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.
Our muscles are equipped with sensors responsible for keeping ongoing communication with the nervous system in the same way that a car has a rain sensor. So, when it rains, this sensor in the car detects it and the windshield wiper activates itself. In our body, when the nervous system is constantly receiving information about the condition of the muscles via these sensors in them, the nervous system will have control over the muscles and will use them when needed with the necessary and required tension.
A problem occurs when this communication is interrupted. 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...) are factors that may directly compromise the connection between muscles and the nervous system. This fact will affect the muscle’s ability to function optimally and will modify the adequate control and movement of our body and joints. These circumstances will be the perfect ecosystem for the manifestation of pain, injury, or limitation in athletic performance. MAT® addresses muscle imbalances that cause this situation or helps in the recovery process after pain or injury have occurred.
Not only do our muscles move our joints, but they are also responsible for the proper internal functioning of the joints. If a muscle or a group of them are not functioning properly, they will not be able to manage the joint’s movement properly and this could cause damage to the muscle’s tissue. MAT® makes sure that the muscles functions property so as to avoid potential injuries in the joint and, if an injury has already occurred, MAT® addresses any imbalances that cause the injury and ensures a fast recovery process.
A limitation of a movement will always indicate a deficit in the proper functioning of a muscle or group of muscles. Our nervous system hinders our body’s ability to move and use our joints if it senses imbalances in the muscle or muscles involved in this task. This alteration is caused by stress (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...) that our body experiences. Therefore, when MAT® restores the proper functioning of a muscle or group of muscles, it will undoubtedly improve mobility, strength, control over that particular movement and will avoid potential injuries or pains, and it will ease the recovery process by addressing the cause, a muscle imbalance.
It is a tool that allows us to evaluate analytically the muscle’s ability to contract. MAT® is a therapy based on the systematic application of muscle tests as a way to find out whether a muscle or group of muscles function properly and a way to stimulate a specific muscle when it shows a deficit in its ability to contract. The goal of each one of these tests is to evaluate a specific muscle so that it can be completely isolated and allow us to be precise in determining what happens at any moment. This tool allows us to see whether there is any muscle imbalance that hinders the body’s ability to move and properly control its joints and therefore predisposing it to experience pain, injury o limitation in athletic performance.
Muscle tests are the best way to get rid of weak links because they evaluate all muscles of the body, one by one, to detect and address any present alteration that may cause harm or limitation in the ability to perform athletically. This tool gives us insight into the "why" of all these problems by providing us with information of the "how" a muscle is performing so that we may specifically target and address the particular anomaly once detected.
Even if you train a lot, if there is a weak link, it will become the "strongest" point in your body and it will hinder your athletic performance. Weak links are the result of muscle imbalances occurring in our bodies and they constrain its abilities.
Stress (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...) is the main cause that may alter the proper functioning of our muscles and give rise to the occurrence of weak links. MAT® addresses them to improve the body’s performance and avoid that they produce pain or injury.
We are used to believe that when we feel a muscle tight (muscle contracture) in an area, that the problem resides there, and to solve it we ought to stretch or massage the area. In reality, it is much more complex: our body tensions a muscle more because it cannot properly control another or other muscles. Therefore, when a movement is not properly executed, our body limits that movement by increasing its tension so as to protect it and avoid potential damage. It can also be the case that a muscle is overly tensioned because it is being overused in substitution of another over which our body does not have control. This is called COMPENSATION and it is the origin of muscle contractures, muscle tears, tendinitis...; damages that the overused muscle may experience. Thus, it does not make any sense to stretch or massage the tensioned area if the cause is not resolved. MAT® specifically detects and reinforces the muscle or muscle that is not functioning properly ("weak"), which causes our body to over-tension other muscles (the compensating ones). MAT® address the cause of the problem and avoids potential damage in our muscles and joints, or favors ease of recovery if there is damage present.
Our body is designed to move and our muscles are responsible for this task. If a muscle or muscles experience an imbalance in its function, our body will compensate this by using other muscle or muscles instead to be able to continue moving. This solution is called COMPENSATION.
When we are under stress of any kind (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...), our muscles’ ability to function properly may be affected. This will cause our body to increase the use of some muscles (called compensating muscles) to compensate for those that show imbalances and over which our body has no optimal control. Compensation is an interesting resource that allows our body to continue functioning although losing abilities due to these imbalances but, if it becomes a chronic situation, these imbalances will cause damage in joints, bones, or muscles. Joints that are moved by these compensating muscles will suffer this damage because the tension and work of these compensating muscles are the result of the imbalance of the muscles they are replacing.
An example would be a person who suffered repetitive muscle tears in the same calf. If we understand that the muscle that suffers the injury is the compensating one, there is no treatment to be done on it because the damage is a consequence of the present imbalance and not the problem to be treated.
The solution is to determine what muscles are not functioning optimally, forcing our body to overuse the calf muscle to the point that it suffers tears. From MAT®’s perspective and its approach based on biomechanics to tackle and solve problems in the locomotive system, we take into account the fact that the calf muscle moves and controls the foot and, indirectly, the knee. This technique will detect and address the imbalances in those muscles that cause the calf muscle to overwork and tear. In this way, we will ease recovery of the compensating muscle because the cause of the tear will be resolved and we will avoid it from happening again.
Muscle compensation occurs constantly and may not become a problem in the short term but, if this compensation occurs long term, it may cause pain, injury, or limitation in athletic performance.
Exercising by default is not always healthy. It will depend on the quantity, the condition of the individual, and how it is performed. If a deep weak link is present, more or continued exercise will not eliminate it. MAT® detects and addresses weak links in our muscles so that our body’s functioning is optimized. The body’s condition will improve to be able to exercise with the certainty that it functions properly. Only if there is balance in the proper functioning of the muscles, it is then that exercising will produce positive effects in our body. In any other scenario, exercising will be like tossing a coin in the air because we will never know whether the execution of an exercise will bring positive or negative effects to our physical conditioning.
A "muscled" or "toned" body is the result of a particular training routine in combination with a particular diet. It does not mean, however, that there may be imbalances in the muscles that could predispose the body to experience pain, injury, or limitations in athletic performance. To achieve structural or aesthetic improvements training must truly be intense. The more intense the exercise is, the more stress our muscles suffer. This factor is determinative when imbalances occur and affect the muscle’s proper functioning. MAT® is the ideal tool to address muscle imbalances that may result from demanding training sessions. Additionally, MAT® will optimize the body’s abilities allowing the body to endure much more exigent training sessions and, therefore, obtaining more and better aesthetic changes (hypertrophy, muscle definition...). Thus, this technique can be an ally for those who want to achieve such adaptation in their bodies because it will allow them to exercise at the peak of their abilities and minimizing the risk to experience pain or injury.
There is the belief that stretching may be beneficial before or after a training session because it better prepares the body for the exercise if stretching is done before, or after to recover the muscle from the effort performed. Others believe that stretching is done to improve "flexibility" or joint mobility because trying to be more mobile may achieve benefits for their bodies. And there are still others who believe that stretching relaxes tensed muscles and reduces discomforts associated with excessive muscle tension.
In any case, stretching does not produce those benefits or effects and, in many occasions, may worsen the cause that leads to stretch a muscle and predispose the person to experience pain, injury, or limitation in athletic performance.
Whenever a movement occurs, there are muscles that shorten to be able to accomplish it on one side of the joint axis and, on the other, there are muscles that stretch. A problem occurs when we try to force this movement beyond our body’s ability to carry it out. Our nervous system limits a movement whenever it detects imbalances in the muscles involved in that movement. To that purpose, our nervous system increases tension levels in the muscles that engage in that particular movement to hinder it. These will be the muscles that everyone will want to stretch because they will be more tense than usual. However, this tension is the result of a present imbalance in the body, which behaves in this manner to protect itself against this imbalance. Therefore, stretching will in a way force the elimination of a protective measure put in motion by our body. Without knowing it, we could be predisposing our body to injury, pain, or limitation in athletic performance. Stretching will leave the joint involved unprotected because the movement will not be controlled and, by doing stretches, we will want to force this movement when our nervous system is limiting it precisely because it does not control it. A movement without control is potentially harmful.
When that excessive tension translates into a muscle contracture or muscle overcharge, both symptoms are the best solutions that our body has found to continue moving, based on the current functioning of the body’s muscles. Our muscles may experience imbalances when we are under stress (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...). In this situation, our body will compensate that imbalance of one or several muscles making use of another or other muscles instead. These other muscles will perform the movement for those muscles that do not function properly. As a result, muscle tension in these muscles will increase because they will be overworked. Getting rid of this tension with stretches or massage therapy will bring about temporary relief and not a long-lasting solution because this tension is caused by a muscle imbalance that neither stretching nor massage therapy can resolve. The best way to rid the body of this tension is to detect where the muscle imbalances occur that causes such overwork for the muscle or muscle and to resolve it. In this way, the muscles that are overworked will return to its normal levels of tension once the problem is resolved.
Whether stretching is performed to prepare or relax the body before or after training, to force a movement or to relief a muscle contracture or muscle overcharge will only harm the proper functioning of our body and it will never resolve the causes that limit our mobility (less "flexibility") or what causes a contracture or muscle overcharge.
A better and healthier option to preserve the integrity of our joints and muscles is to perform "SHORTENINGS." Based on the fact that our muscles are responsible for our movement, the idea is to carry out a movement to its limit in the same way we do when stretching but without forcing the movement with our hand, or using a bench or a wall to accomplish it..., just carrying out the movement by itself. We will be doing the same movement and maintaining it for the same period of time as when we stretch but without external help that would force this movement, shortening or lengthening our muscles. In this way, we will work the muscle or muscles up to the point our body allows, with control, without forceful movements, and without reaching risk-creating positions that would leave our joints unprotected.
Muscle soreness is the result of micro tears in the muscles because the muscle has gone beyond its limit to endure physical strain. Therefore, muscle soreness is the manifestation of the fact that we have performed a high intensity training session that has caused reparable damage in the muscle and it cannot be avoided in any way by simply stretching the muscle.
Pain, in the majority of cases, is the consequence that the body’s functioning is improper because there is lack of proper control over the joints by the muscles. The nervous system uses pain to signal a protective measure to avoid damage or as an alarm system when there is tissue inflammation resulting from an imbalance in the joint’s or body’s movement. This protective measure disappears once the nervous system detects that the muscles control the movement and the imbalance in the body’s functioning has been resolved. Thus, it is a waste of time to focus solely on resolving the pain and not on addressing its cause to resolve the imbalance that causes it. MAT® localizes and addresses the cause and resolves the imbalances that gives rise to it. This is accomplished by improving the functions in those muscles previously found to be altered in their ability to contract. In this way, the nervous system is aided in the process of deactivating the protective measure called pain, in the majority of cases.
Pain depends on the brain’s interpretation of the circumstances in which our body finds itself, which is determined by information the brain gathers from sensors scattered all over our body. Based on this, the brain may engage a protective mechanism named pain to avoid damage in a structure or to avoid escalation of it. Our muscles are full of sensory receptors responsible for providing the brain with their status. Therefore, if the brain senses and control our muscles, it will move our body adequately and manage our joints appropriately. A problem occurs when this communication is altered. Stress of any kind (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 interrupt communication between the muscles and the nervous system, causing an alteration in the proper functioning of our body and forcing it to take certain measures: the most immediate would be to limit mobility as a result of the lack of control that our body has over those muscles experiencing imbalances and which are in charge of carrying out this limited movement. Then, our body will compensate this muscle deficit by increasing the tension and workload of other muscle, which could cause muscle strain, overcharges, tears, tendinitis...due to the fact that a muscle or group of muscles will have to overwork to substitute those muscles that the nervous system has no control over. Additionally, our body will use pain to limit our activity until it senses that there is more control over that particular movement and more safety in the management of the joint, regardless of whether there is damage or not. If there is damage, if the muscle imbalance that caused it has been addressed, our nervous system will stop hindering the movement because it will sense more control and it will get rid of the protective mechanism, pain, because it will sense more safety. At the same time, our immune system will repair any potential structural damages that may have happen if those are reversible (muscle teas, ligament distortion, bone inflammation or of the tendons...) without necessity of medications, if the imbalance that cause it has been addressed. Whether we feel pain or not is based on the interpretation that the brain makes regarding the functional status of our body and not just regarding the potential structural damage that may exist. A clear example is a person with a herniated disk: this is the result of an alteration in the proper functioning of the spine muscles that causes damage to the spine’s structure and integrity. Once this damage is done, it is not reversible. However, what caused this damage is indeed reversible: we can address the cause that started the degenerative process with the goal of providing more safety and control to the body so that the protective mechanism, pain, does not occur, in case there was. MAT® is the ideal tool to address muscle imbalances that may lead the brain to activate the protective measure of pain to avoid damage in a structure or to avoid further damage. In case there already is damage, this technique will speed up recovery because it addresses the cause that caused the condition.
When the brain detects that a muscle lacks control over a particular movement, in some cases it may activate a protective mechanism, pain, to prevent us from taking the joint to a position that could potentially produce injury. If we ensure the proper functioning of the muscle via MAT®, the nervous system will exercise control over the movement and will not have to produce pain to protect us from eventual harm.
The use of anti-inflammatory medication is the normal way to "take care" of joint or muscle pain. However, either oral or injectable anti-inflammatory medication are not the best solution to take care of the pain because they attack the symptom and do not address the cause that caused the pain. Only if the cause is resolved, then the pain will go away. Taking anti-inflammatory medications will make the pain go away temporarily while their effect lasts, but since they do not address the cause that produced pain because they do not change the way our body is functioning, the pain will reoccur.
The reason for pain to exist is because it is a manifestation that something is not functioning well and our body uses pain as a protective mechanism to prevent potential damage or to avoid that such a damage increases. Only if we address the cause that pushed our nervous system to produce this situation for pain to manifest itself, then we will be able to address it. Therefore, taking anti-inflammatory medication of any kind will temporarily "cloak" this response of our brain, but it will never prevent from pain manifesting itself again in the majority of cases. The best way to get rid of pain is to address the imbalance present in our body by creating changes in how our body functions to ease the process of eliminating the pain as a protective measure. MAT® allows us to detect and address the circumstances that cause pain, avoiding its reoccurrence. In the case of structural damages, such as in a bone, muscle, or ligament, MAT® addresses the origin of such damage and it accelerates recovery time by enabling our body, by means of its immune system, to repair it more quickly.
There is the belief that a strange or forced movement can be the cause of pain or tension, and we call this to make a bad movement. In reality, what happens is that our body has some limitation in its mobility due to imbalances in the functioning of our muscles, and this causes the occurrence of excessive tension or discomfort as a result of having moved in an unusual manner. Therefore, a bad movement does not exist, it just is the manifestation of a movement over which our nervous system has no control because of imbalances in the proper functioning of the muscles.
The optimal functioning of our muscles is vital to ensure the integrity and health of the various structures that form the joint (bone, ligament, and meniscus...). A muscle is attached to the bone so, if the former is over-tensioned, this excess tension will be transmitted to the latter, which may experience inflammation. This could be the beginning of trochanteritis, periostitis (inflammation of the tissue covering the bone)... The solution is not to treat the bone, but to make sure that the tension it receives from the muscle is adequate. MAT® addresses muscle imbalances that can alter the appropriate level of tension of our muscles in the body.
There are muscles attached to menisci or ligaments and, if the former experience an imbalance, the latter could potentially experience damage. For example, the semimembranosus muscle in the knee helps move the internal, posterior meniscus when the knee bends. If there were any alteration on how the nervous system would control this muscle, this could cause clamping of the meniscus when effectuating the movement or even a partial or complete tear of the meniscus. MAT® ensures the appropriate functioning of our muscles so that the integrity and health of our joints is not compromised. In case of injury, MAT® eases the recovery process because it addresses the muscle imbalances that alter the proper joint movement that caused the condition.
A lot of people use orthopedic insoles because they had a problem where pain occurred: perhaps in the foot itself, knee, hip... or simply because the podiatrist performed a stride study and considered that insoles were indicated because the stride was "inadequate": the person was flatfooted, had a high arch, or was a pronator.
The problem is that our stride can be modified due to imbalances in other areas of our body that hinder it, causing an "apparent" flatfooted condition, a high arch, or a "pronator tendency." When pain occurs and an insole is used to address it, this pain will not be solely caused because of the stride but will be due to some imbalance in the functioning of the body that directly affects our stride. Therefore, instead of using an orthopedic insole, it’s better to evaluate whether our body is able to properly control and move joints and see whether the muscles involved in these tasks do them appropriately. In this way, we would be able to determine whether there is any imbalance that may hinder our stride and symptoms that these insoles pretend to "address." If there are muscle imbalances anywhere in our body, they will affect the movement and control of the joint and, as a result, also our stride and could cause symptoms (pain or injury) not only in the foot, but also in the knee, hip, lumbar area...
It must be considered that the fact that using an orthopedic insole may "address" the symptoms that occurred before using it, it will never address the cause of the pain because the insole does not affect any change in the body’s and muscles’ ability to move our joints adequately. Entirely the opposite happens, using this insole may "address" the symptom that led to its use, but when it limits a particular movement, the body will be forced to compensate for this movement by increasing it somewhere else, and the body could transfer the problem to another part of the body. For example, if we have been diagnosed with a pronator foot, an insole will be used to prevent our foot arch to deepen, but preventing this movement will not mean that our body will try to perform it every time we stride. This will cause that the knee could experience more stress than needed with our stride or even more stress if we are running and, in the short term, we will start experiencing symptoms in that joint.
It could also happen that, in a stride study, we carry more of our body weight on the right foot because of an imbalance of the muscles that control the left leg. This causes that our body overworks our right leg to walk and carries more body weight in that extremity. In this situation, using an insole to "balance" the distribution of body weight on both feet will be completely inadequate. The crux of the matter is the present malfunction in the left leg that forces our body to overuse the right leg and that’s why our body shifts more body weight to that extremity. The best way to accomplish equal distribution of body weight will be reinforcing the muscles that control the left leg. MAT® is the best means to address muscle imbalances that may alter the proper control and movement of the joints and cause an "inadequate" stride or symptoms related to it. In this way, we will avoid the use of insoles or their potential collateral damage resulting from their use on the functioning of the rest of our body.
Individuals generally use abdominal girdles to avoid lumbar pain or to help in ameliorating their posture. At any rate, this use may create more detriments than benefits in our back’s health and in the integrity of its joints.
Both lumbar pain and bad posture are the result of muscle imbalances that control our spine. Therefore, the use of an abdominal girdle is of very little use to address either of those two circumstances if we can produce changes over our body’s functioning and our muscles to address them. Additionally, the use of this device worsens either of those two situations, which it created, because it inhibits the muscles’ activity when moving and protecting our back. So, what beforehand seemed to be a solution is in reality a problem that makes the situation chronic because the girdle weakens even more the spine’s muscles, whose malfunction is the cause of both circumstances.
The best way to address both situations is to reinforce specific muscles that cause the imbalances instead of inhibiting even more their functioning by the use of an abdominal girdle. MAT® stimulates specific muscles in our spine and avoids the use of a girdle and all its negative effects in our back health that results from its use.
Our muscles are attached to the bones via tendons. Tendons are like very resilient ropes responsible for pulling our bone structure to move it and allow mobility in our body. If a tendon is over-tensioned by the muscle where it is attached, this tension is transmitted to the bone where it is inserted. If this situation lasts in time, inflammation in the bone can develop. In this case, treating the inflammation would be addressing part of the problem because it was caused as a result of the tendon’s over-tension state on the bone. The best way to manage this situation is to address the cause so that, once resolved, the body’s immune system will reduce and cure the inflammation. A good example is trochanteritis: inflammation of the trochanter major can be the result of the over-tension of the muscles inserted in this bone, such as the medial gluteus, the minor... If we only focus on alleviating this symptom, we will not address it completely. The definite solution is to detect where the muscle imbalance is in the body that causes these symptoms and fully address it. In this way, our own body, once that bone is receiving ideal levels of tension, will heal the inflammation by itself.
MAT® detects and address muscle imbalances that cause this imbalance in tensions that could create damage in our bone structure.
Back pain is more related to imbalances of the muscles that properly control and move our spine than to the presence of a herniated disk. Occasionally, our nervous system shields ourselves from the lack of movement control producing pain. So, if we bend over and it detects that our muscles are not properly managing this movement, the nervous system will produce tension in excess to prevent us from completing the movement and, if the muscle imbalance lasts in time, the nervous system will produce pain as a protective mechanism to avoid damages to our structure. A herniated disk is just the consequence of a bad functioning of the spine joints, which our muscles improperly managed for a certain amount of time, and this has caused our spinal disks to degenerate excessively. Therefore, if there is pain, this will be primarily related to a chronic, muscle imbalance that has already caused an alteration in the structure (a herniated disk) and not so much with the injury itself. The muscle imbalance was what caused both the herniated disk and the pain, which is mostly unrelated to the intervertebral disk because this pain is more the result of how our nervous system perceives how control how the movement is exercised based on the ability of the muscles that carry it out.
If pain were only the result of the herniated disk, it would be constant and would not change under any circumstance. There are individuals with herniated disks who do not experience any permanent or constant pain, but a pain that varies in intensity depending on what movements are performed, if they are tired, if they have carried a lot of weight, if they have crunched down a lot, if they have spent a lot of time sitting down... These are all signals that indicate an alteration in the proper functioning of the muscles.
For people with or without herniated disks that experience back pain, the solution is the same: address the improper functioning of the muscles that caused this situation. MAT® is the ideal tool to address muscle imbalances that alter the movement and control of our spine and could potentially cause a herniated disk and pain associated to this chronic, muscle imbalance.
In normal conditions, the movement of a joint (a bone attached to a bone by means of a joint) produces a uniform and adequate wear on the tissues. The problem occurs when this wear is excessive, giving rise to arthrosis. Obviously, the pass of time and the resulting degenerative process is a factor, but it is not the only one and not the most determinant. Other factors are 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...; psychological: traumatic shock, psychiatric pathologies, depressive state); or trauma (surgery, sequelae from a bump/hit).
The main role of the muscles is to move and control the joint and, through them, to move the bone in space and allow our movements. They are also responsible for an adequate, internal movement of the joint so that wear is proper for the health of the tissue. If there is any alteration in the muscle function, this will change the proper movement of the joint and could potentially accelerate normal wear. This is what causes arthrosis, and it can happen to anyone of any age, although with more age a body will have had more opportunities to experience muscle imbalances that may have led to excessive wear of the joint tissues. However, the pass of time is not a determining factor because a person with a certain age should have this problem in all joints of his/her body and arthrosis usually occurs in a hip, a knee... and this indicates that this particular area has experienced more wear as a result of a chronic muscle imbalance.
Once arthrosis appears, it is not reversible, but its cause is, which is the alteration in the proper functioning of the involved muscles that produces excessive wear in the joint tissues. Therefore, to avoid its progression and improve our quality of life, we ought to address the imbalances causing the arthrosis. MAT® stops the progression of the arthrosis by stimulating specific muscles to ensure that the control and movement of the joints is adequate, and this will avoid internal, excessive wear that could further damage the joint tissues.
There is the belief that pain is only experienced by people of certain age. In reality, pain is more directly related to 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...; psychological: traumatic shock, psychiatric pathologies, depressive state); or trauma (surgery, sequelae from a bump/hit) the body experiences than the result of aging. These factors alter the abilities of our organism, via our muscles, to be able to adequately control the movement of our joints. So, both a young and a senior individual can experience pain because, if the former exercises strenuously, he could cause imbalances manifesting in pain, and if the pain becomes chronic, damages in his muscle or joint structure could appear. MAT® ensures the proper functioning of our body and avoids the occurrence of these problems because it addresses the cause that produces them. In case that these problems exist, MAT® facilities ease in the recovery process.
Exercising by default by using weight machines, free weights, or any other type of exercise (Pilates, yoga...) does not ensure the proper functioning of our muscles and does not address any weak links present in our muscles. If the nervous system does not have proper control over a muscle or group of muscles, it will not be able to contract them when needed and will use other muscles instead. Our body will find the best way to continue performing movements by substituting those muscles that malfunction for others that may perform the same task in the movement. Therefore, generic exercises will not address weak links; instead, they will most likely increase the gap between those muscles being overworked and the others that show malfunction. This fact can worsen the pain and the current muscle imbalance. Only by evaluating the involved muscles individually, we will be able to detect and address this muscle malfunction that causes pain, injury or that limits athletic performance. MAT® is the ideal technique to check the ability of contraction of each muscle and allows to address potential anomalies that are detected with the available tools.
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.
To believe that we will be able to get rid of back pain practicing swimming is illusory in the majority of cases. Pain is the manifestation that something is not functioning properly and is the result of muscle imbalances that alter our body’s ability to move and adequately control our joints. If those imbalances are not specifically addressed, we will not be able to improve the functioning of our body and avoid the occurrence of pain due to muscle overcharge or excessive tension. If the nervous system does not have an adequate control over a muscle or group of muscles, it will not be able to contract them when needed and will use others instead. Therefore, generic exercise like swimming will not get rid of weak links. A generic exercise will probably increase even more the gap between those muscles that are overworking because they are overused and others that will show imbalances. This fact can even worsen the pain and the present imbalance. MAT® detects and addresses weak links and optimizes the functioning of our body avoiding the occurrence of muscle overcharges or pain. When a client already experiences pain or any other symptom, MAT® will help in a fast recovery process.
Doing generic exercises does not guarantee that our muscle’s functioning will be optimal and does not address potential weak links that are present and may hinder how our body manages our movement and joints. If our nervous system does not have proper control over a muscle or group of muscles, it will not be able to contract them when needed and it will utilize other muscles instead. The best way that our body will find a way to continue moving is by substituting those muscles not functioning properly for others that can perform the same task of movement. Thus, doing crunches will not get rid of weak links; instead, it will probably increase the performance gap between those muscles that are overworking because they are overused and those that show imbalances. This fact could even increase lumbar pain. In this situation, the best solution is to localize where the imbalance is and address it because for a lot of people with lumbar pain doing crunches may worsen it. MAT® would detect and address the cause thus avoiding excessive tension or muscle overcharge in the lumbar area.
Posture is the result of how the nervous system controls the body of a person. It is easy to understand that when we experience fatigue, our posture will be affected by it, and that, once we are rested, our posture will improve. A problem arises when this posture is maintained repetitively for a prolonged period of time, be this days, weeks, or years, causing built up stress on our body and directly affecting the proper functioning of our muscles. With the pass of time, our posture may worsen depending on the functional state of our muscles. And it is impossible to change our posture by thinking to "straighten" our back or by walking "straight." The only permanent, lasting, and safe way to improve it is to increase the functioning ability of the muscles that modifies or alters our posture. In this way, we will not have to think to walk "straight" because our body, having more muscle control of the movement and position of our joints, will be able to straighten itself up. Thus, the common saying that as we age we shorten in height will lose its meaning because a body with its muscles in optimal condition will be able to keep a proper posture without effort, avoiding the loss of height with the pass of time. MAT® is the ideal tool to assure the proper functioning of the muscle to improve and maintain an optimal posture despite the pass of time.
If we equate our body to a machine consisting of levers (bones) that are moved by muscles, we realize that the explanation for pain, in most cases, is very simple. If a knee hurts when running, could it be possible that the foot, when hitting the ground, is unable to absorb the impact of our body with the ground and it overcharges the knee? If my neck muscles get sore after sitting down for a number of hours, could it be possible that the muscles keeping me straighten up may not be functioning well and this is what causes an alteration in my posture, forcing my cervical muscles to overwork and that’s why I feel the tension?
Biomechanics allow us to explain many situations that happen to our body and we are fortunate to have a tool based in its principles to address those imbalances in our body: MAT®.