My story with MAT
I first learned about Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) in 2001, when I met Greg Roskopf (the developer of MAT). At the time, I had been suffering with extreme knee pain and plantar fasciitis for several years. I unknowingly had been beating up my joints and body teaching group exercise classes and playing several competitive sports. I had tried everything I knew to alleviate the pain, but finally visited an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to do a lateral release on my IT band. He said that my patella was tracking laterally, and the only way to fix it was to cut my iliotibial-band to release the tension on my knee. I was still in my 20s, and wanted to avoid surgery if possible. Greg had just started the first MAT internship program in Denver, and I was willing to try anything at that point. The first time I got a MAT treatment, I got off the table and was able to squat down with no knee pain for the first time in years. I turned around and said to him "what kind of voodoo is this, as I have tried just about everything out there for my knee pain?" I asked (more like begged) Greg if I could be a part of his second internship program in the fall of 2001. I knew this was a missing link in my skillset and training practice, as every client I worked with seemed to have some kind of pain or tightness that we had to work around. This would alway result in limited results and decreased consistency. I never had knee surgery and no longer have constant knee pain, even though I don't have much cartilage left. I later went to a different orthopedic for X-rays and my patella was tracking normally with no one ever directly manipulating it. It showed me visibly how getting the muscles contracting better will affect joint alignment, stability and function.
I am extremely passionate about helping clients function better for life. It is important to understand what the current state of one's physiology is before adding more stress to their body in the form of exercise. I have found that most people quit exercise programs due to injuries caused by those very programs deemed to be the cure-all. Exercise is a stress that involves forces being placed on the body. If these forces exceed tolerance levels of the muscles, then the inflammatory issues will escalate. The end result is increased inflammation, which is the primary factor behind disease. In the right environment, inflammation is not a bad thing. It is when the inflammatory response does not get resolved that problems will arise. MAT can increase tolerance levels of the muscles so that they can more effectively tolerate forces. When muscles can more effectively tolerate forces, they can heal properly. Health and fitness is not a program or a finish line, it is a lifelong process.
After practicing MAT in Houston for over 16 years, I moved back home to Middle Tennessee and opened Body Architecture Fitness in Downtown Franklin to exclusively offer individualized Personal Training and MAT. I have been in the fitness industry for over 24 years and have studied extensively the fields of human engineering, strategic force application and physiological adaptations. Even though I have been a certified MAT Specialist since 2002, and also hold advanced Mastery Certifications for the Trunk & Spine, Lower Body, Foot, Upper Body, Cervical Spine and Hand/wrist. I continue to improve my skills and learn more to give my clients the best that I can offer. You can visit the website for Body Architecture at: www.atr-fit.com