Acknowledging Stress and Its Various Forms
Thoughts from MAT Founder and Developer, Greg Roskopf:
Chemical, physical, and emotional stress all take their toll on the muscular system. When our individual stress tolerance levels have been exceeded, it shows up as muscle weakness.
Naturally, people get "weaker" as they age and tolerance levels, relative to stress or forces put on the body, continue to decline. And therefore, the majority of people we see as MAT Practitioners are in this "over-trained" state.
You know the drill – poor sleep, poor digestion, increased irritability, constant muscle aches and pains, and overall weakness are all signs of "overtraining" and create extreme stress on the body.
Muscle weakness (otherwise known as muscle inhibition) is the result of the inability of muscles to effectively tolerate the forces that have been placed on them. These weaknesses are what make us more prone to injury.
Forces are placed on the body every day. Remember that we define "forces" as any physical, emotional, or chemical stress. From a neuromuscular standpoint, daily life beats us up and someone needs to be there to put you back together.
Think about it like professional car racing — the racers will drive their cars hard, but afterward, the car is taken back to the mechanic and repaired in order to continue to function optimally. The mechanic tunes it back up and corrects the alignment all so that it can be driven at a high level again.
In reality, we treat race cars better than we treat our bodies. We continually place forces on our bodies that can potentially exceed tolerance levels. This in turn alters neuromuscular function. But then we go right back out and beat ourselves up repeatedly without putting the body back together first.
Negative things happen – i.e. tightness, pain, inability to heal, and injury!
So, as our summers get busy with activities, remember to be kind to our bodies.
Get restful sleep, drink lots of water, see your local practitioner for a tune-up, and continue to make a difference in this world! (And yes, MAT practitioners need a tune-up from time to time too)!
Looking for concepts to help explain your MAT skill set? Use this example when discussing what you do as an MAT Practitioner to your potential clients, current clients, family, and friends!