What is M.A.T?
Manual therapy for muscle activation allows the practitioner to identify and correct any imbalances in muscles that cause pain or loss of movement. Our bodies create muscle imbalances in order to protect our joints from injury, diet, stress, over-exercise, repetitive patterns, and overload. Greg Roskopf, the creator of Muscle Activation Techniques, has a principle that states “Muscle tightness is secondary and muscle weakness”. This means that a muscle will tighten if one or more muscles cross the axis. For example, your hamstrings will tighten up when you raise your leg. The result is a limited range of motion and pain, due to weakness in one or more muscles that cross the axis and move your hips into hip flexion.
What M.A.T. is not
Muscle activation techniques do not include massage therapy, chiropractic, myofascial release, and active release. M.A.T is not a substitute for professional services, such as massage therapists and physical therapists. Muscle activation techniques were not intended to replace any medical professions or interfere in their practice. A M.A.T specialist’s main task is to improve muscle contraction. Your muscle will contract more efficiently which results in a greater range of motion and less pain.
Why should I consider M.A.T?
The practitioner must look at the whole body when performing muscle activation techniques. This is what makes them so different from other modalities. Contrary to most therapies, if your shoulder hurts that’s how it will be treated. If your back hurts that’s how it will be assessed. M.A.T practitioners know that the cervical spine can influence lower body strength. M.A.T practitioners know that pronation or supination can cause problems in other areas of the body, including the lower back. The practitioner will be able to assess the entire body and determine the role of the muscles that are causing the problem. Many of my clients have tried other modalities before and want to try something new. M.A.T can be used with other modalities to make significant improvements. A good practitioner will never tell a client that they should stop seeing another specialist or medical professional. That decision is up to the client and their doctor.
This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training, and body goals! Click Here to learn more!