It is the most advanced technical process of MAT®, only within reach of the most experienced specialists and with a higher formative level required. MATRx® solves the cause of the pain, injury or limitation in athletic performance by applying an all-encompassing treatment on the entire body in a systematic way, which makes muscle groups improve their tolerance for stress.
- Stress of any kind (mechanical: movement repetition, fixed body position for long periods of time, exercise, built up fatigue...; chemically induced: poor nutrition, dehydration, sensitivity or allergy to a certain food item...; emotional: traumatic shock, depressive state); or trauma (surgery, sequelae from a bump/hit) are the causes making a muscle or group of muscles stop behaving correctly. This imbalance will negatively modify the articular movement and the capacity of our body to move appropriately.
- In this way, MATRx® catalyzes the effects of MAT® by "vaccinating" the muscles against stress. Therefore, if a muscle group is more capable of tolerating stress, it will not suffer imbalances despite of it and, as a result, there will not be opportunities for the body to suffer alterations in movement ability or impaired control over articulations leading to pain, injury or limitation in athletic performance. And, if some of these problems have already occurred, this therapy will allow recovery much faster and efficiently.
MATRx® is the future of MAT® and it is used at Gamma Bcn Activación Muscular by Carlos Garcia, one of the first specialists in the world.
Stress of any type (mechanical: maintaining the same posture for a prolonged period of time, exercise, repetition of a movement, built up fatigue...; chemical: poor nutrition, dehydration, food intolerances...; psychological: emotional shock, psychiatric pathologies, depressive conditions ...); or trauma (sequelae from a bump/hit, surgery...); may cause problems for the proper functioning of our muscles. Our nervous system controls our muscles via sensory receptors located in the muscles that are responsible for maintaining constant communication between the muscles and our bodies. If this is the case, the body’s functioning will be optimal, and there will be control over movements, joints, and adequate tension levels in our body’s muscles. An alteration in this communication will force the nervous system to find solutions for the lack of control over a muscle or a group of muscles. The first manifestation of this imbalance is the limitation in the movement of the joints. This occurs due to the lack of control over the joint as a result of the alteration in the function of the muscles that move this particular joint. If our body does not carry out a movement correctly, it will limit it to prevent us from suffering pain or injury. There will also be increased tension in the muscle or muscles involved. The nervous system will compensate the imbalance in a muscle or muscles by increasing tension in other muscles that will be overused in an effort to replace the functioning of those not doing it properly. If this imbalance continues over time, damage could occur in the muscle or muscles (cramps, tendinitis, muscle tears...) or in the joints (meniscal tears, in the ligaments, a herniated disk...).
MAT® is the ideal tool to reestablish communication between the muscles and the nervous system. It will restore the proper functioning of the body and avoid the occurrence of pain or injury, or it alternatively will ease the recovery process in case pain or injury are present.
This process was born from the experience and study, for over 20 years, in the application and practice of MAT® ((MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES) by Greg Roskopf, creator and developer of this therapy. MATRx® is the evolution of this technique and potentiates even more the benefits that Muscle Activation Techniques may offer to improve overall health and athletic performance. In other words it is a new application of the principles upon which MAT® is based, refining, improving, and making more precise its technical implementation to make a tool already powerful in itself greater in its potential.
The abbreviation Rx means Prescriptive Rules, and they relate to the prescription of a treatment by a doctor. In reality, they refer to the fact that this process is based upon the accomplishment of a closed protocol, as if it were a medical prescription.
MATRx® operates based on patterns of movement. In our body, we have a total of 43 patterns of movement. Each one of them engages a group of muscles. All muscles that belong to the same group share the same function when they move and control a joint, that is, they share the same pattern of movement. Among them, there is a hierarchical relationship and they need to be worked on in a particular order. From this concept was born Rx (Prescription Rules) tied to MAT®, because it is based on this technique’s principles to optimize the functioning of the muscles of the body but, when it is applied, it follows a prescriptive set of rules in the order and hierarchical relationship established by the patterns of movement.
The nervous system contracts the muscles in groups and according to these patterns, so when movement is needed, it utilizes a group of muscles perfectly synchronized with the goal to control the movement of the body and its joints. Making sure that this process occurs adequately is vital to avoid pain, injuries, o limitations in athletic performance. And this is MATRx® goal and the goal of its systematic application. In this way, MATRx® intends to work on all body’s muscles with the goal of making them more stress-resistant and to avoid that stress may provoke muscle imbalances that may cause problems in the locomotor system. The differentiating element of this process is the introduction of the specific stress during treatment. This technique pretends to "inoculate" the muscles against stress so that it does not alter the muscles’ functioning and make our body susceptible to damage. In case that damage has already occurred, MATRx® will ease the recovery process and time because it will quickly eliminate the imbalances causing this damage.
MATRx® is applied based on patterns of movements and muscle groups that effectuate them, following a hierarchy and established order when working on them, with a total of 43 for the entire body. A MATRx® session will entail the following steps:
ASSESSMENT OF PATTERNS OF MOVEMENT: Should it be the first MATRx® session, the specialist will from the outset start working on the first pattern of movement. If the client has had some sessions already, the therapist will evaluate those patterns previously treated by means of specific muscle tests of those muscles involved in keeping that particular pattern working optimally. If there is any imbalance in any pattern, therapy needs to be repeated. If all patterns work properly, the next pattern according to the pre-established order will be visited and worked on.
APPLICATION OF SPECIFIC STRESS: Once the specialist finds the pattern to be worked on, he will effectuate its specific stress. The goal is to increase the ability of the muscles in that pattern to tolerate stress. That way, when the body is under that particular stress, it will be able to manage it without creating imbalances in the proper functioning of the muscles.
WORK OF THE SPECIFIC PATTERN OF MOVEMENT: once the specific stress is done, the specialist will stimulate all the muscles involved in that pattern both manually and with specific reinforcement exercises. Then the stress process and manual stimulation will be repeated until, after effectuating the specific stress, the muscles in that pattern have the ability to respond and contract. This fact will ensure that when the body is under any type of stress, it will be able to endure it and it will therefore be more difficult to have imbalances that may predispose the body to suffer any problem. In case there is already damage or pain, this therapy will allow to overcome them more efficiently and rapidly.
This technique reached Spain in 2007 and, since then, the number of certified practitioners has steadily increased yearly. Some have educated themselves in the MAT® headquarters in Denver (Colorado), and others have done it in Spain under the guidance of U.S.A. authorized instructors. Only those specialists certified in MAT® possess the genuine, official expertise in such a therapy. Therapists who claim to have the same expertise in techniques that pretend to address muscle imbalances and call themselves specialists in Muscle Activation under a name or nomenclature different from MAT® are NOT trustworthy. Only professionals under the MAT® nomenclature and with official Certification issued in the United States can be considered Specialists in Muscle Activation Techniques – MAT® (MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES).
There are different levels of expertise among specialists. In Spain, there are specialists, therapists with Master level and those certified in MATRx®, the highest level of expertise in this technique and only within reach of those professions with substantial expertise and experience.
Gamma Bcn Activación Muscular has Carlos García, one of the first specialists in Spain and Europe, Master level in MAT® and MARTx Certified, one of the first in the world in achieving this certification. Although he has the highest level of expertise in MAT®, he continues traveling to the U.S. to advance his education to be able to offer the best to those who need his help.
There is the belief that certain athletic activities may be harmful for our body and they must be avoided from certain age onwards. Everything is questionable. If our body is functioning optimally and its muscles are able to endure the stress involved in a particular athletic activity (running, soccer playing, tennis...), it should not be a problem to practice it. Therefore, it is very important to know how our body is functioning at the muscle level and how to improve its abilities, without the risk of experiencing an injury or pain. MAT® is the ideal tool to be able to evaluate the functioning of the muscles and address potential imbalances so that the body is optimized. In its advanced version, MATRx® gets the muscles ready to endure stress so that engaging in certain activities that beforehand could be harsh to our joints will be fine in the majority of situations.
About a year ago, I contacted Carlos through a friend who was being treated with MAT®. I had heard of this technique as means for recovery but I did not know anyone who would apply it as the sole method for recovery. As a patient myself, I had undergone other treatments (massage therapy, osteopathy, fascia stretching, unblocking of the spine area...) to improve the tendency of having muscle cramps in my neck and back without any true success and, as a result, I decided to entrust myself to Carlos and experience MAT® first hand. I was surprised by the "simplicity" of the technique itself but that it required a deep understanding and thorough knowledge of muscle structures in the body that requires substantial education in that regard. As weeks passed by, I experienced improvement in the areas of pain, both in my muscle cramps and a pyramidal syndrome I suffered, and a certain stiffness in one shoulder at the scapulothoracic and glenohumeral level, sequelae of a glenohumeral luxation with trochiter fracture I suffered 15 years ago.
I decided to refer some of my patients with various etiologies, back pain with or without structural alterations of the spine, joint stiffness, muscle injuries... and I can say that the outcomes were very satisfactory.
This is a virtually non-aggressive technique that accomplishes neuromuscular activation and as a result muscle balance in the body, and as any treatment of this kind, it needs continuity for a period of time to accomplish the desired results, a period of time that varies depending on the pathology to be treated.
My impression as a patient and health professional is very positive and I currently recommend this rehabilitative technique to patients I think they need it, embracing a wide range of muscle-skeletal pathologies.
When I met Carlos, about 5 years ago, my limitation in mobility was extreme, with lumbar pain, pain in my glutes and hips resulting from years of practicing sports without optimal muscle conditioning, and wearing a corset every time I went out bicycling to avoid lumbar pain.
When I first started treatment with MAT®, every day was a different feeling. Some days I improved a lot and others, not that much. But my persistence paid off and, after several months of treatment, the lumbar pain improved to the point that it almost disappeared whereas my glutes and hip kept gradually improving.
I currently work with Carlos and the application of MATRx® in accomplishing a holistic improvement of my body that allows me to train 3 times a week, achieving improvements each week.
I learned about MAT® through a medical doctor who had received treatment due to his shoulder pain. In my situation, I had gone many years with recurring back pain and, in a few months, I noticed that those pains were reduced and my posture improved thanks to the muscle reinforcement I did with MAT® for my back. The advantage with MAT® is that it deals with the root of the problem and, as a result, the results persist and become permanent with the pass of time.
Using MATRx® in my treatment has allowed me to solidify the proper functioning of my muscle groups because it improves tolerance to stress. Since then, any aches and pains have completely disappeared.
Carlos is a great professional with a lot of experience and a great knowledge and expertise in this field who still has to be more known in years to come.