(Information provided by www.muscleactivation.com)
As we age, due to various forms of stresses being placed on the body, the muscular system may become less efficient in its contractile abilities. The result of this diminished muscle activity may correlate with many of the physical complaints that we relate to aging. There are many modalities out there that deal specifically with injuries or the degenerative changes that occur with aging; however, up until recently, no one has specifically dealt with the negative changes that occur relative to our neuromuscular function. This is where Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) fits in. MAT recognizes that as we age, the accumulation of stresses and traumas to the body takes its toll on our muscle function. MAT recognizes that every injury may have a negative impact on our neuromuscular function and that over time, the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system becomes negatively altered. If this altered communication is not regularly addressed, then the cumulative effect may be a progressive weakness of the muscular system as a whole, resulting in an increase susceptibility to pain, injury and/or degenerative issues. The end result is a decreased ability for the muscles to handle the physical stresses that come with everyday activity, exercise and physical performance. MAT is a specific program designed to identify and address these altered communication pathways with the primary goal being to restore muscle contractile capabilities
MAT can be looked at as part of the exercise continuum. The most important component of MAT is that it provides a system of checks and balances. It enables a MAT practitioner to evaluate the integrity of the neuromuscular system whenever a force has been applied against it. MAT also allows trainers to evaluate various forms of force applications in order to determine if certain exercises exceed the threshold, thus resulting in muscle inhibition. In simplistic terms, MAT allows trainers and therapists to “check their work”. Therefore, MAT can act as an adjunct to all forms of therapy and exercise. It is a specific technique designed to improve muscle function. This improvement in muscle function can, in turn, provide an environment which can reduce the risk of injury while also speed up the body’s ability to recover from injury.