MAT 101

Its More Than Just Strengthening Muscles-   As you know Muscle Activation Techniques is about making weak muscles stronger so the brain’s protection mechanism will release the muscle tightness and ease soreness. The real concept of MAT is much deeper than that, its about the communication path between the brain and the muscles. A weak muscle has impaired communication between the brain and the muscle that causes the muscle not to fully contract on demand. The weakness is a neuromuscular response that limits extreme ranges of motion when the muscle is contracted fully.  The limited range of motion means the muscle is weak in its shortest position. This weakness at the shortest contracted position will cause the joint to be unstable. As a result, the brain tightens up the surrounding muscles to keep the joint from going further and prevent injury. This tightening of muscles can cause some muscle to over work creating more tightness and loss of range of motion is the result. The Muscle Activaion Techniques is about Identifing the weak muscles and getting the nerological path between the muscle the brain working again.

Causes of Neuromuscular Weakness- Most neuromuscular weakness are caused by three factors; trauma, stress and overuse. When the brain sense’s one of these three factors in a muscle, it will inhibit the muscle(s) and tighten the surrounding muscles as a form of protection. MAT’s use of specific palpation techniques gets the brain communicating to the weak muscle again. Once the Communication path is reestablished the brain will turn the weak muscle back on.

The Law of Reciprocal Inhibition- Is an important theory when trying to understand the causes of muscular tightness. The law states that when the brain sends a message to a muscle to contract the brain also sends a message to the opposing muscles to relax in order to allow for normal joint range of motion. If the contracting muscle’s communication path is weakened then the opposing muscle will not receive the message to relax making it overactive and changing the joints resting length. The result can be lost of range of motion, tighness or soreness.