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    James BalazsBiomechanics Specialist, MATm, MATrx, IFNCP1358 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA, 90404

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    Muscle Activation Techniques

    What is MAT™?

    Muscle Activation Technique is:

    • A revolutionary approach to the function, assessment and correction of the neuromuscular system.
    • A non-invasive technique that examines muscle contractile efficiency and its relationship to limitations in range of motion and loss of joint integrity due to muscular imbalances.
    • A dynamic modality that can be performed on any population and within all age groups.

    Who is MAT™ for?

    Muscle Activation Technique can be an appropriate and effective form of treatment for EVERYONE! MAT has been successfully implemented in various settings including elite athletes in all major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, ATP, etc..), rehabilitation and physical therapy clinics, personal training, and numerous other wellness and performance environments.

    What makes MAT™ different?

    Muscle Activation Technique’s premise is that muscle or joint “tightness” or “stiffness” is secondary to muscle weakness. Furthermore, a sense of neuromuscular stability or strength is required before an individual can enjoy proper mobility or freedom of movement. This sense of stability is derived from our ability to restore proper communication between the nervous system and the muscular system.

    How is this done? Built into MAT is a system of checks and balances. This system of checks and balances applies to the one thing an MAT practitioner is responsible for: muscle contractile ability. The loss of efficient muscle contractile capabilities results in decreases in range of motion which lead to decreases in physical performance. A preliminary range of motion evaluation is conducted to determine which muscles display decreased contractile abilities. Through precise muscle testing followed by specific manual palpation at the attachment points of the tissue, the MAT practitioner is able to restore the function and strength of the weakened muscles.

    Over time, stresses in our lives compound, whether they be physical, chemical, or emotional. These compounded stresses lead to an overall reduced tolerance in withstanding the forces that we apply on a daily basis. Whether they be trying to hit a 95 mph fastball or simply walking up the stairs, with the help of an MAT practitioner you’ll be getting back to doing what you love to do in no time!

    Muscle Activation Technique (MAT™) is a non-invasive approach to restoring muscle efficiency and improving the neuromuscular connection. Suitable for all, MAT™ is effective in improving muscle contraction, reducing existing pain, and preventing future injuries.

    The role of MAT™ in enhancing movement and complementing exercise

    Everyday movements and exercise exert stress on the body. Over time, the accumulated stress and pressure start affecting the communication links between the brain and body. One consequence of that phenomenon is muscle weakness and imbalance. The result can vary from person to person – some experience pain, while others may not even notice suboptimal muscle performance until later on,  during the execution of a particular movement or consulting a physical therapist.

    MAT™ helps keep the body working as it should, and potentially even better. The Integrative Training Institute (ITI), which employs MAT™, begins by examining clients’ overall state of health, body composition, and exercise routines.

    Once weak points in the muscle are identified, a certified MAT™ practitioner will apply controlled manual pressure to the affected areas. Additionally, specific exercises requiring machines, and free weights, may also be recommended to target a particular muscle.

    Throughout the engagement, ITI will closely guide and monitor the progress of each client as they restore optimal muscle function.

    What a typical MAT™ session looks like

    A typical session with a MAT™ specialist will consist of muscle testing, applying precise amounts of manual force via palpation of the target muscles, and reassessing the treated muscles.

    For instance, the specialist may test leg muscles for range of motion, mobility, and strength  by moving the limb in various directions. Using using manual force, the specialist will apply just the right amount of pressure to stimulate a particular muscle. The latter will be tested again to see if there is any improvement.

    The duration of each session will depend on the problems experienced by the client and the actual muscle issues identified by the MAT™ practitioner.

    How does MAT™ differ from chiropractic methods?

    Although there are similarities, muscle activation and chiropractic therapy are not the same. MAT™ is specifically focused on muscle strength, stability, and mobility. A MAT™ expert will see to it that your muscles are contracting efficiently throughout a variety of movements.

    A chiropractor, on the other hand, uses spinal adjustments and joint realignment to stimulate and relax muscles. Massage therapy is another technique employed in chiropractic care.

    Is MAT™ exclusively for muscle treatment and rehabilitation?

    You don’t have to wait until after you’re injured or symptoms appear before trying out this approach to muscle treatment. Clients may work with a MAT™ specialist even without existing restrictions or issues. MAT™ can simply help you maintain strength, flexibility and range of motion, keeping you in the best shape possible for whatever activity you’re already engaged in or are preparing for.

    How often should I undergo MAT™?

    The frequency of MAT™ sessions depends on muscle usage, body type, past injuries, and personal goals. Your specific program will be tailored to your needs. While some may start off with one or two sessions per week, other clients may need just bi-weekly or monthly treatments. Less active people will not need MAT™ as often as high-performance athletes and those who run, bike, and work out regularly.

    Explore the benefits of MAT™ with ITI

    ITI was founded by James Balazs, a strength coaching and neuromuscular therapy expert. He  spent over 15 years working with a variety of clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. Everyone James has helped – from high-level executives and top athletes to fitness regulars – have had their muscle weaknesses and imbalances corrected so they no longer hinder performance.

    James is one of the few professionals who has earned Neuromuscular Therapist certification through MAT™ and possesses the highest level MAT™ credential of Rx Specialist. He is also a certified personal trainer through National Personal Training Institute and a Resistance Training Specialist.

    Here’s what people are saying about working with James.

    It’s your turn to find out what James Balazs and the Integrative Training Institute (ITI can do for you. Call 310.570.6352 or send a message here. Book a private consultation today.

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