Muscle Activation Techniques


What is Muscle Activation Techniques?

MAT™ is a powerful assessment tool which analyses and corrects muscular imbalances via the nervous system. MAT™ specifically focuses on the muscular system. MAT’s™ goal is to try and understand why some muscles might be weak while others are tight. Once this weakness/tightness has been identified on a joint, MAT™ uses the nervous system to reestablish the contraction of the muscle(s) which ultimately creates more stability on the joint and further mobility. This process gives the practitioner better judgment on where root causes lie and how to intervene effectively.

With MAT™, the primary objection is to increase the contractile capability of the muscular system. This increases joint stability and range of motion which will improve performance. This is the ONLY modality that focuses on muscle contractile efficiency via the neuromuscular system.

These tight muscles are a natural protective response to deficits elsewhere. Therefore, in MAT™, muscle tightness is secondary to weakness. Once these weaknesses are identified, these can be corrected to improve the performance of your muscles by increasing its strength, endurance, mobility and decreasing the tightness. With MAT™, you will notice an IMMEDIATE response with strength increase from the muscle that was initially on “taking a nap.” This may also cause an increase in your range of motion.

​This treatment is all hands on which incorporates individual techniques that will best suit the outcome for the client.

These techniques are:

The Comparative Assessment Mobility is an application leading to the measurement of active or passive limb motion from a designated start position/posture through a designated plane and direction to the end of the limb on the opposite side of the body.

*It is NOT a joint ROM (range of motion) examination of PASSIVE tissue stability, joint surface pathology, ligamentous integrity.

The Active Muscle Contract and Sustain Assessment is an application of a specific force magnitude and rate of application set up to be delivered by the MAT™ Specialist. This assesses the muscles ability to react and meet that force.

*It is NOT a break test or a manual muscle test used as an indication of a body’s response to a chemical substance, nor a change in its energetic field, nor a positional post relaxation technique.

The Positional Iso-angular Contraction is a specific limb position/orientation and direction of motion generated by the client, into a barrier to that motion provide the parries to the motion during the iso-angular contraction.

*It is NOT Muscle Energy Techniques, strain/counter strain or post isometric relaxation technique.

The DFAMAT is a specific force application to the body tissue using the practitioner’s fingers. Direct pressure is applied perpendicular to muscle attachment tissues (tendons, aponeuroses) using the distal phalanges instituting motion creating subtle tension on the attachment tissues. This is followed with motion lines that are perpendicular (cross hatching) to each other and maintaining the tension for a duration of 1-4 seconds per site. Then reinitiating the process while moving along the width/length of the target muscle attachment. The DFAMAT intends to stimulate sensory receptors that in turn may increase motor neuronal pool activation to the muscle associated with the attachment.

*It is neither a soft tissue evaluation, nor a manipulation to release trigger points, and adhesions. MAT™ is not Active Release Techniques, and it does not move body fluids to and from tissue sites, etc.


Throughout our lifetime, we place various amounts of stress on our bodies that can cause muscle contraction to be less efficient. This diminished muscle activity due to the accumulation of stress as we age takes a toll on the neuromuscular system. The communication between the nervous system and the muscular system become altered and needs to be addressed and this is where MAT™ comes in. If this altered pathway of communication is not addressed then the cumulative effect may progressively make the muscular system weak as a whole. This can result to more pain, susceptible to more injuries and/or degenerative issues. This declination of muscular contraction will inhibit the physical stresses that come with our daily activity, exercise and overall physical performance.

Muscle Activation Techniques™ is designed to identify and address these altered communication pathways between the nervous system and muscular system with resulting an increase of muscle contraction efficiency. Muscles typically develop a threshold for the amount of stress it can handle. A highly physically trained athlete may have a higher threshold of muscle contraction than a regular individual. This threshold is regulated by the central nervous system. Whenever this threshold level has been exceeded, regardless of what that specific level is, the nervous system will decrease the contractile capabilities of the muscle as part of the body’s protective mechanism. Whether it’s a one time physical trauma or a chronic injury from some time ago, this neurological adaptation is represented by a lack of mobility that is secondary to weakness of the muscles that were over stressed.

MAT™ can act as an adjunct to all forms of therapy and exercise. MAT™ provides a system of checks and balances which enables the practitioner to evaluate the integrity if the neuromuscular system whenever a force has been applied against it. This allows to simply check their work and may provide an environment which can reduce this risk of injury while also speed up the body’s ability to recover from injury.