Wellness & Personal Training

Thomas Amsden, Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) Specialist

Thomas Amsden

Thomas is a Strengthening and Conditioning Coach/Manual Therapist with over 15 years experience in assisting and developing athletes in multiple sports, utilizing a combination of Functional Movement Screening, Poliquin Structural Balancing, Muscle Activation Techniques and The C.H.E.K Biomechanic System, which is designed to address sports-specific conditioning needs and in doing so, improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Using detailed assessments and personalized programming, the individual issues of each client can be identified and addressed.

Amsden utilizes soft tissue massage techniques to correct imbalances and enhance muscle regeneration and is the only one presently in the state of Alabama or Tennessee.

Through his various innovative methods, he has made dramatic improvements in an athlete’s balance, flexibility, stamina, speed, power, agility, coordination and body composition.

Email Thomas at thomas@athleticclubalabama.com to schedule your next appointment!  Click here to find out more about his services.

What is Muscle Activation Therapy?

For a more simplistic approach to understanding muscle function, compare the body to a car. The initiation of a muscle contraction occurs similarly to the way a battery initiates the starting of a car. Both rely on connections that transfer electrical energy to produce a reaction. Our nerves that run from the spinal cord to the muscle are just like the cables that run from the ignition and connect to the battery. When the key is turned in the ignition, the impulses transfer through the cables to the battery allowing the car to start. Similarly, in the body, when a message is sent from the brain, the input is transferred through the nerves to the muscles creating muscle contraction. Each muscle is independently innervated; therefore it can be seen as having many batteries, each connected by its own independent cables. When the body is functioning properly, with all batteries connected, each muscle will contract on demand and the body will function very efficiently.

Many times, due to factors such as stress, trauma or overuse, the neurological connections may become altered creating a reaction in the body, similar to that of loose battery cables in your car. When the brain sends a message for a muscle to contract, the muscle does not respond immediately, creating increased demand on other muscles to perform the desired movement. The result becomes what we know as compensation. Over time, these compensation patterns create altered alignment in the joint, leading to joint instability and abnormal wear on the joint surfaces. The end result becomes pain and eventually osteoarthritis. This progressive degeneration has been correlated with aging. If identified and properly addressed, it does not have to occur.