Fitness Genome founder & CEO, Chris Craig, is a Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) Master Specialist and can help you identify weakness, activate muscles, restore function, and drastically improve your quality of life.
Muscle Activation Techniques is based on the axiom – Muscle weakness precedes muscle tightness. Muscles work as agonists/antagonists and when a muscle is tight it is ‘protecting’ for it’s weak antagonist. Once a weak muscle is identified and treated to reflexively fire/contract, the tightness will begin to dissipate.
MAT works by bringing about alpha-gamma coactivation or reflexive contraction capability in a muscle.
Reflexive tone is one element of strength, the other being increased neural drive/frequency of motor unit activation.
Alpha is innervation within extrafusal fibers that generate tension by contracting and creating skeletal movement. Gamma is largely the sensory part of a muscular contraction within what are called muscle spindles sending information to the cerebellum also known as proprioception regarding the amount and rate of change in length/stretch of a muscle. Alpha-gamma co-activation ensures that muscle spindles maintain sensitivity to stretch over a wide range of muscle lengths enabling a muscle to reflexively contract throughout it’s range of motion.
If the alpha and gamma systems are not working in concert, your body can adapt by recruiting other muscles to take up the slack and you begin compensating creating faulty motor/movement patterns. These faulty patterns or motor engrams can lead to an increased risk of injury and diminished performance.
MAT uniquely identifies weak muscles by assessing the comparative range of motion of all your joints.
For example, if one of your hips does not rotate externally as well as the other hip, we will test those muscles responsible for external rotation of the hip, Identify the weak muscles, and manually treat them at their attachment sites since that is where the majority of proprioceptors reside in the attachments and then the once weak muscle will test back strong creating a greater mind/muscle connection. And we will do this for every part of your body – neck, back, feet, etc.
As a general guideline, MAT can correct faulty motor patterns with 2 treatments per week for 6 weeks. Some will respond sooner and some will take longer. Generally, the more tenderness and cramping you experience in the first few sessions the longer it could take to change your patterns. Tenderness and cramping generally indicate a level of faulty mind/muscle communication.
MAT is truly unique in that it is not indiscriminate, but more like a sniper finding exact spots that need intervention. Like other therapies at Fitness Genome, MAT offers ultimate quantification in how you’ll feel in your body as you will see improvements in the first session. Schedule an appointment today.