What is MAT?
MAT’s premise is that human movement and exercise are fundamental to human health and that muscle’s health (demonstrated by it’s ability to contract efficiently) is important for normal movement. Any loss of muscle(s) contraction efficiency may be demonstrated as a loss of motion and decreased physical performance, which may lead to subjective complaints and/or the loss of physical capabilities.
MAT is a specific and unique process* for evaluating an individual’s ability to develop efficient muscle contraction(s) by first measuring and comparing specific limb and trunk motions of the body right side to left side, as the human body tends to be symmetrical in its structure and function right side to left side.
It is referred to as a “process” as there are hundreds of muscles and joints to be evaluated in order to uncover the muscle issues that could be contributing to the loss of physical performance and any associated subjective complaints, which leads to what could be many sessions of work to solve the problems.
The techniques/strategies that constitute the MAT Process are:
Comparative Mobility Assessment – The CAM (The Comparative Assessment of Mobility)
Active Muscle Contract and Sustain Manual Muscle Test – The AMC&S MMT
Positional Iso-angular Contraction (muscle activation technique) – The PIC
Digital Force Application to Muscle Attachment Tissues (muscle activation technique) – The DFAMAT
If an asymmetry in motion between the two sides exists (as determined by the CAM) then the one that moves less is interpreted as having the potential for a loss of muscle contraction capabilities of one or more of the muscles that should be contracting to move the joint/limb further.
The muscles that are capable of moving the limb further are assessed by the MAT Specialist (by the AMC&S MMT) to determine if they have lost the ability to contract efficiently.
When it has been determined through testing that a muscle has lost its efficient contractile ability (termed weakness in this context) then precise forces are applied to restore that muscle’s efficiency – to “activate” the muscle’s ability to contract better. (Using the PIC or DFAMAT)
As muscles are restored to efficient contraction MAT uses a system of accountability (checks and balances) to ensure that any increases in motion and symmetry are accompanied by improvements in muscle contractile efficiency for all the muscles that contribute to a designated motion.