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    James Balazs Biomechanics Specialist, MATm, MATrx, IFNCP 1351 19th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    MAT™ FAQ

    Over time stress, trauma, or overuse, and the resultant inflammation on the body result in a less efficient muscular system and diminished neuromuscular function. The communication between the nervous system and the muscular system can break down over time. This altered communication between the nervous system and the muscular system can lead to altered mechanics which can trigger symptoms relating to muscle tightness, pain and many of the physical complaints that we associate with aging. Then end result of a one-time physical trauma or a lifetime of micro-traumas is altered communication between the nervous system and the muscular system. Due to this altered communication, the contractile ability of the associated muscles becomes less efficient. This can lead to progressive weakness that leads to an increased susceptibility to pain, injury and long term degenerative changes.

    MAT™ is designed to re-establish the communication pathways between the nervous system and the muscular system in order to restore muscle contractile capabilities. The main indicator of muscle(s) losing their contractile efficiency is limitations in range of motion (ROM). Through the MAT™ assessment, we begin with a muscle-specific joint ROM assessment.. This allows the MAT™ practitioner to precisely determine which muscles potentially have altered communication from the nervous system. The MAT™ practitioner will then perform a form of Manual Muscle testing in order to determine which muscles are actually weak. Once the weaknesses have been identified, MAT™ practitioners are trained to employ two processes that are designed to improve contractile capabilities. The first form of activation is a muscle-specific palpation technique designed to stimulate the sensory receptors within the muscle in order to improve the input from the periphery back to the central nervous system. The second form of activation involves position-specific isometrics designed to improve motor output from the central nervous system back out to the muscles. As the Central Nervous System re-establishes it’s communication with the muscular system, the affected muscles will experience fewer protective measures, therefore providing the body with a greater a sense of stability, which in turn provides the body with more mobility.

    MAT™ looks at muscle tightness as being a symptom that relates to underlying weaknesses. Whenever you have stress, trauma or overuse to the body, the resultant inflammation alters the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system so that the muscles cannot contract efficiently. When muscles can’t contract efficiently, they cannot shorten efficiently and they actually weaken due to lack of neurological input. This causes opposing muscles to tighten up. Many modalities focus on trying to loosen up the muscles that are tight. With MAT™, we focus on the muscle weakness aspect of the muscle dysfunction. Through specific activation techniques that improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system, not only do the associated muscles get stronger, but the protective tightening of other muscles goes away. MAT works to improve a muscle’s contractile capabilities and the resulting range of motion and strength of that muscle/limb. By improving these aspects, a person will see an increased ability for exercise and physical performance.

    MAT™ differentiates itself from other techniques because it never attempts to directly lengthen or change the muscle by stretching, heating, kneading, or foam rolling. MAT™ is not trying to “relax” muscle but instead tries to “activate” the muscle, so that your body is better prepared to handle the forces that come from exercise and everyday movements.

    • To determine whether there is proper communication between the nervous system and the muscular system.
    • To identify which muscles are not receiving proper neural input from the nervous system
    • To improve the communication between the nervous system and the muscular system in order that the muscles can most effectively stabilize joints, tolerate forces, and protect the body from injury
    • To provide a system of checks and balances that enables us to identify and correct muscular imbalances that relate to altered communication within the nervous system