, though, is that life really is simply a journey.  There is no destination.  Honestly….once we arrive somewhere, things will always change.  The message, then, is enjoy the journey, it’s all we have, and look for your light at the end of the tunnel.


Here are some photos of the new space.  Come to see me and to be MELTed!!



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