I was recently involved in a motor vehicle collision, and suffered minor whiplash. 5 years ago I would have been on the table of a massage therapist and / or a chiropractor, attempting to twist, pop, stretch, and rub the injury out. Not any longer. After 3 sessions with my M.A.T. practitioner, Cathy, I am back in action!
MAT is a revolutionary new process that has evolved for correcting muscular imbalances in the body. It has dramatically improved functional capabilities in people of all ages, providing a pain free lifestyle along with elevating sports performance and career longevity in several professional athletes. This process is a biomechanically-based system called Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)™. This is the same form of therapy I’ve used to successfully recover from any musculo-skeletal injury I’ve suffered over the last few years, and it has also transformed the way I train my clients.
What is Muscle Activation Techniques, or MAT™?
Every health organization on the planet agrees that consuming enough vegetables and fruit in your diet is paramount to maintaining good health. Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating between 5 and 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. There’s a good reason for this: vegetables and fruits are among the most nutrient dense foods available, and contain important health-promoting and cancer-preventing anti-oxidants, as well as vitamins and other essential nutrients.
There seems to be strong trend developing in the personal training / strength and conditioning industry involving the use of foam rollers to perform soft tissue work. This appears to be another fad which was borrowed from physical therapists, similar to when “wobble board” training became all the rage. I look at this as an example of a useful tool being taken out of context and significantly overused, to the detriment of this profession, in my opinion.
Great trainers and coaches (even some of the best) have become foam rolling fanatics, prothesizing the many benefits of raking various muscles over these rigid cylinders. In no way does this detract from their expertise or credibility, but I do think it is time to take a more critical look at the growing “religion” of foam-rollers.
The proponents of foam-rolling often describe it as a form of “self-myofascial release” (SMR). No, despite how that sounds it’s not something naughty you do in front of your computer late at night! OK, so what the heck is myofascial release? SMR is a technique intended to treat “myofascial restrictions” and restore soft-tissue extensibility. It is frequently misunderstood and often described in terms of pressure affecting the Golgi Tendon Organ which causes the muscle to relax via autogenic inhibition. Some argue that this technique relaxes and lengthens not only the muscle, but also stretches the fascia surrounding it, thereby improving “tissue quality” and achieving greater range of motion. Sounds good, right? Well, let’s look at what’s really going on here…