- How is MAT™ different from other forms of therapy?
- Is MAT similar to ART (Active Release Techniques)?
- What should I expect during my MAT session?
- What should I wear?
- Should I check with my doctor first?
- MAT sounds great. Why haven’t I heard about it before?
- How long will it take to see results?
- How does one become certified as MAT specialist?
- How do I know if my MAT specialist is certified?
- Where can I read testimonials from Kristin’s clients?
How is MAT™ different from other forms of therapy?
Current forms of therapy and exercise recognize muscle tightness as the primary factor that leads to pain or injury. The MAT process is radically different. It looks at muscle weakness, rather than muscle tightness as the cause of limitations in range of motion. Muscle tightness is not only secondary, but it is the end product or reciprocal muscle weakness. When the body recognizes instability (muscle weakness) it is designed to protect itself. It sends messages to surrounding muscles to tighten up in an attempt to support and protect the joint. A good illustration of this is when we walk on ice; the body recognizes instability and attempts to protect itself by contracting various muscles throughout the body. With a systematic evaluation procedure which correlates limitations in range of motion to muscle weakness, MAT treats the weak muscles in order to address the instability. In turn, the protective contractions diminish, which typically results in an increase in joint range of motion. The end result is not only increased joint range of motion, but also stability through the range of motion (Mobility and Stability). This increase in mobility combined with joint stability is fundamental to the MAT program. It is the foundation behind improving people’s ability to function. It is also the missing link to many therapy and exercise procedures, since it provides a checks and balances approach for regulating progress. Addressing this neurological component can be a key to improving many therapy and exercise procedures.
MAT addresses the cause of your discomfort, not just the symptoms. It looks at the root of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. Results are quick and long lasting. Normal stretching or massage techniques focus on symptoms to loosen muscle tissue, but too often, those results are only temporary. MAT restores body alignment and activates inhibited muscle that are causing the pain.
MAT helps restore connections between the brain and the muscles, thus alleviating problematic imbalance/compensation patterns and allowing muscles to begin performing properly. Muscular imbalances occur when muscles do not properly respond to signals sent from the nervous system, causing other muscles to take over the increased demand. This process is referred to as compensation. Compensation, over time, can result in joint instability, joint inflammation, osteoarthritis and a variety of other injuries and disorders.
>MAT uses precision muscle testing, palpation, and reinforcement exercises.
> MAT addresses weak muscles rather than tight muscles addressed by other forms of therapy.
>MAT treats muscle attachments rather than muscle bellies.
> MAT is a system of checks and balances. A MAT practitioner can check results to see if range of motion and joint stability have increased after treatment.
Is MAT similar to ART (Active Release Techniques)?
No, MAT is not similar to ART. ART locates and breaks down scar tissue and adhesions which cause pain, stiffness and other physical dysfunctions associated with repetitive stress injuries. ART concentrates on the tight and adhesion-riddled tissue that causes pain and weakness, whereas MAT focuses on the muscles that cause the tightness and adhesions. Muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness. For example, if your hamstrings are tight, MAT will not focus directly on the constricted fibers, but will instead test the quadriceps muscles to determine which are misfiring and failing to move in sync with the hamstrings. MAT will then correct these neuromuscular imbalances.
What should I expect during my first MAT and subsequent sessions?
After an initial consultation you will receive a comprehensive assessment and evaluation that will address: Posture, body weight distribution, BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, resting heart rate, Anthropometry measurements and a Range of Motion (ROM) Assessment (designed to allow practitioners to check their work by correlating limitations in ROM to muscle weakness). A report of findings will be written to address your specific limitations, goals and objectives.
During your Mat sessions limitations of ROM are identified, the muscles which move the joint into a specific position will be evaluated in order to determine proper neurological input. The two types of MAT treatments that can improve neurological connections to the muscle are isometric exercises and precision manual therapy. These treatments will increase neural proprioception within the weak muscle to restore ability and function. Precision manual therapy palpations will feel similar to deep massage, however the palpations will only be directed at the attachment sites of the muscle, as opposed to the muscle belly. Clients may feel soreness after their initial session. This is completely normal and should be expected.
What Should I wear?
You should wear comfortable, loose clothes such as sweat pants, T-shirts, shorts, athletic clothes, or work-out clothes.
Should I check with my doctor first?
MAT is a non-invasive, drug free treatment which should not interfere with any current forms of treatment you may be receiving. If you are working with other therapists, we will be happy to work with them. Some of today’s medical practitioners are unaware of alternative therapies and may not be familiar with MAT. We would be happy to talk with your medical practitioner if you would like.
MAT sounds great. Why haven’t I heard about it before?
Many doctors treat in their area of specialty and often focus on the symptoms, not the problem, using medication and unnecessary surgery. Medical professionals who do not promote alternatives to mainstream therapy are often unaware of their value and positive results. MAT is a new therapy that has just recently been introduced to the general public, and is beginning to receive recognition across the United States. To date, only approximately 300 therapists are certified MAT practitioners. However, MAT is currently being utilized by five professional sports teams and many elite athletes.
How long will it take to see results?
The number of treatments is dependent upon the individual and the initial assessment. Many clients report immediate improvement in ROM and decreased pain after the first session. Typically four to six sessions are recommended in order to give appropriate, focused treatment and to experience maximum results.
How does one become certified as MAT specialist?
Prior to applying for a MAT 10 month internship certification program, candidates must have a degree and/or appropriate experience in health or exercise-related fields, a thorough understanding of anatomy, and a passion for health and wellness. Certification requires 176 hours of instruction, a five hour Midterm and Practical, and an extensive eight hour Final Exam and Practical under the supervision of MAT developer, Greg Roskopf.
How do I know if my MAT specialist is certified?
To verify certification of a MAT specialist, go to www.muscleactivation.com.
Where can I read testimonials from Kristin’s clients?
Visit our testimonials page.
Click here to schedule your free consultation – and learn how MAT and Wellness Coaching can help YOU get back into the action!