Myoskeletal Alignment Technique (MAT)
The source of chronic pain for many arises from very common imbalances and dysfunctional patterns in the musculoskeletal system. Most chronic pain can be relieved with a combination of skilled manual therapy and intelligent corrective exercise.
The Myoskeletal Alignment Technique (MAT) system brings together the most advanced therapeutic strategies to relieve, and ultimately correct, patterns in the body that lead to pain and deterioration. With MAT therapy, clients can be free from pain, avoiding invasive surgery or toxic pain medications.
The human body is comprised of structural systems, such as the anatomy of bones, connective tissue and nerves, as well as functional systems, such as the neural signals that trigger muscular contraction. These systems are inseparably connected in a continuous feedback loop. Without a thorough understanding of how these systems work together, most common musculoskeletal complaints are incorrectly assessed and treated.
MAT teaches how these brain / body systems work together, what problems lead to pain, and how to recreate optimal balance and performance.
What Myoskeletal Therapy does:
- Relieves chronic pain contributing to weak posture
- Releases trapped nerves from tight muscles, joints and ligaments
- Corrects atrophy, weakness and muscle amnesia in head-forward postures
- Addresses breathing disorders caused by a drooping ribcage
- Lessens pain sensitivity through graded exposure assisted stretching
- Eliminates protective muscle guarding due to joint dysfunction
- Improves sleep by lowering sympathetic nervous system tone
- Creates dynamic, confident posture with innovative restorative techniques
- Corrects sports-related tendon and joint injuries
- Enhances athletic performance through hands-on proprioceptive training
- Changes the brain’s mind about pain through targeted exercise advice
- Prevents chronic neck and back pain due to tension, trauma & weak posture
How does MAT work?
- Contract-relax techniques can make the nervous system less threatened by the movement… even if muscles aren’t permanently lengthening, trigger points aren’t being obliterated, fascia isn’t stretching, etc.
- Active pain-free therapy signals the brain that the previously painful movement is now safe. By doing this repeatedly, the nervous system will often start to disassociate the movement from the pain.
- The MAT goal is to bring as much “good news” as possible to the nervous system.
Key ideas are integrated into MAT:
- Pain is caused by patterns of overly tonic (tight) antagonist muscles and weak agonists. This distorts joint anatomy and neural function.
- To treat pain, we must understand the cohesive relationship between the structure and function of the myoskeletal system.
- Proper treatment entails finding and addressing the cause of pain, rather than focusing on the location of pain.
- True healing comes from promoting functional endurance and balance of muscles, rather than increasing base strength.
Key principles of MAT:
- Every part of the body is connected to every other part of the body through myofascial connective tissue.
- By reducing impediments to proper structure and function, practitioners can assist the body’s ability to defend, repair and rebuild itself.
- Manual therapy includes muscle energy techniques, which combine alternate stretching and isometric contraction.
- Manual therapy also includes palpation feedback techniques called myofascial release. These boost circulation and lymph drainage, as well as promote the corrective stretch reflex of muscles and fascia.
- Optimal function can only be achieved when the body is in proper alignment.
- Correcting misalignment must include working with connective tissue to stretch the body’s fascia.
- A combination of corrective movement and manual therapy is the best way to create lasting improvements in physical alignment and overall wellbeing.
- Mind and body are deeply intertwined, working together in all posture and movement.
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