The MAT ApproachMuscle Activation Techniques® (MAT) is a systematic, bio-mechanical approach used to identify and correct muscular imbalances that contribute to injury, impeded recovery, and compromised performance.
The 3 main functions of muscles are to 1) Create movement, 2) Stop or Control movement, and 3) Align the skeleton. Stress, trauma or overuse can cause muscle tissue to become less efficient at performing these functions. When muscle tissue becomes stressed, our body recognizes this instability and tightens up. TIGHTNESS is a natural PROTECTIVE MECHANISM, provided by the body in response to muscular weakness. This natural reponse prevents further motion into a position the body identifies as unstable. The nervous system calls upon another muscle or group of muscles, with a similar function, to COMPENSATE to allow continued motion or stability. Short term compensations can be helpful solutions that our body relies on while the injured tissue heals. Over time, compensations can lead to further abnormal motions or "wear and tear" on joint surfaces, creating SYMPTOMS, such as pain, instability, and weakness in the affected area, or even throughout other parts of the body.
The GOAL of Muscle Activation Techniques is to improve the muscle's ability to perform it's functions. Improving muscular activity and the ability to move and stabilize a joint will reduce the body's reliance on protective tightness or compensatory movement patterns.