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Muscle Activation Technique: What is it and how does it work?

Today's article features a guest post by our newest PAC member, Rachael, who is a licensed massage therapist and MAT instructor.

Hello, All!

I have been riding my bike up this great hill, and bypassing Hampton or Kingshighway several times and have always been curious about this space.

After my ACL repair last year, it became clear that I needed to seek assistance to obtain what I wanted athletically. I am stoked that I reached out for the coaching and accountability and really appreciate you all for making this first-time endeavor being coached an easy choice and welcoming me into this space.

My path changed in 2003. As a trainer, I wanted to be able to help more when a client would be suffering with a muscle or joint issue. I just got fixated on what I could do, in my scope of practice, when the issues was not resolved with a stretch or time off, other than refer out for a shot of cortisone or PT prescription.

Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) provides me with the tools to address the muscle issues that result in over training, or poor muscle recruitment and can ensure optimal muscle function and decrease injury downtime.

It became obvious to me that-motion is only as good as the motion You can control.

It is simple.

Muscles move the bones.

Inflexibility IS muscle inability.

Therefore, tightness is secondary to Weakness.

There is a conversation, between the brain and the muscles, known as the neuromuscular. The neuromuscular conversation can become hampered by inflammation, injury, or stress in any form.

The clarity of the conversation is as important as understanding where the gym is before you start to workout. How can you start if you can’t show up?

When the muscles are not engaged, they can’t be counted on to control and produce optimal and safe motion and this leads to compensations in your motion.

Don’t get me wrong, compensations, and the ability to compensate are good, they keep you safe. The key is to address the short-term fix so that you can ensure working out at your highest functioning capability and not create a long-term adaptation.

A compensation pattern that becomes established results in tendonitis, pulled muscles, sprains, general and local inflammation, tightness, trigger points, or bones out of alignment favoring the overworking muscles.

My practice empowers my clients with seamless motion, free from muscular and joint issues by fine tuning the neuromuscular system. The treatments identify and correct muscle weaknesses and imbalances creating more stability, mobility and strength.

My end goal is to flip the script from “How do I do this so it does not hurt” to fully enjoy being active and functioning, where the only concern is “When can I workout/bike/run/swim/hike/ next?”.

If you’d like to learn more, go to my website, or And feel free to reach out also, I will no doubt be around.


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