MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES
Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT) is a revolutionary process for identifying and correcting muscular imbalances, joint instability and limitations in range of motion within the body.
It was founded on the principle that human movement and exercise are fundamental to one’s health and that a muscle’s ability to contract efficiently is important for normal movement. Any loss of muscle contraction efficiency may be identified by a loss of motion and decreased physical performance, which may lead to pain and or the loss of physical capabilities.
The primary goal of MAT is to increase the contractile capability of your muscles, resulting in increased strength, stability, range of motion, and reduced muscle and joint pain. MAT is a superior treatment for injury, recovery and rehabilitation, as well as chronic pain management for a variety of neuromuscular disorders.
BENEFITS OF MAT
HOW DOES MAT WORK?
Massage and other types of bodywork modalities address muscle and joint dysfunction by primarily focusing on “releasing,” or “loosening” muscles. Your physical therapist or massage therapist or other professional you are working with will identify tight muscles and proceed to massage or stretch those muscles in an attempt to improve your range of motion and get rid of the pain and tightness you are experiencing.
MAT is unique in that it never tries to relax the muscle but instead works to activate it so that your body is better prepared to handle the forces that come from exercise and everyday movements. A MAT practitioner will identify the muscles which are not working properly and then proceed to increase their ability to function, thereby allowing the tight muscles to relax.
For example, imagine you wake one morning and are unable to bend over and touch your toes. This is assuming that at some point in your life you were able to touch your toes. As you bend forward at the waist your lower back, hamstrings, and calves tighten up and prevent you from touching your toes. You think to yourself, “my hamstrings are tight, I need to stretch more.” Or, “my back is tight, I need to get a massage.” So you stretch a little bit or you get a massage and you feel better afterwards but when you wake up the next morning and try to touch your toes again, you can’t do it.
The reason you still can’t manage to touch your toes is that by stretching and massage you addressed the symptom, but not the cause. You experience muscle tightness because it’s your body’s way of preventing you from moving into a position where you will be unable to support yourself. Your lower back and hamstrings tighten up to prevent you from touching your toes because if you actually managed to get low enough to do so, your other muscles would be too weak to support your spine and you may end up with a herniated disk. Muscle tightness is a protective measure your body puts into place to save you from injury.
A MAT practitioner is trained to identify the specific muscles which are not doing their job properly and improve their ability to function. A MAT session is essentially a personal training session, but instead of doing a comprehensive, full body work out, you will work just your weakest muscles, one muscle at a time.
WHAT WE AIM TO ACHIEVE WITH MAT
The ultimate goal of MAT is to achieve symmetrical tension throughout the muscular system. Our MAT practitioner will identify weak muscles or those that aren’t properly communicating with the brain, and walk you through exercises that target those very specific areas. Fixing the way that muscles contract and more evening distributing work among muscles in a group can help to decrease pain, improve flexibility, lower your risk of injury, improve coordination and increase your strength.
Call us to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation to find out how MAT may be able to help you.