Muscle Activation Brighton™️ Getting to the root of pain and muscle tightness.
Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) in Brighton UK
Greg Roskopf's Muscle Activation Techniques® is a non-medical hands on form of manual therapy designed to evaluate and treat muscular imbalances (not to be mistaken for Muscle Activation "Therapy" or any other spin off "Muscle Activation Techniques" or treatments that exist in the U.K). Clients remain fully clothed during sessions.
Muscle Activation Techniques® gets to the root cause of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness.
This helps to restore normal muscle function and body alignment, thereby decreasing pain, reducing muscle stiffness, reducing your risk of injury and improving your physical performance and fat burning potential.
Here's a short video by the owner and developer of the original Muscle Activation Techniques®, Greg Roskopf, explaining the principles behind MAT®:
"I've tried lots of physio and massage therapy to get me back to 'normal' but nothing so far has helped. The [MAT] treatment was so much more effective in such a short space of time that I now feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. By the end of two treatments my legs were the same length and my stability was much greater."*
You're only as strong as your weakest link.
"Muscle activation" refers to the process of 'jumpstarting' the muscles. The goal of Muscle Activation Techniques® is to identify the positions of weakness and the muscles that are inhibited and then to activate these muscles - basically switching them back on.
Watch how Anna's glutes were initially inhibited and then after 10 minutes of Muscle Activation Techniques® they now fire fully:
For a more simplistic approach to understand muscle function, compare the body to a car. The initiation of a muscle contraction occurs similarly to the way a battery initiates the starting of a car. Both rely on connections that transfer electrical energy to produce a reaction.
The nerves that run from the spinal cord to the muscle are just like the cables that run from the ignition to the battery.
When the key is turned in the ignition, the impulses transfer through the cables to the battery allowing the car to start. Similarly in the body, when a message is sent from the brain, the input is transferred through the nerves to the muscles creating muscle contraction. Each muscle is independently innervated, therefore it can be seen as having many batteries, each connected by its own independent cables. When the body is functioning properly, with all batteries connected, each muscle will contract on demand and the body will function very efficiently.
Many times, due to factors such as stress, trauma or overuse, the neurological connections may become altered, creating a reaction in the body similar to that of loose battery cables in your car. When the brain sends a message for a muscle to contract, the muscle does not respond immediately, creating increased demand on other muscles to perform the desired movement.
The result becomes what we know as compensation.
Over time, these compensation patterns create altered alignment in the joints, leading to joint instability and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. The end result becomes pain and eventually osteoarthritis. This progressive degeneration has been correlated with aging. If identified and properly addressed, it does not have to occur and with MAT® we can reverse this degenerative ageing process.
Hip function 'before' and 'after' comparison - 4 muscles treated (took approx. 15 mins).
Think of pain as your check engine light. It is signalling to you that something is wrong in your system. It is not telling you what the exact problem is; the site of pain doesn't necessarily indicate where the problem is. So the pain is just an indicator that there is a problem just like the check engine light on your car is indicating there's a problem with your engine that needs to be addressed ASAP before more damage occurs.
Why do we view pain as an annoying and irritating inconvenience, taking pain killers etc instead of taking it seriously, respecting our system and calling a specialist to assess and diagnose the system to restore it to optimal function?
As Muscle Activation Techniques® Specialists, we diagnose your muscular system to get to the root cause of the pain just like a mechanic runs a diagnostics check on your engine to find out why the check engine light came on.
While most therapies focus on treating the muscles with tension and/or pain, MAT® gets to the root of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness.
MAT® views muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body.
Weak or inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to tighten up in order to help protect and stabilize the joints. The goal of Muscle Activation Techniques® is to identify the inhibited or weak muscles that are creating a protective response and then 'jumpstart' these muscles in order to improve their ability to contract.
If the tight muscles are stretched or massaged without addressing the root cause (i.e. the inhibited or weak muscles) then we may have violated the body's own protective mechanism. We must know that when we increase range of motion through modalities like stretching or massage, that there is also stability through that increased range. Muscle Activation Techniques® provides the checks and balances system to make sure that this happens. That is why MAT® is a great adjunct to all forms of exercise and therapy.
Time lapse of an MAT® treatment with Ryan Phillips - left side shoulder limitation resolved.
MAT® can slow down or even reverse the aging process.
Muscles are responsible for moving bones and holding bones in proper alignment. So if it is recognised that muscles are designed to stabilise and support the joints naturally, it must be understood that arthritic conditions and joint instability can be helped or prevented when muscles are prepared to function properly.
All that is needed is to create proper connections between the brain and the muscles.
Muscle Activation Techniques® does this. It provides the ability for the body to function the way that it was designed to function. Just like with a dead battery, the muscles must be jumpstarted and the cables must be tightened before the muscle will function properly. In simplistic terms, through Muscle Activation Techniques®, muscles that have improper neurological connections are identified, then jumpstarted, creating the ability for the muscles to stabilise the joints and reduce joint stresses that lead to arthritic conditions. That is when the body becomes efficient and the associated aches and pains are deterred.
Another issue that results from when muscles are not contracting properly is that they don't "burn" fuel optimally.
Glucose uptake is solely dependent upon muscle contraction
In other words, if your muscles are not contracting optimally then you won't be burning through as much fuel and this will have a negative effect on your fat loss attempts even if you're training hard and eating a healthy diet.
Ryan Phillips is one of only two other fully certified Muscle Activation Techniques® Specialists in the UK and the only MAT® Specialist in Brighton and the South Coast of England. Clients frequently travel from neighbouring counties (and countries) to gain access to Ryan's expertise. Ryan has the specialised knowledge, skills and tools to assess you from head to toe, checking every muscle and joint in your body to identify any areas of muscle dysfunction you may have. Then by performing specific low level isometric contractions and/or by using digital force application techniques (precise manual palpations) to the weak muscles, the muscles can be "jumpstarted" switching them on again thus immediately improving your strength, motion of your joints and eliminating muscle tightness and pain.
Interested in a programme of isometrics to activate your muscles that you can do at home? Click here.
Listen to Ryan on the Karl Morris podcast:
Mobility without stability = vulnerability.
"I'm a keen golfer, playing currently off 20.7. I used to continually revert to the exact same numerous 'swing faults' every season. Ryan and I started to work on MAT... After 3 of circa 5 reactivation sessions, I feel like I have a new body and my swing is now very stable and orthodox."*
"I went to see a Physio I was in constant pain, despite stretching out my muscles before and after every run. The Physio said that I was very close to snapping my Achilles and treated me with a combination of massage, ultrasound and stretching exercises. My symptoms of pain and tightness just seemed to be getting progressively worse. Eventually I had to stop my running, due to the pain becoming unbearable. I booked a Muscle Activation Technique session with Ryan and within this first session I noticed some improvements. I've been able to get back to my running at least 3 times a week and can now do so, not only completely without pain but for longer, 50 minutes at a time instead of 30!"*
"I found my range of motion was very restricted and my body lacked stability during the golf swing. I found MAT very beneficial as it addresses the joint instability and weakness. As a result, my torso rotation improved ie I could swing more freely compared to before which gave me greater swing consistency and greater joint stability adding power which enabled me to hit one club longer."*
"During this difficult 9 months i had seen physiotherapists (both private and NHS), received treatment from an osteopath, been scanned by an orthopedic specialist, had acupuncture treatment and also seen an occupational health advisor all of whom failed to diagnose and successfully treat my problem. I had developed serious sciatic symptoms down through the legs and had totally lost faith in the advice i had been given. Since our first session of MAT i have not looked back. Im on the cusp of returning back to full duty now and i have a lot to thank Ryan for."*
"I've had bad posture for years due to my office job and this has taken its toll on my back. Pain and stiffness in the lower, middle and upper parts of my back and despite stretching and massage, the tightness always comes back. Ryan proved to me how the stretching was actually making my back muscles weaker and he got to work on activating all my weak muscles. I can honestly say that now my posture is much better, I can stand up straight with little effort and I actually feel taller."*
You're only as good as the motion you can control.
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