Muscle Activation Techniques addresses a very small portion of one’s health when considering the many general categories of nutrition, strength, balance, cardiovascular, body composition. MAT is found within the strength category, in which the only true professionals are possibly personal trainers or coaches. Also within strength, comes chiropractic, physical therapy and massage therapy as methods by which to heal or soothe the body when it breaks down. Which by the way are amongst dozens of other therapies, such as acupuncture, dance and active release. All wonderful modalities, yet different.
While Muscle Activation Techniques falls into a very small section of an individuals health bubble, it is needed by many people and yet not always appropriate for everyone. At any given moment during movement, a person’s neuromuscular system is creating compensations that deviate from the most optimal function. This is a necessary occurrence in order to move in ways that the mind dictates. However, when these altered movement patterns become mainstay within a system they ultimately cause tightness, pain and sometimes breakdown or tearing of soft tissue. Yet not everyone finds success with MAT because of the subsequent time and effort required to make the necessary permanent changes to the biomechanics system.
Call Your Doctor!
In the case of soft tissue damage, a doctor is required and then most likely follow-up with a physical therapist or perhaps a chiropractor. MAT does not act to repair permanent damage to the structures. Chiropractors also work to re-align the bony structures of the body using adjustments and exercise.
Massage and ART
Another thing that MAT does not directly act to reverse is tightness. Massage Therapists and Active Release Technique specialists do a phenomenal job at releasing and loosening tight tissue. While MAT does not directly attempt to re-align the bones or cause relaxation of the muscles, these effects can sometimes happen.
What MAT can do, is reveal compensation occurring in the neuromuscular system to the practitioner and client in order for re-training of movement. It does not diagnose issues, it does not seek to cure. It simply provides a method by which to evaluate where muscular inhibition is occurring within the system and set the stage for re-activation.
Suduko or Crossword Anyone?
MAT is a problem solving process and does not work very well as a singular treatment. It has the best results when the client gives the practitioner time to communicate with the system over a series of sessions. The body is ever-changing and the MAT specialist will be making changes that need to be monitored and progressed for continuous improvement towards better function.
Is it for you?
Does one leg get more sore than the other? Does one side of your back chronically ache? Is one side of your neck always stiff? Or do you notice your shoes wearing differently on the bottoms when comparing right to left? Do you care about these differences? Are you curious to correct them and do you have time and energy to watch the magic happen? If so, MAT may be fore you!