Why choose Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy (MAT) over other types of therapy?
The Foundations of MAT
The breakthrough Myoskeletal Alignment Technique (MAT) system brings together influential schools of thought that approach the human body from a holistic perspective, working with the reciprocal relationship between mind and body, structure and function.
Vladimir Janda was a European physician in the early and middle twentieth century. He was one of the first medical doctors to approach treatment of pain and musculoskeletal dysfunction with manual therapy and corrective movement.
His 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, professionals 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.
The foundation of Western medicine includes Osteopathy, an approach to medical care based on respect for the body’s inherent ability to self-heal. Doctors of Osteopathy are trained in manual therapy techniques and natural remedies that they use first—before surgery or medication.
Key principles of Osteopathy are part 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.
Developed by Ida Rolf in the early 1900’s, Rolfing is an approach to therapeutic bodywork that focuses on working with the body’s connective tissues. Appropriate posture and ultimately function are understood as arising from an appropriate balance between the body’s relationship to gravity and the earth.
Key ideas from Rolfing that influence MAT:
- 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
What Myoskeletal Therapy does for your clients:
- 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.
I am so grateful that I found Mark! I moved her from San Francisco, and I didn't think I would find someone who could help me with my sports injuries.
Hi Mark, your treatment today was amazing!! I feel a whole new level of overall physical awareness and function in my body and right shoulder.