The Benefits of Muscle Activation Techniques are vast and far reaching but the reasons people seek out MAT usually falls into one of three categories. By exploring these categories the benefits of MAT can be reviled in context as to why people seek this type of treatment. Most people who receive MAT go for one of these reasons:
- Rehabilitate from Injury
- Increase Performance
- Injury Prevention
Greg, The father of MAT on who benefits.
Rehabilitate from Injury- Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) is different than most forms of treatment in that it treats the problem and not the symptoms. Tightness or soreness in a muscle is a symptom, not the underlining cause of the problem. The brain produces these symptoms as a protection mechanism when it senses a weak or inhibited muscle or joint. When a weakness or instability is detected, the brain wants to protect the area from serious injury so it decreases mobility by causing stiffness and soreness.
Through Range Of Motion (ROM) Testing and Muscle Testing, the weak or non firing muscle / muscle groups are identified. Once identified, these muscles are treated with palpations in a nerve dense area. The palpations create a strengthened neuromuscular communication pathway allowing the weak muscle to receive a stronger signal from the brain. Once a weak muscle receives more stimulation from the brain it becomes stronger and resumes its role in movement and join stability. When the brain determines that the weakness and instability is gone, it will ease the stiffness and soreness allowing for a full array of movement again.
Most forms therapy and treatment only address the pain and stiffness of the muscle. Stretching, massaging and exercising of the symptomatic muscles is counterintuitive to the brain’s protection mechanism that makes them stiff and sore. While some temporary relief may be felt, many times the symptoms persist. These types of treatments typically last weeks or months before the clients starts to see relief from the symptoms.
Muscle Activation Techniques is different, it focuses on the cause and not the symptoms. By doing so, MAT restores normal body alignment, thereby, decreasing pain and even reducing future risk of injury. Its not uncommon for clients to see positive results in two to three sessions. As a result the client can resume norm activities sooner.
Increase Performance- Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) was developed for athletes and has a long history of helping them preform at top levels. While not everyone is an athlete, all of our bodies are built of the same muscles and joints. The same procedures that help champions can help the weekend warrior as well.
One of the best ways to increase performance is to increase joint stability. If one or several of the muscles that control a given joint are not working optimally that joint will have decreased ROM and you will have a decrease in strength. If the brain detects weakness it will tighten up the joint and decrease Range Of Motion (ROM). In addition, because one or several muscles are not working optimally it will cause other muscles that control the joint to over work making them fatigue at a quicker rate and cause soreness. When this process happens the performance of the athlete will diminish. Loss of Strength, Power, Speed. Range Of Motion and the inability to maintain proper form are common symptoms of weak joint stability. How many times have you seen a runner lose form at the end of a race or golfer’s swing that deteriorates throughout the round or a batter that has lost their home run power? These are common symptoms of muscular weakness and joint instability. To achieve maximum performance an athlete needs to have all their muscles firing properly and that is exactly what Muscle Activation Techniques addresses.
Injury Prevention- The most beneficial use of Muscle Activation Treatment is in injury prevent and maintenance of general health. The process of using MAT on a regular basis can result in finding weak muscle and joints before they become an injured area. In addition, periodic MAT sessions assure that a body uses as many available muscles to perform any movement or task. When an increased number of muscles are used there is far less risk of injury due to muscular imbalance and muscular compensation, plus it provides more strength, power, speed, endurance and range of motion.
The older a person is or the higher level of activity that a person participates in, the more important that MAT should be used on a regular basis. As age or muscle demands increase there is a more likelihood that muscle weaknesses will be found and injury will occur due to exceeding normal levels of threshold. Addressing the situation before it becomes a problem will keep you running, biking, golfing and skiing longer and pain free. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.