What is M.A.T ?
Muscle activation techniques is a hands-on manual therapy that allows the practitioner to assess and correct muscle imbalances that contribute to pain and loss of motion. Due to diet, stress, overload, repetitive patterns, and injury, our bodies compensate and create muscle imbalances to protect the joints. Greg Roskopf , the developer of Muscle Activation Techniques, has a principle for the M.A.T process and that is “ Muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness”. What that means is that a muscle tightens because one or more of the muscles that cross the axis of the joint is weak. An example would be your hamstrings tightening up every time you raise your leg. Because one or more of the muscles that cross the axis and move you into hip flexion is weak, the result is a limit in range of motion with pain and discomfort.
What M.A.T is not
Muscle activation techniques are not Physical therapy, Massage therapy, Chiropractic, Myofascial release, Active release or any medical procedure. There are medical professionals such as a physical therapist and massage therapist who practice M.A.T but only to enhance the services they already provide. Muscle activation techniques was not designed to take the place of any medical profession or intrude in their scope of practice. A M.A.T specialist main job is to help your muscles contract more efficiently. By your muscle being able to contract more efficiently, the result is an increase in their range of motion and less pain.
Why should I consider M.A.T?
What makes muscle activation techniques so different from the modalities mentioned above is the practitioner has to look at the body as a whole. Unlike most therapies if your shoulder hurts, that’s all that will be treated or assessed, if your back hurts, that is all that is treated or assessed. With M.A.T the practitioner knows that the cervical spine can have an influence on lower body strength. A M.A.T practitioner knows that pronation and supination in the feet can affect other parts of the lower body even lower back. Treating and assessing the body as a whole will allow the practitioner to fully understand the muscular systems role in what’s causing the issue in the body. Most of the clients that I see have already tried other modalities and are looking for something more. I have also notice significant improvements when M.A.T is used in conjunction with other modalities. A good practitioner would never tell a client to stop seeing other specialist or medical professionals and leave that decision to the client and his or her doctor. Stay tuned for more as the next blog will go in detail on the M.A.T process.