What is M.A.T. (Muscle Activation Techniques)
Located in Centennial, Colorado
MAT Training Explained
MAT is a system of training that is designed to restore balance and enhance function in the human body. When a muscle becomes too tight (hypertonic) or weak (inhibited) it can affect the function and range of motion (ROM) of the joint it crosses. The foundational principle of MAT is that muscle tightness is a form of protection in the body and is secondary to muscle weakness. For example, if a particular muscle remains stuck in a tight or shortened position, it changes the ability of that muscle to effectively produce or reduce force, which could lead to altered joint ROM and potential injury. Roskopf compares the effects of muscle tightness to walking on ice. “When someone is walking on ice their movements are shortened with a restricted ROM to ensure stability and avoid falling on a slippery surface,” Roskopf explains. “When muscles become too tight they have the same effect, which limits joint motion and could be a potential cause for injury.”
A tight muscle does not receive the appropriate sensory motor feedback from the nervous system, causing the other muscles it works with to change their resting lengths and proprioception. According to Roskopf’s research, when muscles become hyerptonic the spindles (intrafusal muscle fibers) that sense length change become slack, thereby providing limited sensory feedback. Roskopf compares this to a battery cable coming loose in a car engine. “If the cable comes loose, the car will not effectively conduct the charge to start the engine,” he explains. The goal of MAT assessments and training is to identify muscles that are not able to produce adequate force and to restore optimal muscle function and subsequent joint ROM.
The inhibition of a muscle—or the inability to produce the appropriate force when necessary—can be related to impaired communication between that individual muscle and the central nervous system (CNS). External stressors such as overuse, impaired movement mechanics or trauma can affect the function of a particular muscle. If a muscle becomes overstressed it results in an altered feedback mechanism between that muscle and the CNS. Changes in muscle sensory reception can lead to a reduced ability to generate the appropriate force to move or stabilize a joint. If a muscle does not receive the appropriate communication with the CNS, then it could cause positions of joint instability, which create the potential for injury.
MAT was also promoted on the Dr. Oz show May 7, 2013.
For more information you can visit the official MAT website below:
Muscle Activation Techniques