Muscle Activation Technique

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Rush
11/24/08 7:53:56PM
I have had two sessions of this and I can say that it works for me. Most of you have probably not heard of MAT and neither did I until recently.

The basic gist of MAT is that certain muscles (either from wearing improper shoes or injuries) become weak, to the point where they are not being used. What happens is that other muscles compensate for these shortcomings and the result is that you have a combination of under worked muscles and overworked muscles. The overworked ones are very tight as well and your overall movement is limited. Also, as injuries accumulate over time, the body just keeps compensating and cheating in any way it can, which contributes to more pain down the road.

So the reason I tried this was partially from curiosity, but also from the fact that I was suffering from a heel spur. So I signed up for about 5 treatments (each one is about 100$, but I got 5 for 400$.

The treatment consists of the therapist testing my various ranges of motion. Because my pain was in my foot, he started with my foot. Then he presses (quite hard) in different areas of my body that is connected with the pain you are feeling. The premise is to activate the muscles that have decided to be lazy so they will start functioning like they should.

I can tell you that the some spots were extremely painful (the back of my legs (calves) and in my crotch area. Some were moderately painful (my toes) and diaphragm and some didn't hurt at all.

So it turns out that I couldn't rotate my left leg within the hip socket. I have very restricted movement in my ankles and toes. When I did move them, I moved them by plantarflexion and through the knee, which is bad.

After two sessions, I have increased mobility in my ankle and increased strength in my toes, particularly my big toe. I can also rotate my left leg in the socket. My heel spur is almost gone and really only hurts when I wear shoes. Probably because the shoes that I was wearing corrected (and thus contributed to certain muscles being lazy) some of my problems in the foot area. I also feel like walking and running up stairs is much easier. Another thing is my neck is more loose and relaxed now and he hasn't even touched my neck. What is really interesting to me is that a lot of these problems were apparent in yoga when I couldn't achieve a pose.

My therapist (Alan Thrasher) actually has cerebral palsy and was able to learn how to walk using MAT, after he was told by doctors that he would never walk. Also, he is a para-athlete and will be competing for Canada in London 2012.

He is going to look at my spine and torso this Friday. I'll let you know how it turns out.

As an aside, Alan also informed me as to why liver shots are so devastating. I'll post that information in another post.
StevenSeagal
11/24/08 8:05:19PM
interesting post. Im going to read up on this. tried to prop, but your prop-o-meter is not accepting them now
mikevolz
11/24/08 9:10:46PM
mens health did a big time article about this.

a lot of the top level athletes are training in either barefoot, or shoes that simulate being barefoot.

a lot of high level runners, nfl athletes, soccer players, rugby players, and any sport that involves running.

weightlifters do it as well, weight lifting shoes tend to have no support, and i dont do squats or any olympic lifts in anything but nike frees.

however, the converse to it is you take more impact on your feet and if your running form is terrible like yours truly, and your running for real long distances you can bring on new problems.
Rush
11/24/08 9:41:07PM

Posted by mikevolz

mens health did a big time article about this.

a lot of the top level athletes are training in either barefoot, or shoes that simulate being barefoot.

a lot of high level runners, nfl athletes, soccer players, rugby players, and any sport that involves running.

weightlifters do it as well, weight lifting shoes tend to have no support, and i dont do squats or any olympic lifts in anything but nike frees.

however, the converse to it is you take more impact on your feet and if your running form is terrible like yours truly, and your running for real long distances you can bring on new problems.




Yeah, the problem is if your body is not functioning properly, you develop injuries and/or chronic pain. So instead of addressing the problem, they get shoes to force their feet into a position to alleviate the pain or reduce further shock. The thing is, it doesn't fix the problem. It's only a band-aid solution.

I know because I discovered that I needed supportive shoes, some with a roll bar in order for me to be able to run long distances without getting tendinitis in my knee or my feet hurting. Now, I am convinced that I will have to buy new shoes after my treatments. They hurt to walk in them now.


Another thing, stay away from flip flops. Those things will destroy your feet. I used to wear a pair (which were quite nice too) and in the beginning I would get pain on the sides of my calves. It was kind of like a stiffness. Eventually it went away. Interestingly, that same area is one of the areas that is getting treated now. I wonder if those flip flops made a significant contribution to my foot problem now.
Omega
11/24/08 11:06:53PM
Yeah, I went through this a few years ago. I wish they had this stuff around when I was fighting.
stock
11/25/08 9:21:09AM

Posted by mikevolz

mens health did a big time article about this.

a lot of the top level athletes are training in either barefoot, or shoes that simulate being barefoot.

a lot of high level runners, nfl athletes, soccer players, rugby players, and any sport that involves running.

weightlifters do it as well, weight lifting shoes tend to have no support, and i dont do squats or any olympic lifts in anything but nike frees.

however, the converse to it is you take more impact on your feet and if your running form is terrible like yours truly, and your running for real long distances you can bring on new problems.



I'm intrigued.
Any chance you could find me a link of the Men's Health article or on any other information.

I have been doing theraputic massages for my back/hip/shoulder problems, and they have helped a lot, but am guessing this could also help me out (albeit at a much more expensive cost).
I wonder if I could use my Healthcare Reimbursement account for this stuff.

On a side note, my calfs are always the most painful part of my theraputic massages. It brings tears to my eyes when they work on them.
The-Don
11/25/08 1:05:11PM
ok what type of doctirs do this or are there certian specilists? how do you find out about this.. I am now highly interested.
Rush
11/25/08 7:13:25PM

Posted by The-Don

ok what type of doctirs do this or are there certian specilists? how do you find out about this.. I am now highly interested.




They are like chiropractors and physical trainers, etc.



I found out about this from a lady that does cranial sacral treatment on me. I went to a seminar to meet the guy that does it. Apparently there are only 20 or so people that do this in Canada.
mikevolz
11/26/08 2:33:10PM

Posted by Rush


Posted by mikevolz

mens health did a big time article about this.

a lot of the top level athletes are training in either barefoot, or shoes that simulate being barefoot.

a lot of high level runners, nfl athletes, soccer players, rugby players, and any sport that involves running.

weightlifters do it as well, weight lifting shoes tend to have no support, and i dont do squats or any olympic lifts in anything but nike frees.

however, the converse to it is you take more impact on your feet and if your running form is terrible like yours truly, and your running for real long distances you can bring on new problems.




Yeah, the problem is if your body is not functioning properly, you develop injuries and/or chronic pain. So instead of addressing the problem, they get shoes to force their feet into a position to alleviate the pain or reduce further shock. The thing is, it doesn't fix the problem. It's only a band-aid solution.

I know because I discovered that I needed supportive shoes, some with a roll bar in order for me to be able to run long distances without getting tendinitis in my knee or my feet hurting. Now, I am convinced that I will have to buy new shoes after my treatments. They hurt to walk in them now.


Another thing, stay away from flip flops. Those things will destroy your feet. I used to wear a pair (which were quite nice too) and in the beginning I would get pain on the sides of my calves. It was kind of like a stiffness. Eventually it went away. Interestingly, that same area is one of the areas that is getting treated now. I wonder if those flip flops made a significant contribution to my foot problem now.



i didn't have a problem with you until you said no flip flops. id seriously consider pushing you into traffic if i had the opportunity.



there's the mens health article i was talking about, its a long read but a good read.

i think its just a fascinating topic, more people training barefoot, ive noticed my shoe size has actually dropped since ive started, so i take that as a good thing.

http://www.menshealth.com/cda/article.do?site=MensHealth&channel=fitness&category=motivation&conitem=3b4b1ca01e91c010VgnVCM10000013281eac____&page=1
Rush
11/26/08 3:59:15PM

Posted by mikevolz

i didn't have a problem with you until you said no flip flops. id seriously consider pushing you into traffic if i had the opportunity.





Look, we both know that flip flops are not good for competitive racewalking. So I think you should just accept the fact that they need to get tossed.
mikevolz
11/26/08 5:06:13PM

Posted by Rush


Posted by mikevolz

i didn't have a problem with you until you said no flip flops. id seriously consider pushing you into traffic if i had the opportunity.





Look, we both know that flip flops are not good for competitive racewalking. So I think you should just accept the fact that they need to get tossed.



flip flops 'center' me.

nothing beats just strolling into training, dropping your flip flops and being ready to go.
The-Don
12/6/08 9:25:48PM
Can anyone post more info about this Muscle Activation Technique???
casey64
12/22/08 11:08:20AM
Interesting post.
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