June 13, 2021

Cure for pain with Sue Hitzmann

Cure for pain with Sue Hitzmann

New York Times Bestseller Sue Hitzmann talks about her MELT method that has helped her and thousands of others to cure pain. A veteran of the fitness industry, Sue has a masters in Anatomy and Physiology and advanced certifications in neuro muscular therapy. In this episode Sue talks about how she figured out what caused her pain and how to cure it, her MELT method and how she is able to help thousands of people. This is her story.


Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, is a nationally recognized neurofascial science & research educator, manual therapist, exercise physiologist, and founding member of the Fascia Research Society. 

She’s the founder and creator of The MELT Method, a simple self-care technique that addresses the missing link to pain-free living – hydrated, supple fascia and a stable, balanced nervous system.  


She’s authored two bestselling books and is the CEO of Longevity Fitness Inc., an online consumer and professional education business.

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Transcript

Malini Sarma:

Hi, Sue, thank you so much for being here today. I'm really, really excited to hear all your stories. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. You're very welcome. So you today are a New York Times bestseller. You have 1000s of trainers in the melt method that help people with pain. But all of this started with your own pain when you were in your 20s. So how did that pain? What brought what brought that pain about? What What happened?

Sue Hitzmann:

I mean, I think that was the problem with the pain that I had was it was quite mysterious to me. I woke up in one day, the bottom of my foot hurt me and I didn't have any identifiable source or, you know, it wasn't an injury and being somebody who's been very athletic for all of my lifetime, you know, I've sprained ankles, and I had a splint on my knee, I've broken bones and things like that. But this pain was very unusual. I had never experienced anything like it. And to be honest with you, At first, I thought I had stepped on a piece of glass. And so I did what I think a lot of people do, I ignored it, I just thought Oh, this is you know, I don't know what it what it is. So I just didn't do anything about it. And what started out as foot pain became this body wide ache and fatigue. I think it caused a lot of emotional stress. For me it it just changed everything. It changed my metabolism, it changed my thinking self. And like a lot of people I got frustrated, I started to seek out help from doctors and what started out as a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, I had one doctor tell me it might be possibly lupus or chronic fatigue. And, you know, I was just like, Look, something's wrong in my body. And I just want to understand what it is. And all the doctors did was offer me pain relievers, or antidepressants to mask my pain symptoms. And I really wanted to understand what caused the pain and then what caused it to become chronic. And that was really what sent me down this rabbit hole to discovering the different types of pain because I always say not all pain is not the same, you know, from acute traumas like accidents, or accidental falls to chronic pain to me was, you know, something that I think I always assumed was from, you know, a side effect of some disease or an aging problem. But here I was at 28. And, you know, didn't have a disease, but was suffering and chronic pain. And what I've defined it as I call it sudden chronic pain, it's comes on from repetition from lifestyle. And it's just a cumulative stress that over time, causes and effect. And we just miss all of the what I call pre pain signals. And that's again, what kind of sent me down through this discovery, to understand not only what caused my pain to become chronic, but how to eliminate it, because diet and exercise weren't working.

Malini Sarma:

So you're not it was not like you are like a ballet dancer and you were putting too much pressure on your feet or anything where you were doing gymnastics and you're landing on your feet or anything. It would just one day just kind of showed up. And you were like what the heck

Sue Hitzmann:

yeah, I mean, I had been a fitness professional since I'm 16. I got into the fitness industry very young. And I had formed a belief early on that if you ate right and you exercise you were going to lead an active healthy pain free life because that's what Jane Fonda and jack lane said. And after a decade of being in the fitness industry. And you know, at that point, I had a master's in physiology and anatomy, I had advanced certifications in neuro muscular therapy, I was working with elite athletes who had gotten sports injuries and got them healed faster. And so I was like, why is my pain not healing? If I can help everybody else? Why can't I help myself? And that, again, that discovery, what was just the luck of the draw is, in the late 90s, Google came became a thing. And the very first word I typed into the search bar was fascia, because my first diagnosis was plantar fasciitis. And I remember thinking, inflamed fascia, could that be causing me my pain symptoms? And if that's the case, like there's no exercise for that, so how do you exercise your fashio back into being supportive again, and and I just discovered this emerging field of neuro fascicle science and scientists and researchers that were trying to understand more about how the brain produces pain and how fascia plays a role in persistent pain issues. And today, I'm a founding member of the National Research Society have done research papers with fascia. And one of the things I tried to do is explain what fashion is and that it's a renewable resource and how it can affect not only our nervous system, but our immune functions and our postural alignment and how we move and how we perceive act and learn over our lifetime. So it's an important stability system of the body that most people don't know anything about.

Malini Sarma:

That's, that's actually quite fascinating. I had no idea. So when you're talking about you know about fascia, and you started doing the Google research Were you reaching out like to doctors? Were you reaching out you? were you doing your own thing to try to just because you're a student of anatomy, and you were trying to figure out, you know, how did what how did you What did you learn from all of that?

Sue Hitzmann:

That's a good question here. Actually, the funny thing was back then when when Google came out, about 150, sites came up that that related to fascia, and about 100 of them had nothing to do with the human body, they were either talking about twigs wrapped in twine, like the fascia, or it was about a, an airplane propeller. So they had a lot about aviation. But when I found the ones that were about clinical science, I was reaching out back then they actually, scientists would actually have their phone numbers, oh, and the research papers. So I was I just called people and didn't know where they were as calling I remember calling Roberts life at about two o'clock in the morning, German time, he's not thinking about what time it was for him. And I just started to uncover an understanding of fascia playing a role on a cellular level. And the research was really looking at fascia on a cellular level on a microscopic level, not macroscopically, because you know, being again, I had a master's in physiology and anatomy, it wasn't like I hadn't heard about connective tissue. But it was always defined as this passive packing material, kind of like the stuff in a UPS box that you chuck in the bucket to get to the good stuff in your box. And what I started to recognize is that fascia was not this inactive material, the cells of fashio are very reactive, and responsive. collagen is an adaptable tissue of febrile in the body, and through movement and compression and tension. That fascia is the system that stabilizes us through tension and compression management. And they're defining that as bio tensegrity. A tensegrity architectural system is a system that is in a continuous tension network with separate compression elements like your bones. So basically, your bones, your muscles are all sort of floating in this connective tissue matrix. And it's the fascia that's actually keeping things stable, separated, supported and connected all at the same time. And on a cellular level, what I was really starting to understand was that fascia was the tissue of fascia, the actual facial system is where most of our sensory nerves live. It is very inherently linked to the lymphatic system. So when when you talk about pain response for sensations, we're actually sensing a lot through the sensory nerves of our body that are living in the connective tissue. So fascia is not in a stable state, it's going to alter that sensory motor feedback. And so that alters our biomechanics, our mobility, and on a on a much more important level, our lymphatic system is the immune system of our body, and the fluids of fashio are driving from fashion to limp. So again, if fascia doesn't have its fluid perfusion, if it doesn't have its supple quality, it decreases the fluid motion from fascia to lymph, and that can really alter our lymphatic system and hinder our immunity to you know, bacteria were the microbiomes in our gut will fail. And and we just essentially get what I would call low grade inflammation. And once it's in your fascia, it's in your gut, and that can cause just all sorts

Unknown:

of issues.

Malini Sarma:

You know what it sounds really, really fascinating because acupressure when you do acupuncture is very similar because when we do massage at the bottom of the fingers is every single nerve of every single organ is at the bottom of your feet. So if you and your hands and your hands. So we're depending on where you massage, you can tell you know where your pain is. And when you're talking about lupus No wonder they were talking thinking you had lupus because basically it's the lymphatic system and has inflammation everywhere.

Sue Hitzmann:

Yes, I'm sure I was full of inflammation at that point. And, you know, if anybody's listening here who's saying, I think maybe she's talking to me and my problems is, you know, understanding what pre pain signals are, when fascia isn't stabilizing your body. On a macroscopic level, like on a movement level, you actually get pre pain signals all the time. Like when you sit for long periods of time, when you get up, you feel like you're aged 40 years because your joints don't work as well. When you get up as they did when you sat down, where you wake up in the morning and you feel as stiff as a dried out sponge left out overnight on your kitchen sink. These feelings are actually very common. Most people would say I feel that all the time. And I said well, what's the problem? The problem is when you get up and you move around, it goes away. But the but the reality of it is in the tissue, the issue in the connective tissues remain. So if you think of fluid, the fluid and fashio are kind of like a river daily living is laying down sediment in that reverse flow and where the sediment likes to accumulate isn't around your joints. That's why when you get up and you Move in, don't move so well. But then actually get yourself moving again, you know, things go back to what you consider normal. But if you don't do anything about it, you start getting symptoms that are not only more noticeable, they last longer, like you notice one or more joints always bothers you, you're always complaining about neck or low back stiffness or pain. And then if you do what most people do, and you get those symptoms, you start taking anti inflammatories or pain relievers, to mask your pain symptom, causing a bigger problem because your alarm is going off in your brain saying, hey, something's going on down there. And I'm not sure what it is, can you help me out? And what you're doing? It's kind of like your toasters on fire, and you walk over to your fire alarm, and you take the batteries out, because the fire alarm goes off, but the toaster still on fire. Yes. You got it. You're just analogy. Right. So you know, I mean, instead of treating symptoms, what I try to educate people on is, is to understand what those signals mean. And how do we address the cause of the pain response rather than, you know, just treating the symptom, because if you start treating symptom ologies, and you do it with a pill, you exhaust your nervous system, your nervous systems is designed to slow down, your metabolism will slow down, you start getting all these symptoms that seem completely unrelated to fashion, like you're, you have trouble digesting food, all of a sudden, you're exhausted in the middle of the day, but at night, you try to go to sleep and no matter is exhausted as you were in the day, you can't fall asleep, you're not staying asleep or getting up in the middle of the night to go pay. That's a response because it's at night, that's where your cellular repair is dominant. So if you're not getting a restful night's sleep, you're gonna wake up the next day with a backlog of what we call stuck stress. And now over time, that's stiff and achy, Enos and the exhaustion and the fatigue, and that to me is what was happening to me so long ago is that I just the pain was exhausting me, just feeling it, you just get so fatigued from it, your body's trying so hard to keep you balanced, that it's actually, you know, just draining your your resources of restoration. So if we focus on restoring the body from day to day, it's, it's, I think, the missing thing, especially for those of us who are active, we feel like you know, to stay fit, we've got to stay active. But there's a restorative component that people are lacking. And just like how you're mentioning with like acupressure, acupuncture or massage, the problem with those sorts of remedies, which you're definitely working on connective tissue is that it takes time, out of your day to go see a therapist, finding a therapist is difficult. And then you have to have the money to be able to do it. So understanding how to self care and be what we call hands off body workers proactive for yourself, if you do have the luxury of going to see a therapist, now you have something to supplement in between to make those treatments last longer, and gain bigger effects so that it's not, you know, kind of a waste of time or money but that you're actually working with the therapist to keep you going, instead of relying on a therapist, which kind of leaves you sort of a victim to somebody else's care, right. And we've got to care for ourselves better. So I think that's a big message is just proactive instead of reactive to your to your aging process. Because

Malini Sarma:

you

Sue Hitzmann:

like how you said yeah, I mean, I'm 50 now it's like, you want to stay looking as young and feeling as young as you can. But connective tissues playing a role in how you look under your skin, your skin, suppleness, your joint motion again and down to the cellular level, it relates to everything in the body. So it'd be nice if people knew a little bit more about how to support their supportive systems so that they feel good all the time.

Malini Sarma:

I know I completely agree. I'm a huge proponent of self care and natural therapy, cuz I don't take any medication. But you know, just like Francis and we were dancers and you want to take care of your knees and you want to make sure that you don't injure your back. And, you know, it's it's really, it's really important that we are healthy and we don't you know, fall or get hurt or any of that stuff because it messes up your it messes up your body and stuff like that. So also interesting is when what you were saying is about you taking a pill is very similar to IV that were in either way that they treat the core issue and not the symptom, because the symptom is just telling you that hey, there's something wrong, go check it out. Like you were saying, you know, you pull out the fire, you take out the battery from the, from the fire alarm instead of unplugging the toaster. So he so basically your method talks about looking at the core issue, and as a form of self care. Is that what the melt method is? Is that what

Sue Hitzmann:

yeah, that's exactly it is that melt is a simple self care technique that people can learn to do on their own at home. I mean, we also have a streaming platform, we have an app we have 1000s of instructors, like you mentioned worldwide that are teaching classes and things like that. But if you are apt to be, you know, proactive, the nice thing about melt is much like a therapist treats a client is you know, I mean if a client came in to see me and said my knee hurts me, I wouldn't like have them lay down and just start working with weigh up their knee, you assess, you try to figure out where in the body, there's disruption or imbalances, that might actually be the cause of the knee pain. Because most of the time, the areas that are in that we have pain are victims, right? And it's like, if a kid were crying out for your help, you wouldn't run up to them and punch them in the face, you would, you know, calm them down, get information, take that information in, and then take action to remedy it. But when our bodies are crying out for our help, we tend to go right after the areas that hurt us, press into them as hard as we can. And you're kind of like will ourselves like as if we hurt ourselves in the areas that hurts our body will be like, Oh, yeah, that hurts. Let's not make that hurt anymore. But pain doesn't work that way. So melt gives people an ability to assess their body for stuck stress, instead of focusing on where their pain is, see if they can actually assess where imbalances might be in the body that are off from what science would define as ideal. And then once you kind of sense those imbalances, treat the system as a cohesive system, don't focus on anything, but just global changes, and then reassess. And if you feel the diminishment of those common imbalances, you're already helping the nervous system reset to a more calm, balanced state. And that can actually be the very factor that trips the switch of, of your brain's pain signals, and says, Oh, you know, that's different. And so the pain response diminishes your, your, your what we call sensory motor feedback is a little bit more efficient, more balanced, and pain, pain changes, because your perception changes about your body. And that really is the first step in getting people out of chronic pain sensations, is to veer their minds away from their pain, and give their nervous system new information and a more balanced system to function. And it works. So that's really the basic foundation of melters. Assess, treat your body reassess, since the changes and keep doing that, and very similar to an anti inflammatory, right, you don't take an anti inflammatory once right, a doctor would instruct you to take it, you know, a couple times a day for many weeks. Well, if you melt once a day for at least 10 minutes a day, and you build up the tolerance to fluid motion. Over time, the fluids in the fascist system move more efficiently, and you can melt less, but maintain the benefits. And that's that's really the secret is getting yourself to a place where you're empowered to do things once a day for yourself, take time out, be restorative give back to your body and don't you know, just bank on your good DNA and genetics to get you through this life without problems or, you know, the negative effects we would associate with aging?

Malini Sarma:

No, no, no, I completely agree. So is does melt is an acronym for something. When I

Sue Hitzmann:

first developed the method in which was in the late 90s, by the time I coined the term, the melt actually stood for myofascial energetic length technique. And once I got into more than neuroscience, after I had coined that term, I started developing what we were calling rebalancing techniques, which are more neurological techniques. And, and the word knelt didn't mean anything. So So I kept melt, I just took the periods away. And now what I say that melt is think of that word melt to, to move fluids through a stiff system to get that fluidity back into the body, so that the body moves more cohesively as a dynamic process, because that's what the body is, right? We're a process of the living experience is a process. Yeah,

Malini Sarma:

yeah. No, that that's a, that's a really good visual, you know, when you're talking about just the fluids moving so that you can be more active and, you know, it doesn't stop you. So now going back to, you know, when you first on the business side of things, when you are starting to figure it out, and you're learning more about this, and you're you're testing your theories, pretty much using yourself as a subject, because you're like, Okay, does this work? doesn't doesn't work? How did you? How did you figure it out? That Okay, this is actually working. And, you know, you tell somebody and people are like, Are you crazy? You know, you don't know what you're talking about, you know, you Yeah, you just think or you don't have the issue, you're not a doctor. What was that? Like?

Sue Hitzmann:

You know, I think the biggest thing was that I had a private practice where I was treating people and for mostly for against sports injuries, but I had a client who it was around 911, like when to when 2001 happen, and all of a sudden, I got the rude awakening of post traumatic stress disorders and people who had issues that weren't a sports injury. I had this gal who had chronic migraines, TMJ and jaw pain, and I would treat her with my hands and she would go almost a week without a single eruption of migraines, no, no visuals or anything. And she would then call me and be like, I gotta come back and it's back. And I said, There's got to be something in your environment. And she said, if you could just invent a way for me to do my So what you do with your magic hands, I'd stay out of your office. And I was like, I don't know if that's possible. But it was kind of like an aha, because light touch therapy and hands on work helped me. And if I could help other people that way, could I simulate the hands on therapy that I was doing. And so I came up with this idea of taking a piece of PVC piping, I wrapped it in bubble wrap, I wrapped it in a yoga blanket and a yoga mat, and I duct taped the thing together. And I started to experiment on myself with these compression techniques. And I noticed a change in my neck and how my upright posture felt and just how I felt overall. And so I started sharing it with this gal, and she went from one week to two weeks to a month without having to be treated again. And then she said, Can you invent a way for my husband to work on his back pain. And there was and it was just this, like, try this, try that. And the way that it really kind of exploded for me was I was treating people one on one and I was watching my clients get better, faster. And I thought, jeez, I'm in the fitness industry. I wonder if I could explain this in a group environment and explain what this was. So that's what I did. I started I made a whole bunch of makeshift rollers, I brought him into the club, tried to teach people this neck treatment that we were doing. And it was just people loved it. So 2004, I knew I had something I coined the term melt, I started teaching in group environments to try to keep people out of my office. And it just became a method. And what really was the AHA for me was by 2006, I just knew I needed to create a language, I kept trying to explain science to the general public and restricts a cow fashion into a room that was a little weird. So people were like, I just, I know it works, I don't want to know why it works. Just tell me how to do. And so I just developed a language. And then by 2010, I had helped 1000s of people, my private practice exploded because I thought I was going to make myself less busy in a one on one environment, but people felt the changes. And then they wanted the hands on treatment. So it actually worked both ways for me. And then I set out I said, I'm gonna write a book for the general public. And I started writing the book in 2011 2013, the book came out and became a New York Times bestseller. So I mean, incredibly enough, a book on connective tissue getting on the New York Times bestsellers list from an unknown author was kind of unheard of. But I think it was the messaging that I was, you know, able to put out there was that this these types of pain that I'm talking about this pre pain signal, these sudden chronic pain issues, I think lots of people can relate to that. And so it really struck a chord with people that that's exactly what I'm looking for. And you know, again, today, 1000s of instructors worldwide, two books, my second book came out in 2018 2019, you know, in the books in nine languages, so we're worldwide trying to explain to people that, you know, aging is not a disease, it's going to happen to you. In fact, it's happening right now. So, you know, it's just, I think it's just a good message to just educate people that they have within them, the propensity to heal, our bodies are designed to heal, it's just sometimes we accumulate so much stress our body's ability to do that declines. But it doesn't have to, you can keep your resilience if you know how. And that's really the message of the of the brand overall is to give people simple techniques and tools that are easy to do. It meets everybody where they're at any age, to lead a better life.

Malini Sarma:

That's fascinating. I mean, you know, and you when you're talking about light touch there, we kind of reminded me of Reiki because we do a lot of energy healing. You know, you don't have to be like, physically be there, you don't have to physically touch the person, you just kind of sense you know, you can sense the aura around the person, you can sense the where the blocks are. So is that similar to how when you when you were saying you were doing their hand, you know, like they wanted to treatment they wanted to come in, is that what your light touch therapy was?

Sue Hitzmann:

My background is actually my my foundation was neuromuscular therapy, but then I got into cranial sacral therapy and something called visceral manipulation from jumpier brawl and the john upledger Institute. And then I started learning even lighter touch techniques for lymphatic drainage and worked with people with cancer. So I actually a lot of that was the real aha for me was that the heavy compression techniques had a place but if you started more gently and actually worked more on what I would call the energy bodies, the the the more ethereal bodies the more spiritual aspects of our being and calm the mind and the body may People feel safe. That was really more important than, you know, working on somebody's quadricep or on somebody pectoralis muscle or something. And that that also again, for me, that was what was the turning point for me was when I was in the peak of my pain, I went to see a cranial sacral therapist, she worked. I'm not kidding around on my nose, I had what's defined as a somatic emotional release. And the next day I woke up and my foot didn't hurt me. And I just was like, What muscle were you on? And she said, I wasn't on a muscle, I was working on your cranial rhythm. And that was really a like, what are you even talking about? You're working on my CRT? You mean you're changing the cerebral spinal fluid? And she's like, yeah. I don't even know if that's possible that you can do. She's like, Do you even know what the fill and release phases is? Like? Oh, sure, you can feel it on a person if you just sit still. And she's like, well, not everybody can feel that. So maybe you should take those courses. And that was it was in the 90s that was where I veered out of fitness and neuro muscular work into again more of that energy body understanding of what flow was what what is ci you know, what is Jin Yi, like all of these kind of more older, you know, ancient practices, and putting them into practical application. It really unraveled me from the holes of fitness and exercise. And I always say there's a dirty little secret of fitness is lots of people eat right and exercise and still have chronic pain, diseases disorders, right. So just because you eat right, and exercise is not the recipe to lead a healthy active life. And here's even more bad news 80% of orthopedic injuries are exercised induced, right, the very people that are trying to stay healthy and fit are the ones injured the most. So what's missing is understanding what stabilizes our joints, what supports the the nervous systems functions, what what supports our immune functions is fashion, I can relate fascia to everything system in your body, from how your bones react to your blood flow, it all is inherently linked, because fascia is the environment, it's kind of like the soil in your plan. If you don't water, the soil, your plants gonna die, right. So you got to keep the nutrient in the soil is even more important than the roots or the or the structure itself.

Malini Sarma:

That's fascinating. I love it. I love this. Because this is it is the basis of everything. And just like how you said, it's like the mindset, you know, if your mind is not focused on you, doesn't matter what you do is not going to work, you can give all the medicines in the world, you can move all the treatment, but if your mind is not in that right space, nothing you do is going to work. So it's basically Mind Body workshop kind of thing is like you got to get the mind ready first, and then the body just reacts to what you're doing to it so that it gets into into place. Yeah,

Sue Hitzmann:

I mean, 100% of the time, your brain is what's producing your sense of pain. It's also what produces emotions, past memories, future intentions, right? So your brain is kind of a, it's like a big four pound ball of a mess up on the top of your head. It gets messy up there. But what we really need to remember is that the nervous system goes far beyond the brain, the nervous system is a system through the whole body. So you're right, like we separate the mind and body. But what we need to understand is how the nervous system produces pain and why and you're right. I mean, if you believe that you're going to get well and that you're going to feel better, chances are, you will, this too shall pass, right. But if you don't believe that anything is going to help you and that you're the victim and everything is being done against you. And this is you having to suffer I think suffering is a choice. And so we need to change our mind about our body state. And if you don't, that that'll get you stuck in your body, for sure you become a victim of a of a closed environment that you call your form. Right, but we are vibration, our frequency goes well beyond our body. So I would say if you if you don't feel good, just sit back for a second and look at the environment around you. Right? Look at your family life. Look at how you navigate Do you love your job? Are you happy? And the reality of it is a lot of people are depressed, they're angry. They're not happy. They don't like their jobs. They're they're angry about their relationships. And so you wonder why you have pain, because your body is just gagging for you to wake up, paddle fancy clear. Is something new. So I think that it's an awakening for a lot of people to realize how absent they are of their bodies, especially when they have pain because people want to tune their bodies out. They actually want to ignore what they feel or just be out of their bodies. But if you again, you want to get out of pain. You got to go in your body to get out of pain. There's no other way around it. And if you want to feel better or you want to harness your resilience, then you've got to give yourself permission to go into your body sense what you feel, and you might realize that you don't like what you have But that's the first thing is the awareness of Wow, I don't like this. So okay, so what do we do to change it, and there's a lot of opportunity for change and growth. And I think that's what the human experience is really all about is how we connect the dots from people to things to places to ourselves, you know, and it can become a really beautiful thing, that human experience, for better or for worse, even with all the crazy things that can happen, you know, most often you can find your joy, and that will make you feel good.

Malini Sarma:

I completely agree. And I love the fact that you said that, because I also believe that pain is inevitable, but suffering is a choice, you know, you can decide whether you want to deal with it, how are you going to deal with it? Because, you know, it is what it is. So now, if we could shift a little bit based on now you've got all this experience, you've got your degrees, you've done the research, you got your clients, you've got a method, you got all this stuff. How did you? How did you make this like this business? I mean, did you have mentors, sponsors? You know, you get sharing this with the world with people like like, say, did you have, you know, a huge support system that said, Wow, this is amazing. Or you had to deal with just all the regular crap that, you know, if people not believing that, like, you know what, screw this, if you're not going to believe me, I need to do this on my own.

Sue Hitzmann:

It's a little bit of everything. I mean, I think, you know, I grew up with two entrepreneurial parents. And I just remember my dad when I was in college, and I wanted to take film and stuff and he goes, you got to get your head out of the clouds, you got to take business courses and business degrees and stuff. I was like, I'm never gonna own my own business. He goes, are you kidding me? Nobody's gonna hire you. You're so outspoken. You know, like, you're just, you know, you like, just make your own path, nobody's gonna, you're gonna have followers, you're not gonna lead anybody. And I was like, I don't even know what that means. So when this happened, it was I think that by 2006, when I really just knew that I had created something. It's like, my God, I, I'm really helping people, like, how do I help more people. And I just wanted to figure out a way to get myself out there. And I had a good friend who was very well versed in business. And at first, you know, everybody kind of like, kind of poo pooed it and he was like, you know, keep trying, and you know, don't lose it. But you know, when when you do something really powerful, you let me know. And, you know, again, I just reaching out to friends, a friend of mine was importing products from China. And I said, hey, I've got this idea. I want to create this hand and foot kit, because I really feel like just this one piece of the method would help so many people. And she helped, she found me somebody and I put all of my money, I had $50,000 of savings from my whole life, I wrote a $50,000 check. crazy enough, sent it out, held my breath. And luckily the product came back perfect exactly how I wanted it. And I put it out on the internet. And within five months, I had sold all of the products. And then my other friend who's in business was like, What are you doing over there? And he's like, that's not the way you import things. And that's not how you do it. And so it was just I think somebody finally saw that I took 50,000 made it 350,000. And then it was like, What are you doing, and Hey, I'll take some of your money to help you. If you know now that you can afford me. So it was really just a very slow process of I just had a real keen desire to help people I knew that I could, I knew that if I just stood in front of people and explained this, and they tried it once, they would want to do it. And I formed that belief, I just knew I had something. And so I just kept trying to make it happen. So from when the product finally came in, in 2007, that was my first introduction to having to manufacture products, which also had obstacles, you know, I worked with a company that was making the roller, and they kind of you know, rip me off. And because I didn't have it, I didn't know what a nondisclosure agreement was. So I did all the things wrong for any young entrepreneur, that if I could like, sit with every entrepreneur and say, okay, you know, here's what's important. And again, my dad was one of the smart ones who said, you know, if you have an idea, you need to trademark it, you need to copyright it. So I did all of those things early on. So I would just always say to anybody who's developing something, to make sure that you're getting legal help, you're getting some business support, and that you're not having to do it by yourself that you're actually talking to people who have done it before you and try to find businesses that you really love that you want to emulate or you want to be like that, and see how they're doing it. And that's just a process. But you know, here I am 20 years into this. And we're only now like marketing the methodology people like I can't even believe people don't know what melt is. And I was like, Well, I'm not a multi multi gazillion dollar business, right? I'm a single business owner, with one employee, you know, so you know, it's just, it's Do you have a passion and a desire? You can do it? But it definitely does take time and persistence and passion and prayer. All the above? Yeah, yes. But in and now what I can tell you is, you know, today I have an incredible team of people who support me and help me and, you know, on all aspects, from the business side to the legal side to the marketing side, you know, you really do need a team. If you want to have a global brand, you cannot do that by yourself. It's impossible. Oh,

Malini Sarma:

I completely agree. I mean, you know, I, I know the amount of work that it takes because I'm, you know, my my own entrepreneurial journey, I'm learning things every day is like, oh, okay, I guess you can't do that. Because let's try something else. It's an all day everyday thing. Yes, it doesn't end it doesn't end. So. So you said you had you started with your $50,000 of savings. And then you know, you kind of grew to spend 50,000. So, if going back and you look at what are your three top financial related issues that you either learned, or wish you knew when you started?

Sue Hitzmann:

I think you, you know, for anybody who's running a business, you will spend a ridiculous amount of money on marketing and PR, on social media. And you have to really have a plan, and a forecasting model, to be able to have that happen. Make sure that you have a really solid accounting team and make sure that you're the one clicking send on money. And don't leave that to anyone else. I unfortunately incurred fraud, and theft. And so you know, lost a million dollars from just, you know, unbelievable greed and lack of care. And so, you know, I would be really mindful on, you know, what you're spending your money on. And, again, create a business plan, a business model, and a business forecast of where you want to go. And then create those target numbers to make sure that you're on track. If you aren't, you need to be really resilient as a business owner and learn to quickly shift your process and go somewhere else. If something's not working. Don't Don't go down a road that dark, right? If it makes you feel heavy, it's not right. If a Bank Is to feel light, go in that direction. You know, go God go. Yeah, that I think are my three is just you know, make sure you have a good legal team a good support in your PR and marketing, make sure that you have the business plan, the business model and a business forecast to be able to measure, you got to be able to measure don't just because somebody says that they're doing a bang up job for you, unless you see it in your return on your investment. It doesn't matter how nice they are, or how great they say, if you can't measure it with analytics, it doesn't exist.

Malini Sarma:

Yeah, if you can measure it, it doesn't happen does not assist you, right? There's no these are very, very important steps, as most people don't think that far right? They get so caught up in the social media, and then they forget everything else.

Sue Hitzmann:

Yeah. And also, you know, know what you're strong at, right? Know what you're good at, right? If somebody said to me, Sue, how do you market this, I'd be like, I have no idea. Leave that to the marketing people, you know, I can tell you how I would deliver my message or you know, like, there's certain skill sets I have that are great, but creating a business model, not super my strong suit. So again, make sure that in the areas that you are not strong in that you get the help there and really create your inner circle and make sure that you're having conversations with them everyday and talking to them and make sure everybody's on the same page to get you where you want to go. And you can't take your eye off the ball, you have to do it every day, and talk every day and make sure that it's going in the direction that you want, but have a plan. I think that's the that's the thing I hear with a lot of people, a lot of people have great ideas. But now what, right they don't know how to get started. And they just think it's just gonna come to them because they're good people are because they've got a great idea. But you really have to work literally from morning till night for months, and months and months or years even, to get into a flow. To get what you want. You just have to focus and I think that's a hard thing. Again, people have lots of great ideas but can't execute on them. And I know that's frustrating. But if you have people around you and they will support you or you really write down your your plan. I think that's very helpful. I don't think people write a plan either I i've i've written my plan many times and revised it many times. But I think that's also very important is to have a clear intention.

Malini Sarma:

night and I think that answers the question about what you know, what would people especially other young women who want to follow their dream it's not it's not a dream, it's it won't happen unless you put it down on paper, and then make a plan like you said and follow through.

Sue Hitzmann:

Yeah, it's like what a friend of mine said I'm gonna write a book and and she goes, we you've written a couple books, how do you get started? I said, you got to sit down and write. You got to sit down and make The time she's like, Well, yeah, I know. But I don't really have time. And I'm like, Well, how are you gonna write a book unless you write words on paper, there's no way around it. And so much like in school, I would give this advice to to any business person is carve out and say like, between two and four, if you're going to write something, between two and four, that's like going to school, that's a non negotiable, turn off your phones, turn off their emails, turn off all your notifications, and write for two solid hours, three times a week, and we'll get there. But if you don't commit the time, you'll give yourself every excuse of why you couldn't do it. And then again, what you become as a victim, you say, Oh, well, you know, I had to do this. And I had to do that. What's more important your welfare, the other things around you, because you're not going to be happy if you're not doing what you love, and what you want to do. And so you've got to commit to yourself what you want and do it. Don't blame everybody else for for your problems, right? Assume the accountability and the responsibility. And get out there and do what you want. Do what you love. But make yourself implement and put the time into it. So that the only person that you have to blame for the lack of success is yourself out. Stop blaming everybody else. Yes. accountability. Super accountability is important. Yep. So looking back,

Malini Sarma:

knowing what you know, now, what would you have told your younger self?

Sue Hitzmann:

So many things? Don't do it? No. But would I tell my younger self? Um, I think, I think actually, for me, I would say continue to always trust my intuition. Yeah. And I think that actually got me for whatever pitfalls I've been in have been far less of a problem for me than had I not trusted my judgment in my intuition, especially early on, sitting with investors. And I had some guy told me, he's like, well, you're not smart enough to ever take this thing to go off, you don't know enough. You know, you need to give us 80% of your company, so that we can at least do what you absolutely can't do to make this work. And I was like, I don't think I'm that stupid. First of all, I don't you don't even like I just ate you today. And I don't think I need to give all of my company away and not to you. All people, right. So I and that was a luck of the draw was that I just knew intuitively I'm like, they're wrong about what they're saying, I can do this. I just need some help. Right? I don't need somebody taking the reins of my, you know, my carriage. I just, I just need a little bit of guidance of what road to go down and what to do first. So I think if anything, trust my intuition and trust my instincts and go with my gut. 100% of the tie would be the advice I would give myself. Now at 50 I try still sometimes I don't trust my intuition. And it drives me bananas when I go, I told you so. But I'm just talking to the voices in my head. I should have listened to her earlier

Malini Sarma:

on. No, that is awesome. Very important, though. I mean, you know, it's surprising how many times we were like, Nah, maybe maybe I shouldn't and then you're like, Oh, I should have should have would have could have cut out

Sue Hitzmann:

Yeah, hindsight 2020 We're so smart when when we can look at the past and be like, Oh, you know what I should have done it's like to like go back and change the past. And that's another thing is be very present. You know, you can't live in the past you got to be really, really present be right now in the moment. Don't worry about your past mess ups or whatever, like really focus on right now. Because right now is what's shaping the future. The past isn't doing it. Nothing's happening there, right? No, no, no,

Malini Sarma:

not at all. So so I'm super excited to check out the mount method. I know for I myself and my friends who have knee pain, you know, dancers who have knee pain and got lupus who got inflammation and you said they could all benefit from this. So where do I go to find the inflammation? What do I need?

Sue Hitzmann:

Okay, well, I would go to melt method comm m ELT method. And there you can find out everything you can find our streaming platform, I have blogs, we're on social media on Instagram and Facebook, I post videos all the time there I do two twice a week I'm on social media. We have a YouTube channel under melt methods. So I would just go to the internet and type in melt method and you'll find out everything we have instructors you can find instructors on the website a lot of them teach online and we just have a thriving community so if you're you know struggling with any type of pain point I always say you know again sufferings a choice don't don't sit there by yourself trying to figure out come into a community that's got some know how and we'll help you out

Malini Sarma:

to do I need to do I need to have like a like we're talking about your product Do I need to have

Sue Hitzmann:

that Yeah, we do. Yeah, yeah, we use we use softballs and rollers so the products are unique to the methodology even if you have like if you've used foam rollers foam rollers are really hard objects are rollers are made of a rubberized material so they actually transmit a little bit of heat. They also have a lot more of a gentle compression to the tissue which gives the tissue more time to adapt. So definitely if you use the right tools you know it's just like you know hammering a nail with a spatula you might get the nail into the wall but it's a lot easier if you actually had a hammer so use the tools that are there and we do we have like bundles where you can get the roller and the whole system along with the the melt on demand and melt on demand is awesome because every week I put out a new video and we've got collections for specific things melt for dancers mount for back pain melt for golfers no you know for sleeping right so Mel for immunity there's all sorts of ways to utilize the methodology focus in on whatever it is your your issues are that you want to focus on. And that's the nice thing is that there's something there for everybody.

Malini Sarma:

Awesome. That is so awesome. I'm really looking forward to looking at a tech check out all the information and your books you said are online or they're available on Amazon and and they can check out or or hard or hardcopy awesome and I will definitely be putting that in the show notes so people can check it out. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time. This is amazing. I'm super excited. Thank you. I will talk to you soon.