Muscle Activation Techniques - part 2

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Why MAT?

Are your muscles functioning normally? Do you have a muscular imbalance? How can you tell the difference?

When it comes to muscle function, what exactly is "normal"? "Normal" can only be felt relative to what we are used to feeling. If you were once in excellent health but are now suffering some kind of muscular imbalance, and you don't recall what your former body felt like, how can you truly assess your current state?

In order to reach our greatest potential, we first need to recognize and resolve disruptions in the body that unfairly obstruct our abilities. When we have hidden vulnerabilities, "normal" becomes an abstract concept.

It's somewhat tricky to think about. When it comes to things like muscle imbalance or wear and tear, assessing or gauging our bodies with any accuracy is a challenge. The human body is complicated and simple assumptions and guesswork are not proper ways to diagnose or treat a problem.

The body automatically compensates for weakness or injury. When the brain senses instability in various parts of the body, it takes measures to protect itself. For example, in an attempt to support and protect a joint, the brain sends messages to muscles surrounding that joint to tighten up. This usually results in muscle imbalances and can lead to future injury, recurring pain, tension and overuse.

When a muscle is either weak or not functioning properly, it is unable to contract or lengthen normally. Other muscles will step in to pick up the slack. This is known as muscle compensation, and it's a cycle of stress that may continue for years. When this compensation reaches a critical point, it results in pain -- a signal that something is wrong.

Most familiar forms of pain are actually derived from muscle weakness. And traditionally, the symptoms of pain were treated with modalities which failed to resolve the underlying problem. Recent breakthroughs in biomechanics and the neuromuscular system have resulted in the development of new treatment methods.

"Pain is an indicator of weakness," says Greg Roskopff, founder of M.A.T. This means that when we feel pain during movement, or while holding a muscle against a particular force, our muscles are shut down. Pain is a warning sign. When the body's muscle system cannot adequately control force, stress is too high. We have lost communication with our muscles.

If our muscles fail to handle, assimilate or transmit force, stress occurs in the body's structure and tissues, while also affecting the nervous system. How effectively does your body react to force placed upon it? How well does your body apply its own force? Clearly, stress on our bodies is derived from our distinct muscle weaknesses. It makes sense, then, to locate and treat the origin of weakness. This way, the body avoids stress and can heal itself.

Muscle Activation Techniques (M.A.T.) is a bio-mechanically-based treatment system that can determine with precision the areas of weakness and compensation within a body's muscular imbalance -- and correct them.

M.A.T. recognizes weak and inhibited muscles as the root cause of compensation and pain. It addresses this injury/pain by targeting the weak muscle, thereby releasing the tight muscles. M.A.T. corrects this cycle, restoring muscles to their peak functional capabilities. It resets the neuromuscular pathways, and can dramatically improve the neuromuscular system's functional capabilities for all age groups and increase performance for people at all levels.

How does M.A.T. work? The central nervous system (CNS) directly controls all muscles. Receptors throughout the body send information, called proprioception, to the CNS. The information is sent through the nervous system, processed in a feedback loop through the brain, and returned to the muscles. The body loses proprioceptive input due to trauma and/or stress in various forms.

M.A.T. increases proprioceptive input to the central nervous system. When this input is restored, tension is decreased and pain is reduced or eliminated.

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