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M.A.T. Muscle Activation Techniques

MAT is a systematic approach to identifying and treating muscular imbalances and dysfunction (compensation) as related to muscle weakness, limited range of motion and pain/injury. This technique created by Greg Roskopf, involves utilizing muscle testing to detect muscle weakness. When weakness is detected, a unique manual therapy is administered to stimulate weak muscles resulting in increased joint stability/mobility and decreased pain/injury. Because of the systematic approach and diagnostic capabilities MAT has become the missing link to many other therapies and exercise procedures.

When muscle tissue is injured or compromised, the body detects instability (muscle weakness) causing the tissue to tighten in order to protect itself and the joint(s) it is designed to support. This tightness causes improper muscle and joint function. When muscles are weak, and/or have lost proprioceptive input, the joint that it supports becomes unstable. Traditional therapy and exercise procedures attempt to combat the body’s protective mechanism by increasing the range of motion of the muscles supporting the joint. Conceptually this is a good thing but in reality it is only treating a symptom. If the mobility of a joint is increased without a concomitant increase in neurological strength, the joint’s stability is not only compromised but the body’s ability to protect itself diminishes. This is why, in some cases, people re-tighten or feel worse after stretching, massage or therapeutic exercise. In order to create a lasting change, we need to get to the root of The problem. We need to determine if the muscle tightness is a cause or an effect – establishing the reason for why the muscles become tight.

When MAT is performed, the natural protective mechanisms are diminished and normal joint motion occurs. The end result is not only an increase in the joint’s range of motion but also a simultaneous increase in stability through this increased motion. The joint now has both mobility and stability thus decreasing the chance for further injury and decrease performance.

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