What is Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)?
The process of MAT is thorough and very specific. It can become overwhelming to explain and understand. I will break down the ways MAT is unique below.
I assure you once one experiences what MAT is and what it feels like to move the way you should move, he or she could translate this for others in a song. Muscle Activation Techniques could not be called anything else or cannot be mistook for any other bodywork once it is understood and experienced.
For the need to be as specific as to WHAT we do in our practice, MAT has agreed on names for what makes our Techniques.
In so many other modalities you will find, muscle testing, range of motion and certainly palpations or touch to assess and address the quality, and state of the muscular system.
In no other modality can a specialist claim the following process and reproduce the results to verify activation of specific muscles.
Through Comparative Assessment of Mobility (CAM) our range of motion test, we determine what motion of the body is most limited. Where the body is protecting itself from motion? This is key! the body will only allow motion it can control. Tightness IS secondary to weakness.
For example, patient is coming in for pain at knee. A specialist looks at all joint motion to find greatest LIMITATION in motion. This identifies the course of action and could lead us to the foot, the hip, perhaps into the neck. Every case and session is unique.
From the CAM the MAT Specialist identifies the muscles that when functioning correctly, create motion in this range of motion that is LIMITED, by using Active Muscle Contract and Sustain Manual Muscle Test or (AMC&S MMT), our muscle testing.
If a muscle cannot contract and sustain the test; if it is weak, then the MAT Specialist performs a Digital Force Application to Muscle Attachment Tissues (DFAMAT), our specific palpation to the specific weak muscle.
I compare the DFAMAT to “Connecting the Dots” for the brain to understand which muscles “Make Up the picture that is (insert, that joint motion)”.
The Specialist may also perform an isometric, known as a Positional Iso-angular Contractions (PIC) of the muscle to engage it as well.
Then the Specialist performs the same specific AMC&S Manual Muscle Test to confirm if that previously weak muscle, is more engaged, receptive and strong. This is also key because, we can check our work, reproduce results, and the client can understand how the process of MAT is changing the way his or her body is moving!
As the example of pain at the knee provided, the process is not one session even if pain has subsided. This is HUGE! the body compensates greatly to allow us to stand upright and towards the Horizon. Therefore, all joints have a play in motion and should be addressed to create full body stability and resolve motion issues.
The MAT process = Stability, Mobility and Strength