The first step of MAT is to perform a range of motion (ROM) exam to determine where the body is tight.  This is done joint by joint.  The left legs rotation is compared to the right or trunk rotation to the left side to right is compared.  The law of reciprocal; inhibition is the basis for the ROM exam.

The Law of reciprocal inhibition states: When a muscle contracts, it signals to the central nervous system (CNS) and the CNS sends an inhibition signal to the antagonist (opposite) muscle to allow joint motion. 

           

EX:  When you flex your bicep to bend your arm the triceps relaxes.

 
If a muscle is inhibited and not functioning, then the CNS doesn’t send a signal to relax its antagonist.  This results in an antagonist becoming more tonic, then muscle tightness and discomfort will ensue.

 

EX:  A dysfunctional bicep will not allow the triceps to relax.  Now the triceps muscle will remain tight.

 
This is where MAT differs from other forms of therapy.  MAT is not as concerned with the injury itself, but rather what is causing it! The MAT specialist will seek out the joints and ranges the body is protecting, not what the client says hurts.

 

EX:  I have had several clients come in complaining of a specific ailment only to have ROM determine I should work on something completely different.  One client came in with an aggravated and very swollen Achilles tendon on their right side.  The ROM exam determined that the body was protecting the left hip!  So I treated the left hip.  After a few sessions (all of them spent on the left side) the Achilles injury began to heal and the swelling came down.  Turns out the clients body was favoring the right leg because it was so much more stable than the left.  The true cause of the injury was actually on the other side of the body!

 
Now that we have performed the ROM exam it is time for the next step.  This is to test and treat each muscle that helps the body move into an impaired range.

 

EX:  If we see an individual that can’t straighten one knee as well as the other we would test and treat quads (knee extender) not hamstrings (knee flexor).

 
The muscle testing is positional.  Each muscle to be tested is put in a specific position and is pushed against in a specific direction.  A healthy innervated muscle will stiffen and resist the test without much effort.  An impaired muscle will give out, tremble, or even cause pain and cramping in surrounding tissues when tested.


When an impaired muscle is identified we then activate it using precision palpation of its skeletal attachment sites.  This is similar to massage only we push into very specific parts of the skeleton.  When the palpation is done it will increase the neural sensitivity of the muscle.


Then the muscle is put back into the testing position and tested again.  This time it will resist the test without much effort and without pain or cramping in the surrounding tissues.  In this fashion each inhibited muscle will be identified and corrected.  After all the muscles of an impaired range have been addressed the range itself will no longer be limited.  Then when the body’s motions are no longer impaired and each individual muscle is performing, then we have created an environment where the injury can finally heal.

LOUISVILLE M.A.T.

Treatment for the muscular imbalances that cause chronic pain.

Muscle Activation Techniques

The first step of MAT is to perform a range of motion (ROM) exam to determine where the body is tight.  This is done joint by joint.  The left legs rotation is compared to the right or trunk rotation to the left side to right is compared.  The law of reciprocal; inhibition is the basis for the ROM exam.

The Law of reciprocal inhibition states: When a muscle contracts, it signals to the central nervous system (CNS) and the CNS sends an inhibition signal to the antagonist (opposite) muscle to allow joint motion. 

           

EX:  When you flex your bicep to bend your arm the triceps relaxes.

 
If a muscle is inhibited and not functioning, then the CNS doesn’t send a signal to relax its antagonist.  This results in an antagonist becoming more tonic, then muscle tightness and discomfort will ensue.

 

EX:  A dysfunctional bicep will not allow the triceps to relax.  Now the triceps muscle will remain tight.

 
This is where MAT differs from other forms of therapy.  MAT is not as concerned with the injury itself, but rather what is causing it! The MAT specialist will seek out the joints and ranges the body is protecting, not what the client says hurts.

 

EX:  I have had several clients come in complaining of a specific ailment only to have ROM determine I should work on something completely different.  One client came in with an aggravated and very swollen Achilles tendon on their right side.  The ROM exam determined that the body was protecting the left hip!  So I treated the left hip.  After a few sessions (all of them spent on the left side) the Achilles injury began to heal and the swelling came down.  Turns out the clients body was favoring the right leg because it was so much more stable than the left.  The true cause of the injury was actually on the other side of the body!

 
Now that we have performed the ROM exam it is time for the next step.  This is to test and treat each muscle that helps the body move into an impaired range.

 

EX:  If we see an individual that can’t straighten one knee as well as the other we would test and treat quads (knee extender) not hamstrings (knee flexor).

 
The muscle testing is positional.  Each muscle to be tested is put in a specific position and is pushed against in a specific direction.  A healthy innervated muscle will stiffen and resist the test without much effort.  An impaired muscle will give out, tremble, or even cause pain and cramping in surrounding tissues when tested.


When an impaired muscle is identified we then activate it using precision palpation of its skeletal attachment sites.  This is similar to massage only we push into very specific parts of the skeleton.  When the palpation is done it will increase the neural sensitivity of the muscle.


Then the muscle is put back into the testing position and tested again.  This time it will resist the test without much effort and without pain or cramping in the surrounding tissues.  In this fashion each inhibited muscle will be identified and corrected.  After all the muscles of an impaired range have been addressed the range itself will no longer be limited.  Then when the body’s motions are no longer impaired and each individual muscle is performing, then we have created an environment where the injury can finally heal.

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