Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)™
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)™ is an advanced manual therapy technique designed to identify and address muscular imbalances. MAT has been developed over the past 15 years by Greg Roskopf, a biomechanics consultant with the Denver Broncos. MAT is a system, as well as thought-process, based upon the idea that muscle tightness is secondary to muscle weakness. As such, MAT differs in principle from many other forms of treatment. In contrast, many techniques in physical medicine are based upon trying to decrease tightness through stretching, massaging, or “releasing” tissues, assuming that tightness is the primary problem.
From the MAT perspective, muscle tightness can develop as a reaction to the presence of muscle inhibition and weakness. Muscles commonly lose their efficiency and become inhibited due to stress, injury, and over-use. To compensate, other muscles over-work and can become chronically strained. Over time, complex compensations and imbalances can ensue, contributing to pain and faulty movement patterns.
Thorough range of motion and isolated muscle tests are performed to specifically identify inhibited muscles. Once identified, muscles are precisely palpated at their attachment points to restore proper communication between the muscles and the nervous system. The goal of the techniques is to improve the balance and efficiency of the muscle system prior to exercise and activity.
Ian Goodwin is the certified MAT specialist at Calgary Core Physiotherapy. For more information on Muscle Activation Techniques please visit www.muscleactivation.com.