WHAT IT IS:
Parasetter was developed by Marika Molnar PT LAc, who is renowned for her work in Dance Medicine and the PhysicalMind Institute. Parasetter® is a roller system that supports the body in a comfortable supine position. And also useful for kneeling prone and standing exercises. What makes Parasetter® so groundbreaking is its dual convex—or curved—surfaces that create a cradling effect for the posterior rib cage, the cranium and the pelvis.
The Parasetter® is designed to support the ribs in between the shoulder blades, and most importantly, to allow the spinal column to rest inside its center channel. The spinous processes of the vertebral column (those bones in the center of your back) “float” in between the two curved surfaces, letting the small muscles of the vertebral segment relax and recover their resting length for better blood flow and oxygenation.
Parasetter® comes with two invaluable accessories: the Head Support and Rib Wrap. The Head Support enables a traction-like effect— freeing up space between our 24 ribs resulting in more lengthen in the spine. The Rib Wrap contains the ribs to promote the cognitive breathing needed to help lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. (More on that in a bit.)
WHY YOU NEED IT:
As we all know too well, the stresses of daily life have a compressive loading effect that leads to back pain, decreased height and shallow breathing. Obviously, this is compounded when bodies are overweight or obese. Any excessive physical force from over-zealous exercise or labor makes the situation even worse.
How does Parasetter® fix this almost-unavoidable problem? Just 10 minutes of cognitive breathing into the back ribs while resting on the unique roller points is sufficient to optimize the movement of the diaphragm, improving the flexibility of the intercostal muscles, the spine and the deep fascia that is contiguous from head to toe.
Shallow breathing is replaced by three-dimensional cognitive breathing which then activates all these organs and muscles so that they become active partners in stress relief. By establishing a direct connection to the brain, the nervous system responds to moderate the adrenals and physiologically assist to lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. This recovery process deepens with us
The resultant oxygenation from breathing on Parasetter® also improves fascial mobility and increases intradiscal space and decreases tension that results from lying on a flat surface or on a conventional roller. The result? Back pain from compression is alleviated. Fascia mobility allows the bones to resettle to a better alignment and enable rehydration. In other words, you feel better, look better and slow the aging process.
And all you have to do is let go and breathe!
MORE ON THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT…
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) helps us to adapt to the changing internal environment of our body. The two parts of this system are the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Although they are supposed to balance one another, modern life gets in the way, causing excessive and ongoing stress. This is where cortisol comes into play. Even though cortisol is a necessary hormone—it gets us up in the morning to start our day—too much is NOT a good thing. When chronically elevated levels of cortisol remain in the system, we are susceptible to abdominal fat gain, low energy, sleep problems, cognitive decline, increased blood sugar and insulin levels, and compromised immune function.
Since the goal of the ANS is to restore homeostasis (a stable state of equilibrium in our internal physiological condition), it should reset this stress by synchronizing the dual innervation of the SNS and PNS to the visceral organs. The SNS mobilizes the body during extreme situations (fear, exercise, rage), while the PNS allows us to unwind as it performs maintenance activities and conserves body energy. For example, when our skeletal muscles work hard, they require more oxygen and glucose, so the SNS speeds up the heart rate and breathing to meet these needs; once the situation is over, the PNS should become more active to keep the body’s energy use low and direct the subconscious housekeeping activities such as digestion and elimination. Fine adjustments should be continuously made by the two divisions in this dynamic antagonism, but because of the stresses of life today, this is not happening the way it should.
Enter Parasetter®, which involves sensory and motor integration to rebalance the autonomic nervous system. And the best part is that breathing and doing a few gentle movements—such as lifting the arms overhead and moving the legs—is easy! And it’s enough to establish in our brains the concept of independent movements of the skeletal system and the fascia so that we feel and look our best. First we recover and then we restore.
We recommend using Parasetter® prior to bed—even on the bed itself—to make for a dreamy sleep experience. But no matter when you use it, you will experience almost instant stress relief with very little effort.
So enjoy… you deserve it.
Parasetter is a registered trademark. Parasetter has two pending patents. Parasetter is 100% MADE in the USA.
Parasetter® Use Instructions
These Parasetter® videos explain why this new work is so beneficial. In the Recovery Sequence, see how easily you reset your Parasympathetic Nervous System. Joan Breibart and Marika Molnar PT, LAc discuss the cortisol connection and other benefits.
Parasetter® Recovery Tips
- Limb movements are optional.
- Other limb sequences can be used.
- Ten minutes of breathing is optimal.
- Rib Wrap should be snug.
- Head Support is positioned for comfort.
- Close eyes or place a cloth over them.
- Use Parasetter® on the floor or a firm mattress.
- With Parasetter® on floor, legs can rest on a chair.
While focused breathing is necessary for resetting the Parasympathetic Nervous System, it’s actually the exhalation that is key. It’s essential to exhale for a few counts longer than your inhale because the vagus nerve – which runs from the neck down through the diaphragm – sends a signal to your brain to activate the PNS and reduce the activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System. As we already know, the SNS is responsible for cortisol and the fight-or-flight response; by performing this focused breathing with a longer exhale, the body is able to return to a calmer state much more efficiently and effectively.
Stress and Cortisol by Marika Molnar PT, LAc:
Our Stress Hormone
The word “cortisol” is a recent addition to our vocabularies. Cortisol, a steroid hormone, is produced in the adrenal glands and is known to be active in the“fight or flight” response. With stress, it constricts blood vessels and increases blood pressure to enhance the delivery of oxygenated blood. Cortisol should temporarily increase energy production, and then return to base line levels after the stress has ended. The problem is that in our fast paced, very stressful lives, our cortisol levels are chronically elevated. Our bodies are pumping out cortisol almost constantly, which negatively affects other vital functions that cortisol production suppresses.
How Does Cortisol Work
Under stressful conditions, cortisol provides the body with glucose by tapping into protein stores via gluconeogenesis in the liver that results in increased blood sugar levels. Cortisol is also an antagonist to insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas to turn this blood sugar into ENERGY. However, since cortisol blocks the effects of insulin, the cells are effectively rendered insulin-resistant. Consistently high blood glucose levels along with insulin suppression lead to cells that are starved of glucose, regardless of how much food is actually consumed. This means that the cells send more hunger signals to the brain leading to overeating. The unused glucose is eventually stored as body fat, particularly visceral fat where there are four times the number of cortisol receptors in place.
Cortisol and Inflammation
Cortisol has positive functions: it wakes us up and also reduces inflammation in the body. However, once again, an excess of cortisol proves to be deleterious. Over time, this effort to reduce inflammation also suppresses the immune system, potentially leading to susceptibility to anything from food allergies to colds. Why? Because cortisol activates the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), while the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) is suppressed. Since the two systems cannot operate simultaneously, digestion and absorption are compromised and this leads to the possibility of indigestion and even Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Clearly, we have to reduce stress/cortisol overload. The most natural method to accomplish this goal is through daily deep, focused breathing. We know this because Dr. Herbert Benson conducted double blind studies at Harvard University in the 60s which proved conclusively that proper breathing could reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and consequently restore homeostasis thereby reducing cortisol. His technique, performed twice daily for 20 minutes, involves sitting and vocalizing a word, accompanied by deep breathing. Today, however, we sit way too often which is why this position has been termed, “ the new smoking.” Even worse, people sit slumped and compressed with their legs crossed. This typical seated posture actually inhibits the deep or what we call three dimensional breathing.
The 21st Century Protocol
Substituting supine for seated is a better position since it also reduces the impact of gravity. Lying comfortably on Parasetter’s two convex rollers makes the body far more receptive to stress relief because it also reduces tension in the spine. Most importantly, though, we see how deep breathing is facilitated in the supine position. Remember that the lungs are also in the back of the body so focusing the breath into the back ribcage creates a fuller expansion of the thoracic area which improves the diaphragmatic excursion. Plus, Parasetter’s Rib Wrap makes the typically unconscious and shallow act of breathing very physical and tactile. This type of total breathing also increases inner core strength and flexibility and improves circulation.
Our Complex Systems
Parasetter® positively affects three major systems in our bodies: the nervous system, the endocrine system, responsible for cortisol; and the musculoskeletal system.
We know that the musculoskeletal system often develops tension and gets compressed due to daily stresses, whether they be physical or emotional. In order for our fascia and connective tissues to stay flexible and healthy, they need a way to recover from the effects of these stressors. Furthermore, the spine needs to decompress to allow the fascia and peripheral nerves to glide smoothly. When the muscles relax and reset their tone, this will reduce the compression on the peripheral nerves allowing the fascial connections and the nerves to glide easily.
Meanwhile, our AUTONOMIC nervous system functions involuntarily to help us adapt to our changing internal physiological environment. Its goal is the restoration of homeostasis, or internal equilibrium. It does this by synchronizing the dual innervation to the visceral organs, glands and vessels. But, constant stresses causes the endocrine system to interfere with this process. The function of the SNS is to provide optimal conditions for a stress response and mobilizes the body in extreme situations by employing stress response hormones such as cortisol. Meanwhile, the PNS allows us to unwind as it performs maintenance activities and conserves energy. It’s also responsible for digestion and elimination, and keeps blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate at regulated levels. But since the PNS and SNS do not function simultaneously, we need to take control to reduce physical and mental stresses and their resultant imbalances. And this power is within our own reach. Parasetter® and three dimensional breathing are powerful, natural tools for a longer and healthier life.
“The Parasetter is a wonderful solution for my clients with scoliosis, spinal and instability issues which prevent them from comfortably using a hard foam roller. The height is just right to help clients feel stable instead of worrying about rolling around. Plus, the small pillow and strap are nice touches, enhancing the experience of relaxation & recuperation.”- Ann Barbour, Barbour Studio
"I am currently using Parasetter with a couple of external client/lumber cases to improve the resting tone/balance between ES and MF. I have also been doing some RUSI work on activations of TA and MF and then setting tasks on the Parasetter. The response from clients has been very positive."
"I tried Parasetter as soon as it arrived; just the breathing and loved it. Tried the small Ps--the MINIs-- on the knee. The patella and tibial fit nicely in the channel. Amazing the number of exercises you can do on it. Very challenging and mindful at the same time.."
"We learnt Parasetter® yesterday with Yuu Fujita. Our body has completely changed. We also love Parasetter®. Please let me know when is Marika's next workshop. New Parasetter is really good."
“Parasetter® is amazing. I love the Rib Wrap. The shape of these Rollers, the way it hits the scapula is frigging heaven. Oh my God I know where I'm going to be every night before bed. Brilliant--can't wait to turn my clients and fellow teachers on to it.”
"When I put my clients on it before working on the machines, they find it totally inspires them to slow down, listen to their bodies and become aware of the internal adjustments that start occurring within minutes. After doing a few exploratory leg and arm movements to bring a sense of alignment during motion I continue working with them on it for some simple leg and arm movements with the straps on the Gyrotonic pulley tower machine. They love it and you have a lot of people waiting to order one for themselves:-)"
"Parasetter is refreshing, renewing, and amazing! It helps to improve my posture, whereas my chest & shoulders feel more open, and my spine feels as though it is floating on a cloud. Spending time on the Parasetter before dancing allows more mobility in my spine, and as a result, I have more freedom and ease in my movement! It’s a great, quick and easy way to relieve stress at the end of the day. My 14 yr. old daughter used it right before bedtime, and she slept like a baby! I have found a new best friend, and I am sure that my family and my clients will feel the same! Thank you Marika!!!"
"I wanted to give you some response on my personal experience with the Parasetter. In the last 3 days I have been using the device to meditate and find it a great tool to quickly release and be calm. I think it is because I am laying down and receiving feedback that I don't have to think about in regards to body position and breathing. I feel rested, very calm with a clear mind. No need to assess the event like I usually do. The most significant change in my physical body as I use the Parasetter with associated movements is with releasing the tiredness, tightness and pain in my thoracic spine. Working over a treatment table for many hours a week has left me with compensations that include a very stiff T spine. In 3 sessions I believe I have restored my full T spine mobility. So much easier to remain upright and not slouch! Miracle. I am also working on many other areas as I explore: Re-doming the diaphragm with rib cage movement, improving my cervical extension, restoring stability input of hip and shoulder stabilizers and timing of muscle recruitment with movement, all while getting autopilot feedback. the only thing I have to do is move with intention."
“Thank you so much for an enriching and wonderful introduction to Parasetter. It was such a great opportunity to meet Marika and learn more about the therapeutic benefits of Parasetter. I most appreciate the thought that went into developing this amazing product accounting for human anatomy and physiology. So often, society is bombarded with the next big thing and its “healing” powers, and it is reassuring that Marika Molnar with her expertise and profound knowledge is behind this product and programs.. Not only will this product be useful for those seeking a deeper mind-body connection in their Pilates, yoga and meditation practices, but also for those in need of rehabilitation and injury prevention with the help of a trained professional. I am eager to see Parasetter find a home in both studios and clinics alike. Thank you!”
“One of the benefits of working with the Parasetter is that it makes the instructor’s job easier because the client can really feel the difference between the different quadrants of the body and where they have restrictions and weaknesses. Traveling is always hard on the body, and then arriving in New York on Friday I did a lot of walking too. The combination resulted in tightness in my thoracic area and also my knees were a bit achy. But Parasetter really worked: the day after the workshop the tightness in my back was gone and surprisingly my knees did not bother me at all.”
“Thank you so much for an enriching day and for the Parasetter® course. In my humble opinion Parasetter refreshes, resets, repairs and restores.” (like your hard drive!) As a manual Physical Therapist, Parasetter is a great tool and an extra pair of hands for me to help my patients restore normal movement and reconnect the nervous system and physical body. Many thanks, Looking forward to providing my patients the opportunity to experience Parasetter.”
“Parasetter has given me a tool to deliver the promise of releasing the interference to the PSN by facilitating the expression of our infinite potential. A calm system equals transformation. We all need a tool to defragment our “hard drives”– clearing the viruses from a computer in order to make all the other programs or apps perform more efficiently . This is Parasetter!!!!”
“It is so exciting that the Parasetter is now so easily available. I have been using it a lot and experimenting with it in a wide variety of ways. I have clients who love using it and want one for themselves at home. I have just started to move on to the Tye4. I guess I seem to be a one new thing at a time teacher! So I will keep you posted on how that goes! Thank you so much and congratulations!”
“I just ordered 10 Parasetters yesterday as well as a Head Floatter and Tye 4. Love the Minis too. Have been using them for feet mobilization in my clinic. They are great."
“Thanks for such a wonderful Workshop! Parasetter and attendant exercises are indispensable for development and maintenance of balance and stability. I thank you for all your insights and wisdom.”
“Thank you Joan and Marika for the workshop introducing Parasetter®! Parasetter will be a “trendsetter!” The time is right for “going back to the future,” out of our “tech-heads” and into our bodies!” What a novel idea!”
“The center groove in Parasetter makes the difference. I felt my trunk at the same time separately and connected across the front and the back. And footwork with the MINIS really improves global balance and core integration.”
“Understanding Parasetter is very stimulating and I am excited to teach the program to my clients. Whether it is the Recovery Sequence, or creating challenge to a private lesson or unlocking deep movement restrictions, Parasetter can do it all.”
”Parasetter is an amazing and functional apparatus to assist freedom of movement of limbs from a strong and stable base! Added bonus… it also makes the body FEEL incredibly wonderful! ”
“As I was exploring the movement sequences on the Parastter, I noticed that my spine was getting longer. I got deeper into the connection of the spine, breath and limbs. What a wonderful relationship.”
“Parasetter makes Mat Work more comfortable, and in some ways more challenging. Kneeling exercises feel better. The MINIS add a whole new element of balance and stability, while having fun!”
“What a difference re-designed foam roller… Since there are hundreds of foam rollers but none with a center channel or these exact dimensions.”
“Parasetter is wonderful – I have felt relief in my back. Looking forward to sharing the Recovery Sequence and the exercise Class with friends, family, and clients.”
The Parasetter® Class Package is here!
This program features the following:
- 1 40-minute video of the Sequences
- 1 15-minute video of Close-Ups
- 1 36-page Manual detailing all the exercises (PDF)
We suggest that you start with the 40-minute video, which when taught in a class will extend to 60-75 minutes.
All the materials are provided digitally; the videos are online and the Manual is a PDF Download.