Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) and Muscle Activation techniques (MAT) are two forms of myofascial release that allow the practitioner to address symptoms involving muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.
There are 206 bones in the adult human body and none of them move by themselves without the help of muscles. There are over 600 muscles in the body that attach to bones via tendons and allow the bones to move in a specific manner. Ligaments act as mechanical reinforcements that attach two bones together and help provide joint stability (ie: shoulder, elbow, knee, ankle, etc.). Fascia is a layer of white fibrous connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding those structures together to add to the stability of the body as well.
Injuries to these muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia can occur as a result of stress, trauma, accidents, overuse, strain/sprain, etc.
Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) is a direct and active manipulative treatment in which a patient, upon request, actively uses his or her muscles from a starting, controlled position in a specific direction against distinct counterforce/pressure.
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) focuses on muscular imbalances by finding weaker muscles and developing them in conjunction with stronger muscles, rather than just treating the source of pain. MAT looks at muscle tightness as a form of protection in the body. Weak or inhibited muscles can create the need for other muscles to react and tighten up in order to help stabilize the joints. MAT gets to the root cause of pain or injury by addressing muscle weakness rather than muscle tightness. This helps to restore normal body alignment, thereby, decreasing pain and reducing the risk of injury.
These techniques are widely recognized as an effective approach to the treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction. They bring together treatment methods used in Applied Kinesiology, physical therapy, osteopathy and manual medicine.
MET and MAT are used to:
- Strengthen weak muscles
- Release hyper tonicity/spasticity
- Stretch tight muscles and fascia
- Improve musculoskeletal function
- Mobilize joints in which movement is restricted
- Improve local circulation and stimulate healing
- Release trigger points
- Increase range of motion
- Stimulate and increase function of ligaments and tendons