, ,

MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES: WHAT IS IT AND HOW CAN IT BENEFIT ME ?

David Powell MAT-Certified Specialist explains via an excerpt from Eric C. Stevens…..

Eric C. Stevens – Coach

Denver, Colorado, United States

Martial Arts, Sport Psychology, Boxing

As I sat down on the therapy training table to get to work with my Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) specialist, Ian, I asked him point blank, “Is it true the reason Peyton Manning plays in Denver is in large part that his MAT specialist, founder Greg Roskopf, is based in Denver?”

“Where did you hear that?” Ian asked raising an eyebrow. “Actually, it is true,” he responded easing the mood. It really isn’t earth-shattering news anymore. In fact, it was well documented in a recent Sports Illustrated article. Peyton Manning, unquestionably one of the top five quarterbacks to ever play football, swears by MAT helping him resurrect his career and allowing him to continue to play at the highest level.

In the Sports Illustrated piece, Manning stated, “The greatest investment you can make, is in your body.” Manning, while playing for the Colts, would regularly fly Roskopf to Indianapolis to work on him.

Now, Manning saves on the airfare. Former Broncos safety John Lynch, also mentioned in the article, also swears by MAT and referred to it as having helped him to “reboot” the connection in his body. In essence, that is what Muscle Activation Techniques is – reestablishing the proper neuromuscular function in our bodies by getting our muscles to fire properly again. It should be noted that some people mistakenly refer to it as Muscle Activation Therapy. Therapy has a different goal though – range of motion (ROM). When our bodies are chronically injured or declining, the bodies’ way of protecting itself is to tighten. We see this any time we are in danger.

My specialist, Ian, used the analogy of a stable tent structure with four straight rods versus one with three good rods and a broken one. He also pointed out that MAT isn’t as much therapy but instead more akin to actually exercising – that is, getting muscles to fire and work correctly.MAT’s premise is that the therapist does a multi-point inspection of checks and balances of sorts. Push against this and pull against this. The practitioner is able to check his or her work. Checking the left side against the right and the pull against the push. It’s almost as if to remind the brain, “Hey, use this one. Remember me?’

So, taking a page from Peyton Manning and several other colleagues here in Colorado who swear by the MAT results, I hired a practitioner myself. And that’s how I wound up sitting with Ian. We sat down to discuss my issues and the nature of pain.

He said, “Pain is like a check engine light going off in your car. The sooner you address it the better. If you were on a long road trip you wouldn’t wait until you were 200 miles down the road to address that light. The check engine light tends to turn into bigger problems down the road.”

Good advice for sure, and these days I can certainly relate. I’m hoping that since I pulled my vehicle immediately into the shop we can get my engine running optimally again. While I am not a professional quarterback, just a coach and a writer, I have to invest in my body as well. We only get one of them.

After trying a lot of treatments from ice and stim to chiropractic care, I realized I had to move beyond pain management to the root of the problem – my body and muscles aren’t working right and pain tells me so. Pain also moves over time. As our body faces pain, it adjusts to help alleviate the pain and keep us moving forward.

The problem is the root imbalance isn’t necessarily being addressed. To keep us going, our bodies end up overcompensating for the original problem, working overtime and creating further imbalances. The pain may go away, but if we still have that imbalance, some day it will come back to hurt us down the road.

It’s the same with masking pain with drugs. Certainly it’s understandable to do so, but ultimately it’s faulty logic and solves nothing. The root of the problem hasn’t been addressed.

This is the case with my fairly pronounced piriformis syndrome, as the severe discomfort in my glute has caused radiating hamstring pain as well as knee pain. (The piriformis is in red to the right.)

Unfortunately for me, my check engine light has been going off for some weeks now. While I immediately addressed the pain issue, my approach has been to manage the pain and go right after the source without necessarily going beyond it.

However, solving pain in the long run can be more complex and can often be a riddle of sorts. There are lifestyle variables to consider such as stress, sleep, nutrition, and our emotional make-up. There are performance issues to analyze and we have to look deep within the vehicle itself – the human body.

And a thorough check of the vehicle is what Ian did. He must have had me perform the same test ten different times. After a full inspection, he then went to work poking and prodding different muscles, getting them to fire, and making that connection again for my brain.

Applying MAT is like putting your body through a course in muscle communication 101. It’s about retraining our neuromuscular system to work properly and harmoniously. So, instead of slamming handfuls of ibuprofen to get through my day, my body now has my full attention and I intend to retrain it, as long as that takes.

There are many that swear by MAT from professional athletes down to us little people. Many claim its benefits are or can be instantaneous. What I can tell you is I was able to see some (although not dramatic) differences immediately, with both my pain and range of motion. I also woke up the next day feeling improved.

My specialist indicated that those with the greatest muscle memory, like athletes, often have the quickest results. He indicated that younger athletes can also see rather dramatic results.

While I didn’t walk out of the office a cured man, I did gain insight and some improvement, as well as a bit of pain relief. In doing such treatments, I feel like I am going in the right direction. MAT makes sense at a fundamental level and works on a premise of science and balance. It’s something worth considering.

References:

  1. King, Peter “Stretching the Field” Sports Illustrated (November 5, 2012)

 

Muscle Activation Techniques are available now at Be Well Studios inside The Local Grocer. Invest some of your time to participate in a Free Demonstration so you can see and hear more about what MAT is:

  • A REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH TO THE ASSESSMENT AND CORRECTION OF MUSCULAR IMBALANCES, JOINT INSTABILITY, AND LIMITATIONS IN RANGE OF MOTION WITHIN THE HUMAN BODY.
  • A NON-INVASIVE TECHNIQUE, DESIGNED TO BALANCE THE MUSCULAR SYSTEM OF PEOPLE OF ALL AGES.
  • A UNIQUE SYSTEMATIC FORMAT USED TO “JUMPSTART” THE MUSCLES IN ORDER FOR THEM TO FUNCTION WITH MAXIMUM EFFICIENCY.

Please join me, David Powell MAT-Certified Specialist to a

Save the date

event

downstairs @ The Local Grocer on

October 7th @ 6:30pm

, ,

It’s The New Moon… So What Does That Mean?

August 1st- The New Moon

The New Moon Phase occurs when the Moon is completely dark with zero-percent luminosity, while the Full Moon Phase is completely bright with 100-percent luminosity. While today is the day of the New Moon, the exact new moon is really just a split second before illumination starts to occur again.

“The new moon signifies the start of a new cycle. It’s a time to formulate new intentions and reevaluate existing ones. This is a lower energy phase, so get plenty of rest and give your self the space to connect with your true purpose, passion, and mission. Set aside time for  meditation, journaling, spending time with nature, and yoga. From these places, you can set intentions which are aligned with your authentic self. When you feel ready, write down your intentions and go through your existing list to make sure they are still valid.” -From the “Moon Calendar”  Ap

Currently the moon is in Leo which reminds us to honor and be kind to our heart, chest, spine, and upper back. Consider taking up yoga or pilates or spending a few days getting deeper into your practice if you already do it.

This is likely to be a time where you are surrounded by ideas and new input, which may have an impact on how you perceive and understand the world around you. Your interactions with your local environment and the people you are closest to are also likely to be in focus.

For more information on the various moon phases, click here.

,

Meet Robin!

” When I am not in the studio or at my other full time job, you can find me doing a wide variety of activities outside. I enjoy running, biking, hiking, paddling, and rock-climbing. I grew up in the hills of southern Vermont and spent my summers as a kid on Squam Lake. I’ve been living in the Mount Washington Valley for five years, and every day I am still amazed by the beauty of this place.”

Robin teaches Roll & Renew on Monday’s from 8:15 AM – 9:30 AM

 

,

Happy Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice from all of us at Be Well Studios.
What is the summer solstice?

On Friday, summer finally begins. The summer solstice is at 11:54 a.m. EDT on Friday, June 21. From an astronomical standpoint, the summer solstice marks the beginning of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the exact moment that the sun reaches the Tropic of Cancer. And good news for all of you sun worshipers, it’s the day that has more daylight than any other day of the year – 13 hours, 46 minutes and 41 seconds of daylight, to be exact!

The solstice is a popular holiday in the yoga tradition, being that it represents the longest day of the year, and the first day of summer. It is also International Yoga Day and has always been an opportunity to reconnect with nature.

There are so many great ways to celebrate the solstice, including joining us for practice, getting outside for a hike, or reconnecting with friends.

Here are some favorites:

1. Salute the sun.

Solstice is symbolic of transitioning from the short days of winter to the bright, long days of summer. As yogis, so many of our practices revolve around the sun, including, of course, Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). The origin of “saluting the sun” is not about getting the perfect Chaturagna/Upward-Facing Dog alignment, it’s about bowing to and taking in the fiery solar energy of the sun, to wake us up, energize us, and start our day. The practice was originally taught to be done in the morning, with the torso facing the sun.

2. Revamp your morning routine.

Since Solstice is the longest day of the year, it’s a great time to take advantage of the extra sunlight to wake up early and do something that makes you feel great, whether it’s meditation, yoga, or taking a revitalizing bath or shower infused with essential oils. Our yoga classes begin at 8:15 AM! 

3. Get outdoors.

A great way to celebrate Solstice is to simply get outdoors and enjoy the sun. It could be as simple as taking a walk by the water or in the park—just making the time to connect with nature. When you’re finished swing by The Local Grocer for a fresh organic breakfast. We proudly feature locally sourced food, included home made juices, smoothies, and breakfast bowls.

No matter how you decide to celebrate, we wish you a Happy Summer Solstice and hope to see you in class soon.
Be Well!

, , , , ,

Upcoming Event: Open House Party at Table + Tonic June 17th

Table + Tonic, our Farm to Table restaurant, is celebrating one year in business. We invite you to help us celebrate on Monday, June 17th from 5:00-8:00 PM. Stop by and enjoy free samplings of our summer menu; featuring food and garden to glass cocktails from our own Mountain Flower Farm. Join us on the deck in celebration of our first year in business with friends, food, music, & drinks.

Monday, June 17th
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
3358 White Mountain Highway
North Conway, NH 03860
Want to sneak in a yoga class before hand? Check out the schedule here.
Table + Tonic Hours
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
OPEN EVERY DAY VACATION WEEKS
Monday 5 PM – 9 PM
Thursday 5 PM – 9 PM
Friday 3 PM – 9 PM
Saturday 3 PM – 9 PM
Sunday 3 PM – 9 PM

Mindful Living, April 22, 10:00am-5:00pm

Presented by Ed Williamson of Pathways Mindful Living and Wellness  :

This day-long Mindful Living workshop is designed to bring awareness and union to the four energies that make up our human life-those of the body, mind, emotion, and subtle energy. When we are not in control of our energies, we are living by accident rather than living intentionally. Most often we are the passenger being driven through life at the whim of our patterned thinking and emotional reactions.
In this Mindful Living workshop, you will learn methods to manage and unify these four energies, enabling you to sit in the driver’s seat and take control of your life’s direction and destination.
Through this practice, you will be able to break old patterns, create new ones, and live from a place of mindfulness and, ultimately, joy. Through light physical movement, meditative practice, and guidance in emotional behavioral awareness, this workshop will help you recognize any discord and imbalance in your energies and learn how to manage and harmonize them.

 Please wear loose clothing for some light movement
 Please bring a notebook and pen

$75 per person, includes a coupon for discounted lunch in our Organic Cafe
Payment is expected at time of registration
Register in person at The Local Grocer
or by calling 603-356-6068 x5

Gentle Flow Yoga to Restore with Jess

In this Gentle Flow Yoga to Restore class we will gain mind/body awareness in a non competitive environment. Uniting breath (pranayama) with movement (asana), we will work toward gaining lung capacity, functional strength, range of motion in the joints, balance, flexibility, and relaxation. Each class begins with a grounding exercise. From the grounding exercise, we’ll transition into a warm up, a gentle work phase, a standing balance phase, and finally into a cool down with restorative poses and deep breathing. The most challenging part of your practice will be getting here, but make the time for yourself and discover the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of a regular yoga practice.

Open Studio with Shane

This $5 class was created to provide a more financially accessible space to practice where you can come and just be; tune into your body and let it guide you rather than being guided by an instructor; a clear space to escape, to relax, or to simply have fun and play! Shane will be holding and ensuring a safe space, as well as addressing any potential inquiries you may have during your free flowing movements. See you on the mat!

Power Yoga with Jess

Heated Power Yoga is a powerful, fast paced, dynamic & sweaty all levels class designed to challenge, awaken, detoxify & purify every system, muscle and tissue of the body. This energetic flow style class guides students towards greater awareness of self, personal transformation and empowerment. It will sculpt, tone and condition both your body and mind. This class is appropriate for all levels. Modifications and variations are encouraged to support and accommodate individual needs and experience levels. Class is 75 minutes long!