Muscle Activation Techniques
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) is a systematic approach to muscle health that forms the basis of our practice. Utilizing a series of range of motion exams and over 340 individual muscle tests our MAT specialists can identify and address neuromuscular weaknesses and compensation patterns that result from repetetive or excessive forces acting on the body.
When the body is exposed to traumatic forces (like crashing on a mountain bike) or repetetive forces (like practicing rolling a kayak or lifting weights) its primary line of defense is the muscle system. Any time an injury occurs, whether from an acute trauma or repetetive stresses, the tolerance of the muscle system has been exceeded and forces have acted upon joint structures (i.e. ligaments, cartilage) or bone. This damage results in inflammation, pain and muscle weakness and tightness as the body tries to direct forces away from the injured tissues and facilitate healing. It is exceedingly important to understand these symptoms we experience (pain, soreness, tightness) as part of the body's response to excessive and repetetive forces and develop a strategy to work in concert with the body's natural healing processes.
When the body is exposed to alot of cumulative stress or repetive injuries it will affect the way that we move, run, squat, jump, play. The brain tries to divert force away from the affected area by controlling the way muscles around that area contract, making some weak and others feel tight. Over time these impacted movement patterns become reinforced and result in what is known as a compensation pattern. This un-even distribution of force can lead to chronic muscle tightness, weakness and more stress on other muscles creating a cycle that leads to loss of motion and function.
This is where MAT comes in. MAT is the most efficient method available to identify and address the specific neurological muscle weaknesses that are the result of cumulative and excessive forces acting on the body. By correcting these weaknesses allow your brain to utlize every muscle to distribute force and facilitate an environment for healing. By increasing the number of muscles the brain has available to rapidly respond to changing forces we can reduce the risk of future injuries. By increasing the range of motion that each muscle is able to contract efficiently we can increase range of motion and joint stability, thereby addressing the root cause of muscle tightness and ensuring that we get optimal responses to exercise. When we increase the force tolerance of the muscle system as a whole, you are able to move without limitations and push your sport further, longer, with more confidence.