5-star Fitness

What is MAT?

Written By admin • 4 min read

I have been a trainer for over 15 years and have had the pleasure of working with people from all over the world who have different wellness and fitness goals.  Each client’s physical abilities and limitations have varied greatly and, therefore, each person’s training has varied according to the individual.  As much as every client is different, there is one thing in common—from the stroke survivor, amputee, athlete, people with joint replacements, MS, arthritis, and the person who just wants to shed some pounds (to name a handful of scenarios) — their bodies stand up against gravity and move through space because their muscles are holding their skeletal bones together.  Their muscles need to contract to create motion of the body. No muscular contraction, then no motion!  There is no way getting around that fact.

In my years of training, no matter how hard I tried to “correct” muscle imbalances through pure exercise, I knew I really wasn’t getting to the root cause to fix the problem.  I wanted to be able to fix the problem better, more specifically, so that my clients’ exercise programs would have greater positive impact on their bodies and their wellness.  With that goal in mind, I went back to school to become a Muscle Activation TechniquesTM (MATTM) Specialist, which gives me the knowledge and tools to treat each muscle to contract more efficiently.

The body is an incredible compensation machine!  Your nervous system quickly learns how to keep you moving from point A to point B with what it has working at any given time.  You have drop foot?  Well, most likely you will start swinging your hip around to bring that leg and foot forward so that you can keep walking. You naturally work around the fact your foot isn’t moving the way it is supposed to be moving.  Beautiful compensation!

Let me explain this compensation a little deeper with an analogy.  There’s this whole internal organization, let’s name it “The Muscle Company, Inc.”, that is working behind the scenes in our bodies. We just go about the day doing our life activities, not having to worry about which muscles are coming to work and which have gone on a leave of absence. The brain is the boss and the muscles are the staff members.  Each staff member has its job to do and everyone is supposed to do their jobs in a timely fashion so the company keeps running well, right?  Just like in the real world!  Well, working for The Muscle Company is a difficult job with tons of constant demands, again, like the real world! Sometimes you lose some staff members.  Some quit, some go on vacation, others might be showing up to work but not doing much. Slackers!

What do you do as the boss?  In the interim, until you can get staff members back on board, you have to put a band-aid on the problem and tell the staff members who are actually showing up to work to do even more work to make up for your staffing problems.  Those staff members just keep taking on the work you pile on them because The Muscle Company cannot go under! Now, these staff members are getting burnt out carrying the extra load and you risk losing more employees.  Morale is low, stress is at an all-time high, production is falling apart and now The Muscle Company is just squeaking by instead of thriving! Not good.

In comes the MATTM Specialist (me in this case!) — kind of like a head hunter/muscle detective/human resource representative to figure out which staff members aren’t doing their jobs. The Specialist, through a testing and treatment protocol for each individual muscle, can assess which muscles are contracting well already and which ones aren’t.  For those muscles that aren’t contracting efficiently, the Specialist gets the muscle back on staff through either a specific massage technique or isometric exercises, or both depending on what works best for that particular staff member.

The goal is to get The Muscle Company, Inc. back running smoothly, fully staffed.  As the workload gets spread back evenly between all staff members, morale is heightened, functionality improves and production increases.  You are back in business!  As more muscles contract efficiently around your joints, your skeletal structure will become more stable and compensation issues and associated pain will decrease.  Your mobility will increase and so can your strength and power now that you are fully staffed!  Because your structure is working more like the machine it is meant to be, then you are better protected against injury.  Your athletic and life performance now has a greater ability to improve as well.

It is a pleasure for me as a MATTM Specialist to be able to take a closer look at your Muscle Company and get it up and running better to support your goals and lifestyle!  For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact me at (760) 310-9326 or wendy@sallinbodyworks.com.

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